Open thread in the student lounge. PS Offer good on the Fourth, too.

Because that’s how we do.

PS Also? I’m hoping to post something today. Who can tell what might happen?

Standard FYI clause: I generally wait for 2 hours after Ta-Nehisi would usually open a thread (roughly noon, EST), and if none is forthcoming, I put one up here.

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91 Comments

  1. dmf

     /  July 3, 2012

    kickin it in the lounge

  2. koolaide

     /  July 3, 2012

    I didn’t know there was going to be a Lifetime Movie remake of ‘Steel Magnolias’ until someone I know posted a trailer on fb.

    In that trailer, the only voice I ‘missed’ or otherwise thought the remake was going to have to work harder than the trailer for me to forget was Dolly. I also had a “is she really old enough to play that role?” moment w/ Queen Latifah.

    • Captain_Button

       /  July 3, 2012

      Trying to remember if the original that fails the inverse Bechdel test.

      (Or do I mean converse Bechdel test? i. e. Do two men have a conversation about somehting other than a woman?)

      (Not inteneded as a criticism.)

      Free associating I’m wondering the same thing about Fred Green Tomatoes.

      (Leaving the typo in there.)

      • Captain_Button

         /  July 3, 2012

        I meant the Fried -> Fred typo. Gah, I can’t proofread for siht today.

    • SWNC

       /  July 3, 2012

      “My colors are blush and bashful!” I love that movie.

      • Lizzou

         /  July 3, 2012

        That movie is infinitely quotable. There is an appropriate Steel Magnolia-ism for every situation in life!

        • Captain_Button

           /  July 3, 2012

          Did “Don’t know if I should shoot myself or go bowling!” come from there or somewhere else?

          • Captain_Button

             /  July 3, 2012

            ObGeek: “The Way of Mrs. Cosmopolite”

          • Lizzou

             /  July 3, 2012

            “Drum’s so confused he don’t know whether to scratch his watch or wind his butt.” is the closed to that that I can think of…

  3. Captain_Button

     /  July 3, 2012

    Do we have student lounge lizards?

    • JHarper2

       /  July 3, 2012

      Craig

    • helensprogeny

       /  July 3, 2012

      Only around the disco ball.

    • efgoldman

       /  July 3, 2012

      Our couches are all gold polyester crushed velvet, and the floor (except for the dance floor) is all breen (not a typo) shag carpet.
      The appliances in the break room/kitchen are all avocado, as are the fixtures in the rest rooms.
      The breakroom/kitchen floor and the dance floor are sparkly linoleum.
      The ceilings are all dropped fiberglass acoustic tile, with the original ceiling and wainscoting covered up. The walls are dark faux-oak paneling, over the original plaster and moldings.

      • caoil

         /  July 3, 2012

        My eyeballs are pitching a fit.

      • Uh….

        Where you been hangin’ out? My place is very tastefully appointed!

        • efgoldman

           /  July 3, 2012

          ::ahem::
          Prior commenters mentioned lounge lizards, a disco ball, and Buster Poindexter. “Tastefully,” indeed.
          Anyway, that was *my* student lounge. Whippersnappers.

  4. baiskeli

     /  July 3, 2012

    Anibundel fashion bait!

    Albert Einstein’s Blouse patent

    http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/06/celebrity-patents?pid=3436

    • ani’s gone to the beach! Who can tell if she’ll ever come back….

      • efgoldman

         /  July 3, 2012

        She’ll come back She couldn’t/wouldn’t abandon the cats.

        • Or us.

          • efgoldman

             /  July 3, 2012

            As wonderful as we are, I’m betting the cats are top priority.

            • Marnifer has the cats well in hand. Even HisCat will come out for her on occasion.

        • David L

           /  July 3, 2012

          Over the last three weeks, I have left home for 96 hours, been gone overnight another time, locked Newman in the closet for 8 hours (intentionally) on two different occasions and in the bedroom for a couple hours three times (twice deliberately because I had a call in to apartment maintenance, once accidentally.)

          When I got back from lunch and went into the bedroom to let him out, I got a look that said “I hoped you weren’t coming back.”

      • I’ll come back. But right now, I’m going to enjoy this back porch view of the sun setting over the bay.

  5. cofax

     /  July 3, 2012

    In case anyone still thinks there’s no sexism in the videogaming community:

    http://www.feministfrequency.com/2012/07/image-based-harassment-and-visual-misogyny/

    And I’m told offline that things are far worse than that. This is a very large, coordinated campaign, targeting every aspect of her life–her family, her supporters, everything. Even the Kickstarter supporters themselves are being harrassed.

    • helensprogeny

       /  July 3, 2012

      I was just over there reading this because I saw Emily’s tweet in the margin earlier, linking to the post. This is…just fucking wow. Lots and lots of hidden rage out there. Also apparently a segment of the (presumably) male population with some really serious issues. Like many things, hopefully this is just a small but virulent and deeply disturbed corner of the internet and not a reflection of hidden but generalized rage. (I think the former to be most likely.) Sort of like the tea party but much more criminal. It’s terrifying to see how much insanity and pain a small but determined group of people can generate.

      Kudos to the author though for standing up to this bullshit, for making it public (and risking a further and even more violent reaction) and for calling on the people who operate social media sites to police this kind of shit. This is unbelievably nasty.

      • cofax

         /  July 3, 2012

        Unbelievably nasty: yes. It’s funny: I’ve been so lucky, blogging away in my relatively walled garden on LJ & DW, commenting on feminist issues for years, but (I suspect) because of my username, I’ve never been subject to any gender-based harrassment. And it makes me wonder how different things would be if I were on another platform, or using an obviously-female name. Because this sort of crap appears to be endemic in online circles, at least the ones that intersect at all with the gaming/comics/male-geekery communities.

        You couldn’t pay me enough to venture into places like Reddit and Slashdot, and they’re not anywhere near as toxic as 4chan and so forth.

        • helensprogeny

           /  July 3, 2012

          I was thinking as I read her post that the only way to avoid this is to have a gender-neutral name. And if I ever have any kind of online presence, I will be sorely tempted to hide my gender behind a veil of bland anonymity. Because: for real!

    • I saw that (I think b/c someone in the Horde tweeted it) and I just wanted to grab my daughter and crawl in a hole.

      Holy fucking shit.

      • SWNC

         /  July 3, 2012

        You and me both.

        It feels like a cop-out, but increasingly my response to shit like this is to just avoid the medium. I don’t play video games, and this makes me never want to. There are only a few TV shows I watch, and those all have multiple female characters. I’ve gotten to the point where there aren’t many movies I want to see because I’m so flippin tired of seeing women ignored or objectified. I’ve got a limited amount of time to devote to reading/watching/playing, and right now I’m choosing to spend almost all of it on library books. It’s not changing the system, but it is better for my blood pressure.

        • helensprogeny

           /  July 3, 2012

          I don’t see it as copping out at all. You’re changing the system with the tools you have to hand, namely your feet. You are voting with them every time you don’t go to a movie or don’t watch a tv show (or watch only a certain kind) or don’t play or buy a game. This is meaningful action, even if it isn’t loud. It’s effects are real.

      • cofax

         /  July 3, 2012

        Yeah. This ties in pretty obviously, I think, to that other Horde member’s post about women entering computer sciences (I forgot to bookmark the post and I’m too lazy to track it back)–the more exposure a girl has to the (ahem) “brogrammer community”, the less she interested she is in entering that field. For completely understandable reasons! It would be like signing up for the Air Force right after the Tailhook scandal–who would want to subject themselves to that?

        And the hypocrisy is obvious, because they’re claiming that there is no sexism in gaming, while at the same time making sure that gaming sexism is entrenched and protected by driving the women and girls away.

        (And yes, I know that programming =! gaming, but FSM knows there’s pretty significant overlap there.)

        • Captain_Button

           /  July 3, 2012

          Trivial nitpick: Tailhook was the Navy, not the Air Force.

          • cofax

             /  July 3, 2012

            D’oh! Although it was Navy pilots, which explains the confusion.

      • baiskeli

         /  July 3, 2012

        It’s not just the gaming industry. I work in the tech field. I’m a peaceful man, but I’ve been tempted to punch my fellow men in the face for being totally sexist/mysoginistic jerks.

        High Tech (and tech in general) is a bad combination of

        Ayn Randian Mastubatorists + self righteous “I made it on my own” jerks + why can’t anyone take a joke + tech is merit based bullshit + I’m proud to display my lack of social skills etc

        Kathy Sierra (of the phenomenal “Head First” series of books was forced off the Net by sexist/misogynistic attacks, and then the whole CouchDB stupidity, followed by the vile sexist/misogynistic FlashBelt presentation.

        http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/CouchDB_talk

        http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Flashbelt_slide_show

        I love technology and high tech, sometimes I hate people in my field.

    • I took the job at Kotaku on February 6. On February 7, I managed to piss off developer David Jaffe and his entire loud, irrational, angry fanbase. It led to a day or two of scary.

      This led to a very long conversation between me and my husband where concerns like, “But what happens if you piss off 4Chan? What if we come home one day and find someone killed the cat, or vandalized the house, or or or…” were voiced. And the thing I really, REALLY hate is that they are valid concerns. Not, perhaps, likely concerns, but genuinely valid ones.

      I mean. You keep going and don’t let the fuckers shut you up, because that’s what they want. And you keep standing up and refusing to be silenced, because that’s how the whole world wins. It’s bullshit to cave to intimidation tactics. But it’s double plus super bullshit that the mob keeps using intimidation tactics to try to silence so many women.

      The Sarkeesian thing scares the shit out of me because so far I count myself lucky that I “merely” get abusive hate mail, and that no-one’s felt like targeting me the way they target her. It’s a shitty world for women to work in and if I could throw her a ticker-tape parade, I would.

      • helensprogeny

         /  July 3, 2012

        I was thinking about you the whole time I was reading the post. Being called to be in the vanguard requires so much strength and is rarely an envious position to be in. But the most powerful thing you have on your side is the truth. You’re speaking the truth, and the force of the backlash from certain quarters is an indication of just how truly you’re speaking.

        You are making the gaming world and the world in general a better, safer world for all women to play and work in. It is genuinely meaningful work, however terrifying. And a measure of your strength that you have undertaken it.

      • Alyssa wrote about the times that it’s necessary to “feed the trolls,” pivoting off the Jay Smooth video and the Felicia Day incident http://thinkprogress.org/alyssa/2012/07/03/510792/felicia-day-jay-smooth/ and while I agree with her points (whole heartedly) I think we need a new vocabulary, because standing up for yourself and others and protecting the things that matter isn’t troll-feeding — it’s troll defenestrating, even if it winds up being a slow defenestration.

        PS “Feeding” in my mind being along the lines of engaging in a fruitless back and forth of looped insults that bring only heat and no light. Self defense and education of others is an entirely different thing.

        • cofax

           /  July 3, 2012

          And apparently Jay Frelling Smooth is being harrassed, for daring to speak out on the issue! Jay Smooth!

    • Electronic_Neko

       /  July 3, 2012

      Wow. That is way more intense than I could have imagined. I’m glad she’s putting it out there, and she’s completely right that too many sites just don’t have the controls deal with this kind of harassment. I hope she has people helping her track the assholes down – maybe they can charge someone with a crime.

      My guess is that one or two pissed off guys posted about this to 4chan or a similar site, and then a bunch of completely unrelated people joined in and stepped up the harassment because they find that kind of shit entertaining.

      • cofax

         /  July 3, 2012

        But it’s really a coordinated campaign, it’s not just unrelated guys doing it on their own, who happen to move in the same circles. They are working in concert to silence her and punish her (and her family) for daring to think and speak about these issues.

        • efgoldman

           /  July 3, 2012

          But it’s really a coordinated campaign….
          I think its definitely no coincidence that this is also a main tactic in Winger/TeaHadi world.

        • Electronic_Neko

           /  July 3, 2012

          Yeah, I know it’s a coordinated effort to attack her. What I was trying to say is that the group of people harassing her may not be entirely composed of people who feel that strongly about misogny in gaming or who have any interest in her personally.

          I know you’re aware of this, since you mentioned worrying about becoming a target of 4chan users, but there are people out there looking for targets to harass. They’re willing to be recruited by just about anyone who approaches them. I vaguely thought it might be comforting to consider that it is probably a relatively small group of people who are dedicated to finding people to harass and they have chosen to employ misogynistic imagery in this instance, instead of a vast number of male gamers each individually sending this crap to her in a fit of rage. But it’s actually more disturbing to think that people are deliberately choosing sexually violent images to threaten her, regardless of how many people are doing it.

          • cofax

             /  July 3, 2012

            But it’s actually more disturbing to think that people are deliberately choosing sexually violent images to threaten her, regardless of how many people are doing it

            Right. I mean, it’s bad enough that there’s a campaign against her. But that such violent and sexist language and images are considered appropriate tools to sue is even worse. Not to mention the invasions of her privacy–they’re not confining themselves to public interactions.

            • cofax

               /  July 3, 2012

              Please replace “sue” with “use”. Pfeh.

            • Electronic_Neko

               /  July 3, 2012

              I read some of the other articles linked on Anita’s blog regarding the harassment she’s suffered, and I think my reaction has been warped by my exposure to 4chan. Because I was just about to say, “Well, of course they’re tracking down her private information and using it to harass her, that’s what happens when you run afoul of the really terrible parts of 4chan.” But that should not be a thing that people have to accept as the cost of having an online presence.

              Anyway, now that I have adjusted my brain, it is terrible that even semi-professional trolls go “aha, a woman, time to break out the rape references and porn edits.”

    • Alright, I’m going to dip my toes into this battle and say something that may bring down some amount of grief on my head.

      While I appreciate the battle that Sarkeesian intends to fight (the thing that she is funding with Kickstarter) I think that with every one of these posts that she makes about the harrassment she is experiencing, she risks diluting her message past the point of relevance. Her original goal (to expose a vein of anti-woman sentiment running through video games, correct me if I’m wrong) was (and is) focused and targeted. But she’s expanded this into a much larger battle with the dark heart of the internet. Now, I know that it can be a copout to say “this is just the way it is” but, honestly, this is just the way it is. You’re not going to tame /b/. You’re not going to stop assholes from drawing cocks on your picture and posting it to your (public) Facebook page. And although I think this is a worthy battle to fight, I don’t think Sarkeesian is capable (or desirous) to fight it, but I think she risks having the terms of her own fight change with her tacit approval, to the detriment of her original message. She hasn’t made a single post on that blog (granted, this is a sample size of 4) that doesn’t at least touch on the harrassment since May 18. That dilutes her message. Her balance has gotten out of whack, and I don’t think that’s good either for her or for the concept of gender equality in video games.

      • chingona

         /  July 3, 2012

        There are a lot of things I don’t like about Feministe, but one thing they do that is, I think, effective, is they just save up this crap for the “Next Top Troll” context and then let readers vote on who is the worst, most egregious, over-the-top hater. They have categories and brackets. It’s a way to let everyone know how bad it is out there while holding the haters up for mockery and not letting it get to them too much.

        Cause my impression is that pretty much every woman who is a feminist in public gets A LOT of this stuff.

    • David L

       /  July 3, 2012

      A question: Has this kind of crap gotten substantially worse in the last few months or is it just that I’m more aware of it now that I have folks like Alyssa Rosenberg and the Horde’s own Kate Cox to point it out to me?

      • cofax

         /  July 3, 2012

        Remember Kathy Sierra? Death threats.

        That said, I suspect that the increasing attention to the issue is resulting in more resentful defensiveness on the part of the australopithecine base. Rather like the frenzy of homophobia in the political right–because they know they’re losing, and the worse they get, the more they show the reasonable center how distasteful their position actually is.

        • Yeah. Seconded. This is the Really Big Flail, because gaming is just *not* a boy’s club anymore, and it never will be again. So the reactionary outcry is large and loud.

          • cofax

             /  July 3, 2012

            Yup, it’s the desperate last-ditch effort.

            They think they’re the Army of the West at the Gates of Mordor; they don’t realize they’re actually the Uruk-Hai at the Hornburg.

            • caoil

               /  July 3, 2012

              consider this all of the likes for today. What an awesome image.

    • Darth Thulhu

       /  July 4, 2012

      I’ve been mulling this, and the responses, for the past day, and I think I have to disagree with the more optimistic assessments.

      This relentlessly aggressive behavior, and the parallel Teahadist behavior of Breitbartian partisanship, is a recurrent and *successful* pattern. The entire point of it is to drive people out of the relevant field to reassert a monopoly of power.

      In the specific case, the outright goal is to make women not want to spend time in “elite” gaming arenas as equals. Every Booth Babe as property and eye-candy, every rhapsodic paean to “hard” platforms like Dwarf Fortress and old-school JRPGs, every wading into gratuitous levels of violence and gore and hyper-sexualization of female characters …

      The goal is to make the environment unwelcoming. Women opting out is a straight-up victory.

      This is not to say that any given bit of violence or insanely-complex difficulty is necessarily an effort to deliberately screen out women (although the proportion of women actually interested in the most-insane-complication formats possible in things like Magic: The Gathering is maybe 5-10% of the equivalent male population). Difficult and/or violent and/or sexualized are not, in and of themselves, always efforts to exclude.

      But the aggressive and constant praise and exaltation heaped onto the very most difficult, hyperviolent, and oversexualized aspects feels deliberate and systematic, even though it is itself a parody of extreme masculinity. The demanded praise and aggressive defensiveness seek to drive “unworthy” women away. If you don’t like and actively seek out these aspects of gaming, you aren’t a “real gamer” or a “hardcore” gamer. And if the bigoted attitude makes women avoid gaming, good. That is, after all, both a goal and a proof of their arguments.

      That excluding-effort applies most insidiously on the Difficulty axis, in my experience, entirely independent of the strains of hyperviolence and rape culture. The most fiddly and complex simulations of crop rotation and aquifer-pressure in Dwarf Fortress, for example, are rendered in ASCII and devoid of all violence … and they will wreck your entire Fortress in a heartbeat if you don’t nail them with precision. The mantra of “Losing is Fun!” isn’t itself problematic, nor is the notion of a simulator that leads to utter ruination more often than not. But the over-praise from some who exult that Dwarf Fortress is a “real” sim for only “hardcore” gamers is definitely an effort to exclude others and create an Elite (Boys) Club.

      I don’t know quite how to address that. I myself love hypercomplicated tabletop RPGs (GURPS, Shadowrun, Every-Imaginable-Handbook World of Darkness); some of the more intricate spaces of board games (Magic tournaments, Factory Manager, Arkham Horror); as well as insanely fiddly resource management videogames (JRPGs, Civ set to Emperor, adventure-party runners like the Baldur’s Gate series). I don’t think my fandom for the complicated makes me somehow a “better” gamer, nor less enthusiastic to share those parts of the hobby with women.

      But there are definitely dudes who do feel that way, and they are more than happy to raise barriers to entry, even against women who also enjoy the hyper-complicated. It’s just pitiless, and withdrawing from them is just another kind of victory, in their minds.

  6. Here is two minutes of our good friend Ros talking to the head of USAID about the hunger crisis in Yemen, increasing your knowledge and blowing your mind with her beauty:

  7. wearyvoter

     /  July 3, 2012

    In Michigan. Have wi-fi. Just saying hello before I go back out into the sunshine.

    • Captain_Button

       /  July 3, 2012

      Will Michigan wi-fi let you say the V-word?

      • wearyvoter

         /  July 3, 2012

        I’m using the codeword “Velvet TARDIS” for now.

        • David L

           /  July 3, 2012

          Insert “bigger on the inside” joke here.

          • koolaide

             /  July 3, 2012

            Alas, I have no like button to click for this mighty funny quip.

          • Captain_Button

             /  July 3, 2012

            *Like*

    • :: waves ::

      • wearyvoter

         /  July 3, 2012

        ::waves back:: I’m looking at the weather forecast in east central Flatlandia, and hoping the temperatures don’t hit the predicted highs for Thursday (our official return travel date). I’m foreseeing an electric bill of epic proportions for the AC when we return. (102 degrees tomorrow. Aaargh.)

        • 104 predicted for us – I predict that we will not be attending the 4th of July parade, with a My-extended-family-will-be-eating-our-burgers-and-watermelon-inside-the-house-and-not-on-my-front-porch Watch.

          • efgoldman

             /  July 3, 2012

            Coming to our house on Saturday? Daughter, SIL, and all their rotten friends will be over. I’ll pick you up at PVD. Whole family is welcome.

  8. Ran across a post on another blog which might be of interest to some. Sharon Astyk is in a different world than I. Husband a professor, she’s a food movement writer and erstwhile peak oil activist on a small farm in upstate NY, They have 4 boys, and have started taking in foster kids. The post I recommend is this: http://scienceblogs.com/casaubonsbook/2012/07/03/things-i-learned-from-my-foster-children-part-i/

  9. The people who put together the ad campaign for “Our Idiot Brother” really botched the job. They made it seem like a wacky comedy about Paul Rudd going Full Retard (sorry in advance, but that’s the most useful descriptor, blame Ben Stiller) instead of what it really is, a charming, shaggy little movie about a preternaturally sweet guy and his relationships with his three sisters, who are various levels of high-strung. I really liked it; Rudd is not really playing an Apatowian man-child as you would assume, but more a guy with pathological levels of decency. Reminds of the best part (the first act) of “The Invention of Lying”, the part that explored the way lying is basic social currency, and how society is so easily upset when someone acts outside the norm.

  10. caoil

     /  July 3, 2012

    This week’s entertainment is sorted, courtesy of the library:
    Love’s Labour’s Lost (I know it’s not supposed to be all that great, but I do need to see it at some point)
    King Lear (Olivier version, thank you Jane if you are about)

    I RILLY wanted Henry V but all copies are out. *shakes fist at other borrowers* (no, I wouldn’t do that, but why do they have to have all the copies out when I want one?)

    • The Kenneth Branagh “Henry V” is really, really good. If you want more Shakespeare films, the 1995 version of “Richard III” is also excellent. Ian McKellen makes a fantastically evil but badass Richard.

      • helensprogeny

         /  July 4, 2012

        I tend to revisit that version of “Richard III” every few years and am always amazed at how well-made it is and how well it holds up.

      • caoil

         /  July 4, 2012

        I own that Richard III and love it to bits (just wasn’t in the mood for it the other day). Ian! Maggie Smith! Jim Broadbent! And I can’t understand why that Henry V is not out on blu-ray (or at least not that I’ve been able to find). What is the movie studio’s problem? Took forever for it to get on standard DVD, too.

        • Bob Jones' Neighbor

           /  July 4, 2012

          Not to mention Annette Bening as Elizabeth, Dominic West as Richmond, and Robert Downey Jr. as the ill-fated Rivers. Excellently cast in all the roles.

    • Bob Jones' Neighbor

       /  July 4, 2012

      As far as it goes, Love’s Labour’s Lost is an enjoyable romp. The ’30s music and choreography fit the play. I thought, though, that it seems to come to a sudden end. Probably Shakespeare’s fault there.

      • caoil

         /  July 4, 2012

        I figure, if I go into it not expecting very much, I give myself room to be pleasantly surprised.

        And maybe come the fall I’ll take out the McKellen/Dench Macbeth! MUST SEE.

        • caoil

           /  July 4, 2012

          Yup, I was right, a little bit silly. But the outtakes? So hilarious, especially that Ken is behind many of them.

  11. caoil

     /  July 4, 2012

    Today’s amusement: voice mail on my cell phone from an employment agency. I gather she just came across my resume on monster, and wants to talk to me about a legal assistant position. Note: I am not a trained LAA, I just work in a law firm right now by chance, and will be done with it after this job. I shall have to break it to her gently!

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