Good Little Girls

 

It won’t surprise anyone in this blog that I was a tomboy. There is a picture of me at seven or eight I posted in the diner, holding hands with my 10 year older, dark, bearded brother. I was wearing shorts and a scruffy t-shirt. (It was scruffy on account of my having a mania for it, all through that summer. Mom washed it at night – sometimes sending me into the washtank afterwards so I wouldn’t track mud through the house – and it was dry in the morning. It was orange and had a green anchor. I don’t remember WHY I loved it.) I was either barefoot, wearing flip flops or wearing my shoes from the previous winter cunningly cut into “sandals” as my feet pressed front and back.

I had long hair, but mom kept it braided, which is to say out of my way.

I was never one of those girls who wanted to be called by boys names (my best friend’s nickname was Bill, which is a novel approach to Isabel. But she was the Louis L’Amour fanatic and enamoured of the American west. I miss her terribly.) because I never had any illusions or wanted to pretend to be what I wasn’t.

And what I was was trouble with a capital t rolled into a scruffy, skinny (hard to believe) body where the scars from various exploits were hidden under dirt and mud until an adult took a hand.

I read Tom Sawyer and identified with… Tom Sawyer, and not the rather insipid love interest.

At recess at school (we had lovely long recesses, because our teacher was in her seventies and got tired easy. Okay, maybe fifties or sixties, but to me she was ancient.) I invented LARPs. I didn’t know that’s what they were until I heard LARPs described. To me they were just a new way of playing because the way people played – chase? Hide and seek? The elastic jumping game? – either bored me to death or I couldn’t do, not being the most coordinated person around.

The LARP under progress was usually dependent on what I’d just read. The most enduringly popular was Robin Hood, because it had a role for everyone, even the girls who wanted to be pretty (more on that later) and well behaved. It even had a role for the other class (our school, one room, operated different classes morning and afternoon, first to fourth grade. First and fourth shared a class. Then fourth graduated, and we were second and acquired a first.) i.e., the babies, who could be given no account roles such as “other men of Robin Hood” (if we liked them. Rare.) “Townsfolk” “Poor Town’s folk” and more commonly “Men of the Sheriff.”) Because sheriff was an important role, my best friend – a slip of a thing with huge grey eyes and honey brown hair who weighed nothing – was the Sheriff. She routinely complained about the quality of men she got stuck with.

Oh – I should point out it was an all girl’s school. The boys’ school was next door, but we weren’t allowed to mingle at recess.

Most of the girls were only too eager to play something more fun. Because between Robin Hood and the Three Musketeers (second most popular LARP. Third was WWII) we used a lot of swords, we used to jump the wall into the bamboo field to acquire “swords.” And because of that and all the fights, we had more scrapes, bruises and skinned knees than most boys.

The teacher – she says proudly – said we were the rowdiest, smelliest, most ill-behaved girls she’d taught in a decades-spanning career.

I don’t know how much of me is me, and how much the fact that I was taught not to be weak and not to wait for anyone to solve my problems. One doesn’t. I know that though my mom deplored I could only be put in dresses for special occasions and then wore them without grace (At sixteen when the distant echoes of trying to attract boys arrived, I was afraid people would laugh at me for wearing skirts, and I spent any amount of time learning to walk) and had to be watched like a hawk, lest I tear all the embroidery and frills due to a sudden need to build mud pies or climb a wall.

On the other hand, when we visited people and their daughters were insipid sugar and water little girls, my parents would trade looks and on the way home say the equivalent of “Thank G-d our daughter isn’t useless.”

We had our share of sugar and water little girls in the school. In the LARPs they wanted to play the girl parts. They were forever wanting kissing scenes (okay, we were all under ten. Yeah, we were all girls, but I think in their minds they were kissing the men the girls played) and declarations of love. If they got captured you had to be careful not to tear their dresses or muss their hair. You had to be careful when you rescued them too. And no stray swords their way, or the teacher would hear about our transgressions.

It seemed all they did was sit around in between being captured, drawing or doing their embroidery, being “pretty” and picking on other girls.

It seemed horribly boring to me, but we didn’t care. Unless one of them didn’t get what she wanted, be it a kissing scene or an important role, and then – oh, then – she would take revenge by getting us in trouble with the teacher or even with our parents.

They quickly learned not to do this to me or my best friend, because we’d wait in an out of the way place and rain destruction to hair style and dress as well as a few bruises.

But mostly that was their function. Reign by scolding and back biting. Reign by spite and malice. It seemed like a weird way to live. Even their friends weren’t really friends. We – okay, possibly influenced by Dumas and such and their ideas of friendship – viewed “friend” as a sacred bond and obligation. They seemed to view it as “this week I like you better than her. Next week, who knows.”

These “good little girls” grew up to, in middle school and high school, be the sort who would take notes with four different kinds of pen and take more care of the illustrations and penmanship than content.

That they often had better grades than I was not something to be endured, as I endured people who actually knew or did better than I. It was an offense because they had better grades by sucking up to teach and repeating teach’s opinions back at him/her.

I understood how to do it. I even knew the wisdom of it. It just seemed to me a low and spiteful type of trick, offensive to all my notions of honor.

I argued with the teachers, had notebooks even I couldn’t read (thank heavens for eidetic memory) and spent half the classes reading sf under the table, or writing my own novels (Bill, who by 12 started to go by Isa, has them somewhere. Don’t ask me. I lost contact with her years ago.) BUT I knew the subjects cold and I EXPECTED the best grade (Got it astonishingly often, too. A witness to the fairness of teachers.)

And I despised the whining and the manipulation of the “good little girls.”

By then I was old enough to know they weren’t “good” at all, or at least they weren’t what the adults expected.

Also, as politics in the country changed, they added both victimhood and social consciousness to their tricks. These girls who would ostracize you for wearing “last year’s fashion” would talk about otherizing and compassion for the other, and talk about how much they loved the poor (who wouldn’t be allowed near their frilly dresses for all the tea in China.)

My friends, of course, were the others. The people who actually studied, who actually cared for the subject, and who often didn’t scruple to show the teacher they found their behavior reprehensible. (Among these, throwing my shoes – repeatedly – at the head of the representative of the association Portugal-Russia must rank up there in bad behavior. But the teacher knew that bringing a commie in was something I’d make her pay for, party member or not. Which I suspect kept her in check. Certainly after that there were no more commie-speakers. [Repeatedly: I’d throw a shoe then the other, when he said something that annoyed me particularly. Then I’d go collect them, put them on, and go back to sitting. When he held a shoe – commie or not, poor man, being hit by a 12 year old girl – and asked what I’d do if he didn’t give it back, I pointed out I had dictionaries. Heavy ones. And that by rules he wasn’t supposed to be in the school. I got my shoe back.])

Some of them were terribly neurotic. Some were just Odd. But none of them spent their lives copying the notes in four colors in their best handwriting. And none of them would tell on you to teacher or your parents if, say, you cut art class to go watch the pro soccer club practice. (What, men in skimpy shorts. You got a problem with that?)

And we were united in rolling our eyes when a good little girl started saying stuff the teacher would approve of, and posing and pitching her voice just right.

I thought – I was naïve – that when I was an adult I wouldn’t have to deal with good little girls. They’d marry their trophy husbands, get out of my face, and let me pursue my interests in peace. The guys I liked had no use for their way of going limp and asking for help, and whining when dissatisfied, or their tricks of playing “poor helpless little me.” So, I thought—

Heaven help me. Had I been born earlier, this might have been true.

But by the time I was an adult, the “good little girls” had switched to being “feminists” because this allowed them to cry and scream about being victims, and have someone help them and given them things.

In my field of endeavor they were, once more the favorites. More infuriatingly, they weren’t even all girls. There were any number of men associating themselves with them, whining and screaming about how women were mistreated and how they, white males, had it easy, as a way of claiming victimhood by proxy and also of acquiring power to decide who are the victims and who the heretics.

I was aware – I’m strange, not stupid – from the moment I entered the field that the way of making your way to was speaking mealy-mouth to power and to repeat back at the editors what they wanted to hear: mostly neo Marxist clap trap.

But of course, that would be “cheating”. I’d make it on merit despite their hating me every inch of the way.

Well, that didn’t work at all. Or it is working, but slowly. Depends on how you look at it.

But I knew too by then that speaking mealy to power just gave us very boring stories. And I entered this field because I loved stories, so that wasn’t going to happen.

I watched the good little girls (even those with penises) preen and pose and try to outdo each other in how “other-friendly” and special they were while keeping (with the gatekeepers’ help) everyone away who had an original thought. And of course, everyone who was better than them. Good little girls are the original crab bucket. They know they’re mediocre and fear real talent. (Not talking about myself, here, but I have friends.)

And I watched circulation tank, and wished there was a place where I could wait for them, and rip their frills and muss up their hair and say “you leave me and my friends alone, or else.”

And then there was indie. (And Baen, of course, but Baen is only sf/f and only one house.) And then we were free. We could jump the wall to the next house, get bamboo for swords and play in our way. Even if it exasperated teacher/the gatekeepers.

No wonder the good little girls scream so much. They want what they always wanted. Someone to do all the dirty work for them, while they preen and pose and hold the “I’ll tell” (you hold non-approved opinions) over our heads. Instead they find themselves in an increasingly tinier ghetto, telling each other how pretty they are (with Nebulas) while the real action moves on.

I say it’s a wonderful thing. I don’t care if they’re pretty or admire themselves a lot. I care that we don’t give them power over us.

Good little girls and the people who love them are fine. In their place. Far away from the real fun and the real work. Where nothing challenging ever happens. And they can play their crab bucket games in peace.

And I’m okay with that.

As for me, and my friends… we’re going to have us some fun.

 

 

274 responses to “Good Little Girls

  1. Fun? Fun? Reading isn’t supposed to be fun!
    Well, it would if all we were forced to read was the pap they want us to read. Worse than school, that stuff.

    • The weirdest thing about “Approved reading for Young Minds” in my opinion, is the way that adult classics from the Victorian and Edwardian era have been tuck with that label. I understand why the LIRPs want young people to read ARE YOU THERE GOD, IT’S ME, MARGARET. I have NO idea why they want young people to read THE MAYOR OF CASTERBRIDGE or GULLIVER”S TRAVELS. I have a sneaking suspicion that they LIRPs don’t know either…..

      • Because for a lot of kids, especially the non-Odds, those books are arcane, boring, and confusing (And sometimes they go back and discover there was a lot more there that they just didn’t follow and see why things are classics and people have loved them for decades). Which makes it acceptable culture.

  2. My daughter is being raise to be my own version of a “good little girl”.

    Competence with an AR-15 being a key requirement. 😀

    • Free-range Oyster

      Should the good Lord yet grace the Oyster Clan with a daughter (no luck so far in two generations), particularly if she’s mine, I hope and expect she will be a “self-rescuing princess”.

      • Really, I don’t see anyone in this crowd who wouldn’t hope and expect the same.

        And yet, there are those who think we want to keep women barefoot and pregnant as they slave in the kitchen making us sandwiches. *shakes his head*

        • They’ve never seen the mess that results from my making sandwiches. I have no idea how the end of the tomato got across the kitchen. Nor how pickle juice ended up over _there_.

          • Using dill slices for shuriken will spread the pickle juice around. Tai Kwan Dill!

          • I tend to make my own sandwiches because my wife doesn’t get the mayo right.

            Yep, I’m a picky bastard, but since I’m also the family chef, I’m entitled to be that way. 😀

            • You are entirely entitled to be as picky as you like over any chore you do yourself. It’s being picky with other people’s work that costs.

            • Writers are always the cooks. I don’t know why.

            • Making sandwiches? My wife says I make the best BLT ever.

              • overgrownhobbit

                A great resource for me has been the old standby Joy of Cooking it’s a teaching cookbook, and doesn’t assume you know anything: therw’s all these great “about” sections, like, “about corn”. Even now that I’ve become a good enough cook to mod recipes on the fly, it’s still useful.

                And if you have a public library, Cooks Illustrated magazine is great to read to learn why stuff woks the way it does, even if the folks seem to assume we have unlimited food pep time and grocery budgets. Most US libraries let you check out back issues. Some have copy machines that let you scan to a thumb dive (no charge) then use the library computer to insert the files into a document, and print using one’s weekly allotment.

                The Baking Fairies, on the other hand, still hate my guts.

                • overgrownhobbit

                  ..and my IPad clearly wants me dead. Touch screens. Blech!

                • I didn’t know how to cook at all when I got married. Thank heavens for Joy of Cooking. But the new one is all diet according to low fat. Don’t buy new.

                • I checked the big Cooks Illustrated cookbook out of the library and spent a very happy weekend reading it. Lots of interesting stuff, and the food sounded pretty good too. Mostly. The “how we solved this” bits are really interesting lessons in cooking chemistry and physics (and taste testing).

                  • Alton Brown and the folks at Cooks Illustrated are good sources (watched every Good Eats and both PBS shows from the CI folks) but for the last year or so my new inspiration is http://www.seriouseats.com Especially good are the Food Lab articles by J. Kenji López-Alt who funny enough used to work at CI for a number of years and among other things came up with the Vodka instead of water to make pie dough trick (though he recently came up with an even BETTER trick for pie dough)

        • They have to think of us as cardboard cutouts with no redeeming characteristics, because if they made us real three dimensional people with competences and merits they would have to face the fact that they are overmatched.

          Incompetent rednecks cartoons who love guns because they have issues but are likely to shoot themselves in the foot the LIRPs can face. Competent people who like guns and know how to use them would be terrifying, particularly since they’ve been insulting said people for decades.

          • I’ve pointed out repeatedly that if we were as dangerous as they think we are, they’d be too terrified to actually open their mouth.

            None of us would hurt a soul who wasn’t trying to hurt us first. That’s not what we believe.

            • If we were as violent and malevolent as they say, they would be scared to death if us. And if they allowed themselves to understand how competent, self-directed, and independent we are they would also be scared to death of us. Their delusions are convoluted and recursive. I hope to live until the day a large number of them go *pift* at once. The memory will keep me warm in my dotage.

              • Well, they can’t comprehend our competence, because they can’t comprehend how someone can actually be competent and not agree with them. They can’t grasp that people with intelligence can actually dare to disagree with them.

                • They also tend to be only good at one thing, so being able to comprehend more than one thing baffles them too. Being competent in more than one really is foreign to many of them (who lack even one thing, or their “competence” is in something useless)

        • Barefoot, pregnant, making sandwiches, with an AR-15?

        • And yet, there are those who think we want to keep women barefoot and pregnant as they slave in the kitchen making us sandwiches. *shakes his head*

          Not like the substance of their offer is any great shakes, so they have to make a mangled version of the alternative*.
          “Hey, women! Do what guys want you to do, until you’re old and lonely, and when they’re moved on to chasing the next generation or three of young girls you’ll get to lecture them about how great it is that they escaped forming a team that is as if they are a single flesh, ‘cus that would be compromising, you know.

          My Little Pony did a startlingly good twist on the “Self Rescuing Princess” thing. Rarity mostly saved herself…using the characteristics that are all girl, and she’d already been shown to have. There’s only so many times that the “Miss Piggy does Kung Fu” thing can be funny or impressive, and I get so tired of folks only being strong in one way.

          *Mangled, not false. At one point I was visiting my sister and after some big to-do I realized that I was in her kitchen… barefoot… and very pregnant. I believe I’d just repaired a computer, and that my gun was somehow involved.
          It’s like talking about babies and only mentioning the really, really nasty diapers at three AM when you’ve got a meeting the next day; doesn’t even count the cuddle-and-snore when you get rid of their discomfort and they drift off like a warm lump of cute.

          • One of the reasons I think Rarity rocks is that she’s strong a lot of different ways … she can outwit and outfight most normal foes.

          • Patrick Chester

            I believe I’d just repaired a computer, and that my gun was somehow involved.

            Threatening a computer with gunfire works?! 😉

          • The cuddle snore is the the best, even when they’re slobbering all over your shoulder and you don’t want to put them down even though its 2am. (Yes, that was this morning. *shifty eyes*) /tangent

            • Yeah, you even forgive them for upchucking all over your extremely hairy chest (Mine, that is, I will definitely NOT be insinuating that any of the ladies have hairy chests), once you both get cleaned up and get the little monster back to sleep.

              • Darth Vader voice: Puuuke, upon your Faaather

                • overgrownhobbit

                  “until they have children to laugh at, lovers are always laughing at each other.”

                  Kids are funny, and snuggle-sum and a huge chore, and a disgusting mess, and a constant revelation. Yanno, just like… People are.

                  The myopia of the anti kid crowd (as opposed to the merely “yes, awesome sauce, but not for me, I’m afraid” sort) is kind of shocking. Do they imagine they sprung full grown from Zeus’s head? Or do they just hate humanity that much?

                  • My daughter was called “Spew-o-matic” when she was younger. That’s where it comes from. She’s 18 now, and I still worry, but she’s good people.

          • doesn’t even count the cuddle-and-snore when you get rid of their discomfort and they drift off like a warm lump of cute.

            That’s me most of the time too. (currently curled up around sleeping, nursing baby) Soon he’ll sleep long enough that I can get back to writing again while he is sleep-nursing.

          • ” I believe I’d just repaired a computer, and that my gun was somehow involved.”

            A woman who can repair a computer with a gun. *swoons*

            Seriously, I’ve threatened to fix a computer permanently with 158 grains of lead, but have never actually followed through on the threat.

            • *sigh* Glad y’all are getting such mirth from my bad memory… I just can’t remember if that was the day that I did gun talk with one of her friends’ husbands and installed a video card, or if it was when I took her laptop apart (and put it back together, with no leftover parts) and discussed concealed carry tactics.

        • Barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen. I managed one of those pics for each of my kids. (This was the pregnancy with gestational diabetes and I was on a strict diet, hence the lack of chub.)

      • Or, at the very least, will assist in being rescued.
        Not being able to bail yourself out of the Death Star is no disgrace; adding no value whatever to the rescue is.

        • While Princess Leia was indeed a positive role model of the ‘pretty but competent’ style, my favorite Carrie Fisher role is in Blues Brothers where she jumps out of the bushes firing a machine gun at Belushi. Now there is a woman to admire!

        • Well, now, that depends on how esoteric the skills needed are. And how skilled the rescuers are. I can easily imagine situations where a reasonably prudent person can conclude that the best thing to do while being rescued is to not interfere.

          • Ah, but at that point they are adding value: Specifically, the satisfaction the rescuers of knowing the person thy’re rescuing isn’t a total idiot.
            Also, I’m inclined to think that most any rescue op can use an extra warm body.

    • In preschool, my daughter gave a first grader a black eye for bullying one of her friends. And a few years ago she broke one of my ribs ‘training to be a ninja.’ I.E., the only kind of ‘good little girl’ that’s bearable.

      • RealityObserver

        My favorite image (unfortunately, it has to be imagined from what he told me later) is of my third-grade daughter backing her (ex-Marine) teacher into a corner, because he ran her first-grade brother off of the basketball court. With reason, the sixth graders were playing at the time…

        That one has been, and is, a handful – and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

        • I suspect her teacher still resents how unconvincing I was telling her she shouldn’t do that.

          • My daughter’s high school principal called me to let me know my daughter had been in a fight. He was quite shocked when the first thing out of my mouth was, “Did she win? Who was she fighting with?”

            I fought in school. Most kids do, eventually. The last fight I was in was in Vietnam, when I beat the snot out of a guy bragging about being a Golden Gloves champion, and no one could beat him. We were using standard 14-ounce “sparring gloves” and head protection. My uncle taught me to fight when I was 10, and I had the reach and the stamina on the guy. At least I didn’t put HIM in the hospital. That was 1971. Haven’t HAD to fight (physically) since.

  3. I was a total tomboy. Once my mother had thoughts of me going to an all-girls Episcopal high school. I don’t think she was quite prepared for my reaction. She tried one last time when it came to college….that attempt failed as well. I do not do well around good little girls. I tend to open my mouth and tell them exactly how I feel about their activities. They seem not to appreciate my candor.

    • My mom stuck me in all-girls’ schools through high school. And college in languages is all girls and gay guys. I still made the best I could of it.

      • We’ve seen you taking on almost impossible challenges since then, too. I’m sure your classmates learned more than they ever expected to with you around.

        • The traditional idea behind all-girls and all-guys schools was pretty simple — keep the hormones separated during school hours, so the teenagers can try to think.

          For most girls, it probably is good, if the teachers have a firm idea that “you are here to work your tail off and keep your brain moving forward.” A lot of reasonably bright teenage girls get very unthinky, because they’re too busy planning outfits and dates or dotting their i’s with hearts. Not everybody, but a fair number.

          But it certainly seems that in single-sex schools, many of the nastier kids get a freer rein… except that often, the nasties team up in schools for both sexes.

          • I think it depends on the teacher set but also on the size. My single-sex high school was run by some nuns whose founding charter was designed by Jesuits, so education was definitely important. And honestly, though we had some stereotypical types (like the ones who were proud of sneaking out and getting drunk), they didn’t tend to get in the way much because the teachers weren’t on board with nastiness.

      • overgrownhobbit

        Did you ever run into the very gentle girls? The ones who wanted to be the princess, and be rescued, and care for the poor wounded knight? And have a sweet pony who talked to her? I had one friend like that. She was clever and gentle and imaginative, and liked (what in hind sight seem to me to be) the “little mother” roles? I think the special snowflake SJWs screw them over more than the tomboy girls who name their bike Rosinante, and pretend to go on errantry. We’re a pretty ornery bunch, us.

        Though, I must admit, even as a scabby-kneed ruffian who played linebacker in Jr. high (I hit my full height ~12 yrs) I had a deep yearning for “long skirts that go swish”. Another thing I’ll not forgive the late ’60s for anytime soon.

  4. “I knew too by then that speaking mealy to power just gave us very boring stories.” reminds me of the story about Diogenes:

    “Plato quietly accosted him thus, “If you had paid court to Dionysius you would not have to be washing vegetables.” “And,” Diogenes replied, with equal calm, “if you had washed vegetables, you would not have to pay court to Dionysius.””

  5. Eamon J. Cole

    I always found the good little girls baffling. More baffling than I found everyone else, even.

    Their path to success seemed to be emulation of an idea beamed back at the authority figures. No scrambling through the rough thoughts and the messy ideas. No building things and seeing why they fell down, nor pulling at well-built things to see why they stayed up. Just — doing their best to play mirrors for the teachers.

    Me, I’m in favor of poking at an idea until its irritated enough to poke back. Then we’ve got some interaction, we can get a tug-o-war going and see where everybody’s strengths and weaknesses lie. I like to shake the well-built ideas until they rattle, find those loose bolts.

    I always figured SF/F was the place to do such.

  6. I also went to an all-girl elementary school. I hated those girls who were so perfect in every way. More often than not, they were mean and catty, and they had powerful, rich parents.

    I love that you threw your shoes at the commie, btw!

  7. Huh, did I miss something?

    Not that I disagree, but this is the third time this morning that the “compassion for idealized folks you don’t have any interaction with, harshness for those you deal with” thing has come up.

    One was a comment from RES on yesterday’s post– I think it would be slightly before this was published– and the third is over at TAC, with a great quote from C. S. Lewis.

    As regards his more general attitude to the war, you must not rely too much on those feelings of hatred which the humans are so fond of discussing in Christian, or anti-Christian, periodicals. In his anguish, the patient can, of course, be encouraged to revenge himself by some vindictive feelings directed towards the German leaders, and that is good so far as it goes. But it is usually a sort of melodramatic or mythical hatred directed against imaginary scapegoats. He has never met these people in real life-they are lay figures modelled on what he gets from newspapers. The results of such fanciful hatred are often most disappointing, and of all humans the English are in this respect the most deplorable milksops. They are creatures of that miserable sort who loudly proclaim that torture is too good for their enemies and then give tea and cigarettes to the first wounded German pilot who turns up at the back door.

    Reminded me of my “racist” grandmother. She worried about the blood transfusions she got having black and Hispanic blood in them*, couldn’t stand the English and was politely horrified that her sons all married Catholics…. her favorite student when we were in her 4-H cooking class was Maria, who was born in Mexico; her husband was (mostly) English, and not only did all her grandchildren being Catholic not slow her down in the least, but she started watching EWTN before she passed. Without the slightest change in what she’d say.

    * (I reassured her that there was a good chance they came from folks like “my” Marines, knowing Green would instantly overwhelm any other consideration. It seemed to have worked.)

    • I’d think it was the attack on the cops but that’s pretty much in keeping with what’s been going on for years, now.

    • In my world, once in interesting, twice is OK, third time means I’m supposed to be doing/not doing something. It’s only taken, um, [redacted] years for me to figure this out.

      • Ditto– actually, this is the fourth time, Catholic Stand had an article on this as well, sort of; about not doing bad things for good ends. (Focus on words.)

        I’m not sure if I’m missing something, if I’m about to get challenged and am supposed to be reassured, or if there’s just something going on.

        Arguably, this might just be an over-lap with Mark Shea’s continuing melt-down, which would make this the fifth similar post in a short amount of time, with the first being direct about that involvement and him being halfway to LGF status in various Catholic blogs …but I don’t know how it would touch over here as much, except by the tangential political aspect. I don’t know if Sarah reads the Catholic blogosphere, but I’m positive that if RES read either Catholic Stand or The American Catholic, I’d have seen him comment by now!

        *sigh* As with most things, it’s only clear when you look backwards, then it’s blindingly obvious.

          • Was pretty sure we’d have heard explosions by now.
            (There’s reasons I avoid large areas of it, and stick with the folks who manage to be pleasant folks who happen to be religious, rather than Religious People who will make dang sure you know it… Hm.)

        • It’s in the collective subconscious. We had a sermon on the topic today, or, at least, it ended up on the topic–I missed the first half because the youth group took a field trip, so I’m not sure where we started from yet. (I gotta give the tech a few hours to get the sermon up on the website.)

          • It’s in the collective subconscious.

            …which might mean that the Left is over-using the tactic and it’ll burn out soon, or it MIGHT mean that a lot of us are about to get hit with something about it.

            Any way it goes, I’ll try to follow Mary’s example of holding on to this and pondering it in my mind, but….

  8. Thankfully both my daughters were tomboys. One is now a paramedic battalion chief the other working in the restaurant business. Neither knows how to play nice. 🙂 And reading SHOULD be fun! I have to read enough technical stuff for work that when I have the chance to pick up a book, I want to enjoy it!

  9. Throwing your shoes at the commie was very neat but retrieving them to throw again is just flat awesome

  10. I was kind of in-between when young. I liked playing with boys, and playing boys’ games, and later reading boys’ adventure stories, but I also liked lots of girly stuff, clothes, jewelry, dressing my Barbie and wearing nice things myself. But then I started school, and realized I wasn’t quite good enough with the girly stuff to really compete with the girls who were fully into it, and for years then I concentrated mostly on the boy stuff. At that time I no longer had boys for friends, the couple I started school with had been rather mercilessly teased for playing with a girl and had wilted and stopped playing with me, but there were no real tomboys in our class and being the closest thing to one maybe kept the cattier girls from bullying me (or kept it at a minimum), I guess I scared them a little even if I never fought with any of them, just a couple of boys who had tried to bully me physically during the first and second year (after I showed them that I was willing enough to hit back they left me alone too, apart from occasional verbal taunting, but they didn’t do that much either).

    I made friends with a few of the other girls, one from a farm (similar to me, she liked pretty things but also liked spending time with the animals on their farm, or playing in the hay etc), then later one who liked animals too, we both rode for a few years, and then got back into clothes etc when I got older. Started wearing high heels when I was about 15, mostly wore just them except when it was just not possible, like when in a forest, until I was about 30 and my increasing weight started to become a problem. I could even run well enough in high stiletto heels once. 😀

    • I used to run for the train, hell for leather in stilletos!

      • Remember what was said about Fred Astaire being a great dancer. What about Ginger Rogers? She took every step he did, except she had to do it dancing backwards while wearing stilettos.

        • RealityObserver

          Who is this “Fred” guy? I just watch Ginger whenever I run across one of those movies…

        • EgregiousCharles

          Nope. She didn’t. Watch their feet. Also note how much faster he dances in his solos.

          Wikipedia’s article on Ginger Rogers explains it better:

          John Mueller summed up Rogers’s abilities as follows: “Rogers was outstanding among Astaire’s partners, not because she was superior to others as a dancer, but, because, as a skilled, intuitive actress, she was cagey enough to realize that acting did not stop when dancing began … the reason so many women have fantasized about dancing with Fred Astaire is that Ginger Rogers conveyed the impression that dancing with him is the most thrilling experience imaginable”.

          According to Astaire, when they were first teamed together in Flying Down to Rio, “Ginger had never danced with a partner before. She faked it an awful lot. She couldn’t tap and she couldn’t do this and that … but Ginger had style and talent and improved as she went along. She got so that after a while everyone else who danced with me looked wrong.”

      • I’m so glad you said that. I’ve been watching the TV show “Chuck” on Netflix, and one of the things that has bothered me is they frequently have stunningly gorgeous women doing spy stuff (not just seduce the bad guy, but sneaking about and fisticuffs) in high heels. I understand why the show does it, and belive me I appreciate it…huh? Where was I? Right, I understand, but it always strums my disbelief suspenders. Now that you’ve informed me that athleticism in stilletos is possible I’ll go back to enjoying the eye-candy.

        • Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in heels.

        • EgregiousCharles

          Check out Jackie Chan’s fight with the “Amazon women” in stilleto heels in “Armour of God.” As a martial artist myself, their athleticism and balance is really impressive. Try to ignore the dialog though; not translated well and it’s a cheesy movie to begin with.

        • And if you pay attention you may notice that sometimes (pretty often, really) the woman’s shoes actually change to flat heeled ones for the more difficult stunts (or to a stunt woman wearing flat heels) and then in the next frame they, miraculously, are again stilettos. (And that is one of those things it can be quite irritating to notice, once you do you’ll keep seeing it when it happens. Can interfere with the willing suspension of disbelief).

          But yep, surprisingly many rather athletic things are possible to do in high heels. One may not be able to do them as well as would be possible while wearing something more sensible, but if you have worn those types of shoes a lot and are used to them, yes, often you can do them. The one type I’m not used to are high heels with platform on the front part, and I suspect they may be more difficult, with the thin soled stilettos the trick is pretty much walking or running or whatever mostly on the balls of your feet. But then strippers use the platform stilettos, sometimes with ridiculously high heels (okay, I haven’t been to strip club since the 80’s – back then sometimes, going on foreign parts geological study excursions with a mostly male group of students and instructors led to me becoming acquainted with several entertainment types I am not all that interested in personally, but I didn’t quite care to sit in some hotel or motel or whatever room alone every damn evening 😀 – but the advertisements can’t be avoided and those shoes they wear in them can be seriously scary at times) and strippers often do rather athletic stunts too.

        • overgrownhobbit

          It can be done, but after 50 your knees will give you hell. It’s not even the running, mind you, because if the heels are well made you’ll be fine on the straightaway. Just try running flat out on you toes if you’d like to experiment. It’s not exactly comfortable, but it works. No, what kills you is the sudden lane changes. Torque’s a}#%]!

  11. I cannot say much whether or not stuff has changed in the past years over all this, but it seems we’re back to the paradigm of who you know rather than what you know. Or perhaps ‘what you say’. Between the use of memes to minimize and the fact that ne’er do wells use them to attack others and inflate their egos it seems that ostracization and minimization are the rules of the day. And if you prefer to remain employed in business fields you cannot say anything contrary to the meme of the day (Hands up, all southerners are idiot racists, men are rapists, etc). At least from my perspective it seems that the ‘mean girls’ have won.

    • The mealy mouthed little idiots of both sexes have always been with us. Sometimes their power waxes, sometimes it wanes. It has always been stronger in offices and classrooms than in the open air. Short of shooting the lot of them, the only thing you can do is treat them with the contempt they deserve.

  12. I managed to miss the Good Little Girls, pretty much. I think they went after me once in 6th grade and then gave up. Certainly by the time I was in High School, they ignored me completely. It was the guys trying to beat me up that I really had trouble with.

    • Because they succeeded, or because they lost?

      • The girls lost. The guys . . . I learned to dodge and run better. And after the head of the JROTC put the word out to the cadets that I belonged under their aegis so to speak, the attacks stopped. (I only learned about that 10 years after graduation.)

        • The daughter of a friend of mine almost got in trouble for beating up a boy three grades ahead of her. She’d been studying kendo from an early age, and had a wooden spade….

          My friend asked “Was she attacked first”

          “well, yes…”

          “Is the boy in question still breathing?”

          “well, yes….”

          “Then what’s the problem?”

          “What if the boy’s parents want to go to the police?”

          “Explain to them that they can accept that he started a fight with a girl half his size and lost, or go to the cops and see him charged with assault.”

          End of problem.

          • Some juvenile delinquents our village a little older than us ambushed friend and I on way from school. NOT for… uh… beating up purposes. One put a hand on my breast (I was 12). I said, “remove it or withdraw a bloody stump.” He didn’t remove it. I bit him. Blood everywhere. Needed stitches.
            His mom came to complain (screaming in front of our house) my mom came to the balcony and said “He’s lucky to have the use of that hand again, and he was so dirty we’ll have to give our girl a tetanus shot.” Woman shut up and slinked off. You have to love mom, sometimes.

            • I’m fond of the c onstruction “Take that hand off of me, or I’ll take it off of you.”

              I’ve only used it once, mind. Seemed to work, though.

            • My mother grew up in a very remote homestead area in Oregon. She was little, but not at all afraid to use her fists on bigger boys who bullied her. She attended a one-room school (grades one through eight). One boy — her cousin — was younger but a lot bigger, and mean. He kept pushing her down in the dirt. Mom didn’t want to complain to the teacher, who was her aunt — and her cousin’s — and she didn’t want to hit a child who was younger. But finally, before school one morning, she did have a talk with Aunt Loretta, who replied, “You need to do something about it.” So next time her chunky cousin pushed her down, she started in on him with flying fists. He started to cry, went in and told the teacher/Aunt Loretta, “Ella beat up on me.” Aunt Loretta replied severely, “What did you do first.” That was the end of his bullying.

              A year or so later Mom, her sister Ruth, and three bigger boys who lived beyond them were walking home from school. Mom had a new coat and hat her mother had made of an old coat. Grandmother was an excellent seamstress (as well as gardener, milker of cows, wood chopper, etc.) One of the boys grabbed Mom’s hat and as they tossed it back and forth, pulling on it until the seams started breaking, Mom handed her lunch bucket (which was a metal lard pail) to her little sister, and went after the three boys with flying fists. She won the fight. Her father, who would never have hurt anyone, saw the whole thing –and had a smile on his face.

            • I had to bite once in a fight. He went to the hospital, I went on a date after, but I still remember how bad the guy I bit tasted. I like what your mom said, but now I wonder if the guy I bit bathed. Ick.

  13. You sing the song of my people!

    I still have scars on my knees and elbows, possibly scalp too, from my many childhood adventures. My mother is still resentful that she could not stuff me into frothy and frilly dresses and “present” me at debutante balls. I think the sales clerks were traumatized for life from our fight over prom dresses. (I won, btw … a white sheath dress in the style of Greek toga. It was epic! And not a bit of lace to be found.) I far preferred the company of my brother and his friends, and their bike races, tree climbing, dirt digging, critter catching and such far over what the girls were doing playing house, dress up and with dolls.

    Even now, I prefer the company of men as friends and have little use for most women, most especially their insincere niceness. (Don’t you tell me I look wonderful, beautiful, fabulous – I am old and fat. Don’t lie to me, dammit!) I am still feminine to the core though … I like to look nice – that is, well groomed, neat, clean, and wearing suitable for my age and size clothing in colors and patterns that please me. Sometimes – around the house I can be found wearing sweats and t-shirts, for the most part. I partake in many hobbies that are considered to be “womanly” – cooking, sewing, knitting and fiber arts. And I aspire to be a crazy cat lady. But I have never been, and never will be a “girly girl” … and my mom is still mad at me for that.

  14. check

  15. I guess I was lucky in that I was in the High School Band. We were focused on musical talent and tended to make friends with other band members. Kind of natural, you rode the bus to parades, sit together at the home football games, early morning marching or concert practice.
    As a bassoon player, our daily classroom for music instruction was ‘color reeds’; flute, oboe, bassoon. Me and the guy oboe player were outnumbered 9 to 2, but they were all good girls in the sense that they were not the stuck up kind. Now, 4 of them were majorettes (Short skirts and baton twirling), and those were all pretty good looking, but still none of that viper pit mentality.
    I wouldn’t doubt they no longer allow bands in school, because, of course musical talent requires discipline and practice. Regional Band and medals for solo/small group performances were judged by music directors sitting behind a curtain, knowing the person/group only as a number. That kind of rigorous merit would certainly not be allowed to interfere with ‘self-esteem’ in the modern educational environment.

    • Our local elementary has a band; I’ve seen the students carrying instruments and they’ve confirmed it. (yay!)

      I have no idea if they have a choir, too. I did both in grade school. (Plus dance lessons, basic music lessons, art lessons, and a yearly play—I *loved* that program.) (And they were freaking out about music and art being cut from schools then, too.) (Also note that whenever I see people freaking out over class sizes rising, I think “bigger than 32?” because that’s how big my classes tended to be. Turns out that they’re freaking out over class sizes going over 25, which means that they must have gone down in size at some point.)

  16. On the other hand, when we visited people and their daughters were insipid sugar and water little girls, my parents would trade looks and on the way home say the equivalent of “Thank G-d our daughter isn’t useless.”

    So you are saying your ability to detect sarcasm was not acquired until adulthood?

    ** runs away in an evasive pattern **

  17. I hear you. Most of my fiction is guy based, from a guy’s viewpoint. And it has fairly libertarian viewpoints, when it has to have one at all. I found out that I couldn’t get published because a male hero doing male things wasn’t acceptable (though they apparently liked the story, they just wouldn’t publish it).
    So I just kept writing for myself and didn’t bother with trying to publish, despite the number of people who told me I should.
    Then I got a kindle for Christmas from a friend, and well, hopefully some day I can say ‘the rest is history’. But I’m self published now, my recent series is selling on Amazon rather spectacularly (for me at least) and I can finally pursue my dream. (I quit my day job, next month I’m a full time writer).

    I hope to meet Bezo’s some day, so I can thank him personally for the ebook market. I don’t know if he created it, but he sure made it famous! (And profitable for small timers like me).

    • Bezelbeezos is my dark god… 😉

      • BobtheRegisteredFool

        Once, after an attempt they made on his father’s life, Jeff Bezos ended up in South America fighting communists.

        After rescuing me from the bandits who sacked my village, we ended up in the underworld. There he sat on a throne.

        I know not all that transpired, but when we emerged back on the surface, he was as if a new man. He set out to do business by putting communists out of business.

    • *stands, applauds John’s success*

    • Hey! I’ve seen you on Peter’s also-boughts!

      So we’re both gettin’ somewhere, makin’ readers happy, and book by book makin’ our part of the tsunami of swell!

      • The biggest compliment I get is when someone tells me they enjoyed the book and can’t wait for the next one.

        And Peter’s also bought? Where’s that?

        • Yeah, that’s the kind of question that’ll put a spring in your step the rest of the day!

          Sorry, also-bought, or aslo-bot is the shorthand for the line of items on an Amazon page titled “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought”

          One of those basic questions in marketing – who buys your stuff? Where do they and people like them look for more good stuff? – is almost impossible to answer without asking fans a whole lot of too-nosy questions. So instead, I go through what they’re buying to get a feel for what they like. Then I reverse-engineer to figure out where the other authors are hanging out and showing off their books to the public. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but it beats a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, or just plain guessing.

          • One of my great frustrations is looking through the also bought’s on mine, and seeing which ones have a link back to mine. Typically none of them do. The one-way links also come up in Yasiv, which for a lot of books is absolutely fascinating.

            People should try it. Go to http://www.yasiv.com/ and punch in a title or the ASIN of one of your books and watch the link cloud form. It’s really cool.

    • When I sold my first story to Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine back in the 80’s, my sister clipped out and gave me a cartoon of a glum young man sitting on a curb with a cup of pencils and a sign reading “Sold one story and excitedly quit me job.”

      • Yeah, I can understand that. But when I write full time and keep the books flowing, I make enough money to cover my bills. So I decided if I didn’t try to make a career out of it now, I never would.

        • I need to keep the books flowing.

          • I have a routine I worked out when I was out of work for a few months last year, that helps me to be very productive (3K to 4K words a day). And it is based on the fact that I’m so used to working 8 to 5 every day, no vacations, no sick days (and I feel very very guilty if I don’t work – blame my old fashion upbringing as well as 20 plus years of being a contractor) that the habit is there now, and I actually enjoy the writing. The idea of getting paid to do something I love is still kind of new.

            Now I have been warned by some other professional writers that eventually you can burnout if you’re not careful, so I will try to watch out for that. However the idea of being able to travel and work at the same time is a rather interesting concept, that I’m looking forward to exploring. As far as story ideas, I have so many of them and partially developed plots from over the years, that I’m not worried about that yet. I have two other series of stories that I haven’t even finished and tried to publish yet, with totally new worlds than the three I’ve currently got out there.

            My only real goal is to write stuff that people enjoy. And of course buy 🙂 To be honest, I don’t know if I even want to try to get picked up by a publishing house, yes the advertising they do for you would be nice, but I don’t know if I would enjoy writing to someone else’s schedule. Also I’ve seen what a couple of friends have had to deal with as far as editorial politics, and I don’t know if I could deal with some of that.

            BTW, good luck with your operation (I don’t know what you are going in for, but having been through surgery twice myself for injuries, you have my sympathies and best wishes), I’m sure once it is in the past, life will be a lot more relaxed.

    • Graaaats! so what rank on author rank are you now?

  18. Note to self: Figure out how, when meeting parents, to ask about embarrassing tomboy stories. Lack of such shall be taken as a warning sign.

    • I’m trying hard to think if I have any “embarrassing tomboy stories”, and can’t think of a one my parents are likely to either have known about or remembered. Not sure if there are really any “cute” tomboy stories either. Might not be a deal-breaker.

      Of course, I didn’t fit into either category easily and mostly dumped both for “bookworm” around puberty.

  19. My mother, bless her, was not in to the stereotypical girl stuff and never badgered me about it either. She could care less if I went to proms, figured out early I was not going the pink and frilly route, and NEVER ONCE hinted about grandchildren. Now the downside to this is I didn’t pick up on some cultural details. I had a vague idea that bridesmaids sort of “helped out” with the wedding. When my college friend got married when we graduated, I was her only maid of honor. Imagine my surprise when I was informed by mother-in-law that that meant I invited the guests to the bridal shower (I wasn’t clear on what showers were, either.)

    And that’s when the trouble started. See, my friend and I were physics majors. The vast majority of our friends were, therefore, male. So I invited them. The expressions of frozen shock and horror on the MIL’s friends faces, as they realized they were in a situation not covered in *any* etiquette book…but the guys had a great time. (They’d never been to a bridal shower either and had no idea they weren’t supposed to be there…) I’m sorry. I just don’t know how to “girl” very well 😉

    • Physics Majors a bit clueless about things … color me shocked.
      sorta.
      okay, not in the least

      • Given how many bridal showers devolve into some kind of weird porno party for women, the presence of mixed company may have had a good effect….

        Of course, if everybody involved has a sick sense of humor, that kind of bridal shower is fair enough. But really, best to save that sort of thing for people one knows really well, not “everybody who’s vaguely acquainted and is here for eating cake and giving nice little presents.”

        • (Blinks)
          Of course, that fits with a story I heard from a friend of mine about a mutual friend of ours. Her younger sister (the maid of honor), apparently let slip that she was going to hire a male stripper for the pre-wedding bridal thing.
          This idea was, thankfully for the other parties involved, squelched.

          • Yeah, some girls want to throw a bachelor party, and not a classy one.

            Of course, guys also have to fight the culture to have a fun party that is not so wild that it causes trouble. People should remember that their friends are trying to get married in a few days.

            • It can be done though. A friend of mine’s bachelor party was a paintball tournament. Good times.

              • I ended up being the only one to put on a baby shower.

                I hate all the disgusting, nasty games that go with those, and it’s mostly a pain.

                So instead we had cake, ice cream, our husbands, all the kids, and a bunch of blank onesies and fabric markers with instructions to make a variety of “custom” outfits.

                It was a blast!

                • Okay, just for future reference: What sort of disgusting, nasty games are we talking here?
                  Are we talking status games or “There are things men were not meant to know” games?

                  • The tamest one I can remember is the “which melted candy bar looks the most like baby poop” one– which involves eating them, too. A waste of diapers and candy, plus it makes me gag just thinking about it.

                    In contrast, the onesies that we made at that party are just being regretfully put away after the second baby.

                    • Oh…my.
                      (Pause)
                      And women complain about men’s tendencies towards gross-out humor. Yikes.

                    • At least boy humor is pretty consistent, even if it’s really not my thing. This is just…disgusting. And the twittery way of it annoys me.

                    • Free-range Oyster

                      So you’re not likely to appreciate being given a kitty litter cake then?

                    • Yeah, no; there are some things that go beyond my “being polite” scope.

                    • I went to a baby shower that had a much nicer version of the candy bar game—they put the candy (still in wrappers) out, said the thing to match up, and the person who guessed it first got the candy. Things like “twin boys” being Mike & Ike, like that.

                      Note that I have been to all of TWO baby showers in my life, and neither of them was for me.

                    • Now that is kind of cute.

              • overgrownhobbit

                My poor husband got one of the trad, bachelor parties which involved a pub crawl and drinking excessive quantities of horrid alcohol (as opposed, to, frex modest quantities of double distilled Talisker. But I digress.) I, OTOH, had one of my bridesmen & his wife run a return-to-marina RPG for me and my side of the bridal party.

                Fandom for the win.

                • overgrownhobbit

                  I hate this interface. **narnia**

                • Hubby went to the bachelor party of one of the guys in the unit who was getting hitched. The guy getting hitched, I’m told, has the tradition of being put in a pink dress. They went bar hopping, and I was surprised at how tame it was (they just drank lots and sang lots. Off key.)

                • Professor Badness

                  I really enjoyed my brother’s bachelor party. We all went down to the range with his too-be brother in law. The guy was a cop and had a huge collection of handguns
                  Much fun was had.

    • I feel you. I don’t understand how to “girl” very well either. My mom was a tomboy and an army brat herself. I was an army brat. Higher percentage, I’d bet, of “tomboy” girls and fewer “girlie girls” (especially of the “good girl” sort) in my realm than average.

      I didn’t fit into either category easily and mostly dumped both for “bookworm” around puberty.

      I will say I’ve always resented the portrayals of “girlie girls” in media. They got to be pretty, but they were largely idiotic and useless and mean unless they were also redheads [ex: Nancy Drew and Daphne]. Tomboys don’t get a much better portrayal, as they are rude and insensitive and impulsive to the point of “dumb jock” tropes… I wanted to be able to wear pretty things and play with fashion dolls AND have the option to go exploring and climbing trees. Not in pretty clothes, though, but were it practical, I would’ve dug it. Since I didn’t want to be thought of as dumb, I never learned much about how to be “a girl”. Oops.

      • I will say I’ve always resented the portrayals of “girlie girls” in media. They got to be pretty, but they were largely idiotic and useless and mean unless they were also redheads [ex: Nancy Drew and Daphne]. Tomboys don’t get a much better portrayal, as they are rude and insensitive and impulsive to the point of “dumb jock” tropes…

        Oh, gads, yes.

        And if it’s an “all girls” rewrite, the chances of the characters being something besides the really dumb stock tropes is high. When you can look at the cast, and go “K, that’s the Fat Chick, that’s the Old Chick, that’s the Young Chick, that’s the Hipster Chick, that’s the Sassy Minority Chick, the Smart Chick, there’s the Girly (usually rich) Chick, there’s the Computer (or other specialized field) Savvy Chick, there’s the Disabled Chick….” There’s usually some combinations, like fat and smart, or smart and hipster, or fat and computer, or Girly with Young; some combos almost never happen, like Sassy Minority with Fat (some exceptions if they’re casting a comedian), or Girly with anything competent or to be praised. (Sassy Minority Chick can be girly, but it must be in a Their-Home-Culture way, although they’re allowed to know about broader fashion if they need someone to make over one of the other girls for plot reasons.)

        Seriously. Anybody who proposes to do an “all girl” version of something should watch a couple of five episodes of My Little Pony to get a clue. There’s a reason we don’t protest the girls watching it, even though most all other “kids” shows get heavy restrictions or some conversations about silly assumptions they build in.

        • *sigh* either “isn’t high” or “is low.” There Will Be Dumb Stock Characters.

        • “All girl version” –

          You mean like the upcoming Ghostbusters movie that they’re working on?

          😛

          • That has apparently been canned.

            • Really?

              Last I’d heard was that the corporate owners wanted to turn the property into a franchise (since that’s the Big Thing in the movies industry these days), and were releasing an all-male Ghostbusters movie shortly after the all-female movie was released.

              • The only news I found was that they gave Dan Ankroyd his own company…and from what htey don’t say, removed him from the All Girl version.

                Which is the source of a lot of my “This Is Really Bad JuJu” response.

          • *looks at IMDB* Well, I can’t spot who “The Smart One” would be, but probably.

            Especially since most of the results are the director whining about what horrible women-haters folks who have complained are, and I notice that Ankroyd (sp) went from making it, to writing it, to being given his own production group to do an entirely different show.

            *sigh* It would be so EASY to do an updated version of Ghostbusters– mostly female, even, crazy easy, even if you DID work in tropes.

            Hm, I’m going to write that up….

          • K, way to spin Ghostbusters in modern times without the painful “all girls!” thing:

            Connection characters:
            Egon’s Nephew or Niece*; either way, make them the guy who does the vehicles, outdoor sports, red-blooded type character; a competent wrench-wench with a good appreciation of actually using tools instead of “hit it harder;” no college, only did trade school or maybe did a term in the military as a technician.

            Ray’s Daughters: go with either fraternal twins and do the Girly/Geeky split (with them both being intelligent enough to work together and respect the others’ strengths) or just sisters, with the eldest being The Old One and the youngest being The Kid; make them in charge of the Ghostbusters Fan Club…which is, of course, not taken seriously at all.

            Their best friend, Winston’s daughter, who is the fountain of all occult information because her mother died (or vanished?) when she was really little so she has missing-mommy storyline. Picked her for that because it was already established that Ray and Winston are good friends in the second movie, I can’t see Ray marrying anyone without a strong motherly side so there’s a reason those three would grow up as practically sisters, and having the buttmonkey lose his wife would just feel like kicking a dog.

            Oscar (Dana’s son, Venkman’s step-son): young-middle-aged guy trying frantically to keep the Ghostbusters from going broke, since everybody is in their sixties, now. Probably have some guest appearances from ghost hunting shows, maybe him being interviewed by George Noorey on Coast to Coast AM for the opening.

            Fill the rest of the roles with other members of the Ghostbusters Fan Club, and a Kaylee from Firefly rip-off who actually knows how to upkeep and fix the ghost containment and gets ignored…not because she’s female, but because she’s pretty and doesn’t have glasses. Make her wear hipster glasses and ruin her hairdo so Oscar will let her near the system.

            Storyline could start out as Ascended Fanboy with the fanclub taking over the grunt work at the station, and then it could morph into “So what happened to Mrs. Zeddemore?” with a not-resolved-until-the-end “is she a victim or a villain? Is that her, or is it something pretending to be her? story.

            * I’ve got a vague memory of Rick Moranis’ character hooking up with the secretary at the end; if that’s wrong, Egon and Melnitz’s son being a big, beefy football looking prior-service Marine who mechanics– AKA, The Eye Candy– would be both trope-ish (“conflict with parents!”) and inverted because, y’know, not a dumb jock.

        • That show has complex female characters. Every one of the Mane Six has hidden depths, often hinted at in a number of episodes before it’s revealed in an episode focused on that character. These hidden depths are sometimes flaws, and sometimes virtues, which were not immediately apparent (for instance, Pinkie’s high though very strange intelligence).

  20. BobtheRegisterredFool

    Sarah,
    Do I have the wrong email for you? If you haven’t gotten anything from me for filling a guest slot, I sent it to the wrong place.

  21. i have enjoy the comments, and teasing, etc. but I did notice that our fair hostess did refer to herself in third person… never a good sign

  22. Ugh. You reminded me of the girls in my youth group when I was in middle school. They were the cheerleaders and I was the weird, tall, homeschooled freak. And they hated that I actually had opinions that they didn’t approve of.

  23. Ack… are any of the many geologists that reside in these here parts about? I hope this is okay since I’m not hijacking the thread at this time of day… and it IS a writing question. I’m trying to explain “stuff” to a Elementary aged audience (assume precocious, because why not) but I’d sort of rather not use “density”… can I just say that something is “heavier” than something else, or is this a horrible crime?

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Not a geologist.

      Heavier is fine, especially if you can work in ‘heavier at the same size’ in a way that isn’t confusing.

      What kind of elementary?

      IIRC, fifth grade might be able to handle the difference between mass and weight, which then leads to the difference between density and specific gravity. Precocious and of scientific bent may already know.

      Kindergarten is an entirely different picture. Though I would have had to have learned about differences in body mass, and what that implied for toxicity there or in first grade. (There were LSD users in the area, and concerns that they might be leaving stuff around campus.)

      I remember telling someone, I think a six year old, that Titanium was real, had real properties, and was not as videogames depict.

      • Heh, as I said elsewhere, Titanium is Stronger than Aluminum, and Lighter than Steel, not the other way around. But comic books like to portray it that way.

        It’s also a bitch to drill through.

        It’s not rare, but most of it is in the form of Titanium Dioxide (The white stuff you put on your nose, or in paint), and breaking that down to pure Titanium is a very expensive process. Also, most of it comes from Russia these days.

    • As kids tend to understand “heavy,” it’s perfectly true– unless you’re talking about some specific thing, like “a feather” or “my teddy bear,” they’re going to kind of assume the same sized chunks. I think it was my mom that did rocks and chunks of styrofoam. (which is really nice if you get the type with the visible round chunks of foam, and a rock with visible sand-sized grains, to get the idea about how tightly packed the bits are)

      • That’s sort of my feeling. There’s some stuff where researchers try to show that small children don’t have concepts of quantity and I think they’re almost entirely bogus. What kids don’t have, my theory at least, is adequate language. So “which glass has more milk in it?” (though cylinders are hard to tell even for grown ups) and the kids always pick the one with the highest level… well, it goes up farther… isn’t that a reasonable understanding of the word “more?” I mean, kids are vicious at determining who got the bigger of something… their little eyeballs and spacial judgment are fierce. Just *try* giving them the half of the candy bar that’s three milimeters shorter than Joey got. I dare you.

        But I think that “this rock is heavier than that rock” would get a response from most small children of… duh, it’s bigger… or complete understanding that it’s normal for things the same size to have different weight. If I say that the rocks in a mountain aren’t as heavy as the rocks deep under the Earth… I don’t expect the reaction of “duh, it’s bigger.”

        It’s just that this is one of those things where I half expect someone to jump out and holler that I’ve broken a fundamental rule.

        • Hehe, you noticed that a lot of the conclusions are the researchers not being very imaginative, too, eh? (Alright, more likely it’s just over-reaching the conclusion, but eh. Like when they “discovered” that crows can solve puzzles, and going on about how they’re the only not-great-ape, not a dolphin, not an elephant that can… the laughter from everybody who’d had more than three horses at once should’ve been deafening.)

          I can still remember asking my mom “how to spell” letters– I was trying to ask her the phonetic setup for the name that you call a letter. You know, “Ay-ee, bee, s-ee, duh-ee”. We were both in tears by the end of it, ‘cus we’re both pig headed. :wry:

        • If you put up a screen before a baby, and then put a doll behind it, and another doll, and then take the screen away, the baby will stare a lot longer at the resulting scene if it has one doll or three rather than two.

    • Um… I wouldn’t make the assumption that elementary students wouldn’t understand density. Explain the term, yes—a pound of feathers takes up a large amount of space but a pound of rock takes up little space because it’s denser. But if you use the term “heavy” for something incorrect, you’ll get some smarmy know-it-all like my first-grader who will protest that you’re Doing It Wrong.

      (Mind you, my mother was a fairly decent amateur geologist/paleontologist, so my idea of what kids can understand about geology is based on knowing the different kinds of rocks from a very young age…)

      • I think they could understand it fine. The concept that I’m trying to explain, after all, is isostasy. Mostly I think I’d rather not take the side trip to explain density for pacing and focus reasons if I can just say that water is just a little bit heavier than ice, which is why icebergs float but don’t stick up very much.

        • It was a revelation when I noticed in high school chemistry what water *did* when it froze—that is, all of the molecules started chaining together in these nice open, lacy patterns which were spaced further apart than cold water molecules were. It explained so much.

  24. EgregiousCharles

    “Ladies Have Friends Who They Hate”
    Mr. B, The Gentleman Rhymer

  25. We would have gotten along great as children. My little finger is still crooked having been broken by a boy in daycare. I broke his nose in exchange.