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Jun 21 2006

Comment of the Week

Remain calm. This post is a lament on commentarian sloppiness. It is not about blow jobs. At least not much. If I mention them here it is only to give my example comment some context. If you have something to say about blow jobs, send it to Penthouse.

Recently I wrote an essay in which I seditiously suggested, like I do in every other essay I write, that the dominant culture imposes inequities on human beings according to their sex. I used heterosexual fellatio to illustrate this sweepingly radical notion. This essay generated a pestilence of asinine responses, both here and on other blogs. Behold a randomly selected sample, the gist of which has been nearly universal among my fearsome cocksucking detractors (I have kept the typo intact for that authentic commentarian flava):

Um, who kneels these days? I prefer a comfy chair with the patriarch standing at attention before me. Why should’t I be comfortable? Like frisee, keep the bjs off your plate if you don’t care for them, but don’t outlaw them for the rest of us!

Let us now go where no blog post has gone before: to the stream-of-consciousness musings with which I was afflicted after having read this sample comment and its many identical brethren, published here for the first time ever on the World Wide Web:

First I experienced revulsion, which is understandable since the remark commences with ‘um’. Wherefore this mania for beginning a written sentence with preverbal grunts? It is grueling enough slogging through 16,723 comments saying ‘Where do you get off expressing an opinion on your own blog, you prudey asexual?” without having to endure 5th grade speech viruses ironically affected by adults engaged in a limp effort to convey condescension.

I then experienced amazement that a woman could, in 2006, take pride in publicly announcing that she happily sucks off someone she refers to as ‘the patriarch.”

Then I experienced revulsion again.

Then I thought, “How can a blow job be on a plate? God help us all, the metaphor is dead!”

Then I wondered why people who have clearly omitted to read my essays insist on responding to them. This bizarre conduct absolutely mystifies me. The logical thing to do, when you haven’t read an essay, is to not comment on it. Lest you look like an ass. I know this from years of experience of not reading essays and not commenting on them. Many’s the time I’ve been asked, “Twisty, what is the recipe for success in the cutthroat world of not looking like an ass?” My answer? “Not reading essays and not commenting on them, Grasshopper. It’s a winner!”

Yet our commenter, like so many before her, has, in her haste to lead an unexamined life, not only made erroneous assumptions concerning the actual content of my post, but has elected to publish her response to this mythical content on the blog, thereby diluting the sterling quality of the discourse.

For instance (I mused), in drawing out of thin air the supposition that I desire to ‘outlaw’ her favorite pastime, she misconstrues my observations on the universal ramifications of patriarchal intrigue as some kind of official decree threatening the venerable American institution of cocksucking. She has, in other words, leapt to the conclusion that I endeavor to control her, presumably because I am a mutant who can bend people to my will just by writing stuff.

At this juncture I greatly enjoyed a reverie based on a scenario wherein I could bend people to my will just by writing stuff. Whereupon I thought, “If my magnificence was such that I actually could outlaw stuff merely by expressing an opinion on an obscure blog, would I really squander my superpower on some pedestrian hetero sex act? Hell no. I would outlaw Austin traffic, worship of dead Jews, and all supercilious parroting of the directives of the status quo.”

And then the dinner bell rang.

162 comments

1 ping

  1. Blume

    Does this mean that you did or did not get your anticipated big bang out of the comments?

  2. vera

    If people had actually read the entire essay prior to posting their comments, they might have noticed that the essay did not contain an invitation to publish their own sexual autobiographies.

    A prime example is found in the responses to Broadsheet’s round-up to the discussion (cowards — they just summarized it rather than leaping into the fray). One responder begins with, “I haven’t had the chance to read the actual blogs yet” and goes on to provide detail about what sorts of techniques she enjoys, how old she was when she learned about them, and her marital status (single!).

  3. Mandos

    Bravo! I can warm up more popcorn now!

  4. Mandos

    More seriously, I think that some people imagined that you were originally inviting them to be honest and open about what may be a personal and vulnerable part of their lives (for whatever reason), and they felt that your second post was an act of turning around and biting them for it. A lot of people on teh internets, I dare say, take sex extremely seriously, or else we wouldn’t have the feminist porn warz.

  5. Ron Sullivan

    You have a dinner bell? Goodness, how solidly traditional! How classic! Do you have a wrought-iron triangle to ring out at El Rancho Deluxe?

    Mandos, Mandos, Mandos, pass the popcorn, please, and have some of this strawberry agua fresca. I know you were over at that other blog just so you could use ellipses.

    And happy Solstice, all!

  6. grrr kitty

    It isn’t the (fill in the dorky sex act(s) of your choosing) that are so annoying. It’s the minefield of crap with which the patriarchy has surrounded it that grabs my snatch the wrong way, pardon the mixed metaphor. Most days I’d rather be a prudey asexual amoeba than navigate the minefield. The whole thing is unnecessary and exhausting.

  7. Summer

    I was out of town during the blowjob incident(s), did not read the essays, and admit, even after reading about the fallout, I am more concerned about the fate of the found cows.

    Did they ever make it home?

  8. Sydney

    Perhaps a bj can’t be served on a plate, per-se. However I once saw a porn movie in which the actor served his penis to his lady-friend in a pizza box (after she ordered a pizza with extra large sausage, of COURSE). This prompted commentary over the course of the film such as, “How do you like my pizza-dick?” and other such classic one liners.

    I’d better stop now though, lest I instigate a porn war of my own!

  9. Anne Nonymous

    “I would outlaw… worship of dead Jews…”

    Can you keep worship of alive Jews legal, though? Because now that you’ve outlawed blowjobs I’ve gotta find some more direct way to display my abject subjugation to my own particular personal patriarch.

    More seriously, I was impressed by the variety of different ways that different blogs responded in defense of the blowjob. Here it seemed to be a pretty straightforward collection of, “I like giving blowjobs and/or use them as a quid pro quo so they must be a feminist institution!” Over at punkassblog they had a very acrimonious technical discussion of why radfem theory sucks funk-filled bratwursts if it makes the claim that sucking funk-filled bratwursts sucks funk-filled bratwursts. At Feministe, I saw some discussion of how “blowjobs are gross” could be perceived as a homophobic statement and/or a misandrist characterization of men’s bodies as intrinsically icky.

    I’m personally inclined to think that, while it may be fun or create bonding or what have you, swapping bodily fluids is pretty much intrinsically icky no matter which particular fluids they are. (Yes, even breastfeeding a baby.) And of course, there’s a good reason for that, which is that we’re all pretty much walking piles of germs (There are more bacterial cells than human cells in your body, don’t forget!), and while you may be on reasonably good terms with your own germs, there’s no reason to expect that you’ll necessarily get along so well with somebody else’s germs.

    And ever since the first male proto-mammal humped another male proto-mammal to show it who was boss, our sexual instincts have been pretty closely tied with our aggressive instincts, so I don’t know if it’s really even possible to separate sex from power. (I was reminded of this recently in reading Natalie Angier’s discussion of female aggression in her Woman: An Intimate Geography in the context of having just reread Raccoona Sheldon’s weird old sci-fi story The Screwfly Solution.)

    But in the end, what the heck, girls just wanna have fun, and so forth, so you swap bodily fluids and mix your power play with your sex play anyway, and enjoy doing it too. But then when you’re done with your fun for the moment, you’ve gotta go back to the real workaday suit-wearing adult world and be cognizant of the context in which you’ve performed these activities. I don’t think being cognizant of the context means that you need to stop engaging in the kind of sex you enjoy, or that you need to feel ashamed of enjoying it. But I do think it’s kind of silly to ignore these larger human tropes and to act like your sex life can be construed completely separately from how the rest of humanity have been construing their sex lives for a really really long time. It seems to me that the important thing here is not so much to change what you do, but to understand the world in which you do it.

    And yes, I have personally given blowjobs and intend to do so in the future (see the above reference to my Jewish “patriarch”), and I love the person I’ve given them to and enjoy our sex life. I don’t really want to discuss our sex life, so much, but I also want to make it clear that I’m not saying this from some sort of uninvolved perspective.

    In closing, please note my above grammatically legitimate use of ellipsis to shorten a quotation. I will now fail to use chatroom-style grammar to indicate my amusement at my own oh-so-cleverness. Thank you.

  10. Sara

    So what was for dinner?

  11. CafeSiren

    If I could bend people to my will by writing stuff, I would outlaw vending-machine lattes — you know, the kind you find in convenience stores attached to gas stations. Perhaps this isn’t the greatest wrong in the world today, but it’s insidious. On a related note, I would also imbue people with a sudden and devastating awareness that, if the thing they’re drinking is blended, infused with a ton of sugar, and has whipped cream and chocolate sauce on top, it ain’t coffee — it’s a milkshake. There’s nothing wrong with a milkshake, but don’t kid yourself, people.

  12. Elinor

    I must say, Twisty, your first entry brought the word “bratty” to my mind (and not just because of the reference to bratwurst), but the impassioned responses you got turned my head a bit. Did you know that you are “reprehensible,” and you are suggesting that straight women (i.e. women who like giving blowjobs; apparently there is no distinction between those two concepts) be sent to the back of the bus? The bus that feminists now have?

    Interestingly, because of my failure to transcend my WASP heritage by giving a detailed account of my *personal* sexual tastes and experiences, I was identified as a celibate lesbian by at least one sex-pos commenter on this topic, even after I mentioned that I am straight.

    It isn’t the (fill in the dorky sex act(s) of your choosing) that are so annoying. It’s the minefield of crap with which the patriarchy has surrounded it that grabs my snatch the wrong way, pardon the mixed metaphor.

    Indeed, and the “fuck your way to freedom” mines laid by Marcuse, Ullerstam etc. just complicate the picture.

  13. Violet Socks

    Is wagering permitted?

  14. saltyC

    I can’t joke around anymore,

    because what Twisty has opened up is a discussion that hits close to the heart pf thr problem. The real heart of course is, patriarchy rules through volence. But a close issue is how subjected people survive by celebrating their subjection. Serfs told beautiful stories of noble kings to their children. Enslaved people bragged about how much cotton they could pick.

    And on this very blog,women gush about something which is objectively disgusting because of how much pleasure it gives their mista.

    Unusual in the blogoshpere is someone who raises the bar, both grammatically and personally. People will object that this creates a hierarchy, like the patriarchy. But if to smash authority means to allow sloppiness, then anarchy is the refuge of the sloppy.

  15. Mandos

    Someone elsewhere asked me how to define “objectively disgusting.”

  16. teffie-phd

    While I never have commenters who are as forthcoming as yours, I too have this inner thought process that occurs when someone leaves me a very personal comment. It surprises me how the internet leads people to share so much about themselves.

    And I’m amazed how many people feel like you’re taking something away “from” them when you object to a particular practice. I see your point, I’m not sure if I agree (but it did make me think about it in more detail than I normally do) and I’ll keep the details of my sex life to myself.

    I have to admit, as much as I love your writings, I would be a tensy bit nervous if you did wield a magic blog.

  17. cypress

    Twisty, I too am amazed at the prevalence of the notion that expressing one’s own opinion can have the effect of awakening in a reader the, as far as i know, completely groundless fear that said opinion will have the consequence of constraining the reader’s behaviour.

    I am about to express an opinion about the relative experience of life such readers might have, to, say, me. I’m on the verge of 60 years old, and a blamer for some 30 years now. My opinion is this: if such readers had the vaguest notion of what argument and conversation were actually for, to say nothing of about, I would not have cause to wonder about their sanity. Yea, if they understood that a negative judgement expressed by someone which they take personally is not an attempt to control them or their behaviour, perhaps communication would be more effective.

    A couple of years ago I went to a workshop at an event produced in Vancouver. There was a workshop for femme lesbians. I went to it, driving the average up about 20 years [I haven't actually done the math.] by walking through the door. There were about 60 people in the room, some of whom turned out not to be femme lesbians. The person who had placed the workshop on the program asked us all to say why we were there, and what we hoped to get from the workshop. As I listened to what was said, I grew more and more distressed. Most of the people in the room said that they were considering living their lives as men so that women would stop hassling them in public washrooms, or they said that they totally understood this problem, and hoped that those to whom this had happened would somehow find a way to carry on. Said hassles being apparently of such huge effect that overdosing with testosterone, and living as men, was considered by many to be an entirely appropriate response.

    I thought about my own experience as a young woman. In my 20s, travelling with my then husband by motorcycle through parts of Europe, it happened on several occasions that my 185cm [6'1"] tall self, wearing boots with thick soles, walking into the women’s toilet at the railroad station in Munich, for example, was not recognized as female. It took me a minute to figure out what the problem was, and to recognize that it was the problem of the woman who was waving her arms around and speaking in German at a speed I could not understand. so i unzipped my jacket, and showed her that i had breasts, and was not to be feared or expelled. She was embarassed, several women chuckled at the tableau, I got to pee, and we all went on about our days. this was in 1969.

    I remain nonplussed by my experience at the workshop. I fear for those who believe that an opinion, or a point in an argument, could possibly be intended to control their behaviour in some real, or at least legal, way. How might these people ever understand the possibiliites of resistance?

    IBTP

  18. W.Shore

    “Hell no. I would outlaw Austin traffic, worship of dead Jews, and all supercilious parroting of the directives of the status quo.”

    Keep your hands off my Lenny Bruce phylacteries.

  19. Chris Clarke

    I would like to see more pictures of Bert eating frisee.

  20. Violet Socks

    I want to see a picture of Bert eating poutine.

  21. Mandos

    Violet, your bashing of a Canadian tradition probably constitutes trolling (and potentially racism) against all Canadians reading this blog. Stop exercising your American privilege.

  22. justtesting

    The bj reaction is very telling.

    It tells that there’s rather too many people out there that are determined to confuse feminism with privileged spoilt-brattery *.

    “wahhh, but feminism means that I can do what I want without ever having to think about the context, society or history or the rest of the world’s women, and anyone daring to suggest that I might examine that, is an evil hairy dyke telling me what to do and it’s all their fault that everything’s horrid and that I broke a nail and the republicans are still in power”

    Doing your own thing is great. But don’t pretend there’s no context, don’t pretend that your (and my) freedom to get an education, choose a career, have safe sex, drive a car, own a car, have a mortgage, run a business, choose to opt out of marriage and generally have a good time is anything other than huge privilege – privilege won in large part by people who were prepared to examine existing hierarchies, recognise the injustice and then act.

    Oh, and just in case the magic pixies in anyone’s computer (or brain) decide to translate this rant into some wilfully awful misinterpretation of their own, then let me just make it clear in advance – that’s not what I meant. Thank you.

    *footnote PS to Elinor, I wrote this before reading your comment, so yes, definitely that element out there.

    PPS I’m a bit worried about the all these heavy discussions lately – I thought that everyone knew that IBTP was for pissing about and letting off steam at the all the misogynistic crapitude that even us privileged folks find ourselves having to deal with for rather too much of the time?

  23. B. Dagger Lee

    When I run the comment through my Dual Purpose Sausage Making & Textual Analysis Machine (patent pending), it pedantically informs me there is a high probability that the comment refers to the great frisee debate that took place on this blog earlier this year and thus to the commenter’s familiarity with something known as a “blogular oeuvre.”

    I shall not speak of the skills of close-reading of essays, nor shall I pontificate on tone or conflation in comments or essays; the Sausage Machine’s ringing alarm and red blinking lights signal those hazards.

    The Sausage machine takes no position on ‘um’ or ‘er’ as an ejaculation that is precious, but it does show a higher incidence of “BWAAHAAA!’ along with its variants. As a pedant equal to my own Sausage Machine, I must also point out a distressingly high incidence of the “I snorted my morning coffee on my keyboard” cliché; variations of this inspire red pencil rage and teeth-clenching.

    The Sausage Machine takes no position on the bj on the plate garnished with the frisee, but I myself must approve this visual as a true instance of the surreal, unlike the scenes on the evening news that are often described thusly.

    Now I must unplug the machine as its On/Off switch seems not to be working, and there’s an unpleasant, burning plastic smell.

    yrs, B. Dagger Lee

  24. worker bee

    I’m back at work after a long vacation and I was thrilled to catch myself up on the epic BJ debate. Today’s entry was priceless. I laughed out loud and made some of my coworkers nervous. i lurve your blog.

  25. Violet Socks

    Violet, your bashing of a Canadian tradition probably constitutes trolling (and potentially racism) against all Canadians reading this blog.

    I’m not bashing poutine; I’m afraid of it. What does unripened cheddar taste like? More importantly, what does it taste like when saturated with boiling fat or whatever is involved?

  26. antiprincess

    saltyC: at the risk of appearing as though I take these things too seriously, I for one appreciate the fact that you’re still taking this seriously.

    You say: “The real heart of course is, patriarchy rules through violence. But a close issue is how subjected people survive by celebrating their subjection. Serfs told beautiful stories of noble kings to their children. Enslaved people bragged about how much cotton they could pick.”

    see, that bothers me. That says to me that you think that women who willingly engage in oral sex are by that action enslaved. Further, it says to me that you think that women who willingly engage in oral sex and discuss it in favorable terms are not only cheerfully enslaved, but are incapable of understanding the deeper meanings behind their servitude.

    If I have misunderstood you, I’m sorry. I read your comment three or four times and I can’t seem to read it any other way. But if you are saying that women who discuss oral sex in a favorable light are “celebrating their subjection” like slaves, I disagree with that strongly.

    And I think comparing the act of consensual fellatio with starvation, overwork-to-exhaustion and other unmitigated miseries of serfs or slaves is disrespectful to those who lived and died in such bondage.

    “And on this very blog,women gush about something which is objectively disgusting because of how much pleasure it gives their mista.”

    Grasshoppers and grubworms are, to me, objectively disgusting. This does not stop them from being considered perfectly edible, and even delicious, by some people.

  27. saltyC

    I recognize that the plantation in the antebellum South is close to the worst instance of institutionalized torture and oppression, and to compare the life of an enslaved person in such a system to a well-off white suburban SUV-driving homemaker is absurd. But the homemaker is still under her husband.

    Fellatio is practiced by people whose lives are pure hell, Pony gave us examples of such in the original thread. Not all of them celebrate it. But it is the mainstay of people whose early deaths, like death on the plantation, can be described as liberation.

    But in a system of dominance, you will find among the more well-off subjects (the better-off serfs) a clebration of what makes their masters love them.

  28. Brooklynite

    Salty, I’m curious. Is cunnilingus “objectively disgusting” too, or is your argument a man-cooties-based one?

  29. bitchphd

    Twisty, I love you.

    I submit nonetheless that it’s disingenuous to attack, criticize, or interrogate very deeply entrenched social and cultural systems and not expect people to feel threatened and respond accordingly. That’s the nature of how systems work; people are deeply invested in them. Of course, as per the “for advanced patriarchy blamers only” warning, you’ve given notice that there’s no intent nor obligation to coddle or even tolerate readers’ investment in said systems. Then again, given that the nature of patriarchy is pretty much all-consuming, we’re all of us invested in it to some extent, and ultimately it’s probably impossible to be certain that any single act or behavior that’s heavily coded as part of the patriarchy is inherent to its perpetuation. Indeed, the fact that things like love and physical pleasure have become so *very* patriarchally overdetermined suggests that they may have a great deal of power to undermine the ideology that works so hard to lay claim to them.

    This may or may not be something you want debated or discussed on your blog. I think people are confused about whether the goal is discussion, affirmation of the blameworthiness of all that is gendered, feminist solidarity, personal sharing, or what.

  30. bitchphd

    Poutine, by the way, looks like vomit and is objectively nauseous.

  31. norbizness

    I want to see the other dog (Ophelia? Wonder Canine? MC Monie Love?) unctuously refusing to eat Sonic Cheeseburgers slathered in blueberry mustard or mango salsa-stuffed crepes from IHOP.

  32. bigbalagan

    Recently I wrote an essay in which I seditiously suggested, like I do in every other essay I write, that the dominant culture imposes inequities on human beings according to their sex. I used heterosexual fellatio to illustrate this sweepingly radical notion.

    I think I’m agreeing with Aunt T when I say it would be better to talk about how the patriachial culture actually succeeds in imposing those inequities, as bizarrely interesting as bj-positive feminist discourse can be. Perhaps we can agree to distinguish between neurologically-induced pleasure (oral and penile), and the form or posture in which this particular mutual (or at least one-way) pleasuring takes place.

    The New York Times always looks like a perfectly dependable source of sober news, but it’s often filled with propaganda and all sorts of misinformed crap. As to the form of bjs, tt is actually a potential way of reinforcing inequity that this act associates pleasure (which is a good thing) with a form that could not be more indicative of male dominance than if we men designed it to do so.

    By “form”, I do not mean that you or your bj partner are behaving badly in some way, nor do I mean to abridge your right to bjs. But if we want to defend ourselves, we’d better figure out exactly how we have been enslaved. Because, again I think along with Aunt T, I would assert that we are undoubtedly slaves—women of men (in general), and most men of the masters of the patriarchy—though from a woman’s point of view the latter distinction doesn’t matter. There’s some amazingly effective crowd control goin on—how about we figure out how it works?

  33. Luckynkl

    Well shoot, isn’t a cock hanging out of a woman’s mouth the picture that comes to mind when we think of women’s liberation?

    It never ceases to amaze me how men are able to convince so many women that even the most violating and degrading of acts are “natural.” What’s next hetero girls? Allowing men to shit in your mouths because that’s what’s pleasing to him?

    Not all that long ago, women’s feet were crippled into painful, 3″ “lotus pedals” because that’s what was erotic and pleasing to the master. FGM is alive and well in many countries because that’s what’s pleasing to the master. Er, I mean, Mister.

    Guess I’ll have to look towards women abroad for liberation. America is one of the last places I’d look for it. I’m as confused as they are with American women’s obsession with men. And how they preposterously call that feminism. It’s obvious that they just don’t get it. Probably because they’re too busy running around thinking they’re #1 and oh so privileged. LOL. American women are some of the most oppressed women in the world. And nothing could be better proof than the totality of their conditioning.

  34. Chris Clarke

    Poutine, by the way, looks like vomit and is objectively nauseous.

    Bert should LOVE it!

  35. njcullen

    I generally prefer to lurk but I have to say, Twisty I ADORE you! (oh dear, now I’m worried about the grammar). The bj stream eventually bored me but YOUR essays continue to infuse my waking hours with delight. As for the poutine bashing that’s going on, well obviously those who bash haven’t tasted the fries smothered in gravy and cheese curd. How else do you think we stay warm up here?

  36. Mary Sunshine

    Yo, Luckynkl !

    My lungs expand to fill with oxygen.

    M.S.

  37. Morgan

    Violet,

    If you want to know what unripened cheddar tastes like, you don’t have to go to Canada, just Wisconsin. There, you need to get a bag of cheese curds (the closer their point of origin is to Luxemburg, the better they’ll be) and bite into a ball of unripened cheddar that actually squeaks. It’s a sign of freshness!

  38. Violet Socks

    If you want to know what unripened cheddar tastes like, you don’t have to go to Canada, just Wisconsin.

    I’ve been to Wisconsin. The whole state looks like a butter commercial. One keeps expecting gingham-clad children to tumble out of doors with wicker baskets in their hands.

    Poutine, by the way, looks like vomit and is objectively nauseous.

    Wouldn’t it be better perhaps to say that you, personally, find poutine nauseating? To say that is objectively nauseating is to impugn the self-awareness of those who claim to enjoy it. In fact, by denouncing poutine as “objectively” nauseating, aren’t you going further and implying that to eat poutine and claim to enjoy it is to do a disservice to cheese-eaters everywhere? That the only possible course of action for a self-respecting and self-aware cheese-eater is to abstain from poutine and encourage everyone else to follow suit?

  39. Jodie

    Up until the squeaking comment, I have to admit that I was curious myself. Maybe it’s due to the mice I’ve finally evicted from my kitchen, but squeaking does not sound delicious.

    I blame the patriarchy for the fact that I am unable to do anything other than live trap those little squeakers and then drive them 5 miles away to release them.

  40. yankee transplant

    Twisty, you are hilarious and brilliant!

  41. redneckmother

    While remaining judiciously silent on the fellatio question, I will say that I happily ate poutine during a youthful wild spree in Quebec and would do so again should the opportunity arise. Gravy plus cheese = bliss.

  42. thebewilderness

    The only thing that really surprised me about this dust up was the number of people in comment threads on other blogs who stated up front that they had not read the post but were compelled to share their opinion on it.
    I’m still shaking my head over that one.
    I decided the pro bj contingent have each and every one of them partnered with the only person on the planet not affected by the partiarchy. Bless them one and all.
    Back in the sixties we knew we could make a difference if we just stood firm.

  43. shannon w.

    Everything in the world is ‘natural’- it exists in the world- plastic is natural too, even though it is manmade. But how can people who live in TN eat this gravy and cheese fry stuff? I have already disgusted my parents by eating barbeque nachoes.

  44. Miliana

    I was filled with glee to see Twisty’s first post – I thought to myself “well, the sparks will fly, won’t they?” and indeed, I wasn’t disappointed. I slogged through nearly all of the comments, which were, sad to say, often disappointing; many were amusing, and many were stuffed with more vitriol than I thought the post deserved.

    P.S. Hey you with the poutrine! Get offa my lawn (damn perverts)!

  45. VMC

    If we outlaw “Um” to begin the sentence and banish the ellipsis, may we also execute one word sentences Written. Like. This? And while we’re at it, let’s murder anyone who ever says “begs the question” without benefit of training in formal logic or at least a spot on their high school debate team?

    Thanks,
    Scott

  46. ozma

    I stumbled across some observations on your judgmental sex pedantry on another website. It was as if they had completely missed the fact that you are painfully hilarious. Do they not get it? Or am I missing something?

  47. Mandos

    It is probably easier for Violet to get to Canada than to Wisconsin, at least the poutine-eating parts of Canada.

    As I was saying to Violet on her blog, you can best understand poutine if you were walking around in a somewhat more desolate part of downtown Ottawa or Montreal or somewhere and it’s -21 centigrade in the winter and you are freezing and the sun is shining coldness at you and it is windy and you are very hungry but there is only a seedy strip joint on the block but then you smell the wondrous smell of 10-day-old boiling oil and the scent of melty cheese and gravy and you start to drool after the partly crispy *real* fries and you have a toonie and a loonie in your pocket.

  48. Alecto Erinyes

    Can I blame the patriarchy for poutine?

  49. Mandos

    Right after you blame it for tacos.

  50. porteram78

    Back in the late 60′s, the creepy soap “Dark Shadows” had a painter who could create real things by painting them. Like people. And vases.

    Eventually somebody killed him. Probably a vampire. It’s best that you are not able to form reality by writing about it, because it would be a shame for you to turn into a vampire. Who would write about shrimp corny dogs?

  51. Violet Socks

    I’ve been to Wisconsin, and dilated on the subject of poutine, but alas, it appears my comment has been in moderation hell for some time. All in good time.

  52. Mandos

    By the way, we look like we’re well on our way to a multiblog flamewar about poutine. Keep it up, folks!

  53. kelleybell

    If I comment, do I have to swallow?

  54. hedonistic

    Look, SKYLAB!!!!! http://politicsnpoetry.wordpress.com/2006/06/18/have-you-seen-this-ad/

    At least, there are still some things we can all agree on, yes?

  55. Pinko Punko

    I also love and respect Twisty. I almost agree with Mandos, not on the popcorn. But these are not the two cents anyone wants. On to tacos, and continue blaming. I liked how people chimed in with a lot of stuff, of course I’m sure some chuckleheads got their jollies. The tone of the first and second posts were entirely distinct and the description in the second about the contents of the first seemed like it didn’t quite fit. Of course if the second more correctly stated the intent of the first, that is well and good. I just hope that Twisty realizes that while she does have the super brain, others might not have their telepathy beacons intact. Mine does seem to respond more so to taco blogging, and of course dear Bert.

  56. Catherine Martell

    I never cease to be amused (wryly, of course) by the knee-jerk reactions of the patriarchy and its defenders in the event of the mildest slight.

    We’re surrounded by pro-patriarchy propaganda every second of our lives, and yet – when one spinster aunt describes one patriarchy-pleasing act as icky on one blog – the forces of the Dude Army descend and have a total cow.

    Why are so many women – even professedly feminist women – threatened by this? Why so much leaping to the defensive, as if Twisty is The Source Of All Feminist Truth And Must Be Obeyed? Aren’t you aware that unquestioning obeisance to a rigid doctrine prescribed by dictatorial high priests is kind of a patriarchy thing anyway?

    Moreover, are the defenders accidentally QED-ing themselves? Because, whatever you may think of the act in isolation, these howling protests against any criticism of it sound an awful lot like “But the boys won’t like me if I stop.” The ladies do protest too much, methinks.

    Calm yourselves, cocksuckers. I don’t think anyone’s going to make you stop.

  57. Gertrude Strine

    Well blow me down, all puns unintended, what a successful catch that day’s writing brought home.

    As a passed master in vomiting, I must say that poutine, the pie floater, Harry’s ‘tiger’ version of the floater, seem all to be the same chuckable design; already the consistency of vomit so as to make their egress all the more smooth, since surely such nauseating fare is designed to exit rapidly.

  58. john patrick

    Twisty,

    You are genius for all of this frenzy of knob-polishing debate!

    Still, all of us big fat feminist liberals are arguing amongst ourselves in good faith about the hegemonic aspects of the BJ, the patriarchy is lying back in his chair, getting his cock sucked.

    If you want the patriarchy to sit up and take notice….

    I’m tired of working this metaphor.

    In a post-patriarchy world, everyone will go down on each other, but only if both parties are into it, and they won’t be mean about it.

    In the mean time, the patriarchy doesn’t care about this conversation, because their oral pleasure is in no real danger.

    …. and that’s why we should all end our dependence on foreign oil.

    (sorry; I was going to make my point more cleverly, but it’s 2am, so that’s the best I can do.)

  59. Wolke

    I don’t intend to start this all over again but I have to make it clear that to me this discussion wasn’t about defending blow jobs (I certainly have better things to do than defend women’s right to give bjs), but about how some feminists elevate their opinion to an objective truth and dismiss anyone who disagrees with the dogma as a brainwashed patriarchy-fellator, not matter how exhaustively the latter meet the arguments. I can’t believe I still get to hear that I’m displaying “unquestioning obeisance”. This basically means that one group is denying the cognitive ability of the other group to understand the implications of giving bjs and to question their own acts. That’s a pretty good reason to become defensive, don’t you think?

    Luckynkl’s mention of the specific American point of view here is interesting, though I don’t agree with her conclusions. In my experience as a European, I would say there’s a far lower pressure on European women to meet whatever standards (give blow jobs, shave body hair – no-one shaves pubic hair here -, wear make-up etc), however feminist thinking and questioning doesn’t seem well developed among most women. They mostly regard what they’re doing as private and as the result of an independent decision, which is absurd if you’re not aware of the patriarchal context.

  60. meg

    oh the seriousness.

    i have refrained so far from commenting on bjs out of apathy, to be honest. but how seriously everyone is taking it is giving me so much amusement, i now feel i should chime in.

    i do not enjoy fellatio. and my boyfriend doesn’t enjoy cunnilingus. and we both understand this about the other, and do not require it of eachother.

    that said, i would rather suck his cock than watch a movie with him. i have no patience for most movies, as they involve hours of time, general banality, and my mental subjugation. in fact, i have circumvented this torture before through my “feminine wiles” and certainly plan to do so more in the future.

    and yet, most people would roll their eyes at my distaste for movies. “gawd, it’s just a movie. it makes him happy, and who doesn’t like movies anyway? fuckin freak. HOW DARE YOU TELL ME THAT I SHOULDN’T WATCH MOVIES. shit, i bet you don’t watch tv either.”

    and when i admit i don’t, they begin to froth at the mouth.

  61. Ledasmom

    Cheese curd (in several flavors) is or at least was as of a few years back available at the cheese-and-ice-cream shop on the WSU campus in Pullman, Washington. I like it. The texture is soft, like fresh mozzarella, less salty or complex than ripened cheese but satisfying in the way that Greek yogurt and mozzarella are.
    My gosh, it’s been years since I’ve been to Ferdinand’s – damn my mother’s decision to give up dairy.
    If you do go to Pullman, try to be there on a Saturday in summer and drive down the highway a few miles to the Moscow, Idaho farmers’ market, at which you can easily eat breakfast and lunch (I believe they close down before dinner) and take home a few pounds of cherries for later, as well as eggs (once we had a goose egg) and honey and lovely lettuce, and big fresh sweet onions with the green tops on them. And then you might as well keep driving to the excessively small town of Uniontown, Washington, and visit the Sage Bakery where they do a Thing with pastry and lemon cream and I don’t know what else that’s amazing, and these wonderful open-center pies called galettes made with three types of berries and a thin crust that can stand up to the juice, I presume because it’s basically a stick or so of butter strengthened with a little flour. Wonderful, wonderful crusty bread, too. I could live on their bread, if I were allowed to have fruit and salad as well. But they’re only open a couple days a week.

  62. Becker

    Dear Twisty,

    While recuperating from a whirlwind tour of Ontario with a well-deserved tumbler of the old-fashioned in the Berkshires I wondered, as we all must wonder once leisure has relieved even the pressures of leisure from our brow, “What might Twisty be up to?” Glad to see you have been in fine form and fettle in my absense.

    Once I find a decent bloody mary I will raise a toast to your endeavor. Cheers, dears.

  63. teffie-phd

    It’s 9:30 am and I want poutine. But it has to be the good stuff, made by a cigarette smoking Francophone woman who peels the potatoes herself and makes the gravy from scratch. One must not think too much about what is actually in poutine but instead savour the smells of the boiling oil and the crispy french fries and the gooey cheese. It is comfort food heaven. Too bad it’s a 10 hour drive to my favourite chip bus in Moonbeam Ontario.

  64. vera

    Okay, okay. Poutine sounds disgusting, but so many people are raving about it that I’ll give it a try next time I’m in Canada. Do they serve in it Vancouver? Or is it strictly eastern cuisine?

  65. firefall

    In no particular order,
    1. Many people treat writing on the ‘net as conversation (especially when commenting), and so use their standard verbal repertoire, such as a prefacatory Umm or Err, to indicate generalised deference (or diffidence). No matter how frequently the Grammar Police attack, I doubt this can be changed.
    2. Mixing your metaphors is apparently a highly-prized skill, given how widely it is used and how much it is encouraged in teaching establishments (using the phrase loosely).
    3. Possibly it wasn’t a mixed metaphor, but an invitation to dissect the bratwurst rather than suck it? (watch all the guys nervously now)
    4. You seem to think that looking like an ass is a bad thing, but I suggest that empirical evidence from the blogworld largely suggests otherwise*
    5. You are a mutant who can bend people to your will just by writing things, at least occasionally – witness the sprawling flamewar over blowjobs that you conjured out of nothing more than a top hat, a cane, and an innocent** patriarchy

    * or else the law of unintended consequences is actually taking over the internet
    ** innocent as in stupid, not innocent as in not guilty

  66. Mandos

    You are likely to find it in Vancouver but not of any great quality. It improves the closer you get to Quebec. Nonetheless I have found barely passable poutine even in Alberta.

  67. vera

    I have to wonder what “barely passable” means with respect to poutine. So Vancouver poutine is out. I must visit Montreal. I’ve been looking for an excuse.

  68. RP

    Morgan, it is good to see that the curdiness of Luxemburg, Wisconsin is well-known. (I have yet to determine whether it is also the hub of booyah production.)

    I am from a more southern part of the midwestern US, where we fry up our cheese curds and serve them with ketchup. I have never actually tasted any of the unfried curds in the household (blast this lactose intolerance of middle age!), but I firmly believe that melted cheese is always better than room-temperature cheese.

  69. Metta

    “You know you used to be funny.”

    -Lindsay Crouse, Communion

  70. Arianna

    I have skipped all non-poutine related comments in this thread to say: Damn you Mandos! The only thing I miss about my pre-veggie days is a damn good poutine. It really just doesn’t work with non-meat gravy. I do, however, possess a brand shiny new deep fryer, so at least I get the *real* fries and cheese curds (oh lord how it isn’t a real Poutine if it is made with anything but cheese curds) with my fake-gravy. Damn right about it being the nicest thing in the world on damn cold day, where the cold has you wondering if your lungs are going to make it until you get inside… ah… Canada.

    I wasn’t aware that you got poutine in Mordor, however. Greetings from Ottawa.

  71. curiousgirl

    commented over at Official Shurb.com, where Twisty has apparently had the desired impact on certain undergarments:

    Question: what “power as a popular feminist blogger*?”

    I hate to jump on the “just a joke” bandwagon–because I think Twisty is both funny and serious, but this outrage at her anti-cocksucking stance seems to miss the premise of her blog. For example, I submit the tag line “Prepare to be thrown, white male supremacy!”

    The take of the blog in its entirety is basically a comic but honest (in the sense that I think she really believes this) view that everything bad is caused by “the patriarchy” and there is little we can do about it, besides document and discuss its various incarnations. In this scheme, blowjobs, lipstick and tiny purses are an expression of women’s subordination, as is EVERYTHING ELSE. Twisty does not suggest that that not blowing guys is a threat to patriarchy; in fact, she never seems to suggest that anything is a credible threat, as far as I can tell. Except maybe once in a post about women who got together to attack a rapist. But I think the end result was Kafka-esqe torture at the hands of the patriarchal legal system.

    I don’t agree with Twisty on this basic score, but I get where she’s coming from. Certainly she’s spot on when it comes to blogs-as-political-acts having little power to change the anti-pussy alignment of the known universe.

    If you do still want to be outraged, please save it for something deeper than funk-filled whatsists. I’d aim for the pathetic (as in full of pathos) acquiescence to the patriarchy that Twisty’s humourosly nihilistic analysis reflects.

    *In honor of Twisty, I spellchecked. Just to prove my point about the significance of the feminist blogosphere at present, I’d like to mention that MS Word doesn’t recognize “blog” or “blogger.” That said, I cannot vouch for either my political sophistication, nor grammatical correctness, muchless MS Word’s. Just one small element that will be different after the revolution initiated by IBTP developing the magical powers suggested by TF’s most recent post.

  72. Arianna

    Moderation! Agh. Damn you parentheses.

  73. Mandos

    Oh, barely passable means things like insufficient gravy or not correctly added cheese curds or fries that are not yet competely fried or oil that is insufficiently old or not realizing that you are serving a grease parfait. Things like that.

  74. Whitters

    I honestly don’t think that most commenters took Twisty’s post as meaning that Twisty herself was trying to control anyone’s sex lives. It seemed to me that a lot of commenters were responding to other commenters–some of whom expressly denounced certain sexual pastimes and implied that women who dared to enjoy certain sex acts were somehow “not feminist enough” or (my personal favorite) “brainwashed sexbots.”

    If people had actually read the entire essay prior to posting their comments, they might have noticed that the essay did not contain an invitation to publish their own sexual autobiographies.

    Actually, Twisty’s initial post on the subject included this statement: I posit nevertheless that no woman, since the dawn of the patriarchal co-option of human sexuality, has ever actually enjoyed this submissive sexbot drudgery. While not an explicit request to hear all the down-and-dirty details of anyone’s sex life, this statement leaves room for women to disagree with Twisty’s postulation. After all, if some women DO enjoy giving blowjobs, Twisty’s hypothesis (she specifically said that “NO woman” enjoys performing fellatio) is false. In this case, a woman stepping up and saying that she does, in fact, enjoy giving fellatio contributes to the discourse because it offers a counterargument to Twisty’s statement.

    I love a good discourse, debate, and intelligent analysis as much as the next person. Twisty’s hypothesis was an interesting, well-thought-out postulation. Just because people don’t agree with it doesn’t make them less of a feminist, or less thoughtful/aware, or whatever.

    I hate “conditional feminism” (i.e., if you wear makeup/like porn/[insert whatever here], you can’t be a feminist). And it felt, to me, like some commenters delved into that realm regarding the fellatio/patriarchy discussion. People naturally get a bit defensive when their values/beliefs are called into question, and I think that’s what happened a bit with this discourse.

  75. Rain

    All this gooey cheese-talk reminded me of cheese soup at Jim’s in SA.
    I used to take guilty pleasure in enjoying them with french fries. I wonder
    if they’re still around?

  76. Mandos

    Some of you in the US may have heard of Disco fries? That may be a way for some of you to experience part of the goodness of poutine. I don’t know, never had them myself.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disco_fries

    As for soup, in many Canadian cafeterias I have eaten “Canadian cheese soup”.

  77. acm

    you are my hero.

    [reader caveat: I did read the whole post, but not the whole bloviating comment thread. sue me.]

  78. politicsnpoetry

    Ah, what a great find this blog is! Thanks Hedonistic Pleasure, for the link, and thanks to all who have followed it. If you’re up to checking it today, you’ll find a roundup of poetry & politics as well as a call to action on the Abortion Bill that’s been tabled by a Liberal patriarch in the House of Commons.

    As for BJs, I can’t recall ever kneeling to give one — too hard on the knees, don’t you think?

  79. Pinko Punko

    Catherine Martell,

    I don’t quite think you’ve reached the epitome of condescension. You have reached Base Camp IV, though. You are at about 23,000 ft. This is the first time I’ve shown a lack of respect to someone on a Twisty board. My apologies if it is out of line.

  80. Elinor

    Sadly, I have only ever eaten Maritime-style poutine, which is made with what appears to be mozzarella, rather than cheese curds. I figure that makes it inauthentic, but perhaps less disgusting to the uninitiated.

    Apparently there is (or was) a place in Ottawa where you could buy smoked-meat poutine, a delightfully fattening and un-kosher fusion of Montreal Jewish and French Quebecois cuisine.

    I have yet to find any tolerable poutine at home in Toronto, although I’m sure it exists; if we can have a Hungarian-Thai restaurant, surely we can scare up some curds.

    I must visit Montreal. I’ve been looking for an excuse.

    Ah, you must! They also have very cheap pizza slices, and lovely buildings, and service with a scowl.

    In fact, by denouncing poutine as “objectively” nauseating, aren’t you going further and implying that to eat poutine and claim to enjoy it is to do a disservice to cheese-eaters everywhere?

    Indeed, it’s reprehensible how she orders us to the back of the bus (although perhaps it’s best to contain the grease to one area).

  81. sifl

    “In fact, by denouncing poutine as ‘objectively’ nauseating, aren’t you going further and implying that to eat poutine and claim to enjoy it is to do a disservice to cheese-eaters everywhere?”

    That’s more likely a job for follow-up commenters.

  82. Pinko Punko

    I have to admit poutine sounds objectively gross. I just couldn’t put it in my mouth. I knwo I couldn’t do it. Perhaps if I were socialized to it by the dominant mores. Hey, wait a minute…

  83. Arianna

    I must say I’m enjoying the Canadian content of this thread. My comment from something like seven hours ago is still stuck in moderation, however, so I shall summarize.

    Mandos, I didn’t know you split your time between the Plains of Gorgoroth and Canada :P Shout out from Ottawa, where we *do* have excellent poutine. One of the few things I miss from my pre-veggie days. It just isn’t the same with nonmeat gravy that’s supposed to taste like meat.

  84. Arianna

    Twisty, I must protest. That’s the second post of mine today that’s been stuck in moderation, and I swear I didn’t even use parentheses this time!

  85. Chris Clarke

    Why are all you feminists forbidding me to eat poutine? I only do it for the sense of empowerment.

  86. Whitters

    Guess I’ll have to look towards women abroad for liberation. America is one of the last places I’d look for it. I’m as confused as they are with American women’s obsession with men. And how they preposterously call that feminism. It’s obvious that they just don’t get it. Probably because they’re too busy running around thinking they’re #1 and oh so privileged. LOL. American women are some of the most oppressed women in the world. And nothing could be better proof than the totality of their conditioning.

    Ah, my eyes have been opened! Apparently I am too stupid to make my own choices about what I like or don’t like! Since I am obviously too dumb to decide on my own whether or not I like giving blowjobs, I am probably therefore also too dumb to get an education, have a career, make my own reproductive choices, etc.

    Do you realize how condescending and NOT feminist you sound? You are basically telling any woman who dares to admit finding pleasure in something you think is degrading that these women are too stupid and/or oblivious to make their own choices and have their own opinions. That sounds an awful hell of a lot like patronizing oppression, don’t you think? Do you know who else thinks that women are too stupid to make their own decisions? Bill Napoli, for one. John Ashcroft. And any number of conservative, anti-feminist people.

    Now, before you accuse me of accusing you of being anti-feminist yourself, let me clarify: I am not saying that you agree with people like Napoli or that you have anti-feminist beliefs. What I am saying, though, is that when you are so condescending and judgmental of other women, your words come across as being VERY patronizing to women. I cannot say this enough: do you not realize that you are implying that women are too dumb to make their own choices?? Is that what you WANT to imply? I’m hoping not, so I would advise you to choose your words more carefully.

    Wolke said it much more concisely than I have:

    This basically means that one group is denying the cognitive ability of the other group to understand the implications of giving bjs and to question their own acts. That’s a pretty good reason to become defensive, don’t you think?

    But I had to throw my 2 cents in here, as well, because honestly, this sort of bullshit just pisses me off. “Feminists” who get on their superior little high-horse and cast judgment on others–implying that these others are too stupid/brainwashed/etc. to make their own decisions–do NOTHING to help the cause. NOTHING.

  87. sifl

    “Why are all you feminists forbidding me to eat poutine? I only do it for the sense of empowerment.”

    This type of hypocracy is what I can’t stand about all you poutine-eaters. It’s fine to examine the motivations of all other kinds of food consumption, but as soon as anyone suggests that you might just be fooling yourself into thinking you like poutine, you’re all “no, I really do like poutine, seriously.” Why not try stepping out of your shell and thinking about the ramifications of your insistence that you “really do like poutine”?

  88. alphabitch

    You can have all the poutine you want, Chris. On your knees, with frisee.

  89. Anne Nonymous

    Curses. I’ve read the blaming FAQ and lurked here for a while now, but for some reason I completely missed out on the “parentheses suck” rule. I guess that, along with my perfectly legitimate quotation-shortening ellipsis, explains my moderation hell yesterday. Ah well, I’m probably better off with nobody reading what I say anyway.

  90. Beth in Michigan

    Thanks, Wolke, you said it much better then I could have. After all, I’m just a mindless fluffer to the patriarchy with false consciousness. What do I know?

    But teffie-phd, “peels the potatos?” That’s just crazy talk! I’m sorry but I like my potatos pure and unadulterated and I’d rather swallow a hot load then anything that can be described as “steaming hot curds.”

  91. Chris Clarke

    I hate having to stop eating poutine to pull frisee out from between my teeth.

  92. auguste

    I don’t quite think you’ve reached the epitome of condescension. You have reached Base Camp IV, though. You are at about 23,000 ft.

    I heart PP the most.

  93. Mandos

    Arianna: it only costs me a couple of hundred bux a pop to commute. I do that a few times a year.

    My favorite Ottawa poutine is at the chipwagon on the corner of Elgin and Lisgar. Or at least it used to be.

    And on the subject of Ottawa delicacies, don’t forget the beavertail stand in the ‘Market or on Dow’s Lake in the winter.

  94. bitchphd

    Poutine does look like vomit. If eating something that looks like puke is not pretty much the definition of nauseating (although actually I said “nauseous”), then I don’t know what is.

  95. bitchphd

    Here is a picture of poutine. I’ll take knockwurst over that any day of the week.

  96. Chris Clarke

    Look. I understand and sympathize with the whole poutine-hating thing. I really do! I’ve had my share of bad poutine experiences in the past. But what you fail to understand, sifl, is that the poutine I have now is not like that! Stop generalizing from your own poutine experience!

  97. bitchphd

    Is your poutine chunky, goopy, and full of cheese curds (aka curdled milk)? Because if it ain’t, it ain’t poutine; and if it is, then it’s nasty.

  98. auguste

    Are we not allowing for individual poutine differences now? Are we engaging in some sort of poutine homogenization?

  99. Elinor

    Here is a picture of poutine. I’ll take knockwurst over that any day of the week.

    But that’s just how poutine looks in pictures. In real life, it’s a wonderful experience.

    Is your poutine chunky, goopy, and full of cheese curds (aka curdled milk)? Because if it ain’t, it ain’t poutine; and if it is, then it’s nasty.

    I resent your reductive depiction of poutine! Don’t you realise you’re telling me I am too dumb to make my own choices?

  100. Mandos

    Those poutines looked positively delicious to me!

  101. Mandos

    But yes, there are many different kinds of poutine. Those poutines suffer from slightly too much gravy.

    But someone from MIT understands…

    http://electron.mit.edu/~gsteele/poutine/

    Those smart MIT geniuses.

  102. Mandos

    Gah! Caught by the ellipsisulator.

    Here’s some excellent photos of poutine, with a recipe:

    http://electron.mit.edu/~gsteele/poutine/

    I knew those MIT guys were smart guys.

  103. Mandos

    The guy at that link is right, by the way. Proper poutine in a styrofoam cup always should have an extra hidden curd layer. As I said, it’s like a parfait. A grease parfait.

  104. jbeeky

    I simply logged on to tell you that I have finally tasted a fried oyster. Sweet Jennifer Hewett, I am in love.

  105. Chris Clarke

    I have finally tasted a fried oyster.

    Oh, here we go now.

  106. shannon w.

    Whitters, we’re all invited to tbe big fun poutine party. Even those of us who think poutine is for deluded fools, and even those of us who say any poutine is good poutine.

  107. Anne Nonymous

    I’m intrigued by the unripened cheese curd and real french fries aspects of poutine, but the gravy kind of worries me. This is supposed to be meat-based gravy, right? Does anyone make vegetarian poutine?

  108. Mandos

    At the link I gave, apparently there are acceptable sachets of vegetarian gravy mix that will work with poutine.

  109. Mandos

    But yeah, I wouldn’t trust poutine on the street to be veggie. Perhaps there are vegetarian restaurants in Montreal that might serve it.

    Or you could go to Ottawa and get a beavertail instead. Those are reliably vegan, I think, unless there’s milk in the mix somewhere.

  110. grounsel

    I was just wondering if our collective consciousness has been raised or lowered or whatever today? Just asking? Perhaps it is our collective unconsciousness? Again, just asking?

  111. Anne Nonymous

    Aren’t beavertails just sugared fried dough? That kind of thing is awesome of course, but not exactly comparable to poutine, I wouldn’t think.

  112. slade

    I hope that everyone who is giving bjs is getting as many if not more orgasms in return.

    Can we stop with the poutine and return to the bonobo?

  113. Mandos

    It’s a Canadianism, though, specifically an Ottawa-ism.

    We cannot stop with the poutine. The point is to get this blog renamed “I Blame The Poutiniarchy”.

  114. slade

    And why so much mandos? And Beth…potatos??? Everyone is thinking Quayle and spelling bees?

  115. thebewilderness

    The sound of people laughing at themselves is, I think, a raising rather than a lowering.
    I am dubious about the poutine. My grandparents put meat gravy on everything, pancakes, chocolate cake. I suspect it tastes delicious if you can get past the way it looks. BJs on the other hand are the exclusive property of the patriarchy in my opinion and I cannot be moved.

  116. Violet Socks

    Aren’t beavertails just sugared fried dough?

    Now that sounds heavenly.

  117. spiritrover

    Way upthread Mandos said he’d been asked the definition of “objectively disgusting.” I define it in comparison to seeing a Lab puppy eat from the catbox. If it’s as disgusting as that, or worse, it’s objectively disgusting.

  118. flewellyn

    Twisty, may I just say that you rock? I especially loved “in her haste to lead an unexamined life”. It made me laugh out loud.

    It DOES seem to me that a lot of the people who got so upset that you would dare question whether blowjobs were sexist are adhering to a reverse Socratic principle: “the examined life is not worth living”. Silly, yet sad.

  119. Anne Nonymous

    I agree, Violet Socks. Sugared fried dough is awesome, even if it’s just those crummy cafeteria churros. There’s this one Italian restaurant near my parents’ house that has these crispy fried dough things that are served at room temperature and sprinkled with powdered sugar as a “free” dessert, and with a free dessert like that I don’t know how they ever manage to get people to actually buy dessert ever.

    But you know what’s really amazing? Fried honey. If you go to Indian grocery stores you’ll see this twisted mass of noodley-looking neon orange terrifyingness, and that’s what it is. And it’s just brilliant. It cuts out the flour middleman entirely and goes straight to the essence of dessert deliciousness. Sugar and fat, that’s where it’s at, baby!

  120. Urban

    Poutine?
    In my ignorance, I thought I had invented this dish in a haze of student carb-desperation and a bare pantry.
    Evidently not. I’m from the UK, and I’ve never been to Canada.

    I call it ‘Chips, Cheese, and Gravy’, which I appreciate fails to have the sophistry of ‘Poutine’. I make it with cheddar cheese and bisto gravy, and everyone who has ever watched me eat it has to try not to retch. Until, of course, they sample it for themselves.

    I am led to believe by my unreliable northern friends that it is possible to purchase chips, cheese and gravy in many a down-market local chippie in cities like Newcastle and Leeds.

    I must visit Canada at once: I respect a country that can take a humble trio of ingredients, muss them up into something resembling fresh vomit, and give it a name as classy as ‘Poutine’.

  121. Pinko Punko

    flewellyn,

    alternatively, people could be examining what Twisty said, and coming to an alternate conclusion, one that may or may not be incorrect or unexamined. You know, just in case you wanted to go the non-patronizing route.

    Fried dough in any form=delicious.

  122. Arianna

    Oh my Goddess, Mandos, do you live in Ottawa when not in Tolkien-land? Ottawa may just be too small a city for us to coexist.

    Poutine on the street is indeed non vegetarian, but I’ll have to look into the different brands of veg-gravy. None of the ones has been quite good enough, though.

    Beavertails are pretty reliably vegan, except of course the cheese ones. My favourite Beavertail is the Kilaloo Sunrise (I think that’s what it’s called). It’s the lemony one. Other Byward Market treats that are to-die-for are, of course, the Blooming Onion, which truck is nearly NEVER open when I’m there, and all the fruit stall people, because damn, there’s nothing better than fresh, local raspberries.

  123. LurkerD

    That poutine? Those supposedly-nauseating pictures? Look so damn delicious to me.

    And, while I’m commenting and not sticking to lurking, this:

    I hate having to stop eating poutine to pull frisee out from between my teeth.

    = big laugh from me.

  124. Elinor

    I respect a country that can take a humble trio of ingredients, muss them up into something resembling fresh vomit, and give it a name as classy as ‘Poutine’.

    And yet it appears that the literal translation of “poutine” is “mess”. But it’s a glorious mess.

  125. vera

    Last night I dreamed vividly about an old friend. She was lecturing me about poutine and blowjobs. Should I blame the patriarchy, or this blog?

  126. Elinor

    Always, always blame the patriarchy. :)

  127. Arianna

    Oh My God, He can’t be serious that the St-Freaking-Hubert brand sachet-gravy is veggie-safe! I mean, St Hubert is synonymous with Chicken!

  128. CafeSiren

    Fried honey? Is that what that stuff is?

    I once bought some at an Indian sweet shop. Good god, but that was sweet. But even better were the many varieties of dessert named, sadly, “barfi.”

  129. Mandos

    That’s not fried honey. Honey doesn’t figure in Indian sweets all that much. That’s flour and sugar syrup. It’s called jilebi or jalebi

    http://www.geocities.com/NapaValley/3925/recipe_dessert_20.html
    http://www.daawat.com/recipes/indian/sweets/jilebi.htm

    Barfi is my favorite Indian sweet. I also like laddu (the orange balls) and the almond-flour cookies (known in my family, at least, as lowz).

  130. Mandos

    My last comment on food either got spamulated or parenthulated.

    Arianna:

    Yes, I am an Ottawa boy, but now I only visit a few times a year. I was kind of taken aback by the St. Hubert thing, but it may well be true. I’m not a vegetarian so I wouldn’t know.

    Of course, I love the garlic cheese beavertails.

  131. Arianna

    Mandos:

    Just walked to Loblaws at lunch. It turns out that, in fact, all the St. Hubert packets I saw there are vegetarian. THe word “gravy” isn’t mentioned on any of them, nor is the fact that they are veggie, but a close reading of the ingredients brings out the artificiality of all the flavours. This goes for the “Poutine Sauce Mix”, the “Hot Chicken Sandwich Sauce Mix”, among others.

    Just took a peek at your blog. I’m guessing you’re off in Quebec, enjoying even better poutine now. I, for one, am about to settle into that other great lunchtime staple of this city: Shawarma. Oh how I love thee, greasy fried eggplant with too much watered-down tahini and those pink-pickle-turnip things….

  132. CannibalFemme

    While I understand that the scope of this blog is dedicated to feminism, I have a hard time making my brain focus that way without some side trips into the wonderful world of intersectionality, for which I blame my entire lack of formal education as well as the patriarchy. Which led me to some quizzical ponderings on the geometry of blowjobs: if I grant the designation of blowjobs as inherently patriarchal and anti-feminist, what happens when other vectors enter the fray, i.e., race and class and all that good stuff? Is it acceptable for a wealthy straight republican white woman to give a blowjob to a Queer, fat, Black, disabled, elderly homeless guy? And what would happen if they tried that as a fundraiser? And in a statement that would be parenthetical were such embellishments allowed: please note that I’m not actually asking, I’m just winking tiddles into the communal cup and being a dork, because I play to my strengths.

    As a celibate queer, I have no personal stake in the matter of blowjobs, pro or con, but there have been plenty of other peas wedged under the IBTP mattress that have been near and dear to the shriveled nugget of nastiness I’m obliged to use as a heart. With that in mind, I’d like to say that on a personal level I don’t come here to be liked, or approved of, or even confirmed in my beliefs; I come to listen and occasionally to babble, to be amused and outraged and informed and delighted and horrified and teased with pictures of food that is much more appealing than anything I ever get to eat, an ambition which has never yet been disappointed.

    It’s not my intention to chide anyone here. That would be a waste of my time, which I try not to do as I have a finite amount of it. As far as what my intention actually is, well, does it look like I have a clue? Of course not. But I feel the need to wildly paraphrase someone who spoke up on the prior four-letter thread that dare not speak its name, where they opined that any sex which reflects or reinforces established hierarchical power structures is worthy of being questioned. In fact, I’d go one step further to say that everything is worthy of being questioned, because uncertainty is, like oat bran, good for what ails you.

    Whereas poutine is, unlike oat bran, tasty and indulgent.

  133. Arianna

    M*nd*s:

    Just walked to Loblaws at lunch. It turns out that, in fact, all the St. Hubert packets I saw there are vegetarian. The word “gravy” isn’t mentioned on any of them, nor is the fact that they are veggie, but a close reading of the ingredients brings out the artificiality of all the flavours. This goes for the “Poutine Sauce Mix”, the “Hot Chicken Sandwich Sauce Mix”, among others.

    Just took a peek at your blog. I’m guessing you’re off in Quebec, enjoying even better poutine now. I, for one, am about to settle into that other great lunchtime staple of this fair city: Shawarma. Oh how I love thee, greasy fried eggplant with too much watered-down tahini and those pink-pickle-turnip things….

    Ps. This is a test. I seem to get spamulated every time I use M*nd*s’s name, as I did the first time I posted this message.

  134. hedonistic

    Here is my own dorky and probably final contribution to this subject. It made me laugh!

    http://www.toothpastefordinner.com/030806/internet-fantasy.gif

  135. Mandos

    Arianna: No, I’m not even in Canada. I am on or near the Plateau of Gorgoroth, which is metaphorically located in a major metropolitan centre of the You Knighted States. I happened to have a Quebec obsession during the last Canadian erection.

    Yes, shawarma is the other other Ottawa delicacy. Down Bank St. there’s, like, an entire Royal Family of shawarma shops (Shawarma King, Shawarma Prince, etc, or something like that).

  136. Anne Nonymous

    It occured to me this morning that poutine is a similar concept to chili cheese fries, in terms of the type of ingredients that are in it. My mental archetype for those is the horrifying death carton that you get at the LA-area fast food place called Tommy’s, but I bet they’d actually be good if they were made with good ingredients. So I guess it’s probably not as scary and alien as a first impression might indicate.

  137. Anne Nonymous

    Also, upon consulting the internets I have discovered that my description of those neon-orange noodley Indian dessert things as “fried honey” was not correct. There is actually some flour and milk product in them as well, and the sugar involved in most recipes does not seem to be honey. That’ll teach me to believe what people tell me. They’re called jalebi, if anyone cares.

  138. Arianna

    M*nd*s:

    Well, that answers one question. I’ve always meant to ask you what you were doing in Mordor which you should really be in Valinor/Halls of Mandos. If I were stuck in the States, I’d refer to it as the Plateau of Gorgoroth as well. I think, from now on, I’m calling you Nàmo in an attempt to not get spamulated, though my last non-using-your-name message did, in fact, also get spamulated. I think Twisty might have it out for me due to my past parentheses abuse, which I have since ceased.

  139. Mandos

    Anne: I gave some links to recipes for them in the post that got parenthulated or spamulated.

    Arianna: Only one particular part of the You Knighted States qualifies as the interdimensional intersection of the Plateau of Gorgoroth and our world.

  140. grrr kitty

    Dang, Anne Nonymous, the poutine/chili cheese fries comparison occurred to me too. It seems to me that both delicacies are best enjoyed in that most tortured of ways: Moderation. Oh, how I hate walking the delicate, hideous tightrope of Moderation. In this life, if a person wishes to preserve her health past the age of 30 and avoid getting the stinkeye from her health care provider, she must learn the disgusting, restrictive, oppressive practice of Moderation in All Things, but especially in the arenas of good wine and food, two things best enjoyed In Excess. Who invented the abomination of Moderation? I Blame the Patriarchy.

    Mandos, you crack me up.

  141. Kate

    Poutine, a standard fair of the old poverty-stricken French Canadians isn’t all bad. It is what it is. In fact, a little goes a long way. Hard to gorge on french fries dripping in brown gravy which oozes strings of melted ‘farmer’s cheese’. A cheap feed for those who needed to fill hungry, empty bellies.

    Poutine belongs in the category of starvation chasers like chicken broth with dropped eggs, mac and cheese in a box, hotdogs with canned beans and salmon pie which is nothing more than mashed potatoes and canned salmon

    The French Canadians around here also consume baked beans with their breakfast food and don’t forget gorton spread on toast. There’s also a wine they make up there that’s supposed to represent what the trappers and loggers drank — red wine with caribou blood mixed in for good health.

    Food is for subsistence. I am tempted to make another blow job analogy, but I’ll refrain.

  142. flewellyn

    alternatively, people could be examining what Twisty said, and coming to an alternate conclusion, one that may or may not be incorrect or unexamined. You know, just in case you wanted to go the non-patronizing route.

    Why bother? You and so many others on the other thread already went the “patronizing-and-while-we’re-at-it-hyperbolic-and-shrill” route, so I figure I’m in, if not good, at least consistent company.

  143. Ron Sullivan

    That’s flour and sugar syrup. It’s called jilebi or jalebi

    And in some parts of the world, funnel cakes.

    Old Pennsylvania joke:
    What’s forty feet long and has fifteen teeth?
    The funnel cake line at the Perry County Fair.

    I rather like carrot barfi, myself. And those round things with a bit of rosewater somewhere. And cardamom ice-cream.

  144. FlippyO

    Never had poutine, but I have a Canadian partner, so it’s bound to happen eventually. Never gave a bj, but now I’m gay, so it’s too late. More importantly, oh how I miss Tommie’s/Tommy’s – there were two different spellings, but the chili cheeseburgers & chili cheese fries were the same. Delicious. Now, I have an itch I can’t scratch. IBTP, totally.

  145. vera

    Ron, I think you’re referring to gulab jamun. There’s a place that serves them hot: Passage to India, on El Camino in Mountain View (in the San Francisco bar area, for those who are not from ’round here). They are soooo good. Mmmm. I must have lunch there later.

  146. vera

    Oops — that should be “San Francisco *bay* area.” The San Francisco bar area is something else entirely.

  147. Lara

    Mmmm, gulab jamun. I’d cheerfully choke down a odious heap of freaklettuce, if there was a little bowl of these delectable litle jewels in saffron & rosewater syrup at the end of it.

  148. Sara

    Mmmmmmmm, gulab jamun.

  149. Mandos

    I find gulab jamun too sugar-syrupy for me. I am a big fan of rasmallai. You can even make it yourself! Us Indo/Pak folks are pretty good at turning complex dishes into convenience foods. You can make passable rasmallai (and perhaps even gulab jamun) from a box of powdered ingredients available at your local Kwik-E^H^H^H^H^H^Hgrocery run by South Asians.

  150. Arianna

    On the topic of food, getting back to the heart of this blog, my partner and I just whipped up a batch of veggie-tacos with seasoned TVP and some homemade salsa. Yummy and convenient.

  151. Ron Sullivan

    Vera, I’ll look that place up. I find myself wandering in a daze down Mutton View way now and then, and I have foodie friends thereabouts. Vik’s has a sweets counter, and so do a bunch of the other Indian places in West Berkeley. I wonder if that place at University and Sixth has them warm. We need another meal there anyway; they do a seriously good goat curry. Do I remember a goat vindaloo? Hm.

    Mandos, we have actual Indian and Pakistani groceries here — you can tell them apart because the Pakistanis sell halal meats. And the grocery half of Vik’s (the chaat house is more or less a garage with patio furniture and a gorgeous hanging on the ceiling) has all sorts of instant-this and ready-made-that. Cripes, now I’m hungry again.

    For the record, I haven’t seen Gore’s movie because I figure I already know most of it and it’s all depressing. Lately I’m not so ready to be all hopeful, even pro forma.

  152. Elinor

    Hot gulab jamun? Oh, wow. I find them too sweet when they’re cold, but hot might be a different story…

    I keep intending to go hunt the Indian/Pakistani/Bangladeshi grocery stores for mint chutney. Best thing ever.

  153. Elinor

    Oh, crap, I used an ellipsis in my last comment and now it’s under moderation! I’m sorry.

  154. Fiona

    Bloody hell, this BJ thing’s become a raging game of Chinese Whispers. Here’s a case in point (damn, I cannot leave that forum alone). People are extrapolating Twisty’s point of view from the Cliffs Notes version on Broadsheet, attacking said extrapolation, and then patting themselves on the back for being so sexually liberated and unafraid of the Feminist Sex Police.

    I’d attempt to set them straight — unfortunate though that phrase is — or perhaps congratulate them on their bravery for sucking whatever they want to despite the scary straw-feminists threatening to make it illegal, but I already blew my guest membership last year. Damn.

  155. Kelda

    One of my friends, who I thought was a feminist, linked to here and Feministe, with a comment mocking women for even having the debate and telling people to lighten up. I’m still flailing and opening and shutting my mouth like a guppy at that. Perhaps if I assume that she hadn’t read any of it then that would be better?

    Ah. Probably not. All I can hope for is that since she has the link to Twisty she will, in time, learn.

  156. apostropher

    women gush about something which is objectively disgusting

    Disgust is a subjective human reaction. It is impossible for anything to be “objectively disgusting,” in the same sense that nothing can be “objectively boring.”

  157. Fiona

    Recently got spamulated so I’ll try to phrase my semi-request using more spambot-friendly punctuation.

    One of the symptoms of this blowjob debate virus is, it seems, a compulsion to play Chinese Whispers. Here is a thread from the damn forum I can’t leave alone, in which the so-called ignorance fighters have seen fit to extrapolate an argument from the Broadsheet summary, attack said extrapolation, and then pat themselves on the back for defying the Feminist Sex Police. I would have thought it was like trying to determine the literary merits of a book by simply reading the Cliffs Notes, but maybe I’m missing something.

    I’d question them on this, or else congratulate them on standing up to the scary straw-feminists, but I blew my guest membership last year. If anyone else can be arsed to it’d be amusing, I reckon. The odour of smugness in there is quite asphyxiating.

  158. Kerlyssa

    The frustrating thing is to have a stream of posters tell you that a sex act is inherently disgusting and that there is no possible way you could get enjoyment out of it. Then to have any counterarguments either ignored or called self delusion.

    Orally pleasuring a man is inherently disgusting, yet the same is not true for pelasuring a woman. Instead of discussing why this is be true, having a meaningful discussion about oppression and subjugation, or even the mechanics of the act, the threads are one long written version of Twisty’s Disgusting Penis photo collages. The photos are funny; the belittlement is not.

  159. Fiona

    Eek, and now both my comments appear. Mmm, repetition.

  160. Ms Kate

    Bonobos … BDSM. :-)

  161. Ms Kate

    Don’t the wingnuts like to claim that all sorts of purportedly gay* sexual practices are objectively disgusting (drooling while describing them in flourid detail, of course).

    *of course everything they describe is not limited to gays, either mechanically or in practice, but no matter.

  162. lila

    Oh, my. I just now read Ms. Faster’s critique. Ouch. As I emailed Ms. Faster, my comment was a response to the ongoing conversation in the comments.

    I seem to have missed the decree that lame attempts at humor shall result in being publicly repudiated and exiled from the Feminist Sisterhood.

    Am I allowed to blame the patriarchy for that, too?

  1. Reclusive Leftist » Blog Archive » I blame the patriarchy

    [...] I blame the patriarchy The feminist blogosphere has been roiling for days now. Sides have been drawn, gauntlets have been thrown. Sisterhood has been trampled in the rush to judgment on this most compelling of questions: is poutine some disgusting shit or what? [...]

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