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May 01 2006

Public Cans of Austin: Chinatown

The lavatory has been locked for three hours solid…. I think they are using it for an operating room….
NURSE: “I can’t find her pulse, doctor.”
DR. BENWAY: “Maybe she got it up her snatch in a finger stall.”
NURSE: “Adrenalin, doctor?”

Above: treat yourself to the panoramic view from the throne in the can at the Chinatown in the strip mall next to what used to be the Tom Thumb supermarket in Westlake. “Chinatown” refers to a couple of semi-related Austin restaurants, rather than to an actual Chinatown, of which, unsurprisingly, there isn’t one in Austin, although there are plenty of disaffected youths sneaking Burroughs paperbacks into public washrooms.

And there are crab Rangoons. I have never understood this stuff, which if you’ve never eaten one, is a glob of cream cheese, or whitish ooze, or mugwumpian secretion of some sort, squished into a wonton wrapper and deep-fried. You dunk it in a mixture of sweet fluorescent pink sauce and hot yellow mustard, which can nauseate you if you look at it too long. It tastes vulgar, like a seedy carnival, and not necessarily in a bad way. I have never experienced anything resembling crab in association with eating one.

72 comments

  1. Sara

    Good crab rangoon, which I’ve had exactly once, are light and fluffy and creamy, the grease has been thoroughly drained, and you can tell there’s crab in them. Bad crab rangoon, which are what I’ve had the last six times I’ve had them — and it should be noted that I’ve only ever had them seven times, and just twice on my own order — are grease bombs in which you may or may not be able to taste the crab, and if you can it’s probably off. And as I have had to explain to a shockingly large number of people, crab rangoon are not actually Chinese food.

    This is turning my stomach to think about. That’s a very pretty radish, though. Not so sure about the parsley. I always want to dip parsley sprigs in salt water, anyway. Otherwise, I just don’t see the point.

  2. Erin

    I have a secret thing for crab Rangoon, but I almost never eat them. I had some yesterday for the first time since maybe college, and I was surprised and delighted to find actual crab in there, because it always seemed to be optional.

  3. Mandos

    There are some very lovely crab rangoons to be had here on the Plateau of Gorgoroth.

  4. zzz

    Do they have anything to do with Rangoon?

  5. Sara

    Here’s an explanation of where crab rangoon come from, and a recipe:

    http://chinesefood.about.com/od/crabrangoon/r/crabpuffs.htm

  6. vera

    I had one of these once, and it contained at least two or three molecules of crab.

  7. winna

    They are way too sweet whenever I have had them. And never a hint of crab. Or even ‘crabbe’ or however they spell the imitation crab substitute word.

  8. Hattie

    I enjoy these elevating discussions in the Blamosphere. Nice break from the usual.

  9. Mrs. Coulter

    I am flabbergasted to discover that there is actually supposed to be crab in crab rangoon. I always thought it was like shrimp in lobster sauce, which, I understand, contains nary a hint of lobster. I miss living in a city with a proper Chinatown, where one could find such delicacies as “soup dumplings.”

  10. Arianna

    Mandos, Mandos, Mandos.

    Your official troll position I can tolerate, but messing around with Tolkienology is the most heinous of crimes.

  11. Cass

    The ones at Peony are good, as I remember (its been awhile). That mustard will obliterate the taste of anything though.

  12. Twisty

    Please. Mandos is not a troll. He is a scapegoat.

    if ever there was an ology more in need of messsing, it’s Tolkeinology.

  13. Mandos

    I’m not messing around with it. I’m temporarily residing in the general vicinity of Barad-Dûr. Like, as a guest. Unfortunately, Sauron hasn’t invited me for tea.

    They do serve good crab rangoons here. In fact, I’d say they serve good crab anything, but it isn’t quite true.

  14. Kate

    I think Mandos does quite well also as the ‘token’ male that hangs here, gives support and seems to know his place well.

    Who ever said feminists were man haters?

  15. Mandos

    However I am quite happily a nigletizer and a contrarian and Devil’s Advocate so be sparing with your flattery. It’s true, though, that I try to be unstupid enough to avoid barging in and telling people what to think as if I thought they ought to thank me.

  16. Mandos

    Though I should clarify that I THINK people ought to thank me profusely everywhere for allowing myself to bless you with a glimpse of the radiance of my wisdom.

  17. feminist first

    I did not have the foggiest idea what a crab Rangoon was until today and now I can’t stop thinking about eating some. That recipe will come in handy. What’s the verdict; will I need any crab?

  18. Annie

    Every order of crab rangoon I’ve tried, probably in the neighborhood of Sara’s stated seven, has given no indication that crab was part of the recipe. And worse, after trying one or two I needed a squeegie (or is it: squeegy?) to scrape the lipids off the roof of my mouth!

  19. Arianna

    My appologies. Must have been work getting “scapegoat” and “troll” confused in my mind.

    I wouldn’t expect Sauron would be a very gratious host, and I thought the Vala generally had an agreement to stay out of Middle Earth, anyway.

    /tolkiengeek

  20. AntipodeanKate

    It looked so nice until you mentioned whitish ooze.

  21. Thalia

    I must confess to both liking Crab Rangoon and to having legally changed my last name years ago to Took. I am helplessly uncool, I know, I know.

  22. robin

    I thought Crab Rangoon was akin to Welsh Rabbit, which lacks even a speck of rabbit meat or flavoring.
    (Are we making puns on “token” and “Tolkein”by any chance?)

  23. Mandos

    I wouldn’t expect Sauron would be a very gratious host, and I thought the Vala generally had an agreement to stay out of Middle Earth, anyway.

    That’s what I thought, too! Imagine my surprise when I actually ended up moving to Mordor.

  24. Ms Kate

    I’m not messing around with it. I’m temporarily residing in the general vicinity of Barad-Dûr.

    I’ll have what he’s having – no, not the rangoons, the drugs.

  25. Pony

    You’re not going to believe this.

    I just read about that woman Dr. Benway was describing, in the new book from wonderfully snarky and so perfect journalist and writer Heather Mallick. The book is Pearls in Vinegar: The Pillow Book of Heather Mallick, Viking Canada. It’s a riff on the ancient literary form of the Japanese pillow book. Little pointed snippets that have one gasping and guffawing with Mallick.

    And here on page 112, Mallick, somehow, knew what Twisty would write today. Under the heading Squalid Things she writes:

    “A woman leaves a bathroom cubicle at a bar and washes one finger.”

  26. norbizness

    The Crab Rangoon at Suzi’s Chinese Kitchen on South Lamar doesn’t make me immediately sick, so I proclaim it an unqualified success.

    BTW, does anyone think that the Cronenberg movie version of Naked Lunch/other assorted Burroughs memoirs was a similar success?

  27. saltyC

    I like to deep-fry the round wonton wrappers (or gyoza wrappers) stuffed with mozzarella cheese and tomatoes. It’s a Brazilian thing called pastel.

    Also popular is stuffing them with hearts of palm. Whether hearts of palm or tomatoes, chop them up really small and make sure all liquid is drained before putting it in the center of a round wrapper. then moisten around the edges, fold over and press to make semicircle-shaped pillows. Make sure they’re sealed well before deep frying. I fry them for about 20 seconds in oil hot enough for french fries.

    Tricky parts: making sure they’re not overstuffed or they’ll leak. Also, keeping them dry on the outside or they’ll break.

    Gyoza wrappers are also excellent for making ravioli. The other day I stuffed them with steamed butternut squash. No seasoning, just plain squash, then boiled the raviolies til they floated. Then I smothered them in butter and parmesian cheese, I swaer they were delicious.

  28. alphabitch

    They sound sort of like these things I make called pope hats, which is basically anything wrapped in a wonton skin, folded in such a way as to remind me of a pope hat, and cooked and then dipped in some kind of sauce.

    I’ve never tried it with crab, or imitation crab, and cream cheese, but they’re good with a mixture of tuna, feta, fresh parsley and capers. And I tried it once with pumpkin, mango chutney, and cream cheese. The former with a sort of berbere sauce and the latter with a curried sour cream stuff. Or whatever.

    I usually just brush them with oil and bake them in a hot oven rather than deep frying them on account of it’s easier and less messy. But it’d be easy to make good ones out of some kind of crab mixture, I should think. I’m pretty sure you can find that gooey pink sauce bottled somewhere, but you could make some that’s less terrifying with plum sauce or something like that.

  29. Mandos

    Pope hats remind me of Fafblog, which has fallen off the face of the internet. I remember when Giblets finally got hold of the Pope hat on JP II’s death and was using its mind control ray to raise an army of fire zombies. Or something like that.

  30. saltyC

    Burroughs was a hero of the patriarchy,
    he brutally murdered his wife in cold blood, bragged about it, wrote books about it, and above all, got away with it. Poor OJ and Baretta had to lie and say they didn’t do it. They don’t even get to glow in the ultimate patriarchal high: bathing in wife blood.

  31. Mandos

    http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/wbburrou.htm

    This claims that the death was some kind of stupid accident.

    However, for a moment I thought you were talking about Edgar Rice, not William S. I’ve not read much from either.

  32. Pony

    SaltyC: What? Burroughs murdered his wife?

  33. Mandos

    Here’s the quote from the link I gave:

    With Joan Vollmer, his common law wife, Burroughs moved to Texas, where he grew cotton and marijuana crops. To avoid legal problems, they moved to Mexico City. In September 1951 Burroughs killed Vollmer accidentally. They were partying in a room above a bar when he announced the assembled company he would perform shooting in the Wilhelm Tell style. Vollmer placed a glass on top of her head, and Burroughs shot at it with the gun he carried – missing tragically and Vollmer fell dead. Burroughs was never tried for the accident. Their son William Burroughs III died at the age of 32 from drink and drug abuse. The author have stated that “Im forced to the appalling conclusion that I would never have become a writer but for Joan’s death…”

    Is there any sign of a malicious actual intent to kill his wife, or was this just a stupid drunk party game gone tragically awry?

  34. saltyC

    William S., NOT Edgar Rice, was a gun-nut.
    He loved firearms, and fancied himself an expert. HE had shooting ranges in his house.

    How he could “miss” such an easy shot, and that that first “missed” shot would land sqaure between his children’s mother’s eyes is beyond reason. They also had a daughter, who later estranged herself from him.

    The accident idea is absurd, and even his friend Ginsberg went so far as to claim that Burroughs’ wife “wanted” him to kill her, suicide by husband. Yeah, right.

  35. Mandos

    How he could “miss” such an easy shot, and that that first “missed” shot would land sqaure between his children’s mother’s eyes is beyond reason. They also had a daughter, who later estranged herself from him.

    OK. You know better. I just wonder how drunk they were. But like I said, you know better, I have not studied any Burroughy people.

  36. Ron Sullivan

    Crab Rangoon is about as Chinese as Trader Vic. I’ve wondered, ever since seeing Vic’s bronze sabertooth cat sculpture on the UC Berkeley campus, whether he had a recipe for sabertooth. (Odd statue. Looks as if it’s preparing to take a dump.) I have never eaten Crab Rangoon or at Trader Vic’s, just for the record. I’ve never eaten at Chez Panisse either.

    William Burroughs is a creep. And I’ve wondered for years what a collaboration between him and Edgar Rice B would be like. Tarzan pimps out Jane, then nods off again while trying to bugger Cheetah.

    All that aside, I think I’m developing a crush on Mandos.

  37. Hattie

    I ate at Trader Vics once, in Portland, OR. I enjoyed that 50′s ambience very much. It has a Hawaiian theme, not Chinese. Very tacky tikis & stuff.

  38. la Beylita

    Before his death Willy Burroughs did a series he called “shotgub portraits” that he claimed expressed his belief that violence has to be inherent to all real art. These pieces consist of him putting containers of paint in front of large pieces of wood, shooting them and selling off the wood with the splatter pattern.

    It was absolutely vile and a pretty good indicator of who he was.

  39. Sara

    Isn’t Trader Vic’s kind of a known werewolf hangout?

    SaltyC, the only time I ever made ravioli by hand — noodles and all — I made butternut, too. Mine was less simple. I was at home recovering from some sling or arrow of outrageous medical fortune or other and thus had a whole day without other commitments and a fridge full of ingredients. I knew I wanted butternut ravioli, but I didn’t know how to do it, so I surfed Epicurious.com for ideas, and this is what I came up with:

    For the stuffing, I baked a whole butternut squash, quartered and seeded, with each section wrapped in foil, until it had all carmelized to a nice point. (This is how I typically prepare winter squash for any purpose, timing it by smell. How long it takes depends on the size of the squash, but it’s usually over an hour at 350°F.) Then I peeled and mashed the squash with a pint of organic ricotta, a pound of frozen organic spinach which had been defrosted and squeezed free of all liquid, and then a mixture of three minced cloves of garlic pan-browned in a little e.v. olive oil with nutmeg, marjoram, sea salt and black pepper, all of which I poured straight from the pan right into the butternut mix. For a sauce, I minced and pan-browned another three cloves of garlic in that same mix of e.v. olive oil, nutmeg, marjoram, sea salt, and black pepper. At the same time, I toasted a couple of handfuls of pecan halves on a cookie sheet in the oven, again by smell so I don’t know how long. I threw it all together in the blender with a few tablespoons of reduced fat sour cream, puréed it while still hot, and dabbed about ¼ tsp. of the resulting extremely creamy/oily nut butter kind of sauce on top of each finished ravioli.

    Oddly, the most time/labor-intensive part of this — even including clean-up — was the making of the noodles. It wasn’t difficult, it just took a long, uninteresting time. A whole recipe made only a dozen or so, as I recall, yet from mixing to rolling to stuffing and cutting, and then cooking, I remember it took quite awhile to accomplish, maybe an hour. I had tons of filling and sauce left over after all that time spent, too, probably enough to make three more batches large enough to serve three or four people each, you know, with a salad, etc. Once every single ravioli had been gobbled up (really fast, less than 15 minutes after dinner started, and there were only two of us that night), I ended up for a couple of days afterward just snacking on filling and sauce together, without benefit of noodle, straight out of the bowls in the fridge, and honestly was just as happy. Couldn’t really serve it that way to other people, though, as globs of this smeared with globs of that don’t always comprise the most appealing plating, even when warm.

    The fresh pasta was good, but not so magnificent that I need to make my own again. So next time, I think I will absolutely try wonton wrappers, which Epicurious even recommended, that is if I don’t try those sheets of already prepared but uncut fresh pasta first. Wonton wrappers seem like a far less expensive option, but also a thinner, less eggy one.

  40. Jodie

    Does Mandos have hands of fate? My 17-year-old wants to know.

  41. schatze

    Crab Rangoon. Oh my, it should be considered a sin to take something crispy and play a nasty joke on you with a) no crab and b) that goo. I hold crispy to a high level, in fact, I think it should be a food group. I am old enough to remember when, on occasion, I might find some morsel of meat in a fried wonton. Those days are gone and perhaps the days of actual crab in a Crab Rangoon left before that. It’s just as well, I’m really only in it for the crispy.

  42. Arianna

    My first post on topic in this thread – I actually liked Crab Rangoon, the one time I ate it, before I stopped eating seafood. I think I’d like it just as much without the crab, though. I’ve only ever had it once at this placed called Bamboo Garden (I think, it’s been *years*) in either Joplin or Carthage (I can’t remember which) Missouri. Mind you, I’m a fan of mostly anything involving cheese and deep frying.

  43. saltyC

    Mandos,

    Yeah, they might have been drunk, but I generally don’t buy that as an excuse for anything. I guess if you’re drinking, you shouldn’t be pointing guns at people and firing. But, maybe I’m prejudiced since I don’t drink. (strict weedatarian)
    The best you can say is it was reckless endangerment, which he was not charged with. But I believe her days were numbered, being with him. Something about those macho writers. Norman Mailer also comes to mind, but fortunately his wife survived his attempt on her life. (by a hair)

    Sara,
    Your recipe sounds delicious.
    I was surprised how good mine turned out since it took like ten minutes to make. I already had bags of steamed butternut squash frozen. It freezes well, all I did was thaw it, squeeze out the excess water and put it in the wrapper.
    To steam the squash, I just chopped it into two-inch chunks. I didn’t peel it til ready to use. Also I cooked the seeds in the boiling water.

  44. Twisty

    I did a little research yesterday, and found out that the mid-century passion for all things Tiki was a direct result of WW II GIs bringing captivating bits of Polynesia home with them after the war. Wars have collateral effects undreamed-of by Pentagon assholes. Who among them could have envisioned crab Rangoon?

    As for Burroughs, he did murder his wife, he was a creep, and that’s precisely why moron upper-middle class teenagers are scratching the word “interzone” into bathroom doors in upscale strip malls.

  45. Sylvanite

    Those butternut squash raviolis sound wonderful. I’ve just moved into a house (previously, I was an apartment-dweller), and now have a real kitchen and new appliances. I’ll have to see about making some raviolis, once I’m all unpacked and have the kitchen island put together!

    Mandos: The Hands of Fate is a movie that must be made. Anyone know any fertilizer salesmen with a desire to become a film auteur?

  46. Cass

    Sorry, the “accidentally shot my wife” story is out of favor even among wife-killers. Its been done to death, and juries don’t believe it anymore.

    I’m willing to chip in $1.50 or so for the “Manos” remake, but who are we going to get for the Frank Zappa role?

  47. robin

    This post has developed a very weird mandosian thread. I don’t understand a word of it.
    All I know is that Burroughs was the darling of my disaffected, bad boy, pretentious boyfriend in high school, who cracked up several years later, and that Trader Vic’s serves very very nice drinks.
    .

  48. alphabitch

    Sara — Back when I used to cook for a living, I used to start every day by making 20 servings of ravioli filled with chevre and roasted habanero peppers (5 per serving, plus a few to compensate for those that fall apart in the boiling water). I never make pasta from scratch any more, unless someone begs for it. I am happy to pay extra for those ridiculously expensive sheets of pre-made pasta just to avoid the hassle of making it from scratch. The won-ton skins are even easier.

    And once when I found myself with a ton of leftover pumpkin-chutney curry filling, my lovely ex-wife found it, added eggs & cream and made it into a hilariously spicy pumpkin pie. Guests found it very, um, surprising. But you can also mix that type of filling with some torn-up stale bread, pour some kind of egg and dairy mixture over it, & bake it in a casserole. Perfectly respectable side dish-type thing for dinner guests, though a little heavy. If you beat the egg whites separately and use bread crumbs or something instead of torn bread, you can even re-purpose it into a souffle and really impress guests (read a real souffle recipe first if you’re not familiar with the process).

    And Mandos, yes, pope hats remind me of fafblog! too. I hope they come back from wherever they’ve gone.

  49. CafeSiren

    I’m just glad to see that someone loves Sean. I was worried about that guy.

  50. rumblelizard

    A werewolf hangout? I don’t understand what that means.

  51. Mandos

    The Hands of Fate stuff is funnier than I suspect some of you realize, since Mandos is basically the Minister of Destiny for the Blessed Realm.

  52. Cass

    Werewolf hangout: from Warren Zevon’s song “Werewolves of London”…

    “I saw a werewolf drinking a pina colada at Trader Vic’s
    and his hair was perfect.”

    “Mandos: Hands of Fate” is one of the most atrocious movies ever made, but it was immortalized for my generation by Mystery Science Theater 3K. If you’re lucky, you can find it at your local non-franchise video store.

  53. Cass

    Uh, that was “Manos” in the original, actually…

  54. grrr kitty

    I thought Mandos was the keeper of dead folks. In his role as either Vala or Maia (I dismember which), I assumed he was a holy sort.

  55. rumblelizard

    Oh jeez. No wonder that one sailed over my head–I’ve always hated that song. It’s inextricably linked with Tom Cruise in my mind, which is why I’ve prolly suppressed it completely. Thanks for the explanation, Cass.

  56. Sara

    Dare I ask…

    Rumblelizard, why is “Werewolves of London” associated in your mind with Tom Cruise?

  57. Sara

    Oh, and Alphabitch, thank you for

    (a) your views re ravioli noodles from scratch (hey, so that really is how the pros feel, and I totally get it now! heh heh) and

    (b) the pumpkin ideas, including the pie story.

    Now, if you had served the pie as a quichely side dish like a semi-savory tart or something, maybe your guests would not have been quite so surprised. Also, the idea using bread sounds a lot like a bread pudding, but not for dessert. Sounds great.

    Now I’m thinking naughty thoughts about toppings for such a dish involving a great deal of fatty dairy product. Not sure what, exactly, but maybe something to do with clotted cream and/or mascarpone and possibly brandy…

    It all sounds way better to me than even that one yummy batch of crab rangoon I had long ago.

  58. Mandos

    I am, in fact, a Vala. The name “Mandos” is … Quenya, I think, for “prison-fortress”, and is where the souls of dead Elves reside prior to reincarnation. The name is also used to refer to the Vala who presides over it, whose proper name is actually Námo. Whenever I find Mandos taken on a forum, I use some variant of Námo Mandos.

  59. Hogan

    Rumblelizard, why is “Werewolves of London” associated in your mind with Tom Cruise?

    There’s a scene in The Color of Money where that song is playing on a jukebox, and Cruise sings and howls along while he shoots pool, looking unusually smug even for Tom Cruise.

  60. rumblelizard

    Hogan: exactly. The image of Tom Cruise sort of moonwalking backward behind a pool table while brandishing a cue, doing the pigeon-head pecking thing and singing along to the song, has left hideous and irreparable scars on my psyche. *Shudder*

  61. Sara

    Ah, I understand. I am so sorry to have caused you pain. I spared myself The Color of Money and so was unaware of the connection.

    Also, in defending my love for this song it must be understood that for the longest time I really thought the line was “His hair was purple.” Perfection is not nearly as interesting as purpleness, but I retain residual affection for the song anyway.

    ***

    Hey, you know what all of us have failed to mention? A month ago, this conversation would not have been possible (except, of course, for the parts where we blame the patriarchy for “accidental” wife murderers not being jailed and discuss different things to do with winter squash, Tolkien, and strange movies, but that’s all beside the point). Why would it not have been possible? Because a month ago, I very much doubt that fair Twisty would have been able to tolerate the smell, let alone the swallowing and retention, of deep-fried crab and cream cheese wontons in sugar sauce.

    In spite of the ongoing barbecue, I think we should pause at this moment to give another “hell yeah” for the end of spinster aunt chemo, don’t you agree?

    Hell yeah!

  62. Annie

    Returning, briefly, to Twisty’s most recent image from inside an Austin john, I’m wondering; has anyone else here been examining their local piss-stops with more intensity than before? I have found that entering into even some of the skankier pots around here has become a strange kind of entertainment and an occasional muse. Previously my cultural and anthropological interests were centered more particularly around dive bars, but branching out into toilet tourism has been fantastic!

  63. Ms Kate

    Annie, at one coffee shop in these parts, they ran out of bathroom wall and started several scrapbooks in circulation for people to draw in/decorate without tying up the john.

  64. Annie

    I like the idea of the bathroom wall as both a site of spontaneous cultural artisry and a site of rhetorical conflict and inquiry. I’ll bet you can learn a lot about a community by reading it’s bathroom walls. And though I don’t dare treat myself to an such a reflective interlude, I can’t help thinking that it might be kinda cool, down-right “groovy” even, to study the differences between public and private can writings. Well, I’d better get back to work immediately here or the temptation to cave to whimsical distractions will over-come me and I’ll lose a whole afternoon.

  65. Mandos

    Here’s something bathroomy you can blame the patriarchy for: In a (men’s) bathroom at a local fast food chain restaurant, there was a piece of graffiti above the urinal with the inscription, in large black letters, “K_____ is a whore. –A____”

    Outside at the counter, and there was a woman in charge of the drive-thru (and maybe more than that), whose name was, in fact, K______. She was clearly a very authoritative person, which is what provoked the graffiti. No sign of whether A_____ was there, though he could have been.

    The graffiti was cleaned off the next time I visited. I think. It was a while ago.

  66. grrr kitty

    The only time I attempted what might’ve been termed a toilet tour I was too sick to appreciate the cultural or anthropological nuances. The contents of my innards were being abruptly evacuated at approximately the speed of sound. Too bad. Aspects of this thread are tempting me to return to Flippin, Arkansas (home of the Flippin Church of God) to check out the pissoirs along that particular stretch of highway again, despite the truly abysmal food.

  67. spiritrover

    What you learn from reading bathroom walls in Portland OR is that nobody cleans them. And if you see a guy coming out of a men’s room here, nodding and muttering “true, dat,” you know he’s just read the above-urinal classic “the joke’s not up here, it’s in your hand.”

  68. Annie

    Some while back I’d posted a note about the way the women at Brown University started naming rapists on the bathroom walls. It caused a big stir in the administration, and ultimately led to some significant changes to make significant changes in their procedures for responses to sexual violence. In that situation the stall walls provided women a chance to anonymously name their rapists, while still giving voice to a serious problem and exposing the criminals. Engaging in feminist social activism while performing certain bodily functions…ironic, eh.?

    But I think the best part of toilet tourism is the opportunity it provides for both communication and voyeurism. What would happen in Austin, I wonder, if it became widely known that Twisty was posting local can commentaries and images. Would people begin showing off, trying to “get on camera” or maybe a battle over intellectual property? LOL! This project of hers is overflowing with social and entertainment value.

  69. Annie

    typos above have been noted, police have been called

  70. thebewilderness

    Mandos, Mandos, Mandos,
    Where, oh where can you be that compares to the plains of Gorgoroth? Unless, of course, you are on a quest of great import. In that case never mind.

  71. Betsy

    Mandos in #33,

    In law, some kinds of recklessness are so extreme that they are construed as rising to the level of actual malicious intent. Under this principle, for example, come both the felony murder rule and the recent attempts in some states to try drunk drivers for murder rather than negligent homicide or manslaughter. (Felony murder = if you commit a violent felony and someone gets killed accidentally in the event, the homicide gets converted from manslaughter to murder, actual rule depends on jurisdiction, but the principle is “bad things tend to happen during felonies, perpetrate them at your own risk”. Drunk driving murder charges, similarly, are based on the idea that “you should be prepared to kill someone if you get in a car in that state” (roughly).

    Depending on the applicable law, shooting a loaded gun at an object close to someone’s head is something that a reasonable person would consider so risky, and the possible consequences so grave, and the attitude required so reckless of human life, that it rises to the level of malicious intent.

    The reasoning goes: What, after all, is the effective difference between the scienter (knowing intent) needed for this act, and that needed to shoot a gun fully intending to kill but at perhaps so far a range that the target is unlikely to be killed, yet still resulting in a killing? And do these two perpetrators not represent approximately the same threat to human life, and as a result, ought they to be treated nearly equally with regard to criminality.

    So goes one part of the legal reasoning.

  72. saltyC

    Sara,

    Hell yeah!

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