Archive for the ‘snoolery’ Category

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You Say You Want a Revolution….

February 14, 2007

Chris Bowers of MyDD:

Throughout most of my life, I have been enamored by the idea of movements and revolutions. During the decade I spent studying literature, I was always most excited by experimental, avant-grade [sic] work that took place during times of political and social upheaval (you can never read enough early twentieth century artistic manifestoes–fortunately, there is no shortage of them). When I studied critical theory and philosophy, I was always most interested in work that challenged established norms of government, the self, perception and knowledge with radical, but rigorous, new ideas (I was obsessed with Michel Foucault at multiple times during my career in academia). History has always been a favorite hobby of mine, and my favorite topics are invariably revolutions: American, French, Russian, Irish, Indian, Cuban, Eastern European–you name it. Also, no matter how many presidential candidates, members of congress, Democratic Party leaders, or other national figures I meet and talk with, my favorite moments in political campaigns are always large rallies (preferably those organized by volunteers, or those convened to celebrate an electoral victory). I want to be there at the moment when history happens, when the world changes, when consciousness shifts, and when the people rise up and throw off the shackles of the elite, the status quo, and the comfortable. I have wanted that for a long time. Before that happens, I want to be an active member of the small clique, coterie or circle that identified the possibility for massive change and precipitated its manifestation. Whether it is a revolution of the sort Ben Franklin or Tristan Tzara would identify, I want in. As William Wordsworth wrote in The Prelude about witnessing the world change up close during the French Revolution “bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, but to be young was very heaven.” Man, do I ever envy young Wordsworth. I want working for a candidate to give me a taste of the revolutionary feeling for which I long, and I want my regular job to do the same thing. For a long time, artistic and intellectual endeavors provided me with that spark, but when they ceased doing so I moved onto a career where that feeling was quickly re-establishing itself: online progressive activism. If I am willing to upend my entire life to search for that feeling, the least I should expect from the candidates I support most fervently is that working for them will allow me to sense it.

Excellent satire – a perfect depiction of the naive, self-obsessed young poseur who thinks that revolution is “way kewl”, a big rush, kind of like extreme snowboarding, except with power so you can boss people around (being in a “small clique” in charge of everything – how kewl is that??), and he’s qualified – nay, entitled – to take some of the fun and games for his ownself.  Grab that brass ring, dude!  To the barricades!  But first let’s stop at a Starbucks and pick up a couple Double Shot Espressos – we need the buzz, man, it’s all about the feelings, the sensation….

The style is right on target, too – all the leaden narcissism of a college application essay.  A brilliant stroke by the author.

And this is a scream:

(I was obsessed with Michel Foucault at multiple times during my career in academia)

A little overboard with the stereotype here, but it’s so hilarious, it’s OK.

Too bad this piece is for real.

As the fabulous IOZ writes, accompanied by an aptly chosen historical photo:

The dork wants power, and he wants to ride a wave of popular whoop-dee-doo into a office with a view, a satellite feed, and two secretaries. Fuck the revolution, kiddo; work on your resume.

Yes, the dork wants power, but he also wants thrills.  He’s clear about the fact that he doesn’t really care what the principles are behind “movements and revolutions” – he just likes ’em!  Loves ’em, in fact! 

I find it dismaying that snools like this are in the vanguard of the “netroots” and so-called “people-powered politics”.

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Life Is Too Short

February 2, 2007

to hang around with anyone who’s not a feminist.  And that includes the precious little folks who say, “I don’t believe in your kind of feminism, I only believe in this kind of feminism, which is so much different.”  The hell with that shit.  You either believe in feminism or you don’t.  End of story.

Life is too short to tolerate bullies, abusers and liars – the ones in the White House, and the ones who pretend to be on our side.

As matters in the world become more urgent, it’s becoming increasingly imperative to call people on their snoolery

Don’t make the mistake of believing that because someone claims to be a “Democrat” or a “liberal” or a “progressive” that the person really IS one.

Don’t fall for the “Big Tent” line.  It’s code for “Hey babe, we’re throwing your values out the window.  Get over it.”

Speak the truth.  Stand your ground.  Tell off the thugs.  Blow the whistle.  Let your Supervixen flag fly.

It’s really not that hard.  The snools want you to think it is, but it’s not.

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Yes, I’d Rather Read Books

January 19, 2007

than read the output of most bloggerati, including the dude who wrote this:

Here’s my take on the whole matter — “intellectuals” who’d rather read books and measure purity are next-to-useless. I prefer people of action, not of [sic] elitist academics.

The best I can say about that statement is that it has a certain “Lost Boy” charm to it – We don’t need none o’ that there “sivilization”!  Those Lost Boys are so cute: Peter Pan, Huck Finn, Stalin…

This is what I call the “Year Zero” mentality: “We are young, we are bloggers, we are coming in to sweep away all the old nonfunctioning paradigms and reinvent the world!”  The problem with that idea is that if you’re insufficiently educated and insufficiently aware, as most of these bloggers are, you’ll be reinventing the wheel.  And you’ll probably be doing it wrong.

“Action” is essential, but only when the action is intelligently focused.  And you can’t focus intelligently when you’re unaware and you’re victimized by propaganda.

When the issue is feminism, the stakes are high.  There’s far too much misinformation, distortion, and general ignorance about feminism to allow any slacking-off in this department.  There’s an active campaign to criticize and silence feminist voices – and this hostility is not only coming from the right wing, but from some people who are ostensibly “progressives”.

I’ve noticed on a few occasions, when someone says something clueless about feminism and I advise the person to read certain important books, this tends to result in an indignant uproar, along the lines of: “How dare you say I’m not a good enough feminist because I haven’t read the right books!” 

Well, sorry, but that’s how it is.  Really. 

There’s no sin in being ill-informed.  The sin is in not taking steps to rectify that situation.

Here on Supervixens we’ll be talking about important feminist writers and activists, covering some people even your “women’s studies” class didn’t include.  The idea is to provide a jumping-off point so you can read more and learn more about feminism.

There’s a huge history of women and women’s accomplishments that is largely unknown.  The only way to find out about this is through reading and study.  The puerile punditocracy won’t be telling you about it.  We will.

Dreadful/Dreadless Woman (noun): Terrible Woman/Fearless Woman, who is ineffably frightening to the ruling fools.  Example: Bessie Smith (1894-1937), who was threatened by members of the ku klux klan during one of her shows (Concord, North Carolina, July 1927).  Bessie asked some stagemen to help her get rid of the hooded hoods, but the stagemen were terrified and fled:

Not Bessie.  She ran toward the intruders, stopped within ten feet of them, placed one hand on her hip, and shook a clenched fist at the Klansmen.  “What the fuck you think you’re doin’?” she shouted above the sound of the band.  “I’ll get the whole damn tent out here if I have to.  You just pick up them sheets and run!”

The Klansmen, apparently too surprised to move, just stood there and gawked.  Bessie hurled obscenities at them until they finally turned and disappeared quietly into the darkness. [Chris Albertson, Bessie]

Definition from Mary Daly’s Wickedary.  I’ll be writing more about Daly soon.

H. R. H. Supervixen

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“Snools” and “Daddy’s Little Titterers”

January 9, 2007

marydaly.jpg

Mary Daly, with her labrys

One of the best writers I’ve encountered -both  in feminist philosophy, and in the world outside that “ghetto” – is Mary Daly, radical lesbian feminist theologian and activist.  She hits the nail on the head on so many issues, and does it with fiery eloquence.  She’s a true Supervixen.  I’ll provide a couple of quotes from her works today.   The passages in bold are my emphasis.

The first quote introduces the word “snool”, a marvelously useful word:

As Wanderlusty/Wonderlusty women weave our way Weirdward into the Realms of Pure Lust we find we must fight off the Fixers/Tricksters, those poisonous presences whose program is to freeze/frustrate our Movement.  These are the sovereigns of the sadostate, which can also be called the State of Boredom.  For it is infinitely boring to be blocked from the movement of/toward one’s innately ordained happiness.[…]

The compulsion to bore everywhere bores Lusty women.  The institutions of Boredom – its media, its schools, its industries, its amusements, its religion, its governments, its culture – are programmed to control Viragos, to keep us within the confines of bore-ocracy, using bore-ocratic details and mazes.  Weird women snore at the brothers’ Bored Meetings, seeing through the lecherous leaders as Chairmen of the Bored. […]

Given these conditions of Stag-Nation, Elemental Shrews and Furies urgently experience the need for Re-Naming/Re-Claiming our stolen Flames, undoing the promethean theft of Fire, retrieving our ravaged desire.

The would-be preventers of this retrieval of gynergy, the ghosts/ghouls that want our movement dead, are snools.  The noun snool (Scottish) means “a cringing person”.  It means also “a tame, abject, or mean-spirited person” (OED).  In sadosociety, snools rule, and snools are the rule.  The dual personalities of these personae – the cast of characters governing and legitimizing bore-ocracy – are unmasked by definitions of the verb snool.  This means, on the one hand, “to reduce to submission: COW, BULLY,” and on the other hand, “CRINGE, COWER.”  Snools are sadism and masochism combined, the stereotypic saints and heroes of the sadostate.

[…]

Snools appear and re-appear in various forms. […] Among the henchmen required for the smooth operation of fixocracy are the cocks, danglers, pricks, and flashers who keep girls and women intimidated.  Necessary also are the fakes, framers, frauds and hucksters whose job is to manufacture and spread delusions.  Heavier work is assumed by rakes, hacks, rippers and plug-uglies.  Plug-uglies are among the grosser snoolish incarnations.  Plug-ugly is defined as “a member of a gang of disorderly ruffians often active in political pressure and intimidation.” […] Plug-uglies, while creating the illusion that they are always giving something, are in fact drainers of energy whose plugged-in fittings close women’s circuits, sapping the flow of gynergetic currents so that these cannot circulate within/among women.

Such, then, are the rulers/snoolers of snooldom, the place/time where the air is filled with the crowing of cocks, the joking of jocks, the droning of clones, the sniveling of snookers and snudges, the noisy parades and processions of prickers.  Such is cockocracy/jockocracy, the State of supranational, supernatural erections.  This is a world made to the image of its makers, a chip off the old blocks/cocks, who are worshipped by the fraternal faithless as god the flasher, god the stud, and god the wholly hoax.

Wayward, wanton women, having been warned of the snoolish snares, proceed forthwith on our Wonderlusting/Wisdomweaving Quest.

From Pure Lust: Elemental Feminist Philosophy.

She also addresses the problem of all those women in society who are programmed to obey and cater to men, and to attack any women who challenge the Snoolish Status Quo.  I call them the “Little Sisters in the Frat House”.  Daly writes about this problem at length in her books, but here’s a brief quote that gives the gist:

Hag-ographers perceive the hilarious hypocrisy of “his” history.  At first this may be difficult, for when the whole is hypocrisy, the parts may not initially appear untrue.  To put it another way, when everything is bizarre, nothing seems bizarre.  Hags are women who struggle to see connections.  Hags risk a great deal – if necessary, everything – knowing that there is only Nothing to lose.  Hags may rage and roar, but they do not titter.

Webster’s defines titter as follows: “to give vent to laughter one is seeking to suppress: laugh lightly or in a subdued manner: laugh in a nervous, affected, or restrained manner, especially at a high pitch and with short catches of the voice [emphasis Daly’s].”  Self-loathing ladies titter; Hags and Harpies roar.  Fembots titter at themselves when Daddy turns the switch.  They totter when he pulls the string.  They titter especially at the spinning of Spinsters, whom they have been trained to see as dizzy dames.  Daddy’s Little Titterers try to intimidate women struggling for greatness.  This is what they are made for and paid for.  There is only one taboo for titterers: they must never laugh seriously at Father – only at his jokes.

from Gyn/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism.

The aware Supervixen will learn to recognize these Snools and Titterers in her life.  She will stay away from them as much as possible.  She will fend them off and build up her shields against them.  They are “psychic vampires” intent on sucking her energies and destroying her.  And they are all over – especially on the Internet. 

A word to the wise is sufficient.

Be careful out there.

H.R.H. Supervixen

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“Shitting on the Rules” at Daily Kos

January 7, 2007

I can’t say I’m surprised.  “Amazed” is more like it – stunned by the extraordinary lack of character and ethics on the part of the Daily Kos higher-ups.

I’ve discovered that Daily Kos is an environment in which you can be banned for making a rude remark to an admin, but if someone posts quotes from a private email message without the author’s permission, NOTHING HAPPENS.  Because as long as you’re in the good graces of the Ministry of Kos, and are trying to attack someone who isn’t, it’s OK to do whatever the fuck you want – even if it violates one of the most basic rules of netiquette.

See here, the commenter “Land of Enchantment” has posted a quote from an email of mine to him.  I was strenuously objecting to his baldfaced lie that I “outed” someone.

I’ve notified several of the admins, but as yet, nothing has happened.

This is a clear violation of the Daily Kos FAQ:

5.1 NEVER EVER POST PRIVATE CORRESPONDENCE IN PUBLIC
This is a very old rule of “netiquette.” If someone sends you a private email, then it is considered the height of discourtesy to post it in public. This can be exacerbated by the fact that it is usually done out of context, cherry-picked or even deliberately altered.
In some cases, you may post something that you, yourself have written, but care should be taken that it does not reflect what was written to you (such as a reply that either includes or references a private correspondence sent to you).

My goodness, what happened to the roving packs of bimbo Troll Police who were browbeating people for such trivial offenses as mentioning other users’ names in the titles of diaries?  Or using “bad words” in the titles?

TU’s are supposed to monitor this site. (2+ / 1-)

Recommended by:
clonecone, cowgirl
Trollrated by:
leftilicious

That’s what I do. I care about this community and I want it to function well. Frankly…if you want to ignore your responsibilities…fine, go ahead. But I’m tired of people shitting on the rules and bringing the level of discourse here to garbage.

by Elise on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 09:01:08 AM PST

How can it have escaped their notice that a basic rule of their own FAQ has been broken (note: NOT a “guideline”, allowing for use of one’s own judgment, but a hard-and-fast rule), fundamental principles of netiquette and privacy are being breached, and possibly even copyright infringement taking place?  Private emails are covered by copyright laws.

I don’t happen to care about the copyright, in this case, because I’m more than happy to have my statements published publicly on Daily Kos for everyone to read.  I would have said them to Land of Enchantment in public if my voice on that blog had not been silenced.  (Is there any doubt that the only reason he brings up the “outing” accusation now is because I’m prevented from responding with the truth?)

What I care about is the principle.

Now, imagine if I had posted on Daily Kos a private email message from someone – say, for example, the email I received from Hunter assuring me that he knew I was honest and not a “troll”.  What would have happened?  Would that have been ignored, or would it have been grounds for the Enforcers to run me off the site?

Take a wild guess.

It’s amusing to see their site descend ever further into mendacious mindlessness.  As Marisacat called it yesterday: “A Superbowl of nothingness”.  An excellent description.

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The Inconvenient Truth

January 6, 2007

It’s been interesting observing the roiling soup over at Daily Kos, the accusations and character assassinations flying back and forth, and all the different brawls.  There are the brawls instigated by small-fry bullies trying to “make their bones” and impress the admins, and there are the long-standing grudge matches between Major Playahs who, like Japanese movie monsters, occasionally take a break from terrorizing the general population to spend some quality time breathing fire at each other.

It’s a very similar feeling to that I once experienced while sitting in the upper deck at a home opener at Yankee Stadium.  Not being a Yankees fan, I didn’t realize until that day that it was a tradition to get insanely drunk at the home opener and start fights with fellow fans.  The preferred method appeared to be to throw popcorn and/or beer down on people a few rows below you, and then scream obscenities at them when they turned around to see what the hell was happening.  If you did this right, you could engineer quite a considerable free-for-all.

As I looked down from my lofty perch, I saw knots of combatants coalescing all throughout the stadium, the knots growing larger and finally spinning out of control while blue-suited security guards slowly waded towards them.  There was a game taking place on the diamond, but nobody seemed to care about it – they were too engrossed in their own personal fights. 

Leaving the stadium afterwards, walking down the long ramp toward the street, I was crushed in a mass with thousands of drunken, belligerent men, some of whom were so trashed they could hardly walk, and all of them uttering garbled cries that sounded like the bellowing of cattle going to the slaughter. 

I resolved then and there never to go to Yankee Stadium again, under any circumstances.

Watching Daily Kos from afar, I see many similarities to that day at the stadium.  It’s truly a toxic environment, wrapped up in its own narcissistic brutality and unsuited to any positive interaction at all, much less achieving a positive change in the world.  I was planning to write a detailed account of the events leading up to my banning, with a description of the double standards and favoritism, the ways the “rules” are selectively enforced by a small band of thuggish semi-morons, and the way that lying, deception and manipulation permeate the entire site down from the very top of the hierarchy.  This is an excellent example, from the Wizard of Kos himself:

One of the problems we’ve had in the past when people step out of bounds on the site, behavior-wise, is that our choice of responses was limited. We could ban, which was extreme, we could give a public warning, but being publicly called out sometimes elicits the exact opposite kind of response. And as for sending emails, we don’t demand current and working email addresses from our users for privacy reasons.

Now, we have a warning system in place. If someone steps out of bounds (being an asshole in the comments, copyright violation, etc.), an admin can lock down the user’s account. A warning shows up at the top of the page explaining the transgression. The user has to click a button acknowledging he or she has read the warning before being given access to the site.

That sounds good, but the inconvenient truth is that the admins don’t give a rat’s ass about this, at least where it affects people they dislike.  When I was banned, I received no such warning.  Neither did two other recently-banned Kossacks, whose only offense appeared to be that they said a few things critical of DKos Sacred Cows.  On the other hand, two other posters who made a puerile sexist remark about a female front pager were quickly banned, and then, later on, quietly reinstated.  These posters must have kissed the proper asses in the proper way.

As I said, I planned to write in detail about all this, but the longer I’ve been out of the Daily Kos environment, the less I give a shit about it.  Like the day at Yankee Stadium, the immediate horror and disgust of living through it is past, leaving it a merely trivial episode, good for a laugh.

I only hope that none of the Big Swinging Snools at Daily Kos ever get any real-life power in our government, because if they do, we’re all fucked.

And now, on to bigger, better Supervixenish things.  Happy Kosless New Year!

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The “Little Sister” in the Frat House

January 3, 2007

Here’s the diary I wrote at Daily Kos that sparked such frantic reactions from the Frat Boys, including the Mighty Kos himself, and their loyal female “support staff”.   It was so controversial that it was deemed a “troll diary” and I was eventually banned from the site. 

I post it here in the hopes that we can have a more reasonable, intelligent discussion of the issues.

____________________________________________________________________

When my husband was in surgical residency, I met many wives of doctors.  One who became a friend was a charming, talkative young woman who enjoyed throwing parties.  They were always great parties.  She was very intelligent and had a witty, wisecracky sense of humor.  She was also physically attractive – small, but athletic and at the same time curvaceous.  In a previous era, she might have been on a calendar.  Her husband was Dullsville.  The only subject he liked to talk about was the new toys he had just acquired, or was thinking of acquiring: stereo systems, cars, motorbikes, etc.  But his wife (I’ll call her Sally) had more interests.  She read a fair amount and had a degree in literature from a big Midwestern university.  She was interested in art, foreign films, and fashion photography, so she and I had a lot to talk about.

One night at one of her parties, after we had all had a few martinis, Sally told me that she had been a stripper.  She said she had done it for a lark after college.  She said it was fun having such power over men.  Many of them wanted to talk with her after she came off stage and tell her all their problems, and she would listen.  They’d tell her how beautiful she was, and then give her big tips.  So she looked at it as a kind of therapy for them, and nice for her.  I said, well, OK, that makes some sense.  It reminded me a bit of Carl Hiaasen’s novel Strip Tease, except that this woman’s family was quite well-off and she certainly wasn’t doing it for the money.

Later, at a different gathering, I heard her telling someone else this story.  And then, over time, I heard it recycled back to me by others – “Did you know that Sally was a stripper??”  So I came to realize that this was, to Sally, such an important part of her identity that she had to tell a lot of people about it.  Somehow the fact that she had had a job where men paid her for being beautiful and “sexy” validated her beauty, and hence her being.  I guess it wasn’t surprising that she ended up marrying a guy who was so obsessed with toys.

None of that bothered me much, in a feminist context, until she told me about her experiences being a “Little Sister” in a frat house at the big university.  I had never heard of such a thing – I went to a women’s college where we didn’t even have sororities.  She explained to me how the Little Sisters would help with the social agenda for the frat, setting up the parties and cleaning up after them, etc.  Then she told me about how one day she decided that the frat house bathrooms were too incredibly filthy, so she went out and got a bunch of cleaning products, put on her rubber gloves, and went in and started scrubbing away.  Nobody had cleaned them in years so there was quite an accumulation of, well, what accumulates in frathouse bathrooms.  She worked and worked and worked until she started feeling a little strange, and then she got up and staggered out of the bathroom and fainted and fell down the stairs.

Apparently she had been overcome by the fumes of all the different types of cleansers she had been using.

She told me how wonderful the frat boys were while reviving her and taking her to the infirmary, and how grateful they were that she had taken on the job of cleaning the bathrooms.

The British have a good word, “gobsmacked”, that describes my reaction to this story.  In American terms: I was completely stunned.  My jaw dropped.  I was speechless.

It was an epiphany for me.  I began to think about why women would choose that identity of being second-class citizens in a male power structure when they had an alternative.  I also thought of it in relation to the stripper story.  Is getting attention from, and catering to, men really the most important thing for some women?  If so, can they truly be feminists?

The “Little Sister in the Frat House” image has come to me often while reading DKos.  Since last year, when I suggested women’s issues to Gina as a topic for Yearly Kos and heard vague and conflicting responses from her – and then, after YKos, when there was a panel of some sort about feminism, but it hardly rated a mention afterwards, and none at all from the Front Pagers – I’ve been worried that feminists here are backing off and allowing their concerns to be subsumed into the “Bigger Picture”.  I’m worried that feminists are yet again – as many of them were in the ’60s – allowing themselves to be the watercarriers, the coffee-makers, the toilet-scrubbers, the “support staff”, the cheerleaders, the strippers and sex toys to the Big Boys who are really the movers and shakers and the ones getting their ideas across.  Time and again I hear responses to the effect of: “Yes, yes, we’re going to pay attention to your ideas and your issues when we get in power, but right now we have to focus on getting our people elected.”  Can you get me another coffee, and by the way – nice tits!

How much are we women willing to give up in order to get attention from the Big Boys in power?  How much of our identity is connected to our sense of our attractiveness to men?  Do we even have a real identity separate from men and the way they perceive us?  Are we tools/toys for them, or do they think of us as equals and fight on our side for our acceptance as equals in society?  These are all questions that come up when I think about the Little Sister in the frat house.

* * *

Another story about my friend:

She and a few other wives of MDs had a “book group”.  She invited me to it once.  I can’t remember what book we were supposed to be discussing (I think it was something by Michael Chabon).  I said I couldn’t go because I hadn’t read the book.  She said, “Oh, that doesn’t matter!”  

When I showed up, the ladies were energetically cocktailing.  Eventually someone brought up the book.  Nobody had read more than 100 pages of it.  So they quickly segued into gossip.  This was boring because I didn’t know anyone they were discussing.  Then they went on to discuss things they would have done to themselves as soon as they had enough money to get cosmetic surgery.  They went around the circle getting everyone’s contributions in turn.  Instead of a book discussion club, it had become a “cosmetic surgery discussion club”.  When they got to me, I said I didn’t want to have anything done.  I received a barrage of glares.  My friend said, “What do you mean – do you think you’re perfect?”

That, too, was an eye-opener for me.

H.R.H. Supervixen