Autodidact: self-taught


Father Frost Exists! HE DOES!

by V. L. Craven

Russian children aren’t allowed to think their parents are lying.

I love stories like this. I tend to think of Yanks as being the biggest idiots on the planet when really every country is stupid in its own way it’s just much more amusing to pick on the richest person in room. Like why it’s fun to watch fame whores make complete morons of themselves. The U.S. is the fame whore of the world, my friends.

Which is why I love stories like the one above where a Russian ad was banned because it denied the existence of Father Frost. “It said that declaring that Father Frost did not exist implied that parents were not telling the truth, so undermining childrens’ trust in them.”

Let’s ignore the misplaced apostrophe in “children’s” and focus on the real message: Kids, always believe your parents, even when they lie to you.
And then get on the Yanks here who continue to support Bush even after they know he lied to them.

[This is a re-post from a previous blog. Original post date: 01 January 2008]


Grimm Love

by V. L. Craven

An American Masters student becomes fascinated by the case of Armin Meiwes , the German who took out an advert to find someone willing to be eaten and killed, in that order.

The student envies the relationship between the men, since they so clearly ‘fit’ with one another. Each saw the darkest side of the other and were drawn closer because of it.

The student (an unrecognisable Keri Russell) goes to Germany and looks into the past of both men, which we see in nicely-done flashbacks. She begins frequenting cannibalism forums (something I have not researched, but no doubt exist) as she becomes more deeply drawn into the case.

At the end the student finds the video of the meal/murder and is repulsed. This is supposed to be redemptive, I suppose, because she’s revolted by the reality behind what she’d thought of as a perfect relationship. Which was meh, though I’m not sure of another way it could end.

Prior to this film, I knew only that a man had advertised for someone to eat and another man had responded to that ad, so learning about the background of both men was part of the appeal.

Grimm Love Wikipedia page,  which includes spoilers.

Bonus Info: I couldn’t remember the real names of either of the men and when I searched ‘German cannibal’ Wikipedia came up with five. I thought that was a lot until I checked ‘American cannibals,’ which returned 21. There’s nothing for ‘British cannibals’. ‘English cannibals’ only asks if I meant ‘English Canadians’.


[Bonus: Last week on Slate they had an article about the ‘Cannibal cop’ in New York, wherein they discuss both Meiwes and the current fetishizing of cannibalism. Fascinating stuff.]


What the Internet Did This Week

by V. L. Craven

From The Guardian:  Writers’ Favourite Classic Book Illustrations with Pictures . The captions make it, for me. Beatrix Potter was… interesting. [Bonus 1: I’ve just started playing Peter Rabbit’s Garden on my iPod and it’s lovely–really captures the feel of the books, but without the horrors. Bonus 2: The illustration below was Bryan Talbot’s choice for the article. Complete set of Dore illustrations of with the Longfellow translation of The Divine Comedy in this 30MB zip file .]

Does anyone else hear ominous music… ?

This article from Slate  explains why we think disasters make people regress to their primal selves, when it’s simply not so. Bonus info: There’s something called ‘disaster science’ and I’m loving the new term ‘elite panic’, which is when white people get a-scared the non-white people are going to start looting and robbing the second the electrics are off for more than ten minutes. The big takeaway from this article is that people are kinda great when it benefits the entire tribe (meaning all the people).

Brown people are going to take my stuff!

Gawker has an article about an advice column  about how men can best deal with women-times . The title of the article is ‘MEN: Is Your Lady on ‘a Period’: Learn How to Deal in the Most Ridiculous Period-Advice Column Ever’ and I thought I was in for one of those delightfully amusing advice columns from the 1820s. But no. How I wish that had been the case.

I’d be remiss if I left an article on genitals of the other sex: Fleshbot has an…enlightening article about 3-D printing your willy . So, so very NSFW . My husband read this part to me, (italicized bit was his commentary):

They even hand mix their own colors, and not only do they do four flesh tones (cashew, caramel, hazelnut, and chocolate) [WHY ARE THEY ALL FOODS?!] but they can also capture undertones, such as the reddish-purple luster of a swollen dong. They’re true artisans.

The article is hilarious and reminds me a great deal of Grant Stoddard’s excellent I Did it For Science column on Nerve.

Here is an image of a 3D printer, as I’d like at least the *images* in this post to be safe for work.

And apparently, since sex seems to be the unofficial topic of this week’s links, have an article from The Atlantic entitled Where Masturbation and Homosexuality Do Not Exist , which is about the Aka and Ngandu tribes in central Africa. When a population has a high infant mortality rate but relies on having several children, sex, though enjoyable, is used as a reproduction tool (sorry). The article also discusses the way Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich Democratic societies (WEIRD)–which is even better than ‘elite panic’–approach the idea of sex when studying non-WEIRD groups. I find the sociology of anthropology very interesting, so this article was a great read.

These people are both WEIRD and would love it in central Africa, where I’d bet there’s no abortion, either.


Saving People’s Lives is Heresy

by V. L. Craven

I’m completely in favour of allowing people to drink sewage water if it’s their wish to do so. If you believe sewage has the magical ability to fix your problems… well, you’re not  wrong , per se. Roll on, active Darwinism, I say.


Women That Shop Like Men and Men That Dress Like Women

by V. L. Craven

This child has just been shopping with her mum and was not impressed by the experience.

If I had the wherewithal (and funds) to open a shop I’d call it Plain Jane’s. A place for women who shop like men. ‘We know what we want and we don’t want to sell a kidney to get it.’

Everything would be arranged by colour in a horseshoe layout. There’d be three versions of any item (at most) and you’d be in and out in a matter of minutes.

Recently, my husband braved going shopping with me for a green top. That’s all I wanted–a top of the solid green variety. We went to several places and it was mission impossible. Everything had beads, fringe, sequins, etc. And were quite a bit more expensive in comparison to the male clothing.

That’s because males don’t care nearly as much about apparel as women do so retailers can’t charge as much. Lucky twats.

However, with the advent of the ‘meterosexual’ and effing Jersey Shore, it’s becoming desirable for men to look great whether it be through clothing or skin and hair care products. They don’t even get called gay for it anymore. Though there’s a reason for that. *

I mean, look at this shit:

What. The Fuck, people.

The absolute best part of that advert is when they go to a shot of the guy applying the nail varnish. No one can do that without looking like a giant girl. I was waiting for  his tongue to poke out of the corner of his mouth in concentration. They cut back to a close up of his hands pretty damn quick, I suppose to show he was indeed putting on polish himself. Looking like a big girl.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love me some goth dudes in fishnet tops and eyeliner with backcombed hair. (Noel Fielding, yes, hello.) What gets me is the, ‘Nah, bro, you don’t have to be sensitive or intelligent or thoughtful to cultivate your appearance; you can totally be a steroid-moron and wear cosmetics. RAWR!’ message. Don’t worry. We don’t think you like dudes, because that would be totally gross. We know you had to take time out of your busy banging-all-the-vapid-chicks-wearing-bandages-for-a-dress schedule to shoot this commercial.

I can’t roll my eyes far enough into my head.

*I would like to thank Paddy K for his hilarious post about this very thing, otherwise I wouldn’t have known about AlphaNail and my life would have been just a bit emptier.


Update: From Cracked 5 Men’s Products That are Clearly Women’s Products . Alpha Nail makes an appearance. Because, of course.


This Just In: Scottish People Aren’t English

by V. L. Craven

Look at this:

Now. Look at this:

They look a bit different, yeah? It could be because they’re for two different countries.

This is news to some, as only recently did the Library of Congress decide to reverse a decision to classify Scots authors as English .

How very American. Why don’t we just say all English speakers are Yanks and be done with it. Oh no, we need to distinguish between proper Americans and Everyone Else That Speaks English. So we’ll have Americans and the English. Done and done. So much easier to keep up with.

Isn’t it funny when furriners get ticked off when you think they’re some somewhere else? Like anyone can tell the difference between Ireland and Australia, anyway. Sheesh.

Maybe next they’ll try to classify the Irish as English and we can see how fireproof the Library of Congress building is.

(And I love that Congressman McIntyre–an American of Irish decent–is the one on the Friends of Scotland Caucus to help reverse the decision. Are Jocks ticked that a Mick had to help them out?)

And just for fun, I had to look up the epithet for Scottish people and found this hysterical list of epithets. Just in case you’re ever around a flaming racist and can’t figure out what they’re on about.

[This post is from a previous blog. Original pub date: 12 January 2008]


Just in from BBC News…

by V. L. Craven

The Last Goths of Tashkent

Goths in Uzbekistan are being targeted by police for a variety of non-crimes; including desecration of a cemetery, which is complete rubbish as Goths love cemeteries. We’d never desecrate one.

Some are considering moving to other countries. It makes those of us lucky enough to live in the West grateful for being able to wear what we want. Yes, people may think we’re freaks, but we’re (hopefully) less likely to be arrested to no purpose.

It’s a damn shame about the goths of Tashkent, too, because they are several shades of attractive. You can live near me any time.


Women Are Irrational About Their Icky Parts

by V. L. Craven

Which is why it’s up to men to have rational conversations about women’s gross bits.

I’m surprised there’s no footage of at least one of these men shuddering and muttering about how women have cooties.

Poor women. Not only are they ruled by their messy parts, but they think they have the right to say what’s done to those parts.

It’s amazing that these guys aren’t supportive of female-to-male sex changes, since, who would want to be a woman? Obviously, women should accept their places (beneath) men, but it should at least be understandable why some women want to be men. Sort of a modern version of penis envy.

And who wouldn’t want one?

After all, having a penis gives you the right to tell people who don’t have one what to do with their bodies. You can also be president. And have (and express!) opinions. You’ll be clapped on the back for bedding as many of the poor non-penis-owners (apenii?). If you pay even moderate attention to the result of all of that bedding you’ll be considered a ‘good dad’. You’re even allowed to wear a neutral expression without having strangers demand that you, ‘Smile!’ And you get to be desirable up into your 80s, rather than having a shelf life of twenty years (if you’re lucky).

Hell, if I didn’t think they seemed difficult to deal with in hot weather or when trying to get comfortable in bed at night, I’d want one, as well.

This reminds me of a section of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg where Evelyn Couch realises the most powerful thing in the world are balls. She wants a pair because they give you the right to do anything you like.

I like this idea. Women could buy a pair (money would still define who had the most power–let’s not go too crazy) and whip them out whenever non-ball-having (anads?) people got too up themselves. I’d have an unwieldy set of brass cohones. They’d be like those Ben Wa balls with the bells inside so I wouldn’t need to bring them out–everyone would be able to hear them from several yards away.

Eventually, those poor natural-ball-having people would be jealous, but by then, the people with the biggest balls (women) would have control over men’s bodies.

Are testicles great because the people with the most power have them, or is it because they allow you to produce more children (which was desirable when the original set of power was being handed out)? A woman can only have one child a year, but a man could have hundreds in a year if he really put his…mind (ahem)… to it.

Now, having a great deal of children is a strain on men, as they are now required to support those children. So now the power lies in defining when and how many children are born. And that is untenable. Women must never be allowed to have any sort of power. Even if it’s over their own bodies.

What are men so afraid of? That, if women were put in charge, would subjugate men they way they’ve been doing to women for millenia?

No wonder they’re scared.

Here’s something to lighten the mood:

Hat Tip to Dorothy Snarker .


First Person Witnesses vs. Hearsay

by V. L. Craven

I haven’t paid a great deal of attention to the panels of men trying to make (American) women into unwilling incubators because I figured someone would say, ‘Oh, wait, we’ve already had this conversation. Let’s now turn our attention to things on which we haven’t reached a conclusion.’

What I hadn’t considered (admittedly, stupidly) was that the other side wouldn’t accept this and move on.

But no.

So, I was lying in bed this morning, and I was thinking: How can they not know this conversation was conducted?

And I realised–how do I know it was had? I’d only heard about it–I wasn’t there.

Perhaps all Americans thought being in Vietnam was brilliant. Perhaps Elvis is still alive. I wasn’t there for those things, either. What do I know?

Wait. We did win World War II, right?

Then I wondered whether or not the people involved in the Battle of Womens Bits redux were around for BoWB I? Some of them must have been…

Now I’m confused again.

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