Mar 03 2007

Grievance Department

You’ve breathlessly awaited the next installment of my acclaimed series Traffic Cones of South Austin. The wait is over. I present “The Lone Cone.” South Congress Ave. February 2007. [Not pictured: the tea hat]

Maybe once in a generation somebody writes a comment so profound, so incisive, so utterly penetrating that suddenly you find yourself questioning everything. Has everyone you ever distrusted failed to fail you? Are lies really Truth? Is society on the brink of contentment? Are all social and political interactions governed by a passionate, altruistic Cosmic Enthusiasm? Can fear and loathing survive? And, perhaps most importantly of all, should the government kill people who opine without a license, especially on the subject of TV shows?

This is one of those comments.

As for the writer of this blog: maybe if you didn’t have your head up your ass so much, you might be able to see the humor in Ms. Silverman’s show, and be able to like Ugly Betty. You and the other ladies that have posted here might think that you’re better than the neocon majority, but your sour, Victorian attitude shows me that you’re just as tightassed and moralistic as them. Prove me wrong and find enjoyment in life, or shut the fuck up and stop talking about popular culture: we already have people who critique that, and they’re paid for it.


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  1. MzNicky

    Twisty: What’s telling about creepy after-the-fact “commenters” like this is how they wait until the thread is cold and they think no one’s looking, then they latch onto the tail end of it with some juvenile stupid snotty name-calling and such they’d never have the nerve to do in the middle of the thread, when those who are engaged in the topic would jump all over their ass. And she knows it, and wouldn’t stand a chance. She’s the cowardly little shit who runs after a receding group of folks and throws a rock at them, then when they turn around to see what the fuck?, she runs away. Run away, little after-the-fact trolly rock-thrower! You ain’t got the chops to post in the light of day, so piss off!

  2. Lily Underwood

    Who better to comment on popular culture than Twisty Faster? I say no one.

  3. Pinko Punko

    The Platonic Ideal. I feel much better about myself after reading that. I would not want to be a guerrilla Ugly Betty marketer. Also, I thought test audiences found “shut the fuck up” to be surprisingly ineffective.

  4. Victoria Marinelli

    Has everyone you ever distrusted failed to fail you?

    Actually, yeah. Though not very often. (I do try to allow room in my psyche for the possibility, at least. Stranger things have happend, that’s for damned sure.)

    Ptooey on the cowardly commenter.

  5. BubbasNightmare

    It took a minute for me to catch was the Odd Lady was saying. Then the sunlight burst through the murky clouds: “Men’s Rights Activists”.

    However, I am clueless as to why she’d want to exclude “nice guys” as well.

  6. annaham

    but your sour, Victorian attitude shows me that you’re just as tightassed and moralistic as them.

    Ah, yes, the good ol’ “UR A PRUDE LOL” argument. We’ve never heard that before, no sireeee!

  7. Sean

    Finding poop jokes unfunny = Victorian attitude

    Damn, those neocons have won again!

    As an aside, I don’t understand what the “neocon majority” is. Seeing how only about half the population is Republican, out of that, at most half is conservative, and out of that, only maybe half are neocons, that would equal a 1/8th neocon population in America. And even then, that’s a pretty “liberal” estimate. I’ll be here all night, folks.

  8. Mrs. Kennedy

    “Prove me wrong and find enjoyment in life”?? Someone’s missed all of your of lunch posts.

  9. Bitey

    My favorite part of the post was in the previous paragraph, where our intrepid correspondent asked, “Are things always so black and white for you that you can’t just settle down and enjoy yourselves?” I think this is just a paraphrase of one of my favorite fratboyisms: “Stupid chicks. Why can’t you just be cool?”

  10. Rob

    I probably had that guy in my composition class once.

  11. slownews

    “prissy, stuck up snobs” ?
    Aha! someone just got his sorry ass turned down. And small wonder.

  12. yankee transplant


  13. Johanna

    Why do that kind of commenter always call us blamers “ladies” and not women?

  14. Heraclitus (Jeff)

    Ah, the “find the middle ground” trope. I think I’m coming to despise centrists almost as much as libertarians. But how dare you have principles, Twisty! That makes you just like those neocons we keep hearing about.

  15. sour, Victorian attitude

    “{…} and they’re paid for it.”


  16. Flamethorn

    Johanna, because they think “women” is an insult and “ladies” is something we won’t interpret as one.

  17. The Hedonistic Pleasureseeker

    Hahahaha. This one is just like those random dude commenters at my site who read my Man Laws rant and then tell me to “get a life!” Say what? Moi, “get a life?” Good grief! If they only knew!

  18. SusanM

    Besides the life-changing events they surely are, the best part of comments like that for me is always the responses they inspire.

  19. ginmar

    Ah, MRAs—Men Refused by All. Shocking, just shocking, I tell you.

  20. Clio Bluestocking

    Well! I feel suitably put in my lady place. What was I thinking, critiquing the patriarchy without a lisence issued by a suitable male agent? Let me run off now and try to please men like this clearly sage and brilliant commenter who is so wise and knowlegable.

    What a moron!

  21. josie my source of most frustration

    In his defense, maybe the tea hat convinced him that you are Victorian?

  22. Ann Bartow

    Here’s a short excerpt from a long blog-related e-mail I got today:

    “Yeah, maybe you should get a sense of humour about things and save your outrage for things that deserve it. And try to figure out sarcasm while you are at it, might save yourself some stress.

    “Remember one of Sun Tzu’s axioms of war. Fight only the battles that you need to fight (and preferably, know you can win). Anything else is a waste of your resources. Attacking something just because you didn’t like the humour involved (or don’t have a sense of humour) is really wasting resources.”

    Isn’t it touching how concerned he is about feminists “wasting resources”? Guess he doesn’t realize that Patriarchy Blaming can be recycled.

  23. Scratchy888

    Are the neocons tightassed and moralistic?! I thought the whole point about them was that they are crudely non-moralistic. According to Leo Strauss, their Commander in Chief Extraordinaire, they are indeed the ones without any morals, who seek to gain, around their peripheries, willing and benighted fundamentalists — those useful fools who will do their dirty work for them. Given that what I say is true, methinks your troll confuses the core with the crust, and mistakes vulgar, Machiavellian materialism for something far more ‘spiritual’. I sentence Mister of Mrs Troll to two hours hard labour stacking shelves in his or her local library.

  24. al

    Hey, I like both Sarah Silverman and Ugly Betty. And from memory, so did a few other people commenting on that thread. But the difference between me and Solex is, I don’t interpret disagreement as a sign that others need to get [insert dumb MRA putdown here]: a sense of humour/laid/a penis/a life.

    What was that Jesus said? About not pointing to the splinter in someone’s eye when you have an entire telephone pole up your ass?

  25. Fiona

    Isn’t it touching how concerned he is about feminists “wasting resources”? Guess he doesn’t realize that Patriarchy Blaming can be recycled.


    What always befuddles me about the “get a life” crowd is that they are quite happy to waste their time and “resources” accusing other people of wasting their own resources. If critiquing pop culture (without getting paid!) is sad, then by that logic critiquing the critique is much sadder.

    Next thing you know, Twisty’ll be accused of infringing on Silverman’s right to free speech.

  26. Ann Bartow

    Fiona – yep. And oh the e-mails that start out: “I’m a liberal but…”
    There are lots of Liberal Butts out there!

  27. kiki

    “Prove me wrong and find enjoyment in life”


    Isn’t the demand to “prove” that you don’t have a “Victorian attitude” and that you’re not “tightassed” just code for…”fuck me baby to prove how liberated you are?” Isn’t it followed with, “Hey, don’t be stuck up”…and “Yeah, I got what you need.” And then the inevitable, “shut the fuck up “…As if.

    As for, “You and the other ladies that have posted here”… I don’t claim to speak for the others…but… I may be a woman, but I am no fucking “lady”.

  28. TP

    I love that photo. Your photos are truly amazing. I’m saying this lightly, either.

    Have you given up on bugs? I did love those bug shots, too, because I loved the bugs, and the art.

  29. edith

    You know what, on my shitty blog that I update just about never, my blogging partner Vicky wrote some post about roller derby in response to YOUR roller derby post(s) like way, way back in the day. And for some reason, not a week goes by without getting at least one comment from some roller derby player/enthusiast throwing a verbal shitstorm. My only guess is that Vicky’s post must be linked on some website under “Fucking Bitch Hates Roller Derby! You Go School Her!”

    But on a more important note: that is a nice looking cone. Although, is it actually cone-shaped?

  30. GreyLadyBast

    Oh, gawd, the “ladies” thing! “Ladies” meaning “stupid little idiots who should bow down before my Almighty Dudely Wisdom.” I hate that with the fiery passion of a thousand burning suns, and I’m someone who likes the word lady* sometimes.

    It’s like the way they say “woman,” too. “Woman,” meaning “crappy servant who can’t even do that right.” As in, “fetch me a beer, woman.” It’s the sneer in the voice, that snotty, superior tone, that turns perfectly acceptable words so vile.

    Why do they have to take every word for us and turn it into some sort of insult?

    *sigh* On a more uplifting note, though:

    What was that Jesus said? About not pointing to the splinter in someone’s eye when you have an entire telephone pole up your ass?

    Best. Paraphrase. Ever!


    *I blame Renn Faire. And the patriarchy, too.

  31. kiki

    Man, I just read my post. Sorry for all the dang ellipses.

  32. Orange

    Rob said: “I probably had that guy in my composition class once.”

    I misread that as “I probably had that guy in my constipation class once.” It made perfect sense to me.

  33. Christopher

    I’ve always wondered why some people are so concerned that I might be wasting my time… what do they care?

    It seems to me (bear with me here) that “get a life!” comes from the same place that nurtures homophobia and racism and all kinds of other bad things.

    Homophobia is the idea that if ANYBODY does sex “wrong” it will effect you; some gay folks getting married in Massachusetts is gonna bring down society in Idaho.

    Racism is a lot of the same thing; the non-whites will come up here, and they talk wrong and listen to wrong music and eat wrong food and do religion wrong.

    It’s this idea that, somehow, if somebody does things WRONG that will hurt not just them, but you.

    It’s an attitude that utterly baffles me.

    PS I only saw one episode of the Sarah Silverman show -the one with the homeless guy- and it was exactly the same as any given American Dad script.

    Did I see a bad episode? Are the others as innovative, controversial and confusing as the hype would have me believe?

    I dunno, I just despair of culture if switching the gender of the protagonist of a third-rate copy of a decade-old cartoon show is enough to utterly befuddle us.

  34. Sylvanite

    Just the same as any American Dad script? Sounds like good, possibly even objective reasons, to avoid them both.

    I’ve never been able to put my finger on why, but for some reason I dislike Family Guy even though I have always enjoyed The Simpsons. My brother swears if I like one, I should like both. Is it because I don’t have a penis?

    Also, I hate to be told to settle down. It’s a sure sign that how I’m behaving is completely valid, but the person telling me to “settle down” just can’t deal with it

  35. Twisty

    I once saw an episode of American Dad in which the baby with the football head sexually assaults a cheerleader who has been ducktaped, beaten, and left in a public washroom. You won’t see that on The Simpsons.

    No wait, that was that show just like American Dad. What’s it called? Wait. Which one has the Paul Lynde alien?

  36. Sara

    American Dad has the Paul Lynde alien. Family Guy has the football-headed baby.

  37. Sara

    Oh, and I like one and not the other, too, same as Sylvanite, same as my boyfriend.

    Oh, and I really need a cup of coffee.

  38. Sylvanite

    Well, I guess that ‘splains it. I don’t recall seeing anything that appalling, but Family Guy always felt wrong somehow. I guess because it really is wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

  39. elektrodot

    hah! i did like family guy. but then someone gave me season 1 for christmas. if you watch…id say at least 3 or 4 episodes in a row youll see the same joke at least twice…and that gets worse the more episodes you watch. its like they seriously cant come up with anything else or they really just dont give a shit.

  40. hedonistic

    Sometimes I come here just to remind myself why I don’t watch TV at all. I’d rather be cleaning the grout behind my toilets with my fingernails. Seriously.

  41. SusanM

    Sylvanite: I’ve never been able to put my finger on why, but for some reason I dislike Family Guy even though I have always enjoyed The Simpsons. My brother swears if I like one, I should like both. Is it because I don’t have a penis?

    I’ve had this same problem. I despise “Family Guy” and love “The Simpsons.” A blogger explained one possible reason for me once. His blog seems to be down, but I saved the explanation:

    If I See Another Reference To A “Family Guy” Reference, I Will Scream

    For the umpteenth time, I spy this sort of thing:
    “Taro Gomi’s children’s book, Everyone Poops, was referenced in ‘Family Guy’.”
    -from Wikipedia

    Folks, I’ve seen the show. Not that funny. To be perfectly honest, not at all funny. So they go crazy with the ever-popular pop culture references? So what? “A ‘reference’,” a great newspaperman once advised me, “is not a ‘joke’.” A joke involves saying something funny about the thing referenced. By that standard, “Family Guy,” contrary to popular belief, CONTAINS NO JOKES.

    The newspaperman further noted that people will laugh merely at the fact that they have “gotten” a reference, even if no joke is attached. The ethical choice for a writer is to always make sure that a joke is actually being made, not just a reference.

  42. Bitey

    I don’t know if anyone is still reading this thread (I’d hate to be anything like our friend Solex), but I, too, am a fan of The Simpsons and a hater on The Family Guy. Here’s how I see it: The Simpsons is peopled by well-rounded, well-developed characters with whom the audience can identify. (I have this theory that everyone can find themselves in one or another Simpsons character. I myself am Moe Szyslak. My husband is Milhouse. Y’all know way too much about us now.) Also, its episodes, for the most part, feature actual plots. This is opposed to The Family Guy, which is just a series of sight gags and fart jokes, held together by plots so flimsy they don’t deserve the name. Moreover, The Family Guy seems to hate and despise its characters, while The Simpsons loves all of them.

    I’m gonna quit now, before I really geek out.

  43. Fiona

    Moreover, The Family Guy seems to hate and despise its characters, while The Simpsons loves all of them.

    Good point. That’s why I love Futurama; Matt Groening et al really do seem to love their characters, no matter how wacky.

    Hey, you’re not named after the monorail possum, are you?

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