Jan 13 2009

I lived to laugh another day

Let’s face it, spinster aunts lead pretty exciting, action-packed lives. We barely have time to enjoy a healthy breakfast and express the dog’s anal sacs before rushing out to the patio with a cup of coffee to watch the deer wander by, much less hunch over a desk all day reading blogs. We especially don’t have time to slog through the “dear diary” kind of blogs that earnest, untalented civilians publish willy-nilly, seemingly without regard for the stress their crummy, uninspired, confessional writing puts on an audience.

I’m not saying that there aren’t one or two pretty splendid dear-diary blogs, or even that people shouldn’t write crummy, uninspired, confessional dear-diary blogs, if that’s what boils their beignets. I’m certainly no F. Scott McShakespeare myself. But when I see that generic Blogger template with the rounded-corner rectangles, and the title is “Madame Bovary On Crack, the insignificant rantings of a depressed, demented sex addict office worker,” and the top post is “The BF and I had another fight last night and this morning I missed the bus and here is a camera-phone picture of my kids with spaghetti-os on their face and my boss is an asshole LOL,” I cannot click away fast enough. Life’s, you know, too short.

But then I found I, Asshole: I’m so sinsur SINCE 2001!!!. I, Asshole was in Flea’s blogroll, and while I’m not personally a blogroll practitioner, I do appreciate the trait in others, so thanks, Flea!

What made me click on I, Asshole was that the title made me laugh. I don’t know why it made me laugh, it just did. I started reading even though the top post was a recollected conversation between the blogger and her young kid, which kid she calls Strudel. The aforementioned Flea executes these nicely, as does Bitch PhD, but they are exceptions. Normally I run screaming from blog posts consisting of conversations with adorable Strudel children. However, this one made me laugh, again.

By now I had laughed two times. Spinster aunts place a high premium on laughing two times. I read on.

Here is an excerpt from the next post, which is of the this-is-what-happened-to-me-today sort, which is another of the sort of post from which I normally run screaming.

Four. Mr. Klassy is coming back! He is laying eggs! MR. KLASSY COME HOME. ALL IS FORGIVEN. I am going to drive to his farmhome on Saturday and get her. Apparently she was a bit of a pariah. Polishes are really mellow birds, so I am not too surprised in hindsight. I offered my friends my dudlike Buttercups, but shockingly they declined. The Buttercups are laying now and they make smallish white eggs. Anyone want some fucking buttercups?

I laughed a third time. I didn’t check my coffee cup for telltale residue which would reveal that Stingray had drugged me, because Stingray has been back in fucking Napa for two days, so I could only assume that this I, Asshole shit is some genuinely funny shit.

Not Jon Stewart-funny, because fuck that guy. But kind of eccentric and pleasant-funny, with chickens.

By now you will have perceived that this whole post, though it appears on the surface to be a bunch of complaining about mediocrity on the World Wide Web, is, when you plumb its depths and read between its lines and so forth, an advertisement for this I, Asshole blog. The writer, sj, is a nut. She writes good.


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  1. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Her style kinda reminds me of Fafblog, but less dude-centric. And with kids and chickens.

  2. LisaB

    Via the I, Asshole blog, I came upon the following story about “Time Warp Wives.” Someone please tell me that this is an Onion-style website and not for real. If it’s satire, it rocks. If not, it is very sad indeed. I clicked to the front page of the “Mail” website and still couldn’t decide: fact or fiction? http://tinyurl.com/567unv

  3. SJ

    Hey, thanks for the shoutout. My friends and I were inspired to create a forum because of your former forumage.

  4. Orange

    I was not acquainted with I, Asshole. Good stuff.

    Flea was the very second blog I read, and then I couldn’t resist clicking on Bitch PhD in Flea’s blogroll. And now? We’ve gone to one another’s kids’ birthday parties and Flea has mommyblogged the hell out of them in her inimitable style.

  5. melponeme_k

    99% of blogs are personal affairs meant for a personal audience and the few stray readers who may or may not be interested. No Pulitzer prize writing is required.

    And is this the writer who wrote a screed on her horse?

    Your Link: I’ve seen a heck of a lot better.

    I enjoy reading your blame posts more.

  6. thisisendless

    I love Jon Stewart. And Colbert.

    Also love Bitch PhD.

  7. yttik

    That’s some enjoyable writing, both the I Asshole blog, and the recommendation. Delicious stuff, and I’m starved.

  8. Cath Elliott

    LisaB “I clicked to the front page of the “Mail” website and still couldn’t decide: fact or fiction?”

    It’s fact I’m afraid. The Daily Mail (or Daily Male as it’s known in these parts)is a right-wing national newspaper in the UK, and it doesn’t do satire.


  9. Twisty

    Well, melponeme_k, I didn’t actually write that “screed” on my horse. I wrote it on my computer.

    You know, the revelation that I have a horse drew nearly as much hostile fire as the one about how my recently deceased father was a good guy. Apparently internet feminists are not supposed to have either horses or dead fathers who tried to make the world a better place; either of these conditions, for reasons that have never been clear to me, seems to piss a lot of people off.

    Anyway, based on the acuity of your analysis of the World of Blogs, I’m pretty sure I would find your blog boring, too. But by all means carry on! No woman should let mediocrity stand in the way of her self-expression!

  10. Melponeme_k

    No, it just makes me laugh that you write denigrating put downs of other blogs when at times your own doesn’t add up all that well either. Especially when it doesn’t relate to feminist commentary.

    All personal things on most blogs are boring. And I wouldn’t want you reading my blog, which is why I didn’t flog it here.

    I never mentioned anything about your close family, you did. Which makes me curious why you made the connection from a horse.

  11. Lovepug

    It’s horse envy. If anyone was a young girl pining for a horse her family could not afford, the wounds go deep. It’s hard being a horse crazy girl with no horse. When I was twelve, if we had blogs, I would have endlessly criticized any girl who blogged about her horse.

    I’ve moved on – horses are lovely but a lot of work.

    Just don’t start blogging about Airstream trailers again. I gotta big old case of trailer envy. Last camping trip, I could barely look at the nice people with the A-frame pop up without a jealous rage.

  12. Twisty

    Melponeme_k, I stated an opinion on the literary quality and philosophic value of diary blogs in general — which statement, by the way, I challenge all comers to refute — and then I produced what I consider to be a rare example of an entertaining diary blog. I did not “denigrate other blogs.” Well, except yours, but in that case I was being purely hypothetical, since I have no idea whether you even have a blog. Although if you do, I hope to gawd you use the spell check!

    I will add that, although you find my blog lacking, you will at least bask in the satisfaction of knowing that you get exactly what you pay for here at I Blame the Patriarchy.


  13. Hedgepig

    Twisty, could you tell me which of your essays talks about your good-guy father? I can’t instantly imagine why that would inspire vitriol, and would like to find out.

  14. Twisty

    Hedgepig, actually, I took down that post. I’d written it while in the throes of grief while my father was quite ill with the cancer that killed him, and ill-advisedly included details about his social position that were used by my detractors to rip on my feminist cred. Well, lots of feminist bloggers rip on me all the time, so I didn’t mind that so much, but when they started ripping on my father — which sort of blew my mind on acounta his philanthropic efforts were focused entirely on securing decent public education for minority and “at risk” girls — it went beyond the pale, because, you know, I love my Daddy, and he did good work, and I couldn’t stand to read that hateful shit. So I took the post down.

    After that episode, I created the “Women Hate You” category on this blog.

    It was the first, and only, time I’ve deleted a post.

    And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.

  15. Hedgepig

    Fair enough. I shall remain boggled re hostility to feminists with nice fathers. I’ve got one too, so I’ll know to keep a weather eye out for attack from now on.

    I’ve been a-trawling your archives, and I think I’ll keep going ‘cos there’s so much to enjoy!

  16. yttik

    I have horse envy. No penis envy though, so I suppose I’m not doing too bad.

  17. incognotter

    There are great philanthropist fathers, unsung quietly wonderful fathers, and garden-variety fathers with feet of clay. There are even really awful fathers. Whatever kind a woman happens to have, she is allowed to love him as she wishes and only an ass would say otherwise. Feminism is a philosophy and a call to action, not a way to dictate what women should feel. Maybe someone didn’t read your blog very well.

  18. Kate Dino

    My blog will never be worthy of a Twisty shout-out, but that just makes me all the less conspicuous as I go about my business as her fifth column in the ranks of patriarchy’s handmaidens.

  19. goblinbee

    Twisty: “I will add that, although you find my blog lacking, you will at least bask in the satisfaction of knowing that you get exactly what you pay for here at I Blame the Patriarchy.”

    This is exactly it. And it is why I do not understand the Melponeme_ks of this world. If someone is giving freely of their time and talents, and if you are not a captive audience, why look a gift horse in the mouth? Reading this delightful blog entry earlier today, it did not occur to me that someone would find reason to complain about it. Good grief.

    I do think of this blog as a gift (if not a horse). Thank you for the gift, Twisty.

  20. Spiders

    Crikey, I’m also guilty of horse envy. I haven’t given up on that dream though.

  21. speedbudget

    I would imagine that having a supportive, wonderful father who actually BELIEVES that women are people would make you a feminist by default. I mean, that’s how I came to be one. It boggled me that other men were so……shitty. And it took a while to figure out why they were that way, my only experience with a man having been my father.

    And then one day, I got an inkling.

    So fuck anyone who thinks you have to have a shit-bag for a father in order to be a feminist.

  22. Virginia S. Wood, Psy.D.

    Is (was?) the horse a mare? Maybe that was the problem. If you’d had a gelding, now…

  23. Orange

    My mom’s best friend has a peach of a dad. She’s gotten divorced twice because most men aren’t quite as fabulous as her dad led her to believe they were. My mom stayed subhappily married until she was widowed. Her dad had been a paranoid schizophrenic alcoholic, so really, being married to a man who was merely a depressed alcoholic looked quite tolerable in comparison.

    I do not have horse envy, nor do I have chicken envy. I am content to be ensconced in a crowded urban environment (though the newspaper tells me that chickens are the trendy new city pet–go figure). I will admit to a touch of dad envy, though, when Twisty wrote about her fabu dad. What a terrific role model and an inspiration, Twisty! I’m glad you wrote that lovely piece about him and I’m sorry people crapped all over it. My dad’s story was one of decency and sadness with a late move toward gun-nut status, and you were so lucky to have a dad you could be so proud of.

    Any time someone rags on blogs as self-absorbed and boring personal ruminations, I like to think they’re not referring to mine so I don’t get all het up. Those blogs? Those are the ones I can’t bring myself to read. Hell, good posts with dim commenters send me running, too.

  24. Citizen Jane

    I can only imagine the Dad hostility comes from the same place we already established the horse hostility comes from: envy. A lot of us became feminists because we grew up watching our fathers exploit their privilege in order to use and abuse our mothers and ourselves. I confess I feel a twinge of bitterness when I meet a woman with a decent father.

  25. Ron Sullivan

    Hell, I got horse envy from way back. I got chicken envy, I got money envy, I got place-in-the-country envy, I got armadillo envy. I even got inflatable-lung envy (to be exact: DEflatable-lung envy) this week. Don’t got cancer envy. Don’t got Texas envy… Well, maybe a few days a year.

    I’m not looking for a fucking ~role model~ here, just enjoyment and a bit o’ sociality. Maybe that’s the difference.

    I’m glad I read that post about your father when it was up, Twisty. I’m also glad I missed the crap it got you. Feh.

  26. Hedgepig

    Well I’ve got deleted post envy. So I’m off to the Twisty archives to read everything she’s ever written here in case something else disappears. Apologies if some very old posts start popping up in the “Latest Blamer Invective” column – I often find it hard to resist commenting even on long dead discussion threads.

    Oh, and isn’t it interesting that the logical response to both a nice and a nasty father is feminism. IBTP.

  27. Ayla


    I would humbly submit that that is because feminism is the only logical response to living.

  28. frances

    @ LisaB and Cath Elliot

    Time Warp Wives was a UK TV show. Interesting to google, don’t take the promo article at face value.

  29. slade

    I still think of that post about your father every now and then. There are so few kind men in this world that I remember all of them.

    I can’t believe you had to remove that post because of the slime that slithers around on this planet. Un-fucking-believable.

    It’s probably slime like this that makes people want to live in past decades. I just want to deal with as little slime as possible. You got the right idea, Twisty…living out in the country with deer, horses, dogs, and armadillos.

    Can’t you just ban the slime forever?

  30. ayse

    I love sj and “I, Asshole.” And I’m very sorry to hear that some assholes shat all over your post about your dad. My condolences on his passing. We need more good men in this world (and I’m proud to count my father, too, among them).

  31. Helen

    It’s horse envy. If anyone was a young girl pining for a horse her family could not afford, the wounds go deep. It’s hard being a horse crazy girl with no horse. When I was twelve, if we had blogs, I would have endlessly criticized any girl who blogged about her horse.

    Yes as you point out, it’s twelve-year-old behaviour. I think some bloggers should be ashamed of themselves.

  32. dr. fantastic

    Well, I’m jealous of your house and armadillo sightings.

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