dating

Hopeless, Fumbling Elbow Jelly

Detail of frame from FLCL episode 5, 'Brittle Bullet'.

This is hopeless:

In one experiment, the researchers … asked nearly 5,000 people (ages 18 to 76) if they would consider dating a virgin. Most of the people in the study who’d had sex before reported that they would not date a virgin―but but here’s where it gets really interesting: An even greater number of virgins said they, too, would not date someone who had not previously had sex. Younger people in their 20s were particularly less likely to say they would date a virgin―even though most virgins were in this age range —and women were more likely to report not wanting to date someone without sexual experience than men. Virgins, in other words, were themselves not attracted to other virgins and, in fact, sexually experienced people were more likely to date virgins than virgins themselves.

(Basu)

Okay, as briefly as possible:

• The headline, “Adult Virgins Say They Don’t Want to Date Other Adult Virgins”, pretty much sums up the Duh! factor.

• To the other, while Science of Us blogger Tanya Basu does, in fact, note explicitly, “Once considered a virtue, virginity may now be more of a liability for late bloomers”, and while I do recall the punch line from Dennis Miller, late in his Funny Period, about the seventy-two virgins and eventually just wanting someone who knows how to slip you the finger, some manner of amazed insinuation about the time-tested corrupt-the-innocent fantasy value about the idea of virginity goes here. It is almost as if the idea of beggars demanding to be choosers just blundered face-first into one of the most bizarre side effects we might never have imagined, unless the time-tested corrupt-the-innocent fantasy value about the idea of virginity really was an empty trope that only I―and maybe, what, twelve other people?―was ever aware of? Never mind. It’s just that a, Wait, WTF? factor asserts itself.

• And, you know, honestly, I feel some need to stick up for sexual inexperience, here. Listen to me, virgins: If I’d just stuck with all the boyish fooling around, we all, for the most part, would be better off.α So, you know, really, use funny names and fumble embarrassingly through the best time of your life, because, you know, familiarity really does breed contempt, and if we’re lucky it’s merely spending our days lamenting how our partners can’t fuck just so. So get with yourselves and figure it out, because those of us with experience sure as hell haven’t done much by it. Seriously, here you go: Bungee spider web, olive oil, grape jelly, graham crackers, plastic pants, and a box of disposable frosting bags. What’s that? Don’t know what to do with all that? Neither does anyone else; the only rule is, have fun figuring it out. Seriously, expectation is the death of your sex life.β

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α No, really, the kid is the kid is the kid, but the rest of her mother and me getting ahead of ourselves was pretty much a disaster.

β No, seriously, all those embarrassing, awkward, failed relationships and it turns out I was gay the whole time. Who knew? Oh, right―everybody. Strange how they only get around to telling you later. Yeah, you always knew, which is why you never said a goddamn thing. Which was, you know, why? That’s right: Expectation. No, doesn’t mean you need it to the elbow, or anything like that. But, you know, fuck expectation. And no, there is no pretty way under the sun to take it elbow-deep, but you know, most days the only person who can tell you how ridiculous you look getting off with someone impaled elbow-deep into your body is the person who looks even more pathetic for shoving elbow-deep into another human being, so as long as that’s what you want, don’t worry about it. And, for the record, the rocket science of driving to the elbow is simple and twofold: (1) It isn’t rocket science, for fuck sake. (2) Not everyone can take it elbow-deep, so, you know, be kind, be decent. You know. For fuck sake.

Basu, Tanya. “Adult Virgins Say They Don’t Want to Date Other Adult Virgins”. Science of Us. 4 April 2016.

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A Bug in the System

Detail of 'Bug Martini' by Adam Huber, 29 April 2015.This is interesting. Or maybe it isn’t. Who am I to say? In truth, Adam Huber manages to mix disparate elements worth noting.

To the one, Boyfriend Bug there actually does sort of remind me of certain people I know; the thing is that the rest of the strip breaks that form. That is to say, the people I know who would actually pull that line wouldn’t understand the rest.

Or so it seems to me. That, at least, is not interesting. But the joke comes ’round at the end, so in a way I must insist that this is interesting.

Bug Martini, not me.

Oh, right. You could probably figure that last for yourself.

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Huber, Adam. “Date Minds Shrink Alike”. Bug Martini. 29 April 2015.

The Ted Cruz Show (Epistemic Closure Loop Mix)

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, during the Iowa Agriculture Summit, Saturday, March 7, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Mark Peterson/Redux for MSNBC)

It would be wrong to start with, “One of the comforts of life …”. After all, that’s a low standard for comfort. Still, though, we can rest assured that in today’s political climate, time is on … uh … the side of … er … well, I guess reality, but that is so self-evident as to be anti-climactic.

Right.

Let us start, then, with Dave Weigel for Bloomberg:

After Texas Senator Ted Cruz addressed the First in the Nation summit in Nashua, New Hampshire, on Saturday, he headed to a basement conference room for a conversation with young Republicans. There was no filming of the speech, but reporters were allowed to sit in as Cruz fielded questions about Iran, millennials, and his own fitness for president. When one audience member asked Cruz what executive experience he could bring to the job, Cruz lambasted the “greybeards” in Washington for coming up with the “senator versus governor” framework in the first place.

“Obama is not a disaster because he was a senator,” said Cruz. “Obama is a disaster because he’s an unmitigated socialist, what he believes is profoundly dangerous, and he’s undermined the Constitution and the role of America in the world.”

Remember, this is Sen. Cruz’s response to a question about executive experience, and his answer was to reframe the issue as one of Republican moderates versus hardliners:

According to Cruz, the only reason that pundits were saying the GOP needed to run a governor, not a senator, was that “most of the establishment moderates” in the field were governors. “In 1980, the strong conservative running in the race was Ronald Reagan,” Cruz said. “You didn’t hear ‘we need a governor’ then, because he was a governor. So none of those voices said, ‘We need a governor.’ They said, ‘You know what? We need a former congressman, named George Herbert Walker Bush. Likewise, in 2008, the moderate choice was a senator, John McCain. Go back and look at the TV discussions to find any of these voices going on television, saying ‘we need a governor’ in 2008. Then, the choice of those voices was that candidate, so that argument didn’t get used.”

Still, in the middle of it all, Cruz needs to take a moment to beat a dead horse.

Thus, something completely different―a backstory.

(more…)

A Note on Cartoons and Communication

Detail of cartoon by McGettigan, 5 April 2015.

Sometimes you can just see that a relationship is in trouble. From the outset.

To the one, I owe a certain apology. Or maybe I should blame McGettigan. See, acknowledging a particular stick-figure comic strip, I tried explaining to my daughter how to go about drawing cartoon figures differently. The thing with setting hard outlines and then detailing is … er … well, right, we should probably pass that one off to a design specialist to explain. But I learned to draw stillframe cartoons by tracing Wasserman and Trudeau, and the first thing I learned in doing so was to save certain outlines and borders for last.

Nor can I say how anyone else actually does it, but the whole point was to get past a certain drawing style.

Just like we all strive to get past stick figures.

So, yeah, there’s Randall Munroe. And now there’s McGettigan; with New Yorker styling to his panels and a sense of humor verging toward Kliban. And now I have to figure out some other way to explain basic cartooning to my daughter.

Then again, as tasks go, that’s one to hope for any day.

To the other, right. Relationships. Look, it’s one of those things we experience in daily life; now and again it comes up that we might witness others experiencing some sort of interpersonal crisis, and when you hear one say, “How was I supposed to know …?” the first instinct is to wonder how long one waited to ask.

What? In truth, you’d be surprised how many people need that lesson.

At least he didn’t slip peanuts into her chocolate chip cookies, you know?

(“But … but … how was I supposed to know secretly feeding you peanuts would kill you?”)

(No, really, the jokes only go downhill from there.)

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McGettigan, Merp. “New Heights (#75)”. The Story Enthusiast. 5 April 2015.

The Part That Isn’t the Part That Doesn’t Need to Be Said, With No Guarantee That This Part Needs to Be Said, Either

So it turns out that televangelism confidence artist Pat Robertson is one of the last people in our society who thinks … er … um … right.

The first thing to mind ....“You know, those who are homosexual will die out because they don’t reproduce,” he said. “You know, you have to have heterosexual sex to reproduce. Same thing with that church, it’s doomed, it’s going to die out because it’s the most nonsensical thing I’ve heard in a long time.”

The setup only makes it worse; as Miranda Blue reported for Right Wing Watch, that was part of Robertson’s response to a woman complaining that the church she attends forbids its members from dating.

“Crystal”, the viewer in question, asserted that the only people in her church that are married knew their partners before they arrived at the congregation, complains that some congregants are frustrated because “we’re getting older and no one is getting married”, and describes circumstances in which “it is treated as a sin to show interest or to have a mutual understanding in church with the opposite sex”.

Naturally, Pat Robertson’s first thought was of homosexuals.

Look, when one’s first thought about issues between men and women is homosexuality, so be it. And as important as the question of why one would think that way might be, there are times we don’t really want the answer.

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Blue, Miranda. “Pat Robertson: Gays ‘Will Die Out Because They Don’t Reproduce'”. Right Wing Watch. 17 December 2014.

The Love Bug

Detail of 'Bug Martini' by Adam Huber, 9 December 2014.Oh, come on, you knew that pun was waiting to spring like a hungry puma in heat.

And there is no way you could have predicted that simile, except perhaps in the sense of a general classification; you knew it was going to be bad.

That said, and disclaiming appropriately that some themes really are timeless, so I’m not knocking Mr. Huber in the least, but … you know, maybe there is a theme afoot?

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Huber, Adam. “Shot Through the Heart”. Bug Martini. 9 December 2014.

See Also:

Huber, Adam. “Scared to Beth”. Bug Martini. 21 November 2014.

Facebook: Ebola Dating Bulldog Mix

Sometimes things get lost in translation

It is easy enough to ridicule Facebook, but not all of it need be bitter reflection on what a horrible person Mark Zuckerberg is.

Really. Sometimes it’s just funny. Or stupid. Or funny because it’s stupid. Or something like that.

For once, this one was just funny for being one of those stupid mixups that happens in the software world, where quality control means you can never perform your job properly, but should at the very least make an effort to hide your incompetence.

Meanwhile, it is worth noting the actual artilce in question, from Sam Stein of Huffington Post:

Dr. Francis Collins, the head of the National Institutes of Health, said that a decade of stagnant spending has “slowed down” research on all items, including vaccinations for infectious diseases. As a result, he said, the international community has been left playing catch-up on a potentially avoidable humanitarian catastrophe.

“NIH has been working on Ebola vaccines since 2001. It’s not like we suddenly woke up and thought, ‘Oh my gosh, we should have something ready here,'” Collins told The Huffington Post on Friday. “Frankly, if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this that would’ve gone through clinical trials and would have been ready.”

Make what excuses you will for congressional Republicans. And blame what Democrats you will for “compromising” and accepting these budget proposals. But remember, Republicans also want an Ebola Czar, but won’t confirm a qualified Surgeon General nominee.

Yes the perpetual Republican electoral campaign that has taken the place of actually governing while they are in office is an observable threat to human life.

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Stein, Sam. “Ebola Vaccine Would Likely Have Been Found By Now If Not For Budget Cuts: NIH Director”. The Huffington Post. 12 October 2014.