Comment Search: The Specificking
November 21, 2008 1:25 PM   Subscribe

I read an Ask Metafilter comment a while back that was an awesome recreation of what would happen if men actually verbalized their moment-to-moment thoughts to their significant other.

It involved, as I remember, copious references to wanting to see other people naked and boss/co-worker killings. I really want to find the comment again to share it with a friend, but my search skills are not up to the task. If anyone can help me locate it, I promise to favorite it so this will never happen again.

Oh, and if this is an innapropriate use of MetaTalk, please feel free to flag this post for deletion and/or mock me mercilessly. Or mercifully. It's up to you.

Thanks!
posted by joelhunt to MetaFilter-Related at 1:25 PM (100 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

It was in MetaFilter, let me find it. Ah yes, searching Google for Pastabagel and "line them up" did it.

Is this what you were looking for? I laugh every time.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:32 PM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


That's got to be what he's looking for, and, yeah. I was slow on the draw because I misremembered the poster as Pollomacho.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:33 PM on November 21, 2008


Nothing left to do but mock joelhunt mercilessly.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:39 PM on November 21, 2008


Not gonna happen, specificking is a good word.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:40 PM on November 21, 2008


what would happen if men actually verbalized their moment-to-moment thoughts to their significant other.
I have no reason not to do this, so let me reveal the outcome for the curious: what happens is, at most, she cocks her head a little bit for a second and then goes back to ignoring me.
posted by Wolfdog at 1:41 PM on November 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


Well, that confirms it. I don't think (entirely) like a guy. I apparently think like a lesbian with extra girly tendancies while still being a nerdy boy with a penchant for gadgetry and spatial cognition.

"Hey, she's really cute. I could totally settle down with just those kind of eyes. I wonder what she likes to eat? Maybe she'd let me cook dinner and spend the night, and tomorrow we can go to the flea market! Those boots are fresh. I wonder if she likes computers, or if she's any good at massage? Does she read good books? I want to talk with her so bad! OMG I must be staring, she caught me! She's smiling! Flee!"
posted by loquacious at 1:45 PM on November 21, 2008 [20 favorites]


You've found some differences between yourself and an intentionally exaggerated stereotype? That surely proves something.
posted by Wolfdog at 1:47 PM on November 21, 2008 [5 favorites]


Oh, right. The BEST COMMENT OF THE YEAR.

The year went on, thank God.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:48 PM on November 21, 2008


Thank you so much!

..God, I read that, and it's like someone is performing it for me. The voice is so distinct. It is truly awesome.

So, I guess also, thank you, Pastabagel. For making us laugh about love... again.
posted by joelhunt at 1:50 PM on November 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


You've found some differences between yourself and an intentionally exaggerated stereotype? That surely proves something.

Relax, Francis. I'm just remarking on how I don't think the same way most guys do. It's not a new observation. I'm pointing out that not all men think that way, and my response was also exaggerated. A little.
posted by loquacious at 1:53 PM on November 21, 2008


There isn't a "same way most guys do." You're using a comparison to a caricature to confirm your special snowflakehood. I'm just remarking on that. Relax yourself.
posted by Wolfdog at 1:58 PM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think Bushwick Bill partially referred to this sort of thing years ago as "that other level".
posted by cashman at 1:59 PM on November 21, 2008


You're using a comparison to a caricature to confirm your special snowflakehood.

And you're not a special snowflake? Most people are. I am. Deal with it.
posted by loquacious at 2:02 PM on November 21, 2008


You guys are doing some performance art thing here, right?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:06 PM on November 21, 2008 [8 favorites]


At the risk of being told to "relax" or "deal with it", I've got to say that I think you've missed Wolfdog's meaning loquacious and you should maybe stop trying to argue.
posted by ODiV at 2:07 PM on November 21, 2008


Bushwick Bill

More references to the world's only one-eyed midget gangsta rapper, plz. Tia.
posted by dersins at 2:07 PM on November 21, 2008


"Christing fuck" was the best part.
posted by paisley henosis at 2:08 PM on November 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


Is this the part where I claim that I'm not like all - oh I see loquacious already did that.
posted by Stynxno at 2:12 PM on November 21, 2008


Just goes to show, again, big showy gender stereotypes can actually sting. What's funny-cuz-it's-true is alienatingly foreign to some people, and I have empathy for that position, through my chuckles. AV was here.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:14 PM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


That comment taught me to bite my tongue whenever I'm tempted to ask my husband what he's thinking.

Unfortunately, he usually tells me anyway.
posted by desjardins at 2:15 PM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm just remarking on how I don't think the same way most guys do.

I don't think most guys think the same way most guys do, is the thing, and is what Wolfdog is zinging you for not acknowledging: that by endorsing your difference from "most guys" you're endorsing this silly notion of proven homogeneity of male thought.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:45 PM on November 21, 2008 [4 favorites]


Testosterone is a helluva drug.
posted by tkchrist at 2:49 PM on November 21, 2008


Testosterone is a helluva drug hug.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:50 PM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don't think most guys think the same way most guys do, is the thing, and is what Wolfdog is zinging you for not acknowledging: that by endorsing your difference from "most guys" you're endorsing this silly notion of proven homogeneity of male thought.

No, I got that. I was irked by the use of "special snowflakehood".

Meanwhile I'm currently dealing with a friend I've known since the early 90s who is turning into more and more of a drunk, misogynistic skirt-chasing bastard and totally failing at the clue grab that his behavior and running verbal commentary nearly mirrors Pastabagel's commentary, and is indeed not at all fucking cute and is indeed, in actuality, increasingly offensive to the women in our mutual lives and sweet fucking Christburgers I want to hit him with a fucking stick.

Meanwhile I'm not so sure if Pastabagel's comment is entirely parody, and it's currently hitting a little too close to home. The truth is funny, no?

Oh, and nicotine withdrawals are fun. Boy howdy! I'm eating a frozen box of fuck!

Going for a walk, now, yessir.
posted by loquacious at 3:01 PM on November 21, 2008 [7 favorites]


cortex said homogeneity of male thought
posted by found missing at 3:09 PM on November 21, 2008


stop talking about your homogeneity of male thought already!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:11 PM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


FRANCIS SAYS RELAX
posted by electroboy at 3:16 PM on November 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


No, I got that. I was irked by the use of "special snowflakehood".

But that didn't happen until after your initial silly statement. You said your thing about you vs. "most guys", then he zinged you on snowflakedom. While it makes sense for you to object that everyone is a special snowflake—god in heaven is this ever true—but it doesn't make sense to claim that you were saying that you shared snowflakedom status with all other men when in your previous comment you casually grouped men into two groups: most of them, and you and an unspecified group of other minority-not-most men.

To recap:

LOQ: Most guys are one way; I am another way.
WOLF: That's a very special snowflake thing to say.
LOQ: Everybody is different!

You're both right, and you're even agreeing, but before that you were wrong. And the thing you're agreeing about is that the thing you were wrong about was wrong. Or something. I haven't really been out of the house today, and I want some peanut butter.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:22 PM on November 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


Good luck with the implied quittin', btw. Good for you.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:23 PM on November 21, 2008


MetaFilter: what would happen if men actually verbalized their moment-to-moment thoughts

sorry, couldn't resist
posted by Miko at 3:27 PM on November 21, 2008 [15 favorites]


My secret thoughts are turning increasingly towards the homogenous these days but...

But I should probably stop talking about this.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:29 PM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


I hate the term "special snowflake." People get enough reinforcement of exactly how not-special they are just by waiting on hold to get a doctor's appointment or their voicemail fixed.

I hate it because the constant reinforcement of how NOT special they are keeps people from changing their world. I'm just one bean in a bag of beans- nothing I do will make a difference in the world. Nothing I do really matters. Voting? Picking up that piece of trash on the trail? Organizing against the drug dealers on my corner? Buying sweatshop clothes, and slave labor tomatos? Volunteering anywhere? All just palliatives, to indulge my "special snowflake" status. I shouldn't kid myself that I can change anything.

Like every other kid I knew, I grew up being beaten over the head with how much I was not a special snowflake, so it's an attitude that comes naturally to me, especially when I'm tired and depressed, but when an opportunity comes up to go there, I try as hard as ever I can to walk on by.
posted by small_ruminant at 3:37 PM on November 21, 2008 [19 favorites]


Is this a comment I would need testicles and a penis to understand? Or at least one of the above?
posted by onlyconnect at 3:39 PM on November 21, 2008


Probably. Can you maybe borrow one?
posted by small_ruminant at 3:46 PM on November 21, 2008


Yeah. Try checking on Second Avenue, by St. Mark's Place.
posted by Navelgazer at 4:15 PM on November 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


> I hate the term "special snowflake."

Etymologists, did the "you aren't a special snowflake" line show up before Tyler Durden said this in Fight Club?
"Listen up, maggots. You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You're the same decaying organic matter as everything else."
If so, Palahniuk is not exactly known for spouting thoughts that are healthy to build a lifetime or community around ...
posted by WCityMike at 4:18 PM on November 21, 2008


I found a special snowflake once, but my mother wouldn't let me keep it, and I've been bitter ever since.
posted by languagehat at 4:20 PM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


You're both right, and you're even agreeing, but before that you were wrong.

After reading way too many arguments on the Internet, I've noticed that a large number of them turn into a completely pointless back and forth where the two people obviously agree on pretty much everything but keep nitpicking each other's posts

I've also noticed that often this nitpicking leads to both people realizing that they were only arguing because they were using a different definition of the same word, and they proceed to argue about what the correct definition of the word is.
posted by burnmp3s at 4:20 PM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Etymologists, did the "you aren't a special snowflake" line show up before Tyler Durden said this in Fight Club?

AskMe. (Skip down to dhartung's answer; he's the only one with any useful information.)
posted by languagehat at 4:24 PM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


It was funny 'cause that's exactly how I think, 'cept for that one part.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:26 PM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


New pony request: a Super-Duper Ultra-Favourite mechanism (as distinct from regular ole bookmarking) so that I can use it on that. I forgot all about it and I need it distinct from all the other favourites so it doesn't happen again. Maybe I'll have it put backward in tattoo form like the guy from Memento. Though admittedly, if I ever get retrograde amnesia, that's a pretty fucked up conversation to have to figure yourself out with. You think I could bang that chick at work without my co-workers noticing? I mean during working hours. Holy it's hot in here.

Now what the hell is going on in this thread??
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:56 PM on November 21, 2008


Palahniuk is not exactly known for spouting thoughts that are healthy to build a lifetime or community around ...

*groan*

Figure on a discussion of a Rambo effigy to turn to Palahniuk.

His is some of the most consistent and unifying fiction on the market right now, pulpy though it is. People certainly build community around it, and it's not misanthopic in the least, just desperately wry. It just features wanderers, magic men and, yes, misanthropes, but mostly people seeking outlet for their difference. I find that a positive thing and the perfect thing to build a community around.

But there is a contingent that just misreads the parody of modern masculinity's crisis in Fight Club and takes that as a battle cry, eschewing the queered and critical aspects of it. To them I say PALAHNIUK IS GAY AND YOU ARE TOO LOL.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 5:02 PM on November 21, 2008 [4 favorites]


I'm just one bean in a bag of beans- nothing I do will make a difference in the world.

Underperforming a bag of beans.
posted by DU at 5:04 PM on November 21, 2008


But there is a contingent that just misreads the parody of modern masculinity's crisis in Fight Club and takes that as a battle cry, eschewing the queered and critical aspects of it.

HAHAHAHA I know that guy. He's a racist macho asshole. Fight Club is his fuckin' BIBLE. It's really ridiculous and sad.


To them I say PALAHNIUK IS GAY AND YOU ARE TOO LOL.


Vast quantities of LOL.
posted by louche mustachio at 5:37 PM on November 21, 2008


Oh and, everyone needs a hug. One of those man hugs, though, where you keep your bodies far apart and pat each other on the back so you don't accidentally touch wieners.
posted by louche mustachio at 5:38 PM on November 21, 2008


Is it true that Eskimos (err, Inuits) have seventenhundredmillion words for 'special snowflake?'
posted by fixedgear at 5:43 PM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


No.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:50 PM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


so me an' xanthippe were on a long long drive and i was replaying an entire movie in my head as i drove along.

sez she: "what're ya thinking?"

sez i: "bees! thousands of 'em! they're huge and they're sting-crazy! your weapons are useless against them! save yourselves!"

she never asked me that again.
posted by stubby phillips at 6:21 PM on November 21, 2008 [5 favorites]


smilla's sense of special snowflake. good flick. not as good as tommy boy, but smilla was purty hawt.
posted by stubby phillips at 6:24 PM on November 21, 2008


Mefites do have a bazillion gajillion words for asshat, however.
posted by lukemeister at 6:28 PM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: a bazillion gajillion words for asshat
posted by DU at 6:29 PM on November 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


Bushwick Bill

Considers opening sockpuppet account as Dr. Wolfgang Von Bushwickin the Barbarian Mother Funky Stay High Dollar Billstir
posted by lukemeister at 6:34 PM on November 21, 2008


how to give a great man-to-man hug
posted by madamjujujive at 7:07 PM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


loquacious calmly walked away from a fight and cortex used the phrase "homogeneity of male thought". This place never fails to surprise and impress me.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:11 PM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


a completely pointless back and forth where the two people obviously agree on pretty much everything but keep nitpicking each other's posts

A friend calls this "being in violent agreement."

"Christing fuck, what a cunt he is" is my favorite part too.
posted by ottereroticist at 7:18 PM on November 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


Is it true that Eskimos (err, Inuits) have seventenhundredmillion words for 'special snowflake?'

Don't mess with Inuits. They'll be sitting cross-legged in front of you one second; the next, *wham!*, you'll have been kicked in the face.
posted by CKmtl at 7:38 PM on November 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


loquacious calmly walked away from a fight and cortex used the phrase "homogeneity of male thought". This place never fails to surprise and impress me.

Thanks. This is the part that's irking me with this exchange.

I could have been more clear and direct at expressing my dislike of the Pastabagel comment, but I did that by expressing my own parody. I wasn't even attacking anyone. I said "I don't think (entirely) like a guy." (Comment of the year? It's very well written and amusing to read and funny as hell, but the core message is rubbish.)

I didn't even say "you guys" or "some guys" in my first post. I didn't even particularly single myself out as a special snowflake except to clumsily argue by way of parody that Pastabagels comment doesn't even resemble me in parody.

I get this snark at me from Wolfdog: "You've found some differences between yourself and an intentionally exaggerated stereotype? That surely proves something." which I reacted to badly, initially, but decided to walk away.

The first comment I make in this thread stands. The rest of it is bad reaction on my part to what I perceived as an attack - but I still can't help but feeling like I just got my grill all jumped up in by some bullies at school.

The underlying message I was perceiving was "You're wrong. You're not a special snowflake. You're no different than the truth behind the parody. You're just a statistical average." which if is indeed the intended subtext my reply should be predictable string of strong words laden with satisfying fricatives and glottal stops.

Yeah, yeah, grow a hide. Stop being such a goddamn boyzone.
posted by loquacious at 7:47 PM on November 21, 2008 [5 favorites]


My plate of beans, let me show you them.
posted by odinsdream at 8:03 PM on November 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


I do not exhibit six-fold symmetry, and remain mostly solid at temperatures well above 32F. For a snowflake, that's pretty damn special.
posted by ook at 8:18 PM on November 21, 2008 [8 favorites]


You just aren't folding yourself right. In an attempt to be more unique, no doubt.
posted by graventy at 9:10 PM on November 21, 2008


I hate it because the constant reinforcement of how NOT special they are keeps people from changing their world.

No, the fact that most people are totally impotent and irrelevant keeps them from changing the world. We can talk about it or not, but that doesn't change the fact of the matter.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 9:58 PM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Whoo. This is a tough one.

Okay I got it. Marry loquacious, fuck cortex, kill wolfdog. Wait, no, loquacious has that sort of crazy thing going (great in bed, hell at breakfast, totally). Swap him and cortex. Sorry wolfdog it's just the rules.
posted by fleacircus at 10:07 PM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sorry wolfdog it's just the rules.

to what, 43-man squamish? You're still 40 men short. What happens to the other 40?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:42 PM on November 21, 2008


I hate it because the constant reinforcement of how NOT special they are keeps people from changing their world.

Bunk, if they want to be considered special, they should change their damn world.

/Cantankerousnessosity
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:51 PM on November 21, 2008


loquacious writes "I want to hit him with a fucking stick."

If you're using that kind of stick for hitting people you are probably doing it wrong.
posted by Mitheral at 10:52 PM on November 21, 2008


No, the fact that most people are totally impotent and irrelevant keeps them from changing the world.

This comment totally gave me a boner, so I guess I'm just irrelevant.
posted by dirigibleman at 11:11 PM on November 21, 2008


wouldn't a snowflake be special if it was actually *exactly* like another snowflake?
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:52 PM on November 21, 2008 [6 favorites]


I'm as usual, late to the party, but as someone who was raised to believe that, yes, he was a special snowflake (like most folks, I imagine, who grew up in the 80's), I'd argue that being told you are special is just as bad, if not worse, than being told you're normal. Being told I was special made me think I didn't really have to try at anything, that I would succeed merely because of who I was. Unfortunately, I realized that about 25 years too late, and I've been trying to clean up that mess since then.

Being told you're normal, or not different than others, accompanied by the idea that it's the actual effort behind the accomplishment that matters, that's much more likely to get people to try to change the world, in my experience.

That, and we need to stop using 'normal' and 'average' like they're an affliction.
posted by Ghidorah at 11:54 PM on November 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


Ghidorah - you might find this thread to be of interest.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:07 AM on November 22, 2008


(great in bed, hell at breakfast, totally)

Actually I'm great at breakfast. Just don't wake me up.

to what, 43-man squamish? You're still 40 men short. What happens to the other 40?

Sorry, I thought they were lunch. There's some ribs left, I think.
posted by loquacious at 1:36 AM on November 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm just so embarrassed that my version of that conversation would sound like this:

F: So open up to me, what are you thinking right now.

M: I'm torn between whether I like Kirk or Spock more. I mean, I think Nimoy crafted a better performance. He had this sort of bitchy, smart-ass quality, but it still felt very Vulcan, somehow, but Shatner was just hilarious in his own way ...

F: Oh, God, not Star Trek again.

M: Also, I've been thinking that one of the themes of Dracula is that it's folk myths versus science. The whole New York gang was doing all sorts of stuff that was, for Stoker's time, very modern; they were trying to cure Mina Harker with blood transfusions, which had only become a common medical practice a decade or so before the book was written. But it doesn't seem like Stoker knew anything about blood types. They just put any blood into Mina.

F: Ugh.

M: I sometimes think about writing a story where it's the transfusions that kill her, and Van Helsing and the London Gang just decide it was a vampire and decide to murder the Romanian nobleman who lives next door.

F: You ever think a three-way might be fun?

M: Get this, Van Helsing is an anarchist, and the whole "Dracula is a Vampire" thing is just his way of fanning hysteria, so he can kill a count! Also, it might be unmanly to say, but Shatner was a hell of a good looking man.

F: I don't watch Star Trek and I have never read Dracula.

M: I'm thinking about learning Morse Code. But even practice straight keys are hella expensive.

F: Did you just say hella?

M: I don't think Kirk could beat Spock in 3D chess. I mean, maybe once in a blue moon, but that whole "Kirk is better at 3D chess than Spock because Kirk is unpredictable and makes surprising moves" sounds like total horseshit. On average, Spock would clean his clock.

F: You ever think about shooting your boss? Or getting it on with four girls at once?

M: You want to make a volcano when we get home? I downloaded the instructions from the internet.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:45 AM on November 22, 2008 [51 favorites]


Whoops, that first "New York Gang" should read "London Gang."
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:46 AM on November 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I ♥ zombies.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:25 AM on November 22, 2008


Zombie Eskimos have 147 words for brains.
posted by EarBucket at 6:55 AM on November 22, 2008


how to give a great man-to-man hug

how to hide an unwanted erection.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:21 AM on November 22, 2008


I love how even in the constant onslaught of sexual fantasy, it occurs to the man that they should thank the woman's parents for babysitting.
posted by ErWenn at 7:52 AM on November 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


What happens to the other 40?

Greek chorus.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:52 AM on November 22, 2008


Geek chorus, amirite?
posted by lukemeister at 8:01 AM on November 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Take a closer look, my friend.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:21 AM on November 22, 2008


I wish McCain had said "my fiends" instead.
posted by lukemeister at 8:57 AM on November 22, 2008


I love how even in the constant onslaught of sexual fantasy, it occurs to the man that they should thank the woman's parents for babysitting.

Damn right. If someone else is watching the kids, you're free to do other things.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:07 AM on November 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Being told I was special made me think I didn't really have to try at anything, that I would succeed merely because of who I was.

Seconding this fiercely. I was told by my parents and grandparents as a teenager that I was such a genius that I was going to be the youngest person ever to win a Pulitzer prize. This didn't make me go out and win a Pulitzer; it contributed to a serious lack of discipline regarding creative endeavors, coupled with a near-crippling sense of failure. If I'd ever been simply told that I was a good, not great, writer who needed to take classes and work hard at it, I don't know that I would have won a Pulitzer, but I know for damn sure I would have worked harder at it.
posted by scody at 11:56 AM on November 22, 2008 [6 favorites]


(oops, should have been "near-crippling fear of failure.")
posted by scody at 12:55 PM on November 22, 2008


I'd love to do a cute little mockup of what goes on inside my head and how shocking, masculine and vaguely untoward it is, but it usually comes out of my mouth just fine, so, no need.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:10 PM on November 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


"M: I'm thinking about learning Morse Code. But even practice straight keys are hella expensive."

You can build a telegraph pretty easily; that was one of the projects in seventh-grade shop class (ostensibly "Ideas and Technology," but really just spot-welding and CO2 cars).
posted by klangklangston at 3:48 PM on November 22, 2008


If my girlfriend ever discovers that you just told me that, she will kill you.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:05 PM on November 22, 2008


If I ever honestly answered the question "What are you thinking about," the answer would pretty much always be either "killing demons" or "grammar."

Though to be fair to myself, "demons" is often replaced by any of a variety of other monsters.
posted by Caduceus at 5:34 PM on November 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Once we discover the Computational Theory of Everything, we will see that the cosmic algorithms that govern uniqueness in snowflakes are the same ones that govern uniqueness in our DNA. In other words, we're all literally special snowflakes.
posted by naju at 5:54 PM on November 22, 2008


Uburoivas- that thread is one of the main reasons I ponied up the five dollars. Granted, the lag time between the thread and five dollar ponying up was a bit long, but still.

And scody, I think you and I are in the same boat. Except, here I am, a decade since I've really written anything, and my mother still tells people I'll never meet about her son, the writer. Gah.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:56 PM on November 22, 2008


Pastabagel could bang all four at once if he could convince them that he is not like other guys but is instead like languagehat.
posted by srboisvert at 8:13 AM on November 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


We have, of course, participated in a group assumption about the nature of "thought" here. Most contemporary neurobiologically inclined linguists and cognitive scientists now believe that "thought" does not actually occur substantially in "words" or in the form of natural language, even if we *experience* it that way. Not even "conscious" thought (not to mention the enormous zone of confluence between 'conscious' and 'unconscious' experience). So any attempt to represent the flow of typical experiential interiority in words is bound to traffic in caricatures and lack for nuance. That said, most great literature attempts the feat, and all satirical literature must, because its object must always be the hypocrisy we endure by agreeing to allow our cultural systems to exert control over our nature -- if "allow" is even close to the right word, since "culture" is deeply dependent on communicative competencies and cognitive specializations that are clearly biological adaptations driven by the advantage such capacities have conferred on those of us who are higher primates. All kudos due to pastabagel for a contribution worthy of Swift or Twain, perhaps. In a very real sense, all guys *do* "think" "like that," if by "think" you mean "in terms of reproductive advantage." And if by "like" you mean "within a predictable range of variation," and "that" you mean "as an organism with the capacity for abstraction away from instinctual drives."


So, I am saddened as a male to say, do women. We have no choice in the matter. The interesting part comes in all the ways we sublimate, repress, channel, subvert, transgress, and (as per pastabagel) represent that otherwise boring (because universal) underlying awareness of our basic drives. We've built towering symbolic structures on top of the facts of life, and no matter how hard we try to be conscious of our "thoughts," we have no hope of escaping these structures in our experience of the world as individuals.

PB's capturing this as dialogue (rather than internal monologue) is a neat trick. We don't know who that "F" is or what she's thinking "herself," and I'd love to see the exercise inverted in similarly creative fashion: what women really think (Gary Larson's "blah, blah, blah, Ginger" dog vs. the blank bubble of a cat's mind comes to mind).

[/Kidding, kidding. More typical male humor. Not saying women have blank minds, just the ability to hear the things men are really saying and interpret it as predictable enough not to require further conscious cognitive effort, and men do this too, of course, though it's conventional wisdom that we are less good at it, hence the common expression "thinking with the wrong head," etc.]

And one must add the complications of experience here, and the cycle of reinforcement and regression so many of us go through throughout our lives. For example, as a middle-aged guy enacting pastabagel's dialogue, I'd have to get "hmm, child support x4!!!!!!!!" in there somewhere. "Plus it's late, and I'm tired. And my shoulder hurts. And I have a fucking budget crisis meeting in the morning. And I wonder if there will be free wireless at my hotel? And holy shit, I used to be able to climb a flight of stairs without feeling my heart pound. Goddamn, I miss when you could smoke in a restaurant."
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:59 AM on November 23, 2008 [3 favorites]


a song about sunflakes, by Ray Davies

I won't take all that they hand me down,
And make out a smile, though I wear a frown,
And I won't take it all lying down,
'Cause once I get started I go to town.

'Cause I'm not like everybody else,
I'm not like everybody else,
I'm not like everybody else,
I'm not like everybody else.

And I don't want to ball about like everybody else,
And I don't want to live my life like everybody else,
And I won't say that I feel fine like everybody else,
'Cause I'm not like everybody else,
I'm not like everybody else.

But darling, you know that I love you true,
Do anything that you want me to,
Confess all my sins like you want me to,
There's one thing that I will say to you,
I'm not like everybody else,
I'm not like everybody else.

I'm not like everybody else,
I'm not like everybody else
And I don't want to ball about like everybody else,
And I don't want to live my life like everybody else,
And I won't say that I feel fine like everybody else,
'Cause I'm not like everybody else,
I'm not like everybody else.

Like everybody else,
Like everybody else,
Like everybody else,
Like everybody else.

If you all want me to settle down,
Slow up and stop all my running 'round,
Do everything like you want me to,
There's one thing that I will say to you,
I'm not like everybody else,
I'm not like everybody else.

I'm not like everybody else,
I'm not like everybody else.
And I don't want to ball about like everybody else,
And I don't want to live my life like everybody else,
And I won't say that I feel fine like everybody else,
'Cause I'm not like everybody else,
I'm not like everybody else.

Like everybody else (like everybody else),
Like everybody else (like everybody else),
Like everybody else (like everybody else),
Like everybody else.
posted by timeistight at 4:27 PM on November 23, 2008


er, snowflakes not sunflakes
posted by timeistight at 4:30 PM on November 23, 2008


Whenever I don't feel precious enough, I am consoled by the thought that only I can stop forest fires.
posted by turgid dahlia at 7:53 PM on November 23, 2008


Whenever I don't feel precious enough, I am consoled by the thought that only I can stop forest fires.

Yeah, well, I happen to be Person of the Year.
posted by naoko at 9:50 PM on November 23, 2008


I'm boring. Because I travel a bit, I'm boring all over the fucking place.
posted by dg at 12:53 AM on November 24, 2008


The thing that made Pastabagel's comment so great was how totally unexpected it was. It was a fairly dry discussion of men and women's interactions with a little bit of snark here and there, and all of a sudden there is this piece of wonderful randomness out of the blue. It was like discovering a gold coin amongst your loose change.

That said, it doesn't accurately represent my thinking either. I mean, it's pretty close, but it was just missing... something.

Did any of you see Tropic Thunder? Remember the scene where a grizzled Nick Nolte is flamethrowering the little drug village?

That.

That is what goes on in my brain when it sits idle.
posted by quin at 9:06 AM on November 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sunflakes
BY FRANK ASCH

If sunlight fell like snowflakes,
gleaming yellow and so bright,
we could build a sunman,
we could have a sunball fight,
we could watch the sunflakes
drifting in the sky.
We could go sleighing
in the middle of July
through sundrifts and sunbanks,
we could ride a sunmobile,
and we could touch sunflakes—
I wonder how they'd feel.
posted by tellurian at 7:32 PM on November 24, 2008


I'd love to see the exercise inverted in similarly creative fashion: what women really think

If it were reduced to the same degree of shallow caricature, I can guarantee it would be equally depressing and saddening.
posted by Miko at 7:06 AM on November 25, 2008


I'm boring. Because I travel a bit, I'm boring all over the fucking place.

I think I know a ribald limerick with that premise.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:31 AM on November 25, 2008


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