Y’all, we are on fluffcation till further notice. We are posting nothing thought-provoking, drama-inducing, or troll-tempting for the immediate future. Anyone who says anything remotely controversial in comments will be thoroughly scolded.

Instead, we will all talk about lemurs:


That lemur look, by ucumari



Something reminded me of this recently…

…I can’t imagine what.

As bonus weekend fluff, please enjoy this old chestnut from The Onion: Man Finally Put In Charge Of Struggling Feminist Movement. Excerpt:

“All the feminist movement needed to do was bring on someone who had the balls to do something about this glass ceiling business,” said McGowan, who quickly closed the 23.5 percent gender wage gap by “making a few calls to the big boys upstairs.” “In the world of gender identity and empowered female sexuality, it’s all about who you know.”

McGowan, who was selected from a pool of roughly 150 million candidates, made eliminating sexual harassment his first priority before working on securing reproductive rights for women in all 50 states, and promoting healthy body images through an influx of strong, independent female characters in TV, magazines, and film.

“It’s about time,” McGowan said upon returning from a golf game with several “network honchos” in which he brokered a deal to bring a variety of women’s sports to prime-time television. “These ladies should have brought me on years ago.”

Weekend Thread

I’m about to go out of town for several days, and I have no idea what my co-bloggers’ schedules are like, so this might be your last thread for a while. (Or it might not be. I’ll have my computer with me, and nearly every time I say, “Hey, I’m not going to post for the next little while,” I suddenly get inspired to post more than usual. So we’ll see.)

In the meantime, this thread is yours. Fluff, rants, and self-linking are all encouraged.

Speaking of fluff, did you see the Daily Mail headline generator Caitlin pointed out in comments the other day? I must have clicked 100 times now, and it still hasn’t stopped being funny. A few favorites:









Yep, still funny.

Happy Birthday, A Sarah!

It’s our newest co-blogger’s birthday, and she just moved to a town where she doesn’t know anyone to celebrate with. So let’s make the Shapeling party count: I want champagne and baby donuts flowing freely (inasmuch as donuts can flow), links to puppy pictures, limericks and revised song lyrics in our girl’s honor, chair-dancing, and all manner of rowdy behavior you’ll regret tomorrow.

And of course, the most important ingredient of any good fatty party: TWO WHOLE CAKES.


Happy birthday, lady!

P.S. For your birthday, I might even get you a masthead with your name and picture on it, but don’t hold your breath.

Friday Fluff: Fetus Naming

So, this starts in a non-fluffy place. Lord Saletan wrote this asinine-even-for-him essay claiming that pregnant women who refer to the sweet little parasites in their wombs as “fetuses” instead of “babies” run the risk of dehumanizing them so much that they’ll end up giving birth and sticking the kid in a freezer. NO SERIOUSLY HE DID. (Note: Yes, that was a tasteless way of referring to a true, tragic story. Fair warning, the post only gets worse in that regard later on. It’s a laugh-so-you-don’t-cry thing, but surely not something everyone will want to read.) 

Fortunately, my fellow broad Tracy Clark-Flory took it down so we didn’t have to:

It seems to me that Saletan is irresponsibly conflating pregnancy denial with philosophical beliefs about abortion and fetuses’ personhood. A woman who is considering an abortion can maintain a minor level of disconnection from the fetus, refuse to call it a baby and yet still be able to acknowledge that there is life there. She can do all of this even after having an ultrasound, as Saletan instructs women to do. It’s more complicated than willing herself to see only what she wants to see: People have very different scientific, philosophical, political and religious ideas about when a fetus becomes a baby or a person. Couples often have very different independent experiences of a pregnancy’s “realness,” and early on in a pregnancy, so much of the significance of the word baby is parental projection. But Saletan assumes that his definition of personhood is The Truth with which women must reckon.

Really, that last line is all that ever needs to be said about William Saletan.

Anyway, this led to a g-chat between Fillyjonk and me, and since y’all seemed to enjoy that before, I thought I’d share.


FJ:  man, who knew salon and jezebel would become the go-to sites for feminist writing?
 me:  ha, yeah, i’m really happy with how broadsheet’s going these days
FJ:  broadsheet is great
no real love for salon overall
 me:  I do love Salon… but like a family member with a million annoying quirks you put up with ’cause they’re family
And that’s pretty much how I felt before I wrote for them
FJ: incidentally my parents called me “d’embryo” until i was born
so suck it, saletan
And yeah, my niece was “Zyggy” for “zygote,” which I’ve heard several other people use
even though it wasn’t technically accurate for long
She or one of the others also became “Bun” as in “in the oven” — ALSO DEHUMANIZING! COMPARING YOUR CHILD TO FOOD! DO YOU WANT TO MAKE HER FAT?
FJ:  hahaha
fetuses are very suggestible
me:  I mean, seriously, you could call the fetus “our little clump o’ cells,” and if you wanted the fucking kid, it would be a term of endearment.
FJ:  yeah it turns out that the thing that determines whether you want the kid is whether you want a kid
me:  get out!
I think maybe if I get pregnant, we’ll call it “Little Lord Saletan.”
“Wanker” for short.
FJ:  hahah
says mom: “I guess the reason I didn’t kill you is that we called you Dembryo, which is way cuter.”
me:  Ha!
FJ:  also, i gchatted her and said “according to william saletan it’s a miracle you didn’t put me in a freezer after i was born”
mom: yes, that was my first impulse.
 me:  HA! Love your mom.
FJ:  she’s hilarious
though sometimes i think she’s just gunning to be on postcards from yo momma 

With that, here’s the Friday Fluff question: If you’re a parent, what did you call your kid(s) in utero? If you’re not — or even if you are — what would you call a future fetus? Over to you, Shapelings.

Tuesday Fluff: Eff It

Fluff has been moved up to Tuesday because chances of any of us posting anything substantial today (or, uh, this week) are incredibly slim. 

So, I started following Michael Ian Black on Twitter after I heard about his Twitter war with LeVar Burton, via Sarah Haskins on Twitter. (Lest you think that implies I was fighting for the Black side, I also started following Burton, thereby canceling out my show of support.) Since the war ended, I’ve been weighing whether his amusing one-liners are worth continuing to follow him, given that A) I’m already following 60-odd other people who supply me with sufficient amusing one-liners, and B) he occasionally makes me stabby. (Psst, you’ve failed to consider the very real possibility that the joke wasn’t funny because among other things, cheap date rape analogies = comedy turd.

But today, I’m happy to have hung in there, because I see he’s created the Fuck It List. It’s the opposite of a Bucket List — things you feel absolutely no need to do before you die. Lots of people are Tweeting their own mini-Fuck It Lists, and I was delighted to see at least a few that included losing weight and “getting ready for bathing suit season.” 

In fewer than 140 characters, mine would go something like this: Lose the last 10 80 lbs.; get Ph.D.; have more than 1 kid*; become categorically “outdoorsy”; write decent poetry; look good in capri pants.

(Yes, those were all things I once fervently desired. The list would probably be much funnier if I included stuff I never really cared about.)

Shapelings, tell us what’s on your Fuck It List — Twitter-style if you like, or feel free to go on at length. 

*The linked post was written by a dear friend of mine, so if you want to discuss it here, feel free, but don’t go crapping on the author.

Midweek fluff: Web detective

We’re all a little distracted right now — Kate’s been traveling, SM’s been studying, and I’ve kind of burned myself out on the internet. I’ve got the shittiest excuse of the three, so it falls to me to give you guys something to talk about. But all I can think about is being burned out on the internet. So, let’s talk about that!

I’ve been thinking about this article by Katha Pollitt lately, because I am an ace internets detective, which is both a blessing and a curse (in the way that all knowledge is, especially knowledge obtained under the table). If I were a good personal essayist like Kate and Katha, rather than a vulnerability-avoidance machine powered mainly by shame, I would tell you a titillating little story right now that would lay bare my deepest and most personal flaws and let you laugh gently at my foibles while simultaneously feeling a profound kinship with me as I hold up a mirror to your own humanity. I’m not gonna do that though.  I’m gonna make you do it. Tell us about your biggest web “research” jackpot, or your biggest surprise, or how you knew it was time to erase your search history and never look again.

If you’re one of the three people who’s never used Google for evil, you may prefer this article by Richard Cohen, whom I consider to be a fundamentally ridiculous human being. If Katha makes me feel like I’m far too guarded to ever be a writer, Cohen makes me think that maybe any schmo can do it. SM and I went into paroxysms when we first read this article (we were on a bit of a Cohen-hating kick) — it led to a lot of yelling “I USED THE INTERNET” in a Gumby voice. (We still use “falling down the rabbit hole” ironically to mean wasting time online.) So if you’ve got no internet sleuthing secrets to spill, tell us about an experience falling down the rabbit hole. Maybe the Post will give you a column!

Friday Fluff: Drinking around the world

My friend Joanna is currently in Disney World, drinking her way around Epcot with her boyfriend. She keeps posting to Twitter about the drinks she’s had — so far we’ve heard about the Grand Marnier smoothie from France, the snakebite from England, the “Sultan’s Colada” from Morocco, the plum wine from Japan, several kinds of beer and a shandy. Also there is a hot tub. I’m terrifically jealous, but on the other hand we’ve had a good time here on the blog this week — a healthy dose of both positivity and mocking, which I think is the only way to live. And you guys have been funny as hell. Which I think means we deserve to have drinks from every continent, too.

What’s your favorite exotic, international, or generally unusual cocktail, Shapelings?

(Speaking of drinks, there are active meetup plans going on Ning in Philly, Seattle, Houston, and DC!

Weekend Fluff: Costumes

I feel like Fillyjonk should be posting this, since she’s the costume master here, but I’m up early so what the hell. Tell us about your Halloween costume! And do share any tips for plus sized costuming, if you’ve got them. Unfortunately I don’t, because I’m a person who loves Halloween in theory but always forgets to prepare in time to make a good costume. Like, every year, including this one. My biggest costume triumph, which I doubt I’ll ever top, was the year Mr Machine and I went as Lolita and Humbert Humbert. I was Humbert. And then, halfway through the party, we switched costumes. Good times.