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Feb 25 2006

All The News Over Which To Have Fits

chrome truck scrota

To mark the passing of another crushingly dull rainy Saturday during the course of which my dogs, who roll in mud professionally, will enter and place highly in the Golem Look-Alike Contest just before climbing all over my nice couch—and by “Golem” I mean the scary medieval mud-dude from Prague, not the slimy skeletal Peter Lorre character from the Tolkein movie—I bring you News From Readers.

Vegankid announces Blog Against Sexism Day, which transpires on March 8 in conjunction with International Women’s Day and the Global Women’s Strike. Blogging against sexism, if I may speak from my own modest experience, is a tiptoe through the tulips. All you have to do for inspiration is turn on any TV or open any magazine or go to any movie or walk through any department store or observe through narrowed eyes any boyfriend or read any Hemingway story, then count the ways in which your oppression is fetishized. I urge everyone with a blog to give it a try. And if you don’t have a blog, you might as well start one. Anyway. March 8. Sign up at the afore-linked blog.

Several patriarchy-blamers have sent in an update of sorts on the “Nia” episode, which, you may recall, revolved around an absurd article in the UK magazine Prospect about the hot young schizophrenic girl whose “young psychiatrist” was moved to wax despondent on the subject of her drug-induced fatness. The update link leads to letters to the editor and a response from the authors of the article, who, as reader Lucy points out, pretty much miss the point of the majority of blogular complaints. Interestingly, the authors reveal that the “Nia” character is a complete invention (they call her a “composite”), which somehow pisses me off even more. This must be how poor betrayed Oprah felt!

Texans, who are used to half the male population overcompensating for their flaccidity by driving the baddest, loudest pickup trucks money can buy, will probably go “so what?” but blamer Trixie thinks the rest of the world might get a nauseated chuckle out of Nutsfortrucks.com. That’s right. Plastic scrota one dangles, if one is a fart in human shape, from the trailer hitch of one’s giant truck. Balls on your bumper! Few moves are manlier, few statements are classier. Nutsfortrucks also sell “antenna strippers,” buxom plastic pole dancers for your radio rod. Sah-weet.

59 comments

1 ping

  1. Frieda

    It seems the business is from one top notch cynical bitch in Wyoming. Time for an online interview?

    The whois data from
    http://www.networksolutions.com/whois/index.jhtml

    [note from Twisty: I inadvertently edited most of this comment into oblivion--sorry. The whois data showed the nutsfortrucks domain owner as one Theresa Nixon in Lovell, WY.]

  2. emjay

    My insufficient female brain can’t figure out why a truck would need, or even want, a set of balls. Seems to be that it’s rather inconvenient and vulnerable to have one’s reproductive organs on the outside of the body. Though sometimes I think if I were a sperm-producer, I’d be selling it three times a week.

  3. manxome

    I’m holding out for the inevitable “front bumper penis” myself, so I can get rammed up the tailpipe in a in a fit of road rape, then be chastized for “asking for it” because of the way I drive.

  4. Ron Sullivan

    I dunno. They look kind of like trophies to me. Wonder if they’d fit on a car antenna, maybe in stacks.

  5. Ron Sullivan

    Oh, and I like the blue ones: sort of negative advertising? And the silver balls, silver balls/It’s Christmas tiiiiime in the city!

    Damn earworm.

  6. sam

    So…back to the Nia story – they basically “clarify” the article by pointing out that Nia was actually an amalgam of several stories, including the brother of one of the original authors. So does this mean that the “concern” about Nia’s weight gain is even more facetious? Because rather than being a real (if misguided/sexist) concern of a real doctor, it is merely the author’s imagined concern for a mythological schizophrenic beauty?

    I agree with you – this pisses me off even more.

  7. Princess of Cybermob

    Actually, I think nailing someones balls up is great idea. I say we all cut off a pair each on March 8, whadda ya say?

  8. Hattie

    My little uncut doggie is crossing his legs and looking worried.

  9. Kimberly

    Adding plastic balls to a one-ton extended-cab penismobile is belaboring the point. Still, the image made this Texan spit coffee.

  10. jezebella

    I saw some truck-balls for the first time a few months ago, and called all my girls to tell them about this horrific thing I’d seen, and they’d already spotted some. Nothing like getting stuck behind a giant truck on a two-lane road in Mississippi with those damn things dangling all over the place. Nauseating, really.

    I figure truck-balls are actually pretty good advance warning that you’re dealing with an ass-hat whose enormous gas-guzzling truck is over-compensation for his perceived insecurities. If only all asshats were so easily spotted….

  11. bitchphd

    Yeah, I’m with Ron–I think folks should start buying them and mounting them on some kind of hunting rack.

  12. Catharine

    Linklater’s and Drummond’s assertion in the response: “Some readers perceived a suggestion in the article that the patient (whom we called Nia) would suffer as much from being overweight as from being psychotic. This is to miss the point.”

    Okay, so… if Nia is “composite of characters” who suffered from schizophrenia, took the antipsychotic, got better, got fatter, got happier, then why make her “hot” at all? Why not just make her an average “kinda cute (in that way all teenage girls are kinda cute” way and tell the same story. I think if you’re going to negate everything you say in an article on a gorgeous schizophrenic who gets fat when she takes a drug (for which obesity is a listed side effect — DUH!), then you might want to just take the original article down so your own words don’t condemn you.

    The focus of the original article was on her looks — she was hot. Too gorgeous to be crazy. Yet crazy, nonetheless. And in treating her, her looks were clearly at issue — not her unwillingness to see that she gone from being a hot mental patient to a big fat ugly (yet mentally functional) pig.

    If it is true that “Nia” doesn’t exist, they could have made her anyway. In the perpetually adolescent, penis-driven little sexual fantasies, they made her hot. When they were called on it, they recanted.

    We didn’t miss the point, boys. We got it. In spades.

    ~C~

  13. apophenia

    jezebella, do they actually dangle in a way that mimics the real thing? I.e., are they made from a solid cast of plastic or some gelatinous jiggly stuff?

  14. Cass

    I remember the first time I eyed piss-Calvin on the back of a pick-up, and thought civilization was surely coming to an end… obviously, I hadn’t seen anything yet. I guess I’ll have to carry scissors in my glove box now, in case I run across a pair of these in a parking lot somewhere.

  15. Alix

    We had truck with the same stop at the vet clinic the other day…the man driving the nut truck was a small redneck obviously in search of his manhood. the vet drew my attention to it outside the back kennel door and suggested that we neuter both. alas and alack, he drove away before we could nip it in the bud.

  16. emjay

    I too hate the piss-Calvin, but it does make for some interesting juxtapositions. I am amused every time I see a piss-Calvin and a Jesus-fish on the same truck. (Always truck, never car, for some reason.) I always think, “On whom would Jesus urinate?” (O.W.W.J.U.) I am just waiting for Calvin to be pissing on Democrats, gays, all religions other than one narrow interpretation of Christianity, etc. I’m actually kind of surprised that piss-Calvin is reserved for brands of trucks other than the one the driver owns, and sports rivals of the driver’s favorite team.

  17. Cass

    There’s a quite different version which has Calvin kneeling at the foot of the cross, with what looks from behind like his twin brother in drag. Less vulgar of course, but still goddamm irritating… that was a brilliant strip, and Calvin doesn’t belong to these people. I guess that’ll teach future comic artists to trademark their characters.

  18. cinder

    I think truck balls are a fantastic idea. If every creepy dude had a pair dangling from his rear view mirror, it would give female hitchhikers a clear indication that this is not the ride they wanna take. No doubt about it, a clear sign that it’s better to wait awhile longer than get in this truck. I say give every creep a pair of glistening chrome balls, the glorious beacons of assholery that they are….

  19. mythago

    So Nia was actually just a sexual fantasy for a couple of psychiatrists? That’s almost worse.

  20. Krapsnart

    1) On the subject of truck balls: I wouldn’t discourage them either; I’d think they’d serve quite effectively as an “Asshole on Board” warning sign. Are they indeed gelatinous?

    2) On the subject of Nia: a good friend is having a terrible time with depression, so bad that she hasn’t been able to work in more than four years, and that she spent six weeks in the hospital last summer. Both her parents killed themselves within a month of each other when she was a child. Her doctor is constantly experimenting with medications to try to get her stabilized so that she stops spending so much time thinking about knives. She’s usually very active; she even organized a group of us thirty-something women to train for triathlons last summer. However, one of her latest meds has made her gain 50 pounds in the past few months, and she’s so concerned about her weight and the subsequent reductions in what she’s able to do physically that the depression seems to be worsening again.

    I found the article about “Nia” highly disturbing, as so many other people did, because of the authors’ assumption that the only reason weight gain would bother someone female was its effect on her attractiveness. Now to learn that “Nia” wasn’t even real? Disgusting. Those authors really showed their asses, as another friend would say. Ugh.

  21. thebewilderness

    I like the idea of asshats self labeling with dangly gonads. Now all they need is a big swingin’ Dick to drag along behind them.

  22. antelope

    The nutsfortrucks would seem to be intended to represent the rear-view of the nut-bearer – in fact, a rear-view that could only be presented by bending over to boot, so maybe what they’re really saying is, “I saw Brokeback and I wanna be like Jake.”

    I think they should make a version with not just nuts, but also butt-cheeks spread wide above ‘em.

  23. kommishoner

    i used to be a truck driver in rural missouri, and was annoyed by the truck balls phenomenon (especially since they seem to come with the pissing calvin, which i always thought was sort of scary- the kid was only supposed to be 6 years old- and typically several american flags).
    that being said, i always kind of wanted a pair- hanging right below my “next regime change november 4, 2004″ and “real women drive trucks” bumper sticker. like a big “screw you, butch dykes live out here in the sticks, too, and we absolutely will slash your tires if you fuck with us.”

  24. Ron Sullivan

    I’ve seen Calvin pissing on La Migra and on My Ex, and I’m thinking there’ve been more besides truck brands and sports teams; just can’t recall them. I thought Watterson did copyright the strip and characters, but didn’t franchise them anywhere. That makes the Pious Calvin a bit odder than the Piss Calvin, even, but godbags seem not to think about what they might be doing wrong, do they?

  25. julie

    http://www.trucknutz.com/

    yeah, more truck nutz…

  26. Mandos

    The urinating Calvin greatly annoys me every time I see it, too. The people who put it up must think that they’re being mischief-makers like Calvin, but they are totally missing the point.

  27. metamanda

    those truck nuts are amazing… have you noticed that they even have one hanging a little lower than the other?

    I agree that it’d be nice to have a recognizable marker for driving asshats, though since I currently live in southern california, I just assume they’re asshats until it’s proven otherwise.

    In other, similar news:
    “This year’s Ig Nobel Prize in medicine was awarded to Greg Miller of Missouri who invented Neuticles, prosthetic testicles for neutered dogs.”

    http://www.neuticles.com/webpages/history.html

    The mind boggles.

  28. shannon

    Here is an essay by Bill Watterson on comics. It seems that he would not be happy with those piss calvin stickers.

  29. jezebella

    I can’t say that I have checked this personally, but the truck balls are cast plastic I believe, not gelly. It’s just that they do sort of dangle around as the truck is bouncing down the road, and the first ones I saw were flesh-colored (well, white-boy flesh.. oh, bog: do they make them for african-american asshats, too?).

    Did anyone click on the link and notice the keychain-sized version of the truck balls? This gives me the giggles, as it means there are guys walking around touching plastic balls day in and day out, every time they use their keys, and they think it’s some sort of *macho* statement?! Ha.

    It’s remarkably easy to spot the asshats from a distance here, as all you have to do is check the truck for the balls, the calvin-pissing-sticker, the “W” sticker, the pro-Mississippi flag sticker (which includes a confederate battle flag), etc. You know who you’re dealing with, y’know? I don’t make assumptions about people based on the car they drive, but once they start plastering stuff on it, it’s a useful little barometer.

  30. Katie

    Because of the line “if one is a fart in human shape,” I felt compelled to post and Ode to Twisty on my blog today.

    I can’t wait for the day when Twisty is elected president.

  31. Burrow

    The urinating Calvin greatly annoys me every time I see it, too. The people who put it up must think that they’re being mischief-makers like Calvin, but they are totally missing the point.

    That’s what I think. I couldn’t imagine the creator of those brilliant comics okaying that crap. I mean, just read the comics and you see it. I hate hate hate the Calvin stickers.

    And I’m not sure which is more fucked up, the original Nia story or that it was fake and the fucktards are backpedalling to try and save their misogynistic asses.

  32. bitchphd

    Also, given that the only person they cite in the Nia “clarification” as an actual patient is a guy, why did Nia have to be a woman whose weight gain was so worrisome?

    That’s a rhetorical question, of course.

  33. Dane

    The beige coloured balls being dubbed “Flesh” is a nice touch. I thought that shit went out with my 1970′s pencil crayons.

  34. frippy

    Unrelated to this post, but some people fixed up at least one of those “ex-gay” billboards here in Saint Louis.

  35. Pat Hartman

    “By necessity, Nia is a composite of different people and incidents,” say the authors of the article about the girl whose medication made her fat. By what necessity, exactly? The authors chose to write the piece using the literary device of personifying a process that happens to more than one patient. Just today I read about a journalist who got fired for quoting nonexistent sources in her articles. How is this different? And as long as they were making up Nia from whole cloth, why did they have to put her in bed with the boy in the locked ward? Just because all attractive teenage girls fuck like bunnies?

  36. Zari

    Yeah, I’ve seen these around College Station for a while now. There was actually a truck with them in my old apartment complex – my roommate and I were going to sneak down in the night and spraypaint them blue, but someone actually beat us to it.

  37. The Fat Lady Sings

    Oh – I think they’re a hoot! I should nail a pair to my front door, or turn them into a keychain and wait till someone asks so I can say it’s a trophy! Maybe I could mount several on the wall (plaqued, of course) displayed under one of my broadswords (yes, I have a rather extensive collection of sharp-edged weaponry). Just the decoration to put up in the library. I mean – the mind boggles! Think of it! The possibilities are endless!

  38. cinder

    Frippy, it sucks that you have to look at that ex-gay bullshit all the time. Here on the liberal west coast the obnoxious religo-bullshit is a little more subtle, although still simmering with intense virulence just beneath the surface.

    That fix-up job is fantastic, kudos to whoever did it. It always makes me smile when I see a properly adjusted billboard.

  39. Oaktown Girl

    Yeah, my first thought when I saw the photo on today’s post was, “Yea! Trophy-Art that makes a statement!” I was just hoping they would be available for purchase cuz I was damn sure gonna nail some to my wall, perhaps next to a patriarchy-blaming article or photo.

    So I was shocked to see that truck-driving men were actually embracing these things. It does seem like it a flaming “asshole alert” to other drivers.

  40. Kat

    We feel the removal of a God given body part – leaving a male pet looking unwhole after the traditional form of neutering is not only unethical but unnatural. With Neuticles it’s like nothing ever changed.

    I had my male cat neutered and I bet he’d be hella-pissed if I shoved some foreign matter into his scrotum just so I wouldn’t have to be reminded that he’s not ‘whole’ anymore. Seriously, anyone that concerned with their pet’s testicles is just projecting their own gonad-related fears.

  41. Joann

    yeah, a row of balls under a broadsword! I’m going to be chuckling all day about that one.

  42. Les

    Why do I suddenly want to attach plastic testicles to my tiny VW?? The patriarchy has gotten into my brain!!

    Plastic nuts vegetable-powered VW Berkeley California = comic gold!

    good thing I’m safely out of the country for a few months.

  43. Ms Kate

    I got my great uncle some of those for his truck after he had surgery for prostate cancer and was feeling a bit down. He had a big truck that he actually used for hauling lumber, towing a huge third-wheel trailer full of xmas trees to Phoenix each year, etc.

    It really perked him up. I think the money quote was “hey, I might not have much left, but you should see my truck!” Everybody thought it was quite funny. His straight-laced wife even let him put them on the truck and they took pictures. He was very social but had been staying home too much, so they made a great conversation piece when he went out. (BTW – they fit into the hitch receiver)

    Of course, if he was an asshole rather than a top-notch human being, I’d never have ordered him a pair.

  44. ae

    I am shocked that the only pair of these that I’ve seen was while driving through Lynchburg, VA (home of godbag gonad Jerry Falwell), where the gentle swing of them hanging off the back of a truck is enough to turn an advanced blamer murderous. Honest to , do we have to be assaulted w/ this shit, too? The entire world suffers for the privileging of male genitalia above all. And now this hypermasculinized example of visual and social pollution? I don’t find this funny in the least. If anything it’s pathetic, though, of course, it’s purpose is to remind us that the world — its animate and inanimate objects — are the domain of the male. I am happy to report that redneck-ass NC has yet to be flooded w/ gelastic gonadry. Good.

    Re: Nia, my lord, what a screw up on their part. She’s not real, and the whole thing reads like a bad adolescent fantasy.

    Necessity?? Fetishization of teen sexuality, hypersexualization of a female patient, emphasis on patient’s beauty (real value) over her care, yes; necessity, not so much. Yes, sometimes it is necessary to draw composites, but I fail to see how “Nia” could have been drawn from the examples they provide, including the brother of one of the researchers. Methinks the “necessity” is in furthering the thing for which I am needing the Blame button!

  45. Lucy

    Thanks for quoting me Twisty! As people have said, if anything the second ‘Nia’ article actually made the story worse in many ways- the fact that these guys basically ‘made her up’ is so creepy. If they were just looking for an example to illustrate the article, why make it a ‘beautiful’ girl? Oh, wait – it couldn’t be a guy because it’s perfectly fine for them to put on weight…

  46. Violet

    I want some guy who’s reading this to explain to me exactly what goes through the masculine mind that could compel a guy to hang plastic testicles from his truck.

  47. Ledasmom

    I think it would be entirely appropriate to amend any truck nuts actually spotted in situ on the truck of a certifiable jerk by adding a nice, neat little row of truck vasectomy stitches as rendered in fine-tip black Sharpie. Also, if you look at the size of a truck compared to the size of the truck nuts, those are pretty small nuts. Micro-nuts, in fact.

  48. robin

    Shannon is right about Bill Watterson – he was fanatical about not allowing products to be made with any image from his comic strip, and, by not selling out Calvin and Hobbes, passed up the chance to make millions.
    Any products using his images are basically a crude slap in the face to his genius.
    I loved that comic strip, and wonder what Watterson is up to these days.

  49. Frumious B.

    oh antelope, how soon can you get that printed up on a bunch of bumper stickers for us to apply to any truck we see in a parking lot with said nuts hanging off them?

  50. Frumious B.

    Re: Nia

    I managed to miss Twisty’s post from the 7th. What an appalling article. The composite of Nia as a young female is not so far from the mark. It is by making her appearance the central part of the article that the writers failed.

    I did a little medline searching on Olanzapine (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?CMD=search&DB=pubmed). None of those stuides mention weight gain of more than about 30 pounds – way less than the number quoted by Prospect. One study did mention that weight gain peaked at 52 weeks, so it can take more than a couple months to find out exactly how much a given patient will gain. One interesting risk factor for weight gain was having a low BMI. Healthwise, it wouldn’t seem like a big deal for a thin person to gain some weight (imagewise, to that person, it may be a big deal).

    But all that is beside the point. Side effects of psychiatric medications are frequently intolerable to the patient. Schizophrenia is a horrible disease, but sometimes patients find the treatment worse. This is a very real and very serious problem which, by making the side effect ostensibly about appearance, Prospect totally failed to address.

    The anecdote about the male patient sneaking into Nia’s room sompletely fails to highlight another aspect of life as a mentally ill patient: sexual assault. The mentally ill are frequently victims of sexual assault, and it’s not related to how hot they are. I love how the article said they were frequently found in her bed together but didn’t even bring up the question of consensuality.

    What an utter failure at conciousness raising.

  51. Ron Sullivan

    What an utter failure at conciousness raising

    Hell’s bells, FB., what an utter failure at consciousness!

  52. kathy McCarty

    I live in Austin Texas TOO, Twisty !!! THe BALLS made me LAFF (esp. the BLUE ones) at FIRST; but really, if I had to look at them ALL the TIME, like I have to look at those GODDAM “BUSH/CHENEY 04″ stickers, I think I would eventually SNAP. I think that I ( and many others like me) are daily entering into the “physical violence” threshold….levels of frustration so intense that I feel like, I don’t know, getting VIOLENT with Godbags and wingnuts, even though of course that only brings me down to their level. Sigh. Oh: How can we stop the NEXT election from being stolen, and, your blog looks so great, did you use WordPress?

  53. sunny in texas

    the only trucks i’ve seen these things on are huge. so not only do these guys think their dicks are too small, they feel they have been emasculated somehow and look to reattach their non existent manhood to their new diesel powered dicks.

    so they all make me laugh. alot.

    trucknuts: neuticles for cowboys.

  54. Q Grrl

    I’m ashamed that I even know this: I believe that the “pious” Calvin is in homage to the late Dale Earnhardt. I could be wrong though.

  55. misspinkerton

    i’m particularly fond of the antenna-soldier right next to the antenna stripper.

  56. cinder

    Kathy, getting violent with godbags, wingnuts and especially ultra macho dudes is not sinking to thier level, it’s is at times an effective and appropriate activity. Of course it all depends on context, but I am particularily in favour of women being physically violent towards aggressive/intimidating creeps because it breaks with status quo expectations and flips typical roles on thier asses.

    Sometimes wingnuts are such incredible wingnuts that they need to be prevented from grasping the power they seek, and physical violence is a necessary element to that prevention. Not always, but it’s important not to write it off as “sinking to thier level.” Being human isn’t a lowering of oneself.

  57. Esme

    My mother made her own set of car testicles. Two egg shaped jingly silvery balls, encased in a sturdy mesh, attached to each other by a length of shiny elastic silver cord. She hangs them from her rearview.

  58. Pony

    Your mother sounds amazing.

  59. Shawn D.

    Man’s point of view… I’m a guy with a full size truck (purchased for pulling our boat.) I would never put truck nuts on my truck. If my fiancée was with me, it would be an insult her and our relationship, if I was driving by myself I’d feel really stupid.

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