Open Thread: Gangnam Stylin’


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Once the New Yorker starts talking about a cultural phenomenon, it’s no doubt “over”, but as a fringe otaku I still enjoyed John Seabrook’s “Cultural Technology & the Making of K-Pop“:

It was five o’clock on a Sunday in May, two hours before showtime, but already thousands of K-pop fans had flooded the concrete playa outside the Honda Center, a large arena in Anaheim, California. Tonight’s performers were among the biggest pop groups in South Korea—SHINee, f(x), Super Junior, EXO, TVXQ!, and Girls’ Generation. In the United States, Korean pop music exists almost exclusively on YouTube, in videos like “Gangnam Style,” by Park Jae-sang, the rapper known as PSY, which recently went viral. The Honda Center show was a rare chance for K-pop fans to see the “idols,” as the performers are called, in the flesh.

K-pop is an East-West mash-up. The performers are mostly Korean, and their mesmerizing synchronized dance moves, accompanied by a complex telegraphy of winks and hand gestures, have an Asian flavor, but the music sounds Western: hip-hop verses, Euro-pop choruses, rapping, and dubstep breaks. K-pop has become a fixture of pop charts not only in Korea but throughout Asia, including Japan—the world’s second-biggest music market, after the U.S.—and Taiwan, Singapore, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia. South Korea, a country of less than fifty million, somehow figured out how to make pop hits for more than a billion and a half other Asians, contributing two billion dollars a year to Korea’s economy, according to the BBC. K-pop concerts in Hong Kong and on mainland China are already lucrative, and no country is better positioned to sell recorded music in China, a potentially enormous market, should its endemic piracy be stamped out. Yet, despite K-pop’s prominence in Asia, until recently few in the United States had heard of it. SMTown World Tour III, named for S.M. Entertainment, the Korean music company that is sponsoring the global tour, is hoping to change things, through a unique system of “cultural technology.”

Outside the arena, clusters of fans were enacting dance covers: copies of their favorite idol groups’ moves. (PSY’s horse-riding dance, from “Gangnam Style,” may be the Macarena of the moment.) People carried light sticks and bunches of balloons, whose colors signified allegiance to one or another idol group. The crowd was older than I’d expected, and the ambience felt more like a video-game convention than like a pop concert. About three out of four people were Asian-American, but there were also Caucasians of all ages, and a number of black women…

… [S]omewhere between my tenth viewing of the Girls’ video “Mr. Taxi” and my twentieth click on “Gee” it occurred to me that I might not know how much I loved these girls, either. “Listen, boy,” Tiffany coos at the outset of “Gee.” “It’s my first love story.” And then she tilts her head to the side and flashes her eye smile—the precise crinkle in the outer corner that texts her love straight 2U. Why was watching “Mr. Taxi” such pure audiovisual pleasure? Why did my body feel lighter in the chair? It wasn’t the music—bright, candy-cane-sweet sounds, like aural Day-Glo—and, while the dancing was wonderfully precise, the choreography had a schematic quality….

(Okay, they’re not the Ronettes, but then Katy Perry ain’t Ronnie Spector, either.)

… In effect, Lee combined his ambitions as a music impresario with his training as an engineer to create the blueprint for what became the K-pop idol assembly line. His stars would be made, not born, according to a sophisticated system of artistic development that would make the star factory that Berry Gordy created at Motown look like a mom-and-pop operation. Lee called his system “cultural technology.” In a 2011 address at Stanford Business School, he explained, “I coined this term about fourteen years ago, when S.M. decided to launch its artists and cultural content throughout Asia. The age of information technology had dominated most of the nineties, and I predicted that the age of cultural technology would come next.” He went on, “S.M. Entertainment and I see culture as a type of technology. But cultural technology is much more exquisite and complex than information technology.”…

In 1998, Lee began expanding into the rest of Asia. The idols sang in Japanese and Chinese, but the sound and style of the music and the videos adhered to the principles that had made them popular in Korea. Lee and his colleagues produced a manual of cultural technology—it’s known around S.M. as C.T.—that catalogued the steps necessary to popularize K-pop artists in different Asian countries. The manual, which all S.M. employees are instructed to learn, explains when to bring in foreign composers, producers, and choreographers; what chord progressions to use in what country; the precise color of eyeshadow a performer should wear in a particular country; the exact hand gestures he or she should make; and the camera angles to be used in the videos (a three-hundred-and-sixty-degree group shot to open the video, followed by a montage of individual closeups)…

Here’s a antique clip from the original K-Pop boy group, High-Five of Teenagers (H.O.T.), whom the YouTube informs me will be appearing in the Boston area in November:


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ETA: I {heart} our commentors. Via Sister Railgun of Warm Humanitarianism, Jea Kim at Racialicious explains ‘Gangnam Style‘:

PSY finally set the world on fire with a song, Gangnam Seutail (강남스타일, “Gangnam Style”), written and performed by himself. The song is the title track of his sixth studio album, Yukgap (육갑), which can be interpreted two ways: (i) the word originally means “the sexagenary cycle;” but (ii) it is mostly used in a derogatory way as meaning “a total retard.”…

IIRC, the sexagenary cycle refers to the fact that traditionally, reaching the age of 60 in Korea was celebrated like turning eleventy-one among hobbits. Ergo, using yukgap as an insult is equivalent to code-shifting from “honorable elder” to “old fart”. A pre-emptive You Kids, Get Off My Lawn!






233 replies
  1. 1
    BGinCHI says:

    I think I speak for a number of future commenters on this thread when I say:

    Get. Off. My. Lawn.

    (I hoped I’d die before I got old)

  2. 2
    red dog says:

    Sorry Annie you wasted a lot of words on a subject that is really lame. K poop in fact.

  3. 3
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Teeming. And fiendish.

    Against a threat of this magnitude, Taylor Swift is doomed.

  4. 4
    MikeJ says:

    Once the New Yorker starts talking about a cultural phenomenon, it’s no doubt “over”,

    I thought it was the Today Show that was the arbiter of that, and I believe that happened weeks ago.

  5. 5
    Gwangung says:

    @BGinCHI: being of Asian heritage, and, more. Portent, an Asian American cultural leader, that is one phrase I am not allowed to say.

  6. 6
    efgoldman says:

    @MikeJ:

    I thought it was the Today Show that was the arbiter of that….

    Local news time-fillers, also too. Especially in a low-budget small market, like Providence, for instance.

  7. 7
    Violet says:

    @MikeJ: Yes, nothing like the Today Show hosts dancing Gangnam Style to indicate that the shark jumping is merely a distant memory.

  8. 8
    BGinCHI says:

    @Violet: Anchorman should be on its 4th or 5th sequel by now. So much material…..

  9. 9
    WaterGirl says:

    Could someone explain this “Gangnam Style” thing to me in 50 words or less? I have been tuning it out because it looks like something I have totally no interest in, but, sadly, it doesn’t seem to be going away.

    Also, did anyone here watch Up with Chris Hayes this weekend? I watch it religiously every saturday and sunday, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch this weekend because I fear it is filled with doom and gloom about the election after Obama’s debate flop.

    It was much more fun last week when I felt certain Obama would win and that we would keep the senate for sure, and maybe the house. This, along with the cold weather and getting dark so early, is leaving me kind of depressed.

  10. 10
    Violet says:

    @BGinCHI: Yeah, I wonder why someone hasn’t done something like that. Doesn’t even have to be Anchorman. A new franchise, a sitcom…something. Our Failed Media Experiment serves up plenty of idiocy.

  11. 11
    Baud says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Yesterday’s episode wasn’t bad. Didn’t see it today.

  12. 12
    BGinCHI says:

    @Violet: I guess we’ll have to wait for some Canadians to make it funny like usual.

    Srsly, I’d like to see a Larry Sanders-like show that spoofs the Sunday morning shows.

  13. 13
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @BGinCHI: @red dog: you’re both lame as shit.

    Heyyyyyyyyy sexay ladays

    PF37 +9

  14. 14
    efgoldman says:

    When I first heard of it, I misheard or misread it as “Gangman style.” I expected Koreans in black suits and fedoras, with tommy guns.

  15. 15
    efgoldman says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Could someone explain this “Gangnam Style” thing to me in 50 words or less? I have been tuning it out because it looks like something I have totally no interest in, but, sadly, it doesn’t seem to be going away.

    Think “Macarena” but with Koreans.

  16. 16
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @WaterGirl: in less than 10 words:

    It’s awesome. QED

  17. 17
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @efgoldman: except MUCH MORE AWESOME.

    Hehyyyyyy…

  18. 18
    PurpleGirl says:

    I was recently at my dentist’s office. The receptionist had on the radio and a song started. She didn’t recognize it at first and I listened a bit and realized it was Psy and Gangnam Style. I told her and then my dentist came out to the reception area and I told him about knowing what it was from a posting here at BJ. They were mesmerized by what I was telling them. Now they think I’m up on the current pop culture. LOL. (The receptionist is a college student in her early 20s.)

  19. 19
    gbear says:

    New open thread, so: I brought home my adopted kitty today. Edward is six years old and hasn’t destroyed the back room yet. My other 12 year old cat Halley is doing OK but isn’t used to closed doors. I’m probably going to keep them separated for two weeks min. (This is old news to Violet and WaterGirl. Last time, promise)

  20. 20
    Suffern ACE says:

    Hmmmm. I think you are much too social to be an otaku.

  21. 21
    Violet says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Could someone explain this “Gangnam Style” thing to me in 50 words or less?

    efgoldman has a good explanation. A bit more info–Korean pop star PSY has a song called “Gangnam Style” with a catchy dance routine that imitates horse-riding. Gangnam is an area in Seoul.

  22. 22
    WaterGirl says:

    As long as we’re in an open thread on a topic I don’t understand in the slightest, maybe I can ask a TV/video question.

    I just noticed that a movie I set to record on TIvo recorded in HD. My TV can do HD, and TIvo can do HD. I don’t have a Comcast box because I have a motorolla dual band M-card in my Tivo box.

    I have always been told that if you have HD video on a non-HD tv, that it won’t look very good.

    So am I good, because my TV and Tivo can do HD, or will it look bad because I don’t actually pay Comcast extra to get an HD signal?

    I could call Comcast and ask, but I would have to shoot myself if I did that, because I never get anyone there who actually knows anything.

  23. 23
    Violet says:

    @gbear: Edward is such a cutie. Halley too. Love the Ballon-Juice page with the cat picture in the background.

  24. 24
  25. 25
    Violet says:

    @WaterGirl: Can you just look at it and see?

  26. 26
    Schlemizel says:

    Until last night I had never had the displeasure of actually hearing that stupid song.

    Played of the speakers at the arena is sounded to me like he was says “Got no style”. All I could picture was an over-weight middle-aged white guy with black shoes & socks, plaid Bermuda shorts and ugly Hawaiian shirt hopping around like a “Kansas City fruitcup” (to paraphrase Blazing Saddles)
    chanting “got no style”

  27. 27
    WaterGirl says:

    @Violet: Wow. I have either gotten really stupid (cause I’m still not getting it) or really old (because I cannot fathom why anyone would care about this). I am leaning more toward door #1, at this point.

  28. 28
    Gwangung says:

    @Violet: it’s a satire of Korean hipsters.

  29. 29
    Anne Laurie says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Could someone explain this “Gangnam Style” thing to me in 50 words or less?

    Best I can make out, from Wikipedia and elsewhere, the American media has embraced the Korean equivalent of Weird Al Yankovich. Once Weird Al does the inevitable parody, some kind of metapsychological loop will be closed & the entire industry will collapse… (not).

    @Davis X. Machina: Since Swift is unlistenable even by my extremely elastic standards, how will they tell?

  30. 30
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Could someone explain this “Gangnam Style” thing to me in 50 words or less? I have been tuning it out because it looks like something I have totally no interest in, but, sadly, it doesn’t seem to be going away.

    You’re trying to understand pop culture. That’s your first mistake. The less you try to “get” it, the easier it is to appreciate.

  31. 31
    Gwangung says:

    @Schlemizel: Ah. You got the Korean hipsters down to a T.

  32. 32
    Violet says:

    @Gwangung: Yeah, but that’s getting deep. The horse dance is what most people seem to know.

  33. 33
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @gbear: I had good luck with swapping new kitties and old kitty for an hour or so every day. Older, hostile, growly kitty (Pixel) was shut in the back bedroom for short periods while the kittens got to explore, then they went back into the bedroom and Pixel was free once again.

    They are now all one big happy kitty pile.

    Also, Feliway is a miracle.

  34. 34
    Schlemizel says:

    @efgoldman: Think “Macarena” but with Koreans.

    Thats exactly what I thought when I saw kids dancing to the tune. It so reminded me of the first time I saw kids doing the Macarena.

  35. 35
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Sentient Puddle: well, it can be understood. Just don’t try to write a paper about it .

    Heyyyyyyy, sexay ladays

  36. 36
    Gwangung says:

    @Violet: yeah, well, all that deepness comes from my position as an Asian American cultural leader….

    (And it helps when I have 1.5ers explaining some of this….)

  37. 37
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Violet: Also, too:

    Mitt Romney Style

  38. 38
    Desert Rat says:

    @MikeJ:

    It used to be the cover of Time Magazine, back in the day.

  39. 39
    gogol's wife says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism:

    Yeah, that’s all I know about it. I refuse to look at the original. But the Romney parody is pretty funny. Except I don’t know why they have him swilling champagne. Funny anyway.

  40. 40
    WaterGirl says:

    Big thanks to everyone who has helped enlighten me!

  41. 41
    Schlemizel says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism:

    I have never had any luck introducing cats. My wife talked me into it once & it was a disaster. Despite experience our daughter talked my wife into it 8 years ago with different cats. We followed all the ‘how to introduce’ rules everyone claims work and to this day they hate each other and only interact to fight.

    If we want multiple cats in the future we are getting them as a group!

  42. 42
    efgoldman says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism:

    Also, Feliway is a miracle.

    What’s a Feliway?
    :::rimshot followed by obvious answer:::

  43. 43
    JPL says:

    @gbear: Some of us expect hourly updates.

  44. 44
    suzanne says:

    I am ashamed to say that the song is catchy as fuck, and I have found myself with it caught it in my head on more than one occasion. Even more nefarious in that way is One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful”. DAMN.

  45. 45
    WaterGirl says:

    @JPL: I know! I can’t figure out why gbear keeps apologizing for something that many of us want to see :-)

    I’d rather see it twice than not at all!

  46. 46
    Violet says:

    @suzanne: That’s the magic of pop songs. Even when you hate them, you can’t get them out of your brain.

  47. 47
    efgoldman says:

    @suzanne:

    I have found myself with it caught it in my head on more than one occasion.

    At least most of my (unavoidable and not on purpose) earworms are classical.

  48. 48
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __
    Question:

    Between the beady eyes, high forehead, pointy nose, and the thin-lipped, too wide smile, does anyone else think that Mitt Romney looks like a particularly smug porpoise?

    .

  49. 49
    Violet says:

    @Gwangung: Well, you probably get it better than the rest of us.

    For me, it’s a crazy Korean guy doing a horse dance that almost everybody tries to imitate, all while a too-catchy pop song plays in the background.

  50. 50
    efgoldman says:

    Is the SuperDome playing surface (I won’t call it a “field”) really as ugly and nasty as it looks on my H-dee teevee?

  51. 51
    Comrade Mary says:

    @suzanne: Blame it on the parodies. They’re gateway drugs. I actually SOUGHT OUT One Direction after seeing this political parody based on it. (Lots of half naked men wearing very little.) It’s Mitterific!

  52. 52
    Yutsano says:

    @suzanne: You have two young daughters. Yer doomed. :)

  53. 53
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @gogol’s wife: I’m not sure, either, since it looks like PSY is drinking a soda in the original. Probably just a Western cultural reference.

  54. 54
    PsiFighter37 says:

    Gotten zero love on this thread.

    Heyyyyyyy. . .

    PF37 +12

  55. 55
    Suffern ACE says:

    I do need to thing about growing my bangs out like those HOT boys. Best do it now do people won’t notice when it comes time for a combover.

  56. 56
    Comrade Mary says:

    @efgoldman: I have the great luck or great misfortune of eclectic taste in music. I have absolutely given up on the concept of guilty pleasure: if I like it or love it for what it is, so be it.

    Proof? Here is what my YT account suggests to me based on recent choices. (Yeah, I’ve been on an opera kick, and I have to pick up that CD very, very soon.)

  57. 57
    PsiFighter37 says:

    Opa, opa gangnam style

    Heyyyyyÿÿ

  58. 58
    suzanne says:

    @Yutsano: I’ve done a pretty good job so far of making sure they listen to good stuff. Sarah loves Taylor Swift, as one would probably expect from an eight-year-old girl, but other than that, she’s into what we’re into. No Bieber or Disney pop, thank God. I want her to get into Riot Grrrl.

  59. 59
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    Gangnam Style didn’t do much for me (except make me laugh a lot) but I’ll proudly own liking radically overproduced sugary Asian dance-pop. Though I’m a bit out of touch – the production value has gone up since I last paid attention. That was 2000ish, when a buddy of mine was bumming around Asia and sending me care packages of stuff like CDs of the current pop idols wherever he went.

  60. 60
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    Hmm, well I don’t agree with their plastic commercial pop visual and presentation policy, but I do agree with their being musically at least somewhat influenced by Aretha policy. In spots anyway.

  61. 61
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Schlemizel: We never had any trouble adding cats to the household until Pixel. Set the new carrier down, open the door, everyone sniffs everyone else, done. Pixel has litter box issues, which we weren’t warned about, and he tried to defend the litter box from the two already established feline overladies. The solution was to add another box on the opposite end of the house; he couldn’t defend both.

    So when we brought the kittens home, we decided to be more careful. Pixel spent about a week just sitting by their door, growling. Then we swapped them out for another week, then suddenly everything was cool.

    Feliway is a synthetic pheromone that reduces feline stress. I always know when the diffuser is empty, because Pixel’s behavior changes noticeably.

  62. 62
    PsiFighter37 says:

    BOOOM BOOM PoW

    I’m like 2000 an late

    Gotta get get

    Boom boom drank

    Gotta get get

  63. 63
    Narcissus says:

    I love me some Gangnam Style. Life would be better if everybody took it as seriously as that video does.

  64. 64
    Anne Laurie says:

    @PsiFighter37: Sweetie, if you’re +12, you’re already having more fun than most of us would dare to!

    Real life calls; TTY’allL.

  65. 65
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @JGabriel:

    Thanks for setting me up, because I came here specifically to make a petty, mean, superficial and irrelevant comment on Ann Romney’s fashion sense (lack thereof).

    One of my RWNJ Facebook friends just posted a photo of Allen West with the Mittbot and his ANN-imatronic wife. And honest to FSM, for as much money as that woman has, her clothes look like something she found on the sale rack of the cheapest discount store she could find. She’s done it before, often; this time it’s a nasty shade of purplish-red with giant white swirls and spirals all over. It would look ghastly on an 18-year-old model, let alone on a nice-looking but matronly middle-aged woman. Just horrible.

    I honestly don’t care that much about fashion, but AR seems almost to go out of her way to wear hideous and unbecoming styles. I can’t even guess what the meta-message is supposed to be.

    Apologies for being lookist, if that’s what this is. I know it’s small-minded of me.

  66. 66
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Anne Laurie: I am incredibly lit and LOViN’ IT….

    Yeah, I’m lovin’ it #corporate_brainwashing

  67. 67
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Suffern ACE: Doing 85% of one’s human interaction on the web is verrry otaku, I thought?

    Besides, I did say ‘fringe’. Like, cosplay-at-one-remove weaksauce that true otaku would laugh at.

  68. 68
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: she probably dressed fashionably…for the 1950/s.

    I’m not a fashion expert, but she woulda fit in as a model in Ike’s time

  69. 69
    MonkeyBoy says:

    That Kpop Twinkel vid heavily reminded me of Lady Marmalade – like they stole all of their harmonic structure and vocal styling and some dancing from it but toned down to a bubble gum level. Other than the people in the vid having Asian faces I don’t see what makes this Asian or Korean other than that k-pop has been moving in this direction for a while.

  70. 70
    amk says:

    What pop music ? I just watched some cutie potaties witn nice legs with the sound turned off.

    Yes, I am a sicko oldster. Sue me.

  71. 71
    PsiFighter37 says:

    Look at me miming riding a horse in the middle of a river surrounded by duck boats.

    Hey, hey, hey, sexy ladayyyyyys /rip my bowtie off and screammmmmm

  72. 72
    Yutsano says:

    @suzanne: I know you hated that concert, but at least Taylor is a decent role model for your girls. I mean c’mon she’s dating a KENNEDY now! Although that can sometimes have issues I don’t recall Ethel having too many issues with her side of the clan. I could be wrong however.

    By the time Sarah hits 13 she’ll find lots of music just to annoy you. Such is the way of things.

  73. 73
    suzanne says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    And honest to FSM, for as much money as that woman has, her clothes look like something she found on the sale rack of the cheapest discount store she could find.

    I DON’T GET IT. You’re exactly right.
    I have a horrible coworker who’s always bragging about the fact that her husband pulls down almost 300K a year, and she name-drops designers all day long, and yet same thing….she looks like she rolled out of bed every morning and came to work. I really do not understand.
    Meanwhile, FLOTUS shops at White House/Black Market, where even I can afford to occasionally shop, if I have a coupon, and she invariably looks beautiful, modern, classy, and very much like HERSELF.
    I’m sure it is obvious that I adore MO’s fabulous sartorial expression.

  74. 74
    Schlemizel says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism:
    Yeah, we had to get two boxes also.

    The first experience we tried to do what you did and had to pry the older cat off the kitten. Both went into hiding & would not come out. Lots of iodine & bandages. We had to find a new home for the kitten before the cat killed it.

    The second one was brought in by a non-family member and kept separate for a couple of weeks. Both knew the other was there but didn’t see each other. Then they were gradually introduced in person. While not as bloody as the first experience it has not been pleasant.

    I’m jealous beyond belief when I see those pictures of cats snuggling.

  75. 75
    Narcissus says:

    @PsiFighter37: PsiFighter37 + buttchugging

  76. 76
    suzanne says:

    @Yutsano: I actually really enjoyed it. T. Swift isn’t what I would choose to listen to, but it was a great mom-and-daughter experience, Swift is a great performer and put on one helluva show, and (pardon me if I sound all right-wing here) I appreciate that there are female performers who emphasize things other than their sex appeal. I vastly prefer Gaga, but I like a few of Swift’s songs, and they don’t make me feel like I need brain bleach.

  77. 77
    Mnemosyne says:

    Had a reasonably fun time at CicLAvia — it would have been more fun if I hadn’t left my goddamned smartphone in the car by mistake, which meant I ended up wandering around aimlessly trying to find the bookstore and restaurant I wanted to try. (I did eventually find the bookstore, never found the restaurant.)

    Also, too, protip since I know there are other locals here — if you take the Gold Line Metro train to the Little Tokyo Arts District stop, the Japanese American National Museum is directly across the street, along with most of the major shopping areas in Little Tokyo. And it only cost me $2 to park my car at the Del Mar Metro station in Pasadena when I showed them my Metro receipt. Awe. Some.

  78. 78
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    And honest to FSM, for as much money as that woman has, her clothes look like something she found on the sale rack of the cheapest discount store she could find.

    Since Mitt is apparently Duct Tape Man, that’s entirely plausible.

    Don’t think of it as being lookist. You’re reacting to a disconnect between reality and societal expectations. At her social level, she’s expected to either have a good sense of what’s appropriate or hire said good sense.

    It’s something I’ve been saying about her husband for quite a while. They’re both second generation money, not old money, but definitely not nouveau riche. They should both have grown up with lots and lots of tutoring on how to meet their social obligations. Good fashion sense, at least enough to not make egregious faux pas, is a part of that.

  79. 79
    WaterGirl says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I”d be happy to have a chat about that awful red dress Ann Romney wore for some big occasion – she wore a dress that looked like it belonged on a girl going to the prom in the 50s or 60s.

    Oh, and let’s chat about the faux black leather outfit she wore a few weeks ago.

    I am SO not into fashion normally, but Ann Romney just makes me hate her, from the way she dresses to the things she says.

  80. 80
    WaterGirl says:

    @JGabriel:

    Between the beady eyes, high forehead, pointy nose, and the thin-lipped, too wide smile, does anyone else think that Mitt Romney looks like a particularly smug porpoise?

    YES

  81. 81
    Anne Laurie says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    I honestly don’t care that much about fashion, but AR seems almost to go out of her way to wear hideous and unbecoming styles. I can’t even guess what the meta-message is supposed to be.

    “I’m a good Mormon wife’n’mother who is faaar too Godly to waste time thinking about mere fashionability. But, if you’re one of my tiny upper-class Mormon-nobility in-group, you’ll be able to see even from the other side of the clubroom that I always choose extremely expensive, designer Frump.”

    The problem her handlers are having, I suspect, is that Ann’s spent so many years inside the Salt Lake Aristocracy Bubble (even while living in Belmost/Aspen/LaJolla) that she can’t or won’t switch to the standard safe “upscale political wife” wardrobe, which is ‘big money, but understated’.

    Michelle Obama, OTOH, has done a wonderful job of playing with that trope from the opposite direction — she always looks stylish & understated, and therefore can advertise that she’s buying stuff from Target and “retail” designers. Which, of course, drives the rightwingers who want to be outraged over her outrageous ghetto Jackie-Kennedy spendthrift ways even further round the twist!

  82. 82
    Yutsano says:

    @Anne Laurie: I just want you to know: You made me do this. And yes it’s Swedish, but this KPop movement is a long time coming.

    @suzanne: If you wanna cry listen to Ronan. Taylor has worked her ass off improving her vocal performing skills and it shows.

  83. 83
    Jay C says:

    @MonkeyBoy:

    Of course the kpop stuff is derivative: that’s been the history of popular music since… well, since forever: a few original ideas, followed by massive theft of everything from everybody by everybody else, until new genres/styles/themes, etc. are created and become universal. Until the next Big New Thing (probably derivative itself) comes along. Kpop doesn’t AFAICT, seem to be about the music, or even the visuals, much at all: it’s all about the marketing. Which they seem to have nailed bigtime.

  84. 84
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Schlemizel: Toleration may be the best you can hope for.

    Duchess, my current eldest, would be happiest as an only cat. She tolerates the younger cats so long as they don’t come within claw range. They’ve learned.

  85. 85
    Anya says:

    Reading this Politico piece about how Obama got his groove back makes me think that the media’s next comeback kid story will be about our guy. I know it’s a shitty media narrative but if it will benefit Team O, then I am on board.

    H/T – Paul Constant

  86. 86
    PsiFighter37 says:

    Whooœ whoooœ whoooò

    PF37 +13

  87. 87
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @WaterGirl: It’s a music video with a guy doing an intentionally dopey-looking dance. The humor value of a guy doing a dopey-looking dance crosses all boundaries.

  88. 88
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism:
    @suzanne:

    AR does not have a personal style — it looks like she goes shopping and buy what she likes in color and design but each item is in a different feeling. She’s inconsistent as to being tailored, ruffles and flounces, etc. Michelle O has an idea in her head of her style and follows through with it in each item she buys. It takes concerted work to do that. I’d bet AR spends a lot more than Michelle O does and, yes, she doesn’t look even a tenth as good.

  89. 89
    Yutsano says:

    Oh and FYWP.

  90. 90
    suzanne says:

    @Anne Laurie: Actually, most of the Mormon women I know are pretty aggressively non-fashion-forward. These are the people that save food in cans and almost competitively clip coupons, so being flashy about spending money on clothes in that community is pretty much not okay, as far as I have experienced. I would be willing to bet that she just isn’t good at it, and hasn’t hired a stylist. Personal modesty is considered such a virtue that I know a lot of them have a hard time finding clothes that don’t show even a hint of cleavage or sexual awareness. BORING.

  91. 91
    Mnemosyne says:

    @suzanne:

    This is why I was careful to download the radio version (“Forget You”) of Cee-lo’s “Fuck You.” That shit was catchy, and I didn’t want to be caught singing the bad-word version at work.

  92. 92
    Cassidy says:

    It’s been an interesting evening. My oldest daughter (12) wants to be Harley Quinn for Halloween, but she doesn’t want to do classic Harley. She wants to be Arkham City Harley which has an off the rack costume, but is a little mature for a 12 year old. Now the upper body part can be altered with a tank top underneath, but I still have reservations about the hip hugger pants. My wife used the term “hoochy” and that ended that. So I’ve been trying to come up with alternate variations like a goth-punk Harley, but the daughter has been shooting everything down because she’s aggravated. I don’t want to wait until the last minute to throw something together for her.

    Yay first world problems!

  93. 93
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @suzanne:

    With you on Michelle. She always looks great. Maybe it’s a matter of being, as they say, “comfortable in your own skin.” I think MO is very comfortable with who she is and how she looks and feels, and overall very content with the choices she’s made. It shows in her appearance.

    AR, not so much. Perhaps some of it has to do with the very real and serious illnesses she has battled, but there seems to be something else going on besides. A kind of “I don’t give a fuck” attitude, only not in the carefree, happy-go-lucky sense but in the depressed and angry sense.

  94. 94
    PurpleGirl says:

    @PsiFighter37: No, a pattern like that came in during the late 1960s or 1970s. It has a Marimeko feel to it.

  95. 95
    Anya says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Is 64 middle age?

  96. 96
    WaterGirl says:

    @Matt McIrvin: That helps a lot!

    It seems like this is about the 10th post & video about this, and I didn’t watch any of them or really participate in those threads because it just seemed dumb to me. By the time I saw the 10th one (or what felt like the 10th one!) it was too late to go back and look at everything. I have limited internet bandwidth so I didn’t want to use it all up learning about something that seemed dumb. Thanks a lot.

  97. 97
    Montysano says:

    I’ve been a serious music fan for a long time, and I’ve always preferred quality: Joni, Paul Simon, Gillian Welch, etc. That said, I’m a sucker for stuff like the above, or Gangnam Style, or Call Me Maybe. If Gangnam Style doesn’t make you grin, you might be taking life too seriously.

  98. 98
    PsiFighter37 says:

    Heyyyyÿÿÿÿ German ladays

    PF37 +14 and discovering iPhone accents

  99. 99
    magurakurin says:

    @Anya:

    Is 64 middle age?

    Well, since I’m turning 50 in about a month’s time…I sure as hell hope so.

    And not liking pop music has nothing to do with age. I hated the pop music of the 70’s when I was 14, pop music of the 80’s when I was 24, pop music of the 90’s when I was 34……

    Kpop is shit and I can’t believe anyone spent as much time thinking about it at all as this post took to write.

  100. 100
    Schlemizel says:

    @Anya:

    Only if you are living to 128 and I don’t believe all the BS that we are going to do that.

  101. 101
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @PurpleGirl: That’s the thing I don’t get, though.

    My mother was from an Old Southern Family fallen on hard times. Melanie Wilkes in the flesh. I was a geek before we had ever heard the word, never any interest in being a debutante, but I still got the social lessons.

    She was assigned the role of political wife and businessman’s wife very early. Avoiding having the other women in her social set titter about her behind her back should be ingrained, reflexive.

    My reflex when I see how she dresses is to wonder if she knows which fork is which.

  102. 102
    Mike in NC says:

    @PsiFighter37
    Easy on the liver, dude

  103. 103
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Anya:

    Is 64 middle age?

    From where I sit, yeah.

  104. 104
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Mike in NC: The liver can sleep when it’s dead #vested_interest

    PF37 +15 and just having reached cruising altitude. You are now allowed to unbuckle your seat belt an move about the cabin.

    Oh I swear to you, I’ll be there for you, this is not a #drive_by

  105. 105
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Anya: Politico, courtiers to power, are covering their ass. They suspect, at the very least, Willard’s lying in the debate won the battle at the expense of losing the war. Obama’s campaign is good enough to destroy him for the waffling and lying.

    Now Willard, full of himself after his hollow victory, thinks he can step to Obama on foreign policy. He’s out of his depth.

  106. 106
    burnspbesq says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Since Swift is unlistenable even by my extremely elastic standards, how will they tell?

    If Taylor Swift could sing, she’d be Sarah Jarosz, and if she could play she’d be Sierra Hull.

  107. 107
    trollhattan says:

    Now here’s a video I support.

    Obama explains the economy, from a Simpsons/Family Guy animator.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....r_embedded

  108. 108
    Anya says:

    @magurakurin: @SiubhanDuinne: When does middle age start then?

    @ Schlemizel ~~ I wouldn’t want to live that long.

  109. 109
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    This has turned into a much more interesting sidebar conversation than I would have expected! And I think you’re exactly right about not knowing her own style and selecting whatever catches her eye, however unflattering or inappropriate. That’s fine when you’re in your teens or twenties: you try out different things and eventually, maybe, create your own look. Not everyone can do it and not everyone is interested in style, and that’s fine. But she’s running for First Lady, for Pete’s sake! She really needs a stylist.

    Not that I’m trying to help her….

  110. 110
    PsiFighter37 says:

    Double fisting Kwak now. This night is only going to end one way, and its going to be ugly.

    PF37 +17

  111. 111
    Schlemizel says:

    @Anya:

    I would under a very particular set of circumstances. I’d have to be 100% healthy and completely independent. I’d have to have the money to travel and attend classes whenever I wanted. I’d have to know that my kids and grandkids would go before me.

    Given my health history from birth to today 1 ain’t likely. Given my 401k and other savings 2 is a joke. I don’t want to consider 3. So it ain’t happening.

    Having done volunteer work at a nursing home and seen the ravages of age up close I know I don’t want to go the way most old people go, bit by bit.

  112. 112
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    I walked my first Second Line today–through downtown Oakland, of all places–in honor of a friend who died suddenly (and much too soon) in a car crash. I always understood Second Lines in theory, but now I understand them in practice and think that much more of them. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to find the joy in tragedy.

  113. 113
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    Speaking of Macarena, anybody remember Chacarron Macarron by El Chombo There was a version with the old Batman was funny.

  114. 114
    PsiFighter37 says:

    I gotta feeling

    That tonight gonna be a good night

    I’m showing my with the
    Old pop songs

    I gotta feeling

    Whoooo hoooo

  115. 115
  116. 116
    PurpleGirl says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Part of it is also going back to the same store time and again. A few years ago I discovered that Coldwater Creek did have things in my size. I buy mostly tops there; not a lot but a few. I like the styling, the fabrics and colors they make clothes in. And I know what sizes fit and have an idea of how something will look on me.

  117. 117
  118. 118
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Yutsano: BAS. TARD.

    That was so many kinds of wrong. Soonerson walks in, looks at the screen and says “wow. Creepy anime girls dancing to DDR. Dad, is there something I should know?”

    EDIT–fever at 103.2. Going back to doctor tomorrow.

  119. 119
    magurakurin says:

    @Anya:

    I wouldn’t want to live that long.

    check back with us when you are 127 and see if that sentiment still holds.

  120. 120
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Bubblegum Tate: I looked up second lining, not knowing the term or what it was. It has a very interesting history. Thank you for mentioning it.

  121. 121
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Cassidy: if I may–offer her two options. She can go as HQ in the full leotard, or she can go as HQ in a goth/punk with a black/red skirt-tutu thing.

    If you give her a choice, then it’s on her.

    Of course, this may not work at all because she is 12-yrs old, and sometimes you’re just gonna get blown up.

  122. 122
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Anya: Isaac Asimov wrote a short story of a man who asked for internal life and was awarded it by the cosmos. He ended up in a glass container getting older and older and smaller and smaller and looking like a raisin. The problem was he asked for eternal life and not eternal youth.

  123. 123
    Yutsano says:

    @Soonergrunt: Heh. My ebil plan proceeds apace.

    BTW I was trying to avoid telling you, but I almost died from bacterial pneumonia. But it was my fault for letting it get as out of control as it did plus it presented as more of a breathing problem than something I ran a high fever shaking off. It’s not the same flavour that you have.

    Shorter me: GET YER ASS TO THE FECKING HOSPITAL NOW YOU FUCKING STUBBORN BASTARD!!

  124. 124
    geg6 says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Nope, no way you’re a lookist. Anne Romney is a perfectly nice looking middle-aged woman.

    But her clothes sense is horrific. And, I agree, you’d think that with her cash, she could afford a stylist and/or a personal shopper. She seems to have a penchant for the worst of 1980s-style prints with the sillouette of Bobbie Brooks for moms in 1970 or so. Just horrible. Even her dress for the RNC was, although a lovely dress that would look great on a woman with more aggressive looks instead of the milquetoast that is the Anne Romney signature, awful on her and it totally overwhelmed her. All you could see was RED DRESS! and lots of it.

  125. 125
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @PsiFighter37: PF37 +17

    Dude, you are so gonna kack

  126. 126
    Anya says:

    @Schlemizel: I am not even worried about the money but my main issue is quality of life. I don’t want to live that long if I am not fully independent.

    @magurakurin:(-_-)

  127. 127
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Anya:

    Is 64 middle age?

    From my perspective, it’s better. Time to spend on those things on which I’d wanted to spend more time. Then there are the walks, and the hikes, and the time to commit art. Time to think without acting rather than being pressed to act without thinking.

  128. 128
    Soonergrunt says:

    @geg6: But there are sensible clothes that a woman can wear that look like a professional person who is a woman, and is aware that she is a woman. My wife dresses great for work, and no one would assume that the is anything other than a professional woman.

    This is shitty staff work by the RNC.

  129. 129
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Anya: Then what you want to ask for is long health.

  130. 130
    TS says:

    @Anne Laurie: #81

    Michelle Obama has her own style
    Ann Romney has no style

  131. 131
    double nickel says:

    Since it’s an open thread, Happy Thanksgiving to all you Canucks out there!

  132. 132
    Hill Dweller says:

    Both Boardwalk Empire and Homeland were good tonight.

  133. 133
    TS says:

    @geg6: #124

    At what age does one leave “middle age” – I am of the Mitt/Ann generation & middle age was me 10 years and more ago.

  134. 134
    Schlemizel says:

    @Anya:

    Trust me, if you don’t have money you will not have independence.

  135. 135
    burnspbesq says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee:

    You, sir, are a dead man.

  136. 136
    PurpleGirl says:

    I decided that middle age was when the time in front of you was equal to the time already lived; old age is when the time in front of you is less than the time already lived. Of course, personal tweaking is also possible.

  137. 137
    PsiFighter37 says:

    I’m still alive/awake. SuCK iT NONbELIEvERS PF37 +19

    Sexay ladays, gangnam style

  138. 138
    geg6 says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    Oh, I agree. I think, not to be too full of myself, I am a pretty good dresser, very professional, very tailored, and very classic. I have my brands that I know work for me (generally Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, and J.Crew) and I buy those (always at a discount on eBay or an outlet) and I always get compliments on my clothes, from colleagues and even from students.

    Ann Romney just is clueless, which is why she is in such dire need of a stylist. She’s never had to impress anyone but a bunch of other Mormons who, in my experience, are the very definition of the word “frump.” And now she does, and goes around looking like a cartoon version of a mix between Donna Reed, Carol Brady, and whoever invented high-waisted mom jeans. It’s one of the things I judge her most harshly on, as trivial as it may seem. But, to me, it really isn’t. She’s in a position, socially and economically, that she can get away with looking horrid in absolutely nightmarish clothing and I (and even more depressingly) and many women with fewer means than I spend tons of money, time, and effort to look our best. I hate that she doesn’t have to do that and doesn’t even seem to understand that people might relate to her better if she didn’t look like the mom in a Twisted Sister video.

  139. 139
  140. 140
    magurakurin says:

    @Yutsano:

    GET YER ASS TO THE FECKING HOSPITAL NOW YOU FUCKING STUBBORN BASTARD!!

    ditto. I did the same thing when I was 27.

    Don’t fuck around. Pneumonia isn’t a cold…and it isn’t better than the viral type as some people said in a previous thread. Not so many die from “walking pneumonia,” the bacterial kind…yeah, you can die, boss. In a hurry.

    Do. Not. Fuck. Around.

  141. 141
    Cassidy says:

    @Soonergrunt: I’ve been selling the goth-punk thing. It’s really more a battle of wills between her and her Mom at this point. I told her that HQ ia about the head and face and that any outfit will work as long as it’s black, red, and white, but it has to be somewhat modest. Right now I think we’re going with a roughed up black or black/red mid length prom dress with some sort of built in corset like midsection, a white blouse, combat boots and fingerless gloves.

    What’s funny is I’ve been pretty calm about it. I explained to her that the AC HQ was too “sexy” and inappropriate for her age, but we can come up with something as long as we can compromise. She isn’t really familiar with how DC Comics has portrayed HQ in the comics either so AC HQ kind of pisses me off; she just thinks sh looks cool. Mom, has been kind of a PITA, but they bump heads. The eldest was in tears over the “hooker” comment.I was pretty aggravated myself, but united front and all.

  142. 142
    Anya says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: I agree with you. My grandparents have a better life and freedom than their kids and grandkids. They’re enjoying life and each other’s company more than those of us who are too busy trying to make something out of our lives.

    @PurpleGirl: That’s true but do I really want to live that long. After I experience all the stages of life, why stay on one of the stages longer than it’s necessary?

  143. 143
  144. 144
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Cassidy: Oh. Caught in the field between opposing forces. Bad scene that.
    I’ve been going through some stuff with my daughter and my wife.
    I had to sit Soonerdaughter down last week and explain that “you may be my princess, young lady (when I use “young lady” she knows she’s on dangerous ground) but SHE’s my Queen. You roll your eyes at your mother again, and it will suck to be you.”
    She’s a good kid, but she pushes the envelope and she pushes her mother’s buttons.

  145. 145
    Yutsano says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    She’s a good kid, but she pushes the envelope and she pushes her mother’s buttons.

    She’s a kid. That’s what they DO.

    @magurakurin: It didn’t help that I was in a very sucky job situation and my immune system was ground up to powder due to the stress. The only thing that saved my bacon was the job had decent health coverage.

  146. 146

    Maybe someone can help me out with some Android app suggestions…

    I’m looking for good gas mileage tracking and grocery shopping list apps, can anyone suggest any?

  147. 147
    Cassidy says:

    @Soonergrunt: Yeah. We’ve had that conversation a couple times. She’s a good kid and smart and sometimes lets her mouth get ahead of herself. But, she means well. Right now the aggravation for me is that they went to conflict so early. I might have gotten my point across when I asked my wife to come look at something and she gave me a look so i told her not to worry about it, that I’d just buy what was needed to make the costume and she can see the final product. That got another look.

  148. 148
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Yutsano: Yeah. So I was trying to talk the Soonerwife out of killing the child, and I said pretty much that. “This is what they do. Some things are worth going to war over, others aren’t. This is MINOR. We can fix it.” and so on.
    Finally, Soonerwife was like “yeah. She’s not a bad kid and this too shall pass. I remember when I was fifteen and got arrested…”
    And I’m like “wait, WHAT?!”

  149. 149
    AA+ Bonds says:

    The New Yorker – never has humanity tried so hard to be so dumb

    Korean ancestry used to be a stigma in Japan; now it’s trendy.

    Ah yes, you see, similarly, there used to be anti-black racism in the United States, but now it’s trendy to be black because of the Rap Music, problem solved

    Forget deportation and open racism against Korean-descended Japanese by government officials and shit, CHECK OUT THIS KOREAN WORD SOMEONE TOLD ME LAST WEEK

  150. 150
    PsiFighter37 says:

    I’ve been drunk-trolling this thread, if scrolling up has been any indication.

    I’m about to head to bed. I think I’ll wake up tomorrow. And if I do, I will be drunk-trolling the early-morning thread on a (negative sign) numerical basis to reflect the harsh #Comedown (post-grunge ref here) of a wild Sunday night.

    Helllll yeahhhhh

  151. 151
    burnspbesq says:

    @Cassidy:

    Count your blessings: the sooner “that stage” starts, the sooner it’ll be over, and you’ll have more time with a functioning human being before she goes off to college.

    Our kid finally snapped out of it midway through senior year, and January through August of this year were fantastic.

  152. 152
    Yutsano says:

    @Soonergrunt: It’s not a bad boyfriend (or girlfriend) and she’s not dating a Marine (I may be repeating myself here) and she’s not engaging in a self-destructive behaviour. She’s just testing the boundaries of what is acceptable to you two. In other words, blame the damn hormones.

    Take a cool (not cold) bath. It’ll help dissipate some of the heat in your body.

  153. 153
    Cassidy says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    I’ve been drunk-trolling this thread, if scrolling up has been any indication.

    Can’t speak for the others, but I’ve enjoyed it.

  154. 154
    burnspbesq says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    You and Elmo. Dude’s been hitting the chocolate milk hard since Romney’s henchmen fired him.

  155. 155
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Cassidy: That’s a minefield there, buddy.
    You want both of them to be happy, and you want to support your wife, even as you think she might have went to DEFCON 1 a little early, and so you want to fix things, but not seem as if you’re taking your daughter’s side over your wife.

    We were in Afghanistan and my First Sergeant was emailing back and forth with his wife about their daughter (who was 13 at the time) and had some issue, and they were both pinging the shit out him on email about this major crisis, and he sent one email to both of them to the effect of “I am 8,000 miles away in a war zone. I’m rather busy right now. I expect you both to work this out.”
    He gets an email from his wife “So now you put me on the same level as our daughter!?”
    He was like “fuck it. I’m joining a patrol this afternoon. I’d rather get shot at then deal with this.”

  156. 156
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @Cassidy: Can’t speak for the others, but I’ve enjoyed it.

    Me too. PsiFighter37: Don’t forget to drink some water or you’ll wish you never woke up.

  157. 157
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Yutsano: I just took a shower that was about 100 deg. I feel a lot better, but I’m going to the doc tomorrow.

  158. 158
    Cassidy says:

    @burnspbesq: I’m not worried. I know we’ll have the teen years, but I think all will end well. My 2nd, though, is going to give us hell. I can already see it.

    Oh, and all this focus on Harley Quinn today…fuck you DC Comics. Harley was cool. She didn’t need to be slutted up for Suicide Squad to make her more realistic. She was awesome. While I’m at it, fuck you for turning Starfire into a cold fucktoy. Pisses me off. And you’re not off the hook Marvel. X-23 didn’t need to be turned into a child prostitute with sexual damage/ baggage to be more realistic. WTF is up with giving female characters fucked up sexual shit just to make them more realistic? Assholes.

  159. 159
    PsiFighter37 says:

    And with this, I leave you with an inspirational goodnight:

    GOTV

    PF37 +20 + a few sips of coconut water.

    REMEMBER THE NAME, F00S!!!!!!11111

  160. 160
    Cassidy says:

    @Soonergrunt: Sometimes we gotta tell each other to tone it down. It may tick us off, but we have an agreement that when the other says it, it’s time to step back and chill.

  161. 161
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Cassidy:

    WTF is up with giving female characters fucked up sexual shit just to make them more realistic?

    Sadistic misogyny shared by many male creators and readers, as a response to the sort of social rejection and rejection by potential mates that Chris Claremont once naively celebrated as a source for positive messages through superheroes

    It is pretty much impossible to survey that corner of culture and not conclude that there is an erotic basis in repression for the way that female characters (and often pubescent girl characters) are simultaneously sexualized and abused

    Witness the crap Avengers movie: which “strong”, “lead” character was introduced as tied to a chair, getting groped by crooks

  162. 162
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @AA+ Bonds: Sad but true.

  163. 163
    Cacti says:

    @Anya:

    Is 64 middle age?

    Only if people in your family generally lived to be 100.

  164. 164
    Mnemosyne says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    It’s partly that, and it’s partly letting guys have rescue fantasies about the characters. Sure, she’s a bad girl, but it’s because really bad things happened to her, and he’s totally going to be able to fix her with his love.

    Weirdly common in both comic books and real life, especially guys who are on the nerdish side.

  165. 165
    BillinGlendaleCa says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass: I use Note Everything Pro (Pro == not free) for my shopping list. It has a check list mode and works really well.

  166. 166
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    It’s partly that, and it’s partly letting guys have rescue fantasies about the characters. Sure, she’s a bad girl, but it’s because really bad things happened to her, and he’s totally going to be able to fix her with his love.

    I would consider that a form of repression – specifically, repressed anger at perceived rejection, spun into a fantasy of control and moral superiority

    It more or less supposes that in a just world, the object of male desire would desire the subject, inverting the subject’s belief that the subject deserves the object by supposing that the object “deserves” the subject and has been prevented from realizing it by nefarious forces

  167. 167
    max says:

    Late.

    @WaterGirl: I just noticed that a movie I set to record on TIvo recorded in HD. My TV can do HD, and TIvo can do HD. I don’t have a Comcast box because I have a motorolla dual band M-card in my Tivo box.

    Lemme try and rephrase that and see if it’s right. You have an HD TV. You have a HD-capable Tivo, and you’re pulling HD TV signal off the Internet. (Don’t have a Tivo, so not clear on the details of that.)

    You’re fine.

    If you have an HDTV and you’ve got an HD signal from some source (HD broadcast/cable/DVD/computer/something else) than you’re fine. The only problem you would have is if you had an old-style NTSC TV (glass, not flat) and you were trying to feed and HD TV signal through a converter to the TV. Then the signal gets internally resized but the display image may clip around the edges, depending on the conversion process. (e.g. you’re watching a football game and you can’t see the score display because it’s partly offscreen.)

    I have always been told that if you have HD video on a non-HD tv, that it won’t look very good.

    Nah. NTSC is so bad (486×440 versus minimal HD of 1280×720) that any conversion generally produces an acceptable NTSC picture. Now, if your cable box is producing an NTSC signal and you hook it to an HDTV, hoo boy, the picture is just godawful.

    So am I good, because my TV and Tivo can do HD, or will it look bad because I don’t actually pay Comcast extra to get an HD signal?

    Comcast signal is nothin’ to do with it, except that you are getting a really crappy picture when viewing cable.

    I could call Comcast and ask, but I would have to shoot myself if I did that, because I never get anyone there who actually knows anything.

    Comcast customer service is horrible, generally. That said, if you need to upgrade the cable box, they will help you do that.

    max
    [‘They won’t answer questions worth a damn though.’]

  168. 168
    Cassidy says:

    @AA+ Bonds: Good point, but poor example. Black widow only ends up that way when she allows it. I think the movie did that fairly well within Scarlett Johansson’s acting ability and made a pretty fair attempt to establish her character within an ensemble that large. Unfortunately, she didn’t get an origin movie so there wasn’t much time.

  169. 169
    Cacti says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Sure, she’s a bad girl, but it’s because really bad things happened to her, and he’s totally going to be able to fix her with his love

    That’s a fantasy that cuts both ways.

    How many women have fantasized about the bad boy, who could be tamed by their love?

    Twilight anyone?

  170. 170
    Mnemosyne says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    Also, three, a lot of women have actually had really crappy things happen to them in their lives. 1 in 4, at a minimum. When it comes to sex workers and porn stars, something like 70 or 80 percent of them say they were abused, not just sexually but also physically. So it’s also that it’s something that’s very common in women who act out sexually.

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    amk says:

    murka’s number one pubic enemy, hugo, wins 4th term.

  173. 173
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cacti:

    Oh, it’s definitely a fantasy that both genders have (and all sexual orientations, as far as I’ve seen). But it seems to be a little more unacknowledged for straight men.

  174. 174
    HobbesAI says:

    @Yutsano: In reply to your Swedish song with anime dance, I offer English electronica with creepy Korean schoolgirls.

  175. 175
    Soonergrunt says:

    Funny story I hadn’t thought of in years–
    My cousin Emily was three years younger than me. I’m the youngest of my sisters and I. So after I joined the Army at 18 and had been gone for about a year, I come home at 19 and there’s Emily living with my parents in my sister’s room. Mom and dad explained that she was starting to get into some trouble at home (suburbs of Denver) and her parents had shipped her to my mom and dad in the ass end of nowhere (which is how Denverites see Grand Junction) to straighten out. She’d been there about six months by this time.
    So we’re sitting around the dinner table and she asked mom and dad if she could borrow one of the cars on Friday night for the Sadie Hawkins dance. My parents are like “well, your grades and good, we haven’t had any problems in a while, so yeah. But you will be back by 12:00. (this was the same curfew we all had at her age.) Usual discussion of the rules–no drinking and driving, call us at anytime if there’s a problem, and so on. And she agreed.
    So the big evening comes, and she goes out, and dad stops her and reminds her of the curfew and the rules. Kiss on the cheek, “have fun!” and off she goes.
    I get up the next morning around 6:00 AM (I was hardcore in those days and even did PT on leave) to go for a run. She’s pulling up in the car. She gets out and asks me not to say anything to dad. I’m like “are you insane? I don’t have to tell him anything. He’ll know! He ALWAYS KNOWS!” But I promised not to tell, and off I went on my run.
    I came back after about a half hour, and went and got showered and changed and joined my dad in the kitchen for coffee. He’s reading the paper.
    Amy comes bouncing down the stairs all bright-eyed and bushy tailed like she’s gotten 8 full hours. She grabs a coffee cup, sits down and starts looking at something in the paper.
    From behind his newspaper: “How was the dance, Emily?”
    “It was fine, Uncle Bill. Thanks for letting me go.”
    Again behind the paper: “What time did you get in?”
    She glares at me. I shrug, with this “I didn’t say shit!” expression. She replies “Umm, a little past midnight but not too late, Uncle Bill.”
    From behind the paper, which hasn’t moved a milimeter: “Well, then I’m going to have ask the paperboy how he managed to get the paper under the front tire of the Ford. That’s very impressive.” Emily’s eyes are like saucers at this. He then said “I’m glad you’re home safe and that you had a good time…You’re grounded for a month.”
    I just fell out my chair laughing my ass off.

    Both mom and dad said later that it was a lot easier helping Emily than it was dealing with us because she wasn’t their child. She named her second daughter after my mom.

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    Soonergrunt says:

    @Yutsano:

    t’s not a bad boyfriend (or girlfriend) and she’s not dating a Marine (I may be repeating myself here) and she’s not engaging in a self-destructive behaviour.

    As long as she’s not dating a conservative, I can deal with anything.

  177. 177
    amk says:

    @Soonergrunt: LOL. Lovely story.

  178. 178
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Cassidy:

    No, I think it’s a great example

    Imagine if that scene had been some goomba getting up on Hawkeye’s crotch, because, you see, one of Hawkeye’s powers is that he’s desirable . . . I do not believe that would ever have happened like that in a Hollywood superhero flick, even though Hawkeye is reliably portrayed as desirable (at least to female characters) going back to the 1960s. It would have been considered off-putting to the key demographic, and that would be a correct call to make

    Joss Whedon and company are, to me, the headstone of third-wave feminism – the cultural philosophy that a man should never send a woman to do a big-breasted bisexual exhibitionist fantasy’s job

    And Whedonism has completely conquered superhero comics, as though they needed further help portraying women as exhibitionist sex objects

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    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @Soonergrunt: I just fell out my chair laughing my ass off.

    Ha, no wonder! Awesome.

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    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Cassidy:

    See here and here for a fun exploration of “they only let themselves get tied up and groped, demonstrating their power”

  181. 181
    Cassidy says:

    @AA+ Bonds: Hawkeye has always been brash and charismatic. I actually thought Renner’s portrayal was pretty far off the main concept with the brooding. Hawkeye never brooded .BW has always been manipulative, though.

  182. 182
    Cassidy says:

    @AA+ Bonds: You misunderstood me. I don’t think it’s a matter of “demonstrating their power”. I think in this particular character, Black Widow, she was conditioned from an early age as a Soldier, get the job done, you are not as important as the mission.

  183. 183

    @Soonergrunt: Ha, thanks! That’s a funny story.

  184. 184
    Steeplejack says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Usually, if you are not paying your provider for HD channels, you just can’t see those channels, or you see a message like “Call to subscribe to HD, you cheap bastard.”

    If you are getting those HD channels and the programs show up on your TV in widescreen 16:9 format (rather than old TV 4:3), I would say that you are getting the HD channels, whether or not you are paying for them. Enjoy the ride!

  185. 185
    burnspbesq says:

    Holy crap: over 66,000 attendance for Sounders-Timbers in Seattle tonight. Second largest crowd in MLS history.

  186. 186
    Jay in Oregon says:

    I don’t even know what to say about this:

    http://thecable.foreignpolicy......11_attacks

    In a speech Monday, former Governor Mitt Romney will criticize President Barack Obama’s handling of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi and say it was probably the work of al Qaeda, the same group that brought down the World Trade Center and struck the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.

  187. 187
    WaterGirl says:

    @max: Thanks for the reply!

    This is the part I’m not sure about:

    “Lemme try and rephrase that and see if it’s right. You have an HD TV. You have a HD-capable Tivo, and you’re pulling HD TV signal off the Internet. (Don’t have a Tivo, so not clear on the details of that.)”

    My cable from Comcast comes in through the cable coax cable. I know that if you use the Comcast box (which I don’t) you have to get a special HD-capable comcast box in order to get HD.

    What I don’t know is whether you get a different signal from comcast if you get that box, or whether the signal is the same but their regular cable box can’t do HD.

    As I type that, though, I am realizing that the file size for the HD movie on my Tivo box is much larger than the usual size for a movie on a non-HD channel, so that in itself may answer my question. Do you agree?

  188. 188
    WaterGirl says:

    @Soonergrunt: I agree That is a lovely story.

    We have what is called a “24-hour patient advisory nurse” that you can call to help you figure out if you have a medical crisis or just a problem. For instance, I burned myself badly on the heating element in my dishwasher (don’t ask) I called and we/she determined that I didn’t need to come in, but she did say not to use running water because it damages the skin, not to put any ointment or anything on it until the burn was completely cooled.

    If you have something like that, maybe you could call tonight and see if they think you need to be seen tonight or if it can wait until morning. I just remember how worried I was about you when you had to have your surgery, and my mom always said “better safe than sorry”.

  189. 189
    Yutsano says:

    @burnspbesq: Seattle has fully embraced socialist football. And since they’ve had a modicum of success it’s not a huge surprise. We also have a large expat community that helps there as well.

  190. 190
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Jay in Oregon: Willard had a good debate, which will probably be the highlight of his political career, but we can’t forget that he is, and always has been, an awful candidate running an inept campaign.

    Why would Willard, a foreign policy neophyte, want to pick a fight on national security grounds? Why would he try to exploit both Benghazi and 9/11 in the same damn speech?

  191. 191
    piratedan says:

    @Soonergrunt: I actually liked the two months I spent in GJ, a nice little oasis in the middle of no bleeping where…. very picturesque and their wines are supposedly going great guns…

    no way I could let a thread about K-Pop go by w/o some JPop answer…..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yxCpUUaHM8

    it was good enough to lead off Bleach Season 10 (I think, but hell Bleach is finally winding down, think of it as if the Simpsons was finally shutting down as an equivalent.)

  192. 192
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Hill Dweller: Remember that his base are convinced that Obama was never properly vetted as President and that being a lightweight, he’ll fold completely and the American public will put Mitt Romney, Champion of the One True Cause into the White House.

  193. 193
    Yutsano says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    Mitt Romney, Champion of the One True WHITE Cause into the White House.

    Adjusted that fer ya.

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    WaterGirl says:

    @Steeplejack:

    Usually, if you are not paying your provider for HD channels, you just can’t see those channels, or you see a message like “Call to subscribe to HD, you cheap bastard.”

    You made me laugh!

    If you are getting those HD channels and the programs show up on your TV in widescreen 16:9 format (rather than old TV 4:3), I would say that you are getting the HD channels, whether or not you are paying for them. Enjoy the ride!

    The HD movie recorded on channel 931 and I think the HD channels are in the range 800 or so. The channel says “ABCFHD” and I assume the HD refers to the format.

    Also, it shows up widescreen 16:9, without panels on the side like it has on Up with Chris Hayes and without letterbox like it does on USA.

    So, yay! It does sound like I am getting HD. Now I just have to look at my cable bill to see if they snuck HD in there just because they knew I had the new Tivo box.

    I always avoid the HD channels because I thought I didn’t have them. But I guess I am saving a ton of space on the Tivo box. Hmm, I may need to reevaluate that…

    Thanks a bunch!

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    Hill Dweller says:

    @Soonergrunt: I’d love to see Sec. Clinton respond to Willard’s remarks.

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    @WaterGirl: Was that on the “ABC Family Channel”?

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    suzanne says:

    @PsiFighter37: I have deeply enjoyed your drinking. Good job being a fun drunk!

    My older one is going to be a door-slamming PITA. However, being relatively young when she was born (23), she knows I am cooler than her friends’ parents, and I am hoping that she doesn’t forget that shit. I also have promised myself that I will stay current with fashion and entertainment so that she isn’t ashamed to be seen with me.

  198. 198

    @suzanne:

    I also have promised myself that I will stay current with fashion and entertainment so that she isn’t ashamed to be seen with me.

    Like that’ll work…

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    suzanne says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass: I know. I fully realize that it’s a fool’s errand. Right now, though, she thinks I’m badass. I am way hipper than her friends’ parents.

  200. 200
    Gian says:

    @Yutsano:

    A man in black on a snow white horse,
    a pointless life has run it’s course,
    the red rimmed eyes, the tears still run
    as he fades into the setting sun
    Read more at http://www.songmeanings.net/so.....j81FM0l.99

  201. 201

    I just heard on my local news that George Zimmerman is filing a “Defamation of Character” lawsuit against NBC. Guess the TV channel on which Zimmerman’s brother announced it.

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

  202. 202

    @SiubhanDuinne: I really have no interest in fashion. None. I live in jeans and t-shirts and have all my life, and I’m the same age as Ann. But even I was moved to make a blog post out of my amazement at Ann’s lack of fashion sense during the conventions.

    Be sure and check out the links. Two more really lovely dresses on Michelle.

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    WaterGirl says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass: Yep. I found another screen that says ABC family HD.

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    asiangrrlMN says:

    I hate Asian pop. All of it can DIAF. There. I said it.

  205. 205
    askew says:

    Is Romney kidding with that foreign policy speech? I am struggling to understand why he is stupid enough to go back to discussing foreign policy when it has burned him so badly in the past. Is he trying to preempt criticism ahead of the FP debate?

  206. 206
    Yutsano says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Hmm…to link or not to link…I shall ponder this a bit…

    Hi hon. It’s 32 degrees outside where I am and I’m broiling because my parents’ house is so damn well insulated. Did you get any white stuff yet?

    @askew: It’s a dare to Obama. When he gets to the foreign policy debate he’ll completely change his position again because that threw O-man off so wildly last time. But I doubt going to that well twice is gonna work.

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    Narcissus says:

    @askew: He’s stuck in a reboot cycle

    He’s just gonna keep rebooting his campaign every day

  208. 208
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Asian Country and Western it is then

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....ata_player

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....ata_player

  209. 209

    @Yutsano: The temperature here is currently 52 degrees at 11:00 PM, the high today was 70. Fall in the Bay Area really is fantastic.

  210. 210
    suzanne says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Even Shonen Knife? HERESY.

    I found an inflatable Hello Kitty dressed as an elf for the yard. I want it SO BAD. My husband thinks it’s an affront to good taste. He is WRONG.

    My cat eats Goldfish. Not actual fish—the crackers.

  211. 211
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    @askew: Frankly, the Fp debate has worried me more. People don’t know much about it, don’t want nuanced explanations, still think we can do whatever we want and despite the past ten years think our army and CIA should just do shit. Who knows what he can get away with. As long as the values are there who cares if it’s practical or humane.

  212. 212

    @suzanne: I’ve never thought of Shonen Knife as J-Pop, they’re more like the Ramones forced through a helium balloon.

  213. 213

    Here’s a Japanese band for you: Hi-Standard.

  214. 214
    suzanne says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass: I adore them. Whatever this is, it is fabulous.

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    Geoduck says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    Remember that his base are convinced that Obama was never properly vetted as President and that being a lightweight, he’ll fold completely and the American public will put Mitt Romney, Champion of the One True Cause into the White House.

    The GOP base hates Obama enough they’ll force a smile and pull the lever for Romney, but seriously considering a smarmy Mormon flipflopper their Champion? I doubt it.

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  217. 217
    WaterGirl says:

    @suzanne: Not to upset you, Suzanne, but goldfish crackers are very bad for kitties, which I learned when my kitty had kidney problems and anemia. The have onion salt, and onion is very bad for kitties. Who knew goldfish crackers could be a problem? Not me.

    You might want to get a red blood count on your kitty. Apparently onion breaks the red blood cells, which is a big problem. Treatable if you catch it.

  218. 218
    Brachiator says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    Isaac Asimov wrote a short story of a man who asked for internal life and was awarded it by the cosmos. He ended up in a glass container getting older and older and smaller and smaller and looking like a raisin. The problem was he asked for eternal life and not eternal youth.

    Asimov “borrowed” a Greek myth here. Tithonus was the lover of Eos, a Titan. Eos asked for immortality for her lover, but forgot eternal youth. He became old and shriveled and turned into a grasshopper or cicada.

    On the YouTubes, there is a great video of a live performance of Gangnam Style in front of a HUGE Asian crowd. I’m pretty sure that none of them particularly cares what the New Yorker or any Westerner thinks about their pop culture.

    Having trouble linking the video from my iPad, but it is easy to find. Some of the comments, which may finally have been closed, were sad, with non Asian music “fans” thinking that they had to defend their own musical turf by descending into rank bigotry.

  219. 219
  220. 220
    suzanne says:

    @WaterGirl: CRAP. The damn cat can’t stay away from the things. She steals them literally out of the baby’s hands and tears the packages apart to get them. I will def get the blood test. And be vigilant about keeping her away.

  221. 221
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Brachiator:

    Asimov “borrowed” a Greek myth here. Tithonus was the lover of Eos, a Titan. Eos asked for immortality for her lover, but forgot eternal youth. He became old and shriveled and turned into a grasshopper or cicada.

    R.A. Lafferty also used a deliciously twisted version of the myth in his story “Nine Hundred Grandmothers“. “It was so funny, when it all started, you would not believe the joke!”

  222. 222
    WaterGirl says:

    @suzanne: Quiver loved them. He would stick his face right in my bowl if I let him. How the hell are you supposed to know that crackers would be a problem? Those goldfish crackers have haunted me since I lost Quiver.

    I’m so glad I saw your comment.

    Edit it was 3 years ago today. I haven’t eaten a goldfish cracker since. There is a bunny shaped cheddar cracker that youn can find in the health food section that is really good. Bunny shaped. Something to think about if your daughter loves the cheese crackers.

  223. 223
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  225. 225
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Hill Dweller: The Secretary of State is forbidden under the law from engaging in electoral politics. This restriction also applies to the Secretary of Defense and the Attorney General.

  226. 226
    Jamey says:

    KPop jumped the shark last Tuesday when my client (a fashion brand) sent out an email promo for which I had written the subject line, “Gingham Style.”

    I feel so dirty.

  227. 227
    Brutusettu says:

    The SNSD / Girls’ Generation video you listed is just TaeTiSeo (a sub group with just Taeyeon, Tiffany, and Seohyun)

    Here’s a video with all 9
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SwiSpudKWI

  228. 228
    MaxxLange says:

    Some of their women are really good on bass:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....ure=relmfu

  229. 229
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Janet Strange:

    Wow. Quite the contrast. Thanks for the links.

  230. 230
    Persia says:

    @PurpleGirl: I do the same thing with Christopher and Banks. Some of their stuff is too frumpy but the pants always fit.

    As for K-Pop, I keep hoping my niece will discover it, because those boys from One Direction are so bland it’s driving me nuts. I’m sure most of the K-Pop boys are bland too, but they’re different than the cookie-cutter white dudes I grew up with, so I’ll take it.

  231. 231
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @AA+ Bonds: The Avengers movie actually did better than average, since the female character was only pretending to be helpless and was actually in full control of the situation. Probably because of Joss Whedon’s involvement, since that kind of thing is a major fixation of his, and he thinks he’s a feminist.

    It wasn’t great. But compared to the comics in which female superheroes are constantly getting depowered, or women raped or killed just to motivate the male characters, it’s a half-step up.

  232. 232
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    It wasn’t great. But compared to the comics in which female superheroes are constantly getting depowered, or women raped or killed just to motivate the male characters, it’s a half-step up.

    You mean like in Buffy, Angel, and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog?

  233. 233
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Matt McIrvin: …and I see Cassidy already covered that angle, and, yeah, Beaton takes it apart pretty well.

    The Whedonesque asskicking girl can indeed be pretty close to her Strong Female Characters. I’ve read speculation that part of the problem is the emphasis on the characters literally being strong rather than strongly characterized.

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