Jul 27 2007

Still undead

Today’s unrelated photo is of the Uptown Sports Club, abandoned circa 1849. East 6th and Waller, Austin, July 2007.

Yesterday’s post, wherein the entity known as Twisty emerged from the nebulous mists of the corporeal world to rejoin the Internet after an unauthorized hiatus, elicited surprisingly copious commentaries, considering that the post was merely a brief and dull acknowledgment that my recent essay deficit is attributable to nothing more exciting than a sort of blogger’s cramp. I was about to respond to a few of these comments when I realized “why bury this brief remission of my blogaphasia in the discussion section when I can turn it into a satisfyingly pedantic post?”

So here’s the pedantic post.

First, I must defend the stinkhorn mushroom. Although I used the photo, in a moment of unbridled puerility, to illustrate an essay on a patriarchal practice one dudely (and deleted) commenter calculated as the heart’s desire of “75% of the girls I date,”* and then left the photo at the top of the blog for two weeks while I sat around watching the Food Channel, it was never my intention that the reader should attach any kind of lasting misogynist significance to the innocent and spectacular fungus. In fact, as the country’s foremost authority on preternatural growths, I consider this stinkhorn to be one of the seven wonders of the excrescential world. It is my enduring hope that everyone reading this will have the remarkable good fortune to amble through some fetid undergrowth one fine summer’s day and be personally astonished by the stinky and majestic hot pink splendor of a freshly-fruited M. elegans.

Next, blamer Orange wanted to know about the seven habits of highly effective dragonflies. There was nothing in the post about dragonflies (the fly pictured was a robber fly, which belongs to the order Diptera, but except to the eyes of love I suppose one airborne bug is much like another), but I will not let that deter me from typing a bunch of words that say nothing in particular about a subject with which I am only glancingly familiar and which interests few. Quoth Orange:

A couple weeks ago, the Chicago skies darkened near Lake Michigan and a rainstorm threatened. I gazed out my window and beheld a dozen or so dragonflies buzzing around in the vicinity. Normally, I see dragonflies only if I’m right by the lake, and usually not many of them. This mini-swarm of pre-storm dragonflies, I’d never seen anything like it. I realize this is not the Great Lakes Entomology Extension here, but maybe you can explain the doings of dragonflies.

Also, when I see two of them hovering, ass end to ass end, are they doing the insectual heterosexual deed?

Although I am the world’s foremost non-authority on dragonflies, I cannot admit to any speculations relating to the tempest-pursuant onset of teeming odonate hordes on the shores of Lake Michigan. I will tell you this, however. Dragonflies hatch in water, spend a year or so molting, and then (depending on the species and the temperature) emerge in the summer. They eat mosquitoes, are not necessarily, as adults, directly dependent on bodies of water, and can be quite the jet-setters. In other words, perhaps what Orange observed was the result of a change in the micro-habitat of the species in question what caused’em to move into the neighborhood. Or maybe they just thought it was dusk; dragonflies are crepuscular.

As for the second part of Orange’s question, her conjecture is accurate, but the description is a tad misleading. When dragonflies do the nasty, they effect more of a head-to-toe thing. It’s called the wheel position, but it looks more like a flat tire.

Next, blamer therealUK was interested in how I get close-ups of insects. I use this absurd thing:


Next, it was suggested by several blamers that compiling a dictionary of blamisms (e.g. pornulation, megatheocorporatocracy, etc) might get me over the writer’s block hump. What alarmed me about this — aside from the pain induced by the thought of doing all that work — was a collateral suggestion that implicated me in the proliferation of the derogatory epithet asshat. I would like to disavow any connection with the derogatory epithet asshat. I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Asshatians (rhymes with ‘Dalmatians’). Searching this blog for the word will confirm that I have never used it, ever. I say this to preemptively assuage those tragically marginalized denizens of the radical feminist blogosphere who, because of their genetic makeup, are compelled by their very nature to wear hats on their asses and who therefore can do naught but take vituperative vengeance on flippant spinster aunts who use the term pejoratively.

UPDATE: Orange points out that, contrary to what I have stated here, there was too something in yesterday’s post about dragonflies. And she is right. I mentioned a dragonfly field guide, big as life. Sorry, Orange. I blame … something. I can’t remember what, exactly.
* This intellectual giant also declaimed that I “really villainize Anal Sex To [sic] much,” that “most of the women” he knows “watch copious amounts of pornography.” He objected to some “false assumption” that “no woman actually wants sex enough to be a porn star.” Like dudes so relish doing, he then went on to graphically describe the ‘sex’ acts he performs on his girlfriend. Another guy opined that I shouldn’t point my feminist claw at men’s misogyny because it not all men are “msygonistic” and my radical position can only “anger” them. He added, “I am not msygonistic but I definitely get turned on by being dominant.” No really, he said that. And then he went on to graphically describe sex with his girlfriend.

One thing is certain in the untamed, cutthroat world of feminist blogging: posts about turdpie dude behavior are guaranteed to elicit turdpie dude behavior, in the shape of turdpie dudes waxing lyrical on the subject of a) how much women love turdpie dudesex and b) how pissed off they get whenever anyone suggests otherwise.


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  1. ew_nc

    “Another guy opined that I shouldn’t point my feminist claw at men’s misogyny because it not all men are “msygonistic” and my radical position can only “anger” them. He added, “I am not msygonistic but I definitely get turned on by being dominant.” No really, he said that.”

    Isn’t it nice when the comedy material is written foryou?

  2. YellowBird

    Delurking, Twisty, just to tell you how much you make me laugh (and inspire my blaming ‘o course).

  3. josquin

    Ah, I’m glad the insect situation was a head-to-toe thing. I was worried that the robber fly was demanding anal from the bee.
    As for the stinkhorn mushroom: I found something like this in my yard once, and not only did it have the protuberance, but it had very large subterranean pockets of slimy, smelly, foul crud which infiltrated quite a ways into the soil. I tell you, it freaked me out for days. The smell was repulsive and the whole set-up was a nightmare in my opinion.

  4. Edith

    Two dragonflies kept chasing me around the public pool last week. I think they must have thought I looked like a good place to lay their eggs. Sadly, I am not.

  5. Orange

    There was too something in the post about dragonflies! You mentioned a “dragonfly field guide.” But thank you for tending to my entomological queries.

    What does “turdpie dudesex” sound like? It’s evocative of…something. As a scrap of poetry, it’s got a vigorous rhythm to it. Like a nursery rhyme, or an eeny-meeny-miny-moe thing. “Turdpie dudesex porking in a tree, p-o-r-k-i-n-g. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the radical feminist Twistolution.” No, no, the tempo’s all off there.

  6. OM

    Twisty, in addition to asshat I noticed “gazongas” being attributed to you. While you may have used that term, I’m pretty sure you did not coin it, but maybe I’m thinking of some similar word. I guess i’m not up on my slang. Can you clear that up, too?

  7. Twisty

    I’m afraid I’ve never coined any term, gazongas included. Sometimes I make words up, but only by pirating words that already exist and sticking excessively Latinate suffixes on’em, or by shoving two words together, such as blog and aphasia in this post.

  8. Twisty

    Orange, you are quite right. I stuck an update on the post to clear your good name. Sorry about that.

  9. thebewilderness

    I would like to offer a slight correction on the matter of the asshat.
    People who shove their heads up their ass and read the truth in their own entrails, are said to be wearing their ass for a hat. So far as I know, they do not wear hats upon their ass.

    Asshat was my favorite description of the behavior that Twisty describes as the scales welling up in their eyes.
    So, if anyone is willing to comb the archives and compile a dictionary of Twistyisms, they should certainly leave out asshat and include ‘the scales welled up in their eyes’.

  10. Marytracy9

    Yes, I suggested the dictionary!!!

    Not many people can criticize the patriarchy AND make others laugh at the same time. You have a rare talent. Thanks again, Twisty, for helping me see I’m not the only blamer in this world.

  11. delagar

    I just love Twisty.

    I just wanted to say so.

  12. lawbitch

    Loves me the dragonflies. Reminds me of summers on a lake in East Texas when I was a girl. May I request a pic of dragonflies, please?

  13. Fabulous Monster

    I could just say ‘turdpie dudesex’ all day long.

  14. Repenting

    Patriarchy is masturbation fodder for the domineering man-threatened-by-feminists type. Honestly, those anal-sex obsessed men who are threatened by feminists are clearly so turned on by the patriarchy that they want to have sex with it. From behind. Men gay for the patriarchy are forced to obey the same rules of that patriarchy and date chicks, when really all they want to do is bang dudes. From behind.

    This is all I have to say to those pro-anal feminists. If it feels good to you, good for you, but if you don’t want it and your boyfriend does then tell him to find himself a man.

  15. Pinko Punko

    Do you deny inventing and promulgating the term molluscoeidian in relation to SUBTEXT? J’accuse!

  16. Twisty

    Pinko, molluscoidean is an actual word, I swear. Thus, using it to describe subtext is poetic license, not coinage.

  17. yankee transplant

    I believe that well over two years ago I begged you not to make me spit coffee all over my monitor. With “turdpie dudesex” you have forced coffee out of my mouth once again. I blame the patriarchy for the need for a new flat panel.

  18. Elaine Vigneault

    I’ve come to the conclusion that many misogynists have no sense of irony.

  19. delagar

    If they had a sense of irony could they remain misogynistic?


  20. dr.sue

    Fabulous Monster: “I could just say ‘turdpie dudesex’ all day long.”

    That’s it! That’s what it sounds like!

    Asshole blogtrolls sing this song, doo-dah, doo-dah
    Turdpie dudesex all day long, oh, doo-dah day.

  21. Genevieve

    Not a misogynist but loves being dominant? Oy. How exactly would you BE that, anyway?

    “Woman! Bring me beer! If you want to! But I want it! Right now! And THEN maybe I’ll treat you like a human being!”

    That’s how I imagine it’d be, anyway.

  22. stekatz

    So much for that writer’s block.

    And it’s those msygonists who really lack a sense of irony. Or maybe just sense.

  23. Daisy

    I love the photo of the football player on the building, who I think looks like the comic book Archie, on steroids.

    Must be “Texas Archie!”

  24. Fabulous Monster

    Oh, Dr Sue. You have just improved my life so much. Except for the bit where I’m sure that will get stuck in my head at inappropriate moments.

  25. Fabulous Monster

    Asshole blogtrolls sing this song, doo-dah, doo-dah
    Turdpie dudesex all day long, oh, doo-dah day.
    Gotta blame all night, gotta blame all day
    Let’s do some blamin’ of a pat-ri-arch
    And hope that he goes a-way.

  26. thebewilderness

    OMG, Fabulous, you just made my day.

  27. Spinning Liz

    That photo of the long abandoned sports dude building is so very apocalyptically Post Patriarchal (PoPa), shimmering in its overgrown field like a hopeful harbinger of a much brighter future.

  28. Hawise

    I thought at first that it was an abandoned factory. Then I read the blurb. Now it is forever in my head as an abandoned sports dude factory. I blame outsourcing and globalization on the decline of the sports dude industry in America. (Not that we need more sports dudes but that the quality has declined as well.)

  29. Pinko Punko

    Ok, that song is ultra awesome.

  30. Fhiona

    Isn’t it a species of dragonfly that, when mating, the male fastens on to the female’s head causing large holes in her skull?

  31. thebewilderness

    Hoowee doggie, Fhiona, I hope that isn’t so.

  32. Fhiona

    I’m sure I saw it in New Scientist or somewhere. The lovingly shot close up of impregnated females with half their heads missing was enough to dissuade me from reading on! However, the male dragonfly is apparently the poster boy for Insect Patriarchy. Once he’s had sex with a female, he lurks around hassling her and preventing her from going near other males. “Protecting his genetic material” and all that.

  33. Flash

    Thank you thank you thank you

  34. Twisty

    Male dragonflies have been known to remove from females the sperm packets of previous males. And yeah, sometimes they damage the female’s eyes during the mating ordeal. It is unsurprising that modern human males should wish to emulate a creature that has not evolved significantly in 250 million years.

    And fuck New Scientist, too.

  35. Anastasia B.

    Comic book Archie? I thought that was Dubya. It being Texas and all.

  36. Ledasmom

    Young dragonflies hang out upside-down in water and eat anything up to and including small fish by grabbing ’em with a particularly-fearsome set of mouthparts. They look kind of like adult dragonflies, except wet and without wings. A picture of one of them capturing and eating a minnow terrified me for years.

  37. CD

    i love you, twisty, so very much. you are understood, truly, i could write a book on it, indeed, i already have, albeit a coded one. words like “support” and “love” are meaningless in your situation, but i would give you the sentiment, if you would have it.

    you speak a language that is shared by more than many know, and i write this not because i care that others have some moment of recognition, but to remind the uncaring world- twisty speaks for millions, perhaps more.

  38. kate

    I think Anastasia has it right, its a mural of Dubya and his world — the image in his mind, swimming in the red blood of murder with a what appears a dungeon window above him.

    It is hopeful as the building is crumbling and nature is slowly taking the land back as Dubya tilts further into the hell he has created.

  39. KMTberry

    You didn’t coin ASSHAT (was it Amanda?) but I THINK I THINK) I remember reading the post in which you coin the word “GODBAG”. Or am I wrong?

    I am getting to be THAT AGE!!! WHere you remember things that never happened!

  40. Twisty

    Could the blametariat kindly stop confusing “Texas” with “Dubya”? It’s painful.

  41. Gayle

    Asshat’s been around since forever. It was here on these internets, and already overly used, when I first stumbled across the lefty political blogs back in early ’04.

    I’m glad you’re back and very glad you are not dead, Twisty.
    There’s nothing wrong with taking a hiatus every now and again. Having just come back from a brief vacation, I highly recommend it!

  42. Anastasia B.

    Sorry, Twisty, but it’s right there in all its technicolor glory: a reasonable facsimile of Dubya’s dumb mug with Texas emblazoned on his chest.
    IBT(B)P: I Blame the (Bush) Patriarchy.

  43. Spinning Liz

    Asshat’s been around for decades. I remember working in a factory back in the 1970s that had graffiti over the paper toilet seat covers saying “TEAMSTER PARTY HATS.” Alongside the ubiquitous sign warning the “ladies” to refrain from flushing our unmentionable detritus.

  44. Orange

    Is blametariat a new Twisty coinage, then?

  45. Twisty

    I nicked “commentariat” from Norbizness (I consistently steal from Norbizness. It’s astonishing that he still speaks to me at all, really), and since “blamer” is another word — on this blog, at least — for “commenter”, the word “blametariat” seemed merely to be a natural progression.

  46. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Dr. Sue:

    Asshole blogtrolls sing this song, doo-dah, doo-dah
    Turdpie dudesex all day long, oh, doo-dah day.

    Ah, stoppit, you’re killing me!

    Look upon Twisty’s works, oh ye mighty, and weep (from laughing so hard). And forget not to wear your continence undergarments while reading IBTP, lest there be untoward wetness and stains.

  47. Nymphalidae

    Isn’t it a species of dragonfly that, when mating, the male fastens on to the female’s head causing large holes in her skull?

    Yeah, that’s what happens when the male grabs the female with his cerci. He tends to punch right through the cuticle. Note that insects don’t have skulls.

  48. Nymphalidae

    Oh, as far as strange and/or horrific mating pracitices go, dragonflies don’t even win the prize. Damselfly males dunk the female under water until she is forced to lay the eggs. Bedbugs stab the female directly through the abdomen with their penis in a practice called “traumatic insemination”. Collembola aren’t bad, but we’ve got funny names for their little mating dances: The Cha-Cha-Cha, The Love Garden, and The Circle of Fire. In some species of fly the male wraps up prey in a little silk package and gives it to the female before mating. It’s extremely cool that such complex behaviors can arise from so little brain material.

    But really, it’s not worth getting upset that insects do horrible things to each other. They’re just bugs. I’ve drowned and suffocated and frozen and squashed zillions of bugs during my time in entomology. It’s when you’ve got d-bags who say that since bugs do X it must therefore we can extrapolate something about human behavior. Which is bogus.

  49. Twisty

    “It’s when you’ve got d-bags who say that since bugs do X it must therefore we can extrapolate something about human behavior. Which is bogus.”

    Amen to that, sister.

  50. ruby

    The post that made my day wad Edith’s, way at the top. I’m certain that translated into Japanese it would have the correct syllabic structure for a haiku. Thanks.

  51. slythwolf

    I am almost certain that “asshat” was coined by someone at Television Without Pity, which in any case is certainly where I first learned it.

    These days, however, there seems to be a misunderstanding of what it signifies. An asshat is not a hat one wears on one’s ass, nor is it a hat shaped like an ass (you would be surprised what I haven’t seen in LiveJournal icons). An asshat is a person who uses his (almost always his) or her ass as a hat by having his (again, usually) or her head up his or her ass. A good example of this is the aforementioned Dubya, who is indeed in no way to be confused with Texas, partially because he isn’t actually from there, he just likes to pretend he is because he thinks being a “cowboy” makes him more “manly”, for which of course IBTP.

  52. Ron Sullivan

    It’s when you’ve got d-bags who say that since bugs do X it must therefore we can extrapolate something about human behavior.

    I have, once or twice, actually remembered to tell such pastries that they should therefore confine themselves to fucking bugs. (Lions, baboons, bears, ducks, ants — wait, why don’t they ever go on about ants? — naked mole rats — ditto?– or whatever the beastie du jour happens to be.)

    Response: blank looks. Appropriate.

  53. mAndrea

    This is my favorite picture, it’s like a little rainbow. Making ordinary things look magical, that’s talent!

    I hesitate to even mention this putrid filth, but here is the next step beyond torture porn, eventually being defended in porn videos as “foreplay”. Scroll all the way down to the females. Or don’t, it’s NASTY! It is NSFW. Read the comments at your peril.



  54. Burrow

    In That 70’s Show Red was always threatening to turn Eric’a ass into a hat. Just saying.

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