October 6, 2010

Catfish: The Real Danger Of Social Media

catfish poster.jpg

wild guess... is it a catfish?

Catfish is a movie about a guy who has a facebook relationship with a woman, and then goes to meet her and discovers...  should I say  "spoilers below?"

Spoil what?  "The twist ending!"  What twist?  Darth Vader is Luke's father is a twist, Katherine Heigl is annoying is not a twist, it's a premise.  Saying there is a twist ending is a vicious restructuring of the definitions of "twist" and "is."

"You'll never believe what happens..."   Yes you will.  Exactly what you think happens, happens.  The real mystery is why he never thought this would happen.

But you should see the movie anyway.

Cue trailer:




Not a twist:  Uber-hott 19 yo Megan isn't really uber-hott, 19, or Megan.  Huh.  The only thing you don't know is if when he looks in that garage he sees Chthulu eating fetuses, or nothing.  Twist: nothing.

But you're not watching this movie for the twist.  This is, surprisingly, a movie you can watch a dozen times for reasons different than the critics noted.

Here's the plot: Nev gets drawn into on online relationship with a really hot 19 year old.  Nine (9) months later begins to suspect something is not right, and so he drives the surviving members of REM up to her Michigan farm to get to the truth.



catfish rem.jpg
 
The truth is that "Megan" is really "Angela": a middle age, middle America homely housewife with a facebook account.  What does it all mean?   Cue obligatory "on the internet, no one knows you're a dog."

II.

And:


But what's most interesting about Catfish isn't that the Internet allowed a smart filmmaker to be bamboozled for months by a make-believe Michigan family. It's that the Internet allowed him to figure it out, track them down and make a movie about it.

Funny, that's not what I thought was interesting.  Maybe it was the subtitles, but the Korean bootleg I saw was about three megalomaniacs who actually believed it was completely ok to go a woman's house in the middle of the night, unannounced.


catfish looking in garage.jpg

Don't be sucked in by the perspective, which in the movie is all theirs.  Pretend you're the coroner: two people are reading the other's potentially unreliable online information, and one of them starts driving towards the other.  Is that the version you saw in the theater?  That's the real plot of the movie, and when you're able to see it like that you see that the true problem of online contact isn't what's posted online but who is reading.  If a murderer posts a fake bikini facebook photo, and you show up at his house with suntan oil and a inflated expectations, you're the problem.

The problem of perspective is the true caution of the movie, missed by everyone.  We value Nev's perspective more because he made the movie, but also because it features (not just uses) cameras, Google Maps, all of which are signals of neutrality, objectivity.  If someone else made the movie about him and these events, you'd be aware of his insanity immediately.  But by cleverly making the movie a POV, you're drawn into seeing things only his way. 

Even the above Gawker critic couldn't not see it from Nev's perspective.   Of course the woman lied to him, but didn't he then turn and force himself into her real life only to make a movie?  Isn't that worse?   Make no mistake, this is a documentary of narcissism supported by the Apple catalog.  If there was any movie that exemplified "a narcissist is one who sees himself as the main character in his own movie, and everyone else is merely supporting cast," it's Catfish.  At one point he's frustrated by how his director-brother is pushing him to  continue in the movie, and he says angrily but with no irony, "yeah, but this is about my life, okay?"  Okay, wildman, settle down, we got it, it's your life, not hers.

III.


Here's the first clue you're in the presence of delusionality: at no point do any of these three ask the most basic and obvious question, why would this chick be interested in Nev?  This isn't an insult, this is a legit query.  Why would she want him?  We understand why he would want her,  but for the nine months of the movie, he has no sex with any other woman.  "Well we can't all be as smooth as you."  I sympathize, but you're missing the point: no one else who can see him wants him, but she does?  That doesn't require some self-reflection?

"He charmed her." Slow down.  "Megan" probably has had some experience being charmed, right?   At one point, she texts that she's baking a pie, "I'll save you a piece."  Guess what he does with that.  No, you'll never guess.  Comedy gold.  This guy delivers the obvious like he's writing for Daniel Tosh. 

There is an absence of self-awareness coupled with an overflow of self-absorption.  "Of course me!"

Put this in the reverse: at the end, when he discovers that he's been talking to a homely midwest mom, his friends explain that the mom is probably in love with him-- implying that of course a fat midwestern mom would fall for dashing New York sophisticate.  That makes total sense.  Even when they know that Megan must be an imposter,  it never occurs to them that whoever the woman actually is might take one look at Nev and say, "hold on, you can't be the guy... is this a radio bit?" 

The problem of this movie-- which perfectly encapsulates the most basic problem with America-- is that it doesn't occur to the audience either.   We've tricked ourselves into thinking that it's a completely expected that people will see us the way we want to be seen.  And so any divergences from this must be quite obviously mean the other person is a jerk.

IV.

An example.  Let's review some basic facts about Nev because he considers them important enough to put in his movie.   First, he wears a retainer.  I know, I know, it's not cosmetic, it's for TMJ.  Second, he spends an awful lot of time hanging out in his bed in nothing but his briefs, which only look like Spiderman Underoos because they are red.  They're not Underoos.  They're just red.

He loves the feel of a fluffy down comforter on his naked skin, that much is obvious.

See that pic, above, where he's sneaking up the dark driveway to peer into the garage of the mystery family that for all he knows could be cannibals?   He's barefoot.   When he's thinking about the malleability of identity he likes to stick his hand down his pants.  In fact, what he likes on his body even more than a down comforter is his hands-- he is constantly touching, rubbing, hugging his own body.  I can say with complete certainty that this guy pees sitting down and still gets the seat wet.  And you know how some guys think it's sexy when a girl has a tattoo of a sun or wings on their tailbone?  Well, Nev likes them so much he has one on his tailbone.   I'm sure there's a funny story behind that, but I can assure you it's irrelevant.

So?  So my reaction to all this was that Nev was utterly, genuinely, hateable, somewhere on the level of a Snookie or a David Hasselhoff or the Asian chick on Grey's Anatomy.  He smiles like a Scientologist, he's monumentally passive aggressive-- I hated this guy.  Hold on-- I realize that my own natural self-loathing hovers around an unhealthy 105%, hence the rum, but the point is that Nev-- as portrayed in this movie-- would never imagine that he generates this reaction in anyone.  He probably can imagine people not liking the movie, but why would anyone hate him?  It's inconceivable!

V.

One final example.  Angela lives with two severely retarded children.  They are stepsons; this is the life she chose.  Through tears, she tells Nev that when she got married, she knew she'd be making some sacrifices, but she didn't realize that in fact she'd be "resigning from her own life."

So, she's telling him this because she wants some affirmation, not because she wants him to fix it.  How could he?  But Nev doesn't hesitate to repeat all of this to the husband during his interview.  "You know, Angela told me that she feels like she gave up a lot..."   There are two possibilities.  One is that Nev thought he was so much more intelligent and empathic and nuanced than this stupid hick-- never mind that he's been able to support a very pretty and well maintained home, and everyone in there seems happy, keeps all their needs and a decade long marriage intact-- that aside, Douchekata figures he can Dr. Phil a decade long wound in their marriage with nine seconds of HD footage.  The second possibility is that he didn't even want to do that, he just wanted to split the wound open because he needed the shot.  I'm not sure which is worse, but I hated him just in case it was both.


VI.

Go another way: so Angela lied to them about her identity.  So what?  Who says they were entitled to the truth?

When they arrive at Megan/Angela's house and meet everyone they are on edge, what's going on here, none of this seems like Facebook?  The family, especially the husband, is very friendly and cordial, but it could have gone the other way:   what kind of nuts are these?  He traveled all this way to meet a girl?  That makes it normal?  "We want answers."  You better keep your hands where I can see them.  And why does Nev expect others to assume he is  trustworthy?  Because of what he wrote about himself on facebook?  Haven't we established that that stuff is unreliable? 

Well, let's look at his facebook, then: he's cut out a picture of her, naked, and put it onto a picture of himself, naked.  You know who does that?  People who narrate their reality.


catfish stalker pics.jpg
"It rubs the lotion on its skin or it gets the hose."  This photo creeps me out so much I had to stop drinking.  Yeah.  On the drive to her house, shouldn't he have to call the Michigan police and register, or something?

It cannot occur to them that what they are doing is wrong because it isn't wrong-- there are no Right and Wrongs, there are only his right and wrongs.  They have a need to know, they want to meet her, so it's all ok.  The movie trailer plays like a horror movie, yet they don't feel any fear at all, which is weird, right?  You know Megan isn't Megan and you know you're wearing red underwear, shouldn't you bring backup or something?   As bad, neither do they worry that someone might be scared of three strange men in the dark.  Look up at that picture.  Why should anyone trust them?  If you come at me and say, "hey, are you the guy who writes The Last Psychiatrist?" then you better come at me strong because I will take you down.

The critics will deftly signal without spoiling that this isn't really a horror movie.    Let me correct that right now: it is absolutely a horror movie.  Fortunately for Angela, the psychopaths just happen to be pussies.


VII.

There is a line, and that line is online.  The agreement we've all accepted, it is there in your ISP contract, is that we are willing to trade exhibitionism/voyeurism for greater respect in real life.  Or, less privacy online for more privacy offline.  The girl on facebook "agrees" to use a  bikini profile pic because you agree not to stalk her, in fact, you agree not to mention it to her in person at all.  That's the deal.  If you say, "hey, I saw your pics on facebook and I wanted to meet you,"  she is allowed/encouraged to go Desert Shield on you.  That's the deal.

This is why huge corporations can't fire people based on what they did online. "Well, we don't want that kind of person working here."  They're all that kind of person, you're that kind of person, every one of us carries around multiple shames that would exclude us from society, let alone Walmart.  It is information bias, just because you know she is a slut or he is a racist doesn't mean that everyone else isn't.  Why does so much of us have to be in the job?  Jobs suck, we do them in spite of ourselves.  Asking me to clean up my online profile because you want to pay me $11/hr is a bit much.  Shut it.

It's the same deal that goes with sexy clothing.  The contract is, you show a lot of cleavage, we don't stare.  That's the deal, not the reverse, not the "well she put it out there so I can stare."  None of this is conscious, explicit, it's SOCIETY.  When we start staring too much, they'll start covering up/getting private security.  And society changes.  It's a symbiosis that is always in flux, and this is where it stands 2010.  Like it or not.

"Well, sometimes they want you to stare at their breasts.  How can you be sure it's not you they want?  Easiest question in the world: if you're not sure, it's not you.  She'll let you look obliquely because she doesn't have control over the velocity of light, but if you stare too long expect a manicured finger in your eye.  That's the deal.

Nev breaks the deal. You can't fault him for googling and investigating, but he's not permitted to go to her house.  That's the deal.

At the end of the movie, he reveals that Megan is actually Aimee Gonzales.


catfish girl.jpg Note that he did all this because he thought she was real.  Now that everyone in America  knows she's real...

To be clear: I don't fault Nev et al for making a good movie about himself, I deeply fault all the critics (and audience members) for celebrating the wrong message.  Only-- and I can't believe I'm about to say this-- a male dominated, female-as-commodity narcissistic perspective would think that the moral of the movie is that a man might get fooled.  The real moral is that some men will drive 300 miles just on the chance that you are hot.  Imagine how far they'll go to kill you.


---

http://twitter.com/thelastpsych








Comments

If they're Scottish, they'l... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2010 12:09 PM | Posted by popo: | Reply

If they're Scottish, they'll walk 500 miles.
Ohohohoho

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Perfect article, this shoul... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2010 12:29 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Perfect article, this should be featured as a movie review on the front page of NY Times entertainment.

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I was confused until I read... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2010 12:50 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I was confused until I read up on catfish. I thought it was a movie, and not a documentary while I was reading this article. This is surreal.

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"The real moral is that som... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2010 1:14 PM | Posted by M: | Reply

"The real moral is that some men will drive 300 miles just on the chance that you are hot."

Yeah... I've done that, twice. Wasn't worth it either time. (Of course, they invited me to, so different situation.)

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Great analysis. That guy ... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2010 1:32 PM | Posted by BHE: | Reply

Great analysis. That guy is a fucking creep and deserves to be seen that way. Just watch your back, now that you've potentially inflicted a narcissistic injury you never know when the real horror movie, "Catfish 2," might start filming.

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"She actually stole my face... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2010 1:55 PM | Posted by Paul: | Reply

"She actually stole my face. There’s nothing more than your face that makes you who you are.”

Aimee Gonzales

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Great read, great analysis,... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2010 2:08 PM | Posted by DCF: | Reply

Great read, great analysis, thank you... just hard to read your stuff sometimes because your writing seems to come from such a negative place.

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TLP - Love the art... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2010 2:17 PM | Posted by magussartori: | Reply

TLP -

Love the article, but I wish you could have made the point without going to the "he might be a serial killer" degree.

There's enough baseless fear driving American society without encouraging people to focus on the belief that any stranger may want to wear your skin like a suit.

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Well, sometimes they wan... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2010 2:18 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Well, sometimes they want you to stare at their breasts. How can you be sure it's not you they want? Easiest question in the world: if you're not sure, it's not you.

I thought if I was watching, it was for me.

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DCF: Can you please define... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2010 2:41 PM | Posted, in reply to DCF's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

DCF: Can you please define "negative place?"

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My review of your review: "... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2010 3:14 PM | Posted by Clayton: | Reply

My review of your review: "He brings new depth to the movie in order that he can more thoroughly hate it."


Hilarious review, and deeply satisfying to someone who was insulted by the trailer trying to trick me when obviously nothing happens at the end. Perhaps the movie is enjoyable to watch but I've gotten everything I need from it right here.

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I agree 100% with TLP and t... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2010 5:23 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I agree 100% with TLP and that never happens.


I would also point out the implicit sexism - women belong to men, so it's totally not a big deal to treat them as if they have no rights. This beautiful 19 (can't make her be 20 can we, that's too adult, too independent) year old girl has been exposing herself as a sex object to this man for weeks, and so he naturally went to go claim his territory. The nerve that the object turned out to be an unattractive and useless housewife. What a waste of gas money and what a blow to the ego as well, and in front of the former REM members tsk tsk.

I mean, in what fucking world is it okay for this MEDIOCRE AT BEST 24 year old to pretty much go out and "claim" his wo-man?

Didn't this average little douche think anything was up when this perfect multitalented girl was interested in him but never met him even once? My opinion, he totally got what he deserved by the way - he's clearly one of those "ALL ABOUT MEEE" guys who wants a perfect girl but delivers zero himself. Is he ambitious, working a professional career, intelligent, talented... or is he some slacker ass "wanna be artist, wanna be director" who contributes zero to the world but massive wants needs and expectations?
SO what would make him think such a girl would want him, when all he does is demand more from her?


Actually TLP I would say this movie exemplifies the mindset of a large number of men between the ages of 17-25 or so. Maybe even 30s if you're especially immature. Droves of average world of warcraft playing douchebags who watch way too much porn and are completely self absorbed , self centered, and view everyone, particularly WOMEN, as belonging to one of two categories: objects to be used for their enjoyment/benefit, or irrelevant/annoyances. They are eternally frustrated and dissatisfied.

And they never have even a small moment of self reflection where they think "what in the fuck do I bring to this picture, what do I deliver, besides an exhausting list of needs and wants"?


""It rubs the lotion on its skin or it gets the hose." This photo creeps me out so much I had to stop drinking. Yeah. On the drive to her house, shouldn't he have to call the Michigan police and register, or something?" -AHHAHAHa A+ sir.


To be perfectly honest, this guy is a big retard for never expecting ONCE that this might be fake. What kind of beautiful girl, talented girl has a 9 month long internet relationship, never showing herself on camera or IRL? What an idiot this guy is. And his beard is creepy.


"Only-- and I can't believe I'm about to say this-- a male dominated, female-as-commodity narcissistic perspective would think that the moral of the movie is that a man might get fooled. The real moral is that some men will drive 300 miles just on the chance that you are hot. Imagine how far they'll go to kill you."

Awww TLP, you've seen the light. I like you more now. Or dislike you less.

I think your pale, underweight, pimple faced early 20 something readers won't like this message so much, as it's basically being asked to stare in a mirror and hyperfocus on your flaws. I expect lots of h8, or alternatively, this post will go underappreciated/ignored... because the crowd this blog panders to the exact sort of guy Nev is.

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There seems to be quite a b... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2010 5:29 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

There seems to be quite a bit of comment on line that the movie is more mockumentary than documentary. For me, the biggest tell is that Angela Wesselman-Pierce allowed her name to be used. And, now, no-one can find her.

The question in my mind is why did TLP use a strawman to make his points? Why did he not even, apparently, consider the idea the movie was not as presented? Too much rum?

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I think you are intentional... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2010 5:35 PM | Posted, in reply to Paul's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I think you are intentionally phrasing that out of context. What was meant is that your face makes you RECOGNIZABLE as who you are... and she is correct. The human brain actually has a special "face recognition" center where we associate faces with individuals. SHe didn't mean your face (i.e. appearance) is your identity, she meant that whatever identity/personality/behavior exhibited by a person is forever tagged and associated with that face. This is why wanted people grow beards and long hair and do everything they can to disguise their face... your face IS YOUR IDENTITY, it is a marker for an individual human.

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When a creepshow drives mil... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2010 5:40 PM | Posted, in reply to magussartori's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

When a creepshow drives miles to find you, that's not normal behavior and it is reasonable to assume he might be physically dangerous.

If you statistically accounted for the number of people demonstrating that sort of unbalanced fucked up behavior (driving hundreds of miles, unannounced, unwelcomed) to go find someone, you would probably observe a MUCH GREATER THAN CHANCE that the person had some kind of major antisocial behavioral tendencies - violent behavior, rape, murder, etc. Why is that? Because when a person pretty much HUNTS another person down, they are not only crossing normal social boundaries but pretty much trampling over them like a galloping kid tramples an ant hill on its way to the ice cream truck. When you do that sort of fucked up shit, you are clearly the sort of person who is impulsive, hair trigger, and desire-emotion ridden. No one normal does that. TLP is absolutely right to compare and allude to the buffalo-billesque nature of this creep's behavior.

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Dude, I'm that 20 year old ... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2010 5:54 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Dude, I'm that 20 year old and I don't like your message, but mostly because you repeat what TLP said trying to make it appear as though you came up with it on your own while articulating his core idea poorly.

"And his beard is creepy". Powerful.

"Awww TLP, you've seen the light."

Are you implying you know more than him or are somewhat wiser / more incisive? If the only way you can get readership for your comment is by posting them on his blog, doesn't that say something about the relative quality of his and yours?

"I expect lots of h8, or alternatively, this post will go underappreciated/ignored... because the crowd this blog panders to the exact sort of guy Nev is."

So you will either because the center of attraction because of the "h8" or by being ignored. Either way you win I suppose?

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Oh little anon 5:54, what y... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2010 6:18 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Oh little anon 5:54, what you do not realize (and I do realize) is I'm the anon who started TLP down this path of thought. I am tickled to see he's coming to greater awareness of the gender/sex implications in narcissism... mainly that the way certain men think and behave toward certain women is the epitome of narcissism (and my personal off the cuff theory: narcissistic personality traits are very common in males because it may have been a successful reproductive strategy... as if the development of a male brain easily lends itself to narcissistic thought patterns and behavior , particularly toward women).

Originally when I pointed out the sexist narcissistic hypocrisy in his writing, this was resisted hardcore particularly by his sycophants... but I've noted a gradual rectification in his thinking since then, and he has demonstrated greater awareness of the issue.

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Brilliant. But I won't let ... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2010 6:32 PM | Posted by retriever: | Reply

Brilliant. But I won't let my spouse read it or he will start barricading the house against potential visitors (he is already convinced that everyone in the family will have some creepy stalker like Nev track us down via our various websites)

And the piece on military suicides was extremely good as well.

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@Anon 5:04 PM As T... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2010 8:24 PM | Posted by magussartori: | Reply

@Anon 5:04 PM

As TLP mentions, the naive interpretation of the movie uses Angela as an example that the Internet is dangerous and you should be afraid. TLP breaks this example, (Nev broke a social contract, not Angela) but then turns around and holds Nev as the reason that you should be afraid.

It's the re-enforcement of the belief "the internet is dangerous" that bothers me, and TLP did not need to do this to make his point.

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Provided your superior awar... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2010 8:44 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Provided your superior awarness, you should start your own blog.

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What makes you think I don'... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2010 9:45 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

What makes you think I don't already have one? :)

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Because your writing, when ... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2010 10:18 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Benjamin Franklin: | Reply

Because your writing, when it doesn't suck, sounds like it was authored by a schizophrenic on 'ludes, and because you're posting as anonymous. So either you don't think that what you have to say is worth attaching your name to, or there isn't anything.

...But I won't be reading it either way.

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What is the reverse called?... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2010 10:34 PM | Posted by tsu: | Reply

What is the reverse called? When a woman drives 300 miles to see a man, based on a craigslist ad?

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Link or it didn't happen.</... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2010 11:12 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Link or it didn't happen.

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Women can be creepy buffalo... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2010 11:16 PM | Posted, in reply to tsu's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Women can be creepy buffalo bill like nut jobs too, it's just not as common.

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Or maybe I'm not a narcissi... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2010 11:19 PM | Posted, in reply to Benjamin Franklin's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Or maybe I'm not a narcissistic attention whore so I don't give a shit if I make a name for myself as a famous internet ranter?

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First, although insulting e... (Below threshold)

October 7, 2010 12:09 AM | Posted by James Madison: | Reply

First, although insulting everyone that is not you isn't that great a rhetorical ploy, you manage to be bad at it. Have you ever heard about an attention whore who wasn't narcissistic? Adjectives aren't words you just throw in to purty up those sentences, they actually mean things.

Secondly, your overall comment could be summed up along the lines of "I wasn't trying that hard anyways. You guys are mean. I'm going home". This from the man responsible for TLP's entire intellectual development? I expected so much more.

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I feel like I am talking wi... (Below threshold)

October 7, 2010 1:10 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I feel like I am talking with a 15 year old. Get off it man. Move on. Talk about something important please.

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TLP FTW. Great post. ... (Below threshold)

October 7, 2010 4:10 AM | Posted by Dave: | Reply

TLP FTW. Great post.

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The message is different fo... (Below threshold)

October 7, 2010 6:45 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by The Devastator: | Reply

The message is different for different people, but there's always a message. To an attractive guy, the message is "hey, come talk to me." To other guys (i.e. you me, everyone reading this, and everyone who uses "i.e.") the message is, "I'm attractive, be nice to me, but don't expect anything."

"If you're watching, it's for you" holds.

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Afterthought: Don't interpr... (Below threshold)

October 7, 2010 7:20 AM | Posted by The Devastator: | Reply

Afterthought: Don't interpret the above as bitter or accusatory or whatever. The observation, "people often try to appear attractive so that other people will treat them better" is an observation on the same level as "people often try to find jobs that pay well." If you're the Dalai Lama you're probably against it, but I tend to let that stuff slide.

The point is, "wanting to appear attractive to everyone" =/= "wanting sexual advances from everyone."

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I know this is going to fre... (Below threshold)

October 7, 2010 10:24 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I know this is going to freak some of you guys out but women aren't always dressing sexy for men. It's not always about you. Sometimes, quite often in fact, it's for other women - sometimes because we prefer having sex with other women so we're trying to seduce other women, but more often than not because we're competing with other women (for the attention of other women or men...that's about social power)or because it's just the fashion at the moment and it's part of being part of the girl gang. And sometimes its purely for ourselves and our own sensual pleasure - some women like feeling sexy for our own pleasure too, it's not always about wanting to sleep with you or anyone else. Masturbation may be a sad and lonely experience for some people but it's not for everyone - generally people with healthy sex lives have a healthy sexual relationship with themselves and their own body too. Has that actually crossed anyone's mind here or are you entirely convinced that how women dress and female sexual desire is entirely about you and your desires?

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I don't think he (TLP) is s... (Below threshold)

October 7, 2010 11:04 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by temporary insanity: | Reply

I don't think he (TLP) is saying women dress sexy for men, he is saying that men shouldn't take the sexy dress as a welcome invitation to deep tissue massage. Why women might dress that way isn't the point of his post. Which is part of the larger issue of social media in that what you post online isn't to be taken as an invitation to real life contact.

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Note to self: Do not surpr... (Below threshold)

October 7, 2010 11:53 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Note to self: Do not surprise The Last Psychiatrist by recognizing him, for he is like a cat and will react poorly.

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temporary insanity - Sorry,... (Below threshold)

October 7, 2010 11:53 AM | Posted, in reply to temporary insanity's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

temporary insanity - Sorry, I was unclear - that was more addressed to the world in general and people commenting than it was TLP. I get the impression that TLP understands context, autonomy and subjectivity. The brilliance of this Catfish post is that TLP is making the link between subjectivity and narcissism and how it's the malaise of our time.

It's not just advertising (or FB) that promotes this - intentionally or otherwise - there's also a very planned out and intentional political push to replace critical or reality based thinking with subjectivity and fantasy based thinking. It's really just about money and power - not beliefs - but it's sold as beliefs (because that's an emotional hook and Disney has been imagineering the belief that if we only wish hard enough upon a star all our dreams will come true...it's The Secret). It's as prevalent amongst the right as the left wing - on the right you have the NeoCon agenda to corrupt reality based thinking (which was outright declared at one point, and is enacted by attacking/corrupting public science and doing things like getting read of the long form census in Canada, all the same stuff Bush did), and on the left you have the NeoLiberals that promote all kinds of new agey crap and magical thinking of their own (they just hard sell the unicorns, where the right hard sells the rabid unicorns out to make you and your children into gay hispanics). They're all peddling the same bullshit, most of which none of them actually believe in (it's just an opiate for the masses). Propaganda and manipulating the general population isn't a conspiracy, it's just how advertising works and politics is mainly about advertising at this point. To think there are no conspiracies or back room deals in politics is naive (though if it's just business as usual it's not really as much a conspiracy as a not-so-secret system). But, we also get back to subjectivity, empathy and perspective. Most rich people - and you've got to be pretty rich to get into serious politics or backed by someone/thing rich - just have no clue what it's like not to be rich. When they think of being poor, they think of it from a rich person's perspective. When they think of slavery, they're more likely to think about their $1 000 a session dominatrix and how much pleasure they have licking her shiny boots than being a wage slave at Walmart.

Our culture promotes a certain kind of subjectivity - it's intentional and useful because it makes people easy to manipulate. It's not in our best interest as individuals or collectively. We're social animals, we're influenced by our surroundings (we are part of the environment too), we're influenced by the moods, actions and beliefs of the other humans and groups we associate with and most of us need to feel connected and accepted by someone or some group to feel good, safe and happy. Advertising promises us that stuff and objects will deliver this to us (including using people as objects) - the reality is that the only thing that gives us that sense of belonging and acceptance is genuine interactions with other people. You can buy a facsimile of this - it's a lot of what prostitutes provide for their clients - but you actually have to cocreate the real thing with other people to have the genuine experience.

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The best way I can think to... (Below threshold)

October 7, 2010 12:45 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by DCF: | Reply

The best way I can think to put it is that most of the points are pretty straight forward and a rational person would agree with them but they sit within a context of someone who is admittedly misanthropic and who has little hope for the future of the human species.

I agree that a lot of what TLP says is "the way it is" but I don't think that means we're doomed and I don't think it's the whole story either.

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That's just too fucking lon... (Below threshold)

October 7, 2010 2:22 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

That's just too fucking long.

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...for you to read or be in... (Below threshold)

October 7, 2010 2:36 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

...for you to read or be interested in reading because it's difficult for you to read long things. Nice bit of (probably unintentional) irony with the subjective perspective though.

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The Secret--LOL That mother... (Below threshold)

October 7, 2010 3:02 PM | Posted by rox: | Reply

The Secret--LOL That mother &*&$&#er James Ray (in the movie The Secret) is about to go to prison for the sweatlodge deaths. I SINCERELY hope he is convicted. If you tell someone to stay in a sweatlodge when a person passed out and is foaming at the mouth and tell everyone to stay in the tent until everyone is vomiting and their eyes are tolling around, you need to be held accountable.

This guy had his "claivoyant" tell the survivors of the sweatlodge that "the people who died were having so much fun in their out of body experience they decided to stay there"

Tell that to James Shore's three minor children you *(** asshole. Or what about Elizabeth Neumans son?

So yes I agree the New Agey stuff is full of utter bullshit as the right wing crap. Anyone who follows a guy who says that "the Holocaust wasn't such a bad thing" needs to check their fucked up levels.

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Anonymous 1153,how m... (Below threshold)

October 7, 2010 3:10 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous Unicorn Fighter: | Reply

Anonymous 1153,
how many men did you service before you figured this out?

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Rox - Yeah, James Ray, now ... (Below threshold)

October 7, 2010 3:16 PM | Posted, in reply to rox's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Rox - Yeah, James Ray, now there's a prime example of extreme sociopathic narcissism. Pretty par for the course with people who want to be gurus/conmen. And, yes, let's hope he goes to jail for murder.

What is most appalling about the whole thing is that it's Oprah Winfrey who make him huge and she's entirely avoided taking responsibility for her part in leading people into harm's way. Of course, she's protecting both her own magical/religious beliefs as well as her public image. Considering how irate she got at another total narcissist she promoted - the author of A thousand little pieces or whatever it was called, total crap and obvious to anyone who knows about addiction that it was fictional, who lied to her about it being a "true" story - it's kind of odd at how she just tried to sidestep her responsibility here. I guess it's really because the author who lied impacted her vanity/image so she lashed out in a narcissistic rage but here she's trying to protect her vanity/image by pretending it has nothing to do with her.

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Anonymous unicorn fighter -... (Below threshold)

October 7, 2010 3:42 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous Unicorn Fighter's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Anonymous unicorn fighter - so your response is essentially "you slut" because someone says women are people with desires and their own motives? Clever and original, and not at all revealing about your discomfort with women's sexuality or autonomy (or your view of sex as "servicing" rather than sharing pleasure - though, to be fair to you, perhaps the extent of your experience is an exchange of cash for "services"). But, please, go ahead and keep imagining yourself as a warrior fighting imaginary creatures if reality is too disturbing for you.

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"... three megalomaniacs wh... (Below threshold)

October 7, 2010 7:13 PM | Posted by Zo: | Reply

"... three megalomaniacs who actually believed it was completely ok to go a woman's house in the middle of the night, unannounced"

Ha. Is everything narcissism. Yes, in a way. A big way.

" ... the psychopaths just happen to be pussies." Another memorable line.

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There's always the Disney c... (Below threshold)

October 7, 2010 7:18 PM | Posted, in reply to DCF's comment, by Zo: | Reply

There's always the Disney channel ...

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If I had rum to spare, I'd ... (Below threshold)

October 7, 2010 7:51 PM | Posted by David Buchner: | Reply

If I had rum to spare, I'd loan it to you.

Damn, that was good.
I fear that we might dump too much praise on you and you'll get sloppy, so I'll just say — keep it up.

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Catfish 2: This time it's..... (Below threshold)

October 7, 2010 7:57 PM | Posted, in reply to BHE's comment, by David Buchner: | Reply

Catfish 2: This time it's... well, it's still personal.

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REM??Sweet Jesus, ... (Below threshold)

October 7, 2010 8:28 PM | Posted by Michael Stipe: | Reply

REM??

Sweet Jesus, when I saw the pic I must have had the same unconscious thought because when you wrote, "surviving members of REM" I crapped myself.

Please, please, keep drinking. You can have my liver later.

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To Anonymous, hereby referr... (Below threshold)

October 8, 2010 1:10 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Not a Bitch Anonymous: | Reply

To Anonymous, hereby referred to as "Stupid Bitch Anonymous," STFU. Boring. I particularly enjoy how you try to claim TLP's analysis of the movie as your own, and then claim you are "not" an attention whore, or narcissistic. Then use schoolground insults to defend yourself.

All your posts:
"Blah blah blah, some men are womanizing and misogynistic, especially the ones I date, blah blah *incoherent* so I'm going to bitch incessantly, and stereotype and generalize how all men are, waaahhhh. Oh, and I won't change myself, fuck men."

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I enjoy dressing nicely, lo... (Below threshold)

October 8, 2010 1:12 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I enjoy dressing nicely, looking attractive, wearing makeup, I am mindful of my weight and enjoy being thin and looking cute etc etc etc... I never, ever considered myself to be doing this for the purpose of sexually attracting anyone, male or female. I understand that when I dress nicely and wear makeup people will find me attractive, but it's not like in my mind I"m thinking "so today I'm going to wake up and wear these jeans and this lipstick and these heels - now people will be attracted to me sexually HAHAHAHAHA I AM SO MANIPULATIVE"

I dress nicely and enjoy looking nice because it makes me feel good about myself. When I look in the mirror and look nice, I feel more confident. When I have zero makeup on and my hair is in a messy ponytail and I'm not wearing my contacts, I feel like a slob and it depresses me looking so slobbish.
People treat me better, and yes I do get more attention but I am not specifically trying to find sexual partner(s) or anything.

I'm just a little confused by this "idea" that women are dressing nicely for anyone else but themselves. Do other women really wear clothes thinking about trying to get partners? I suppose some women may do this but probably not many. Again, speaking personally, I feel good about myself when I look cute, and this is why I care about my appearance.

Perhaps my experience is my own, I have certain elements in my history that are uncommon and may motivate my present feelings... but yea.

I just don't think any girl, any woman presents herself specifically with the intention of trying to sexually attract people. She dresses the way she dresses because it makes her feel good about herself to take care of herself and not be a slob.

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"I just don't think any ... (Below threshold)

October 8, 2010 1:23 AM | Posted by Termm: | Reply

"I just don't think any girl, any woman presents herself specifically with the intention of trying to sexually attract people. She dresses the way she dresses because it makes her feel good about herself to take care of herself and not be a slob."

Well... yeah. I mean, men dress well/nicely too, not because, "IF I WEAR THIS BLAZER, THAT GIRL WILL OFFER FELLATIO!" A guy dresses up nice so he feels like he looks nice. It contributes to feelings of confidence and taking care of oneself, which will hopefully lead to a sexual partner.

But I'm going to have to disagree with your viewpoint. You're talking about women who dress nice, who dress hot, who dress sexy.

But surely you've seen girls wearing booty shorts, a brightly colored whale tail for all to see, 80% of her midriff exposed, and cleavage nearly to the nipples? Many/most women are not these type of women. But there is no denying that there are women who aren't prostitues, who dress to... entice men.

And my first paragraph, again I'm talking about regular guys with self respect, as you are talking about regular women with self respect. There are some men out there who dress/act only to get laid, and are devoid of all other brain processes.

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"I'm just a little confused... (Below threshold)

October 8, 2010 1:30 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

"I'm just a little confused by this "idea" that women are dressing nicely for anyone else but themselves. Do other women really wear clothes thinking about trying to get partners?"

Uhhh... what? So you're wearing high heels, which cause back, foot, knee, ankle, and hip joint problems, as well as rendering yourself unable to sprint for YOURSELF? You're wearing a short skirt and tiny shirt when it's 45 degrees outside for YOURSELF? You put on plenty of makeup, which has its own list of adverse health effects, for YOURSELF?

I actually think of women as being generally more intelligent and open minded than men, but... your post, if true, has changed my opinion. Dear god, I hope you're wrong, I hope women are dressing for either men, or other women, because subjecting oneself to that level of discomfort and adverse health effects is... well, honestly the only way I can put it is "stupid as f*ck".

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I was gonna keep trolling b... (Below threshold)

October 8, 2010 2:18 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous Unicorn Fighter: | Reply

I was gonna keep trolling but I genuinely feel sorry for you. You're such an angry confused person that you can't see the irony in all you're saying. I hope one day you can see the world in a different light.


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If you come at me and say, ... (Below threshold)

October 8, 2010 3:10 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

If you come at me and say, "hey, are you the guy who writes The Last Psychiatrist?" then you better come at me strong because I will take you down.

Funniest joke in the post. What are you gonna do? Throw lithium at someone? This is a recent trend in your posts; making yourself out to be an ass kicking psychiatrist. It's not branding, right? Take a word of your own advice: think about what you wanted the blog to be when you started and now look at your actions, what it's become.

This is the reason why blogging doesn't work for serious writers. You've dropped to the level of your feedback. You've become no better than the media you criticize; attention seeking, branding and playing to your masses.

True Art is not determined by popular support or feedback. It is not a democracy. It is the heart and soul of the artist being poured out onto paper, canvas or instrument. It is entirely introspective. Stop sucking and selling out. You're too good for this shit.

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As a woman who, at age 19 (... (Below threshold)

October 8, 2010 5:57 AM | Posted by Once19: | Reply

As a woman who, at age 19 (which I really was), was the object of a man's sudden desire to drive from Arizona up to a Northwest small town to meet me, when I'd thought the friendly correspondence was just that... friendly correspondence (what can I say, I was 19)... yeeeeah. I am REALLY glad that my dog was with me. Dude had found my address goodness-knows-how (I'd never given it to him) and showed up around 8pm, claiming to be driven by the fires of passion, looking forward to our imminent encounter ever since leaving his home in Arizona.

My first internal reaction was "holy SHIT I'm alone and this guy is completely unpredictable." It didn't even register with him. He was "happy to see how comfortable I was at his surprise visit."

Naive though I was, I at least had enough sense about me to smile awkwardly and behave like "oh gosh I just don't know what to do, ha, ha, I'm so surprised, ha, hm, ha..." and dude was thankfully not entirely insane and eventually realized that the situation was not entirely comfortable, so he "graciously left to give me time to compose myself and decide how we'd move forward together." With a fucking restraining order, is how I should have (19... sigh).

Then he wrote me saying we were meant to be together because my dog had sat quietly and "obviously liked him." Dude. My dog didn't attack him because she's a smart puppy who I'd raised well... She stood by my side the whole time, ears alert, just waiting to see what my reaction would be. If I'd given her the sign, if a physical threat had happened, she'd have protected me and we both knew it (the dog and I, I mean).

Some people (see, I'm neither extrapolating to "all" nor to "men") are so freaking narcissistic that they'll even project their own self-love onto a dog they've never met...

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I have to say that only a n... (Below threshold)

October 8, 2010 9:21 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Steve: | Reply

I have to say that only a nutjob would keep staring at a sexily dressed woman, or drive 300 miles to unexpectedly visit a woman they met on the internet.

To the asshole bitching about the author's bragging about his badassness: if true art does not need to care about popular support, why must he care about your opinion on what the hell he writes?

I think you are just one of those dudes that gets REAL uncomfortable at the first exhibition of any aggressivity. Grow a pair of balls.

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temm and anon - I agree tha... (Below threshold)

October 8, 2010 9:54 AM | Posted, in reply to Termm's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

temm and anon - I agree that many women dress up (both in sexy and more staid - but still sexy to someone outfits/costume/drag) for reasons other than trying to make a man aroused. There's the obvious, attractive people get treated better - from being paid more to get more promotions to people doing little favors for you. Being very competent or kind to others can also bring make you valuable to others, "liked" and get you better work too. So can being an narcissistic ass in some environments (and certain environments reward this...Wall Street anyone?).

And, of course, women can also dress in a sexy or provocative manner intentionally. That doesn't, of course, mean they're actually being sexy for YOU. Chances are they've actually got a specific person in mind who isn't you and they're dressed up for that guy (or girl) and not you.

Real proof of just how little fashion has to do with straight men and their desires is just how many fashions women wear and love (and think are sexy) that men thing are hideous. Fashion, for women and some gay men, is something very different than it is for most straight men (though that is changing, for better or worse). Clothes, of course, communicate status (wealth, taste, access, etc) for men as well as women but the messaging is much more subtle and complex for women and gay men.

Besides, tons of straight guys find the kind of things women wear for practical reasons to be sexy (just as sexy as the things we wear because we find them sexy). Sports bras, for instance, some guys find very sexy. Clearly women going to the gym are just asking for it with their lewd and outrageous tempting of men with their sports bras and yoga pants - especially those ones who keep themselves fit and healthy, which is obviously all about impressing and seducing random strangers and has nothing to do with feeling good in their own bodies. The very act of trying to make men or women - people - into some kind of universal object that is always the same, instead of recognizing individual people as having their own motivations, needs and desires is part of the problem. All of you people here fighting the men vs women cultural pseudowar - or who see others as the enemy simply because of gender - are being manipulated by the media and have fallen into the trap of seeing others as objects. Why is this a trap? Because it's designed (intentionally or not) in such a way that it actually prevents you from getting your real needs met. That is the tragedy of narcissism (and contemporary advertising/media/sociopoliticalsystems) ultimately.

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Temm - Just because you fin... (Below threshold)

October 8, 2010 10:11 AM | Posted, in reply to Termm's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Temm - Just because you find something sexy doesn't mean it is actually meant to attract YOU. That's what so many posters here don't seem to realize.

If it's all about signifiers let's look at that (the signifiers of sexy to you being "whale tails" and "short shorts"). So if some really ugly woman has a tattoo on the small of her back and wears short shorts you're automatically turned on anyway even though you find the woman hideously ugly? That, my friend, is broaching on fetishism. If she has to be wearing the white pumps for you to get off, if you need (and see) the object/signifier more than the person and can't control how you behave, you've got some shit to work out. Not that signifiers can't be part of a healthy sex life with a person you love or respect as an individual, but it's about whether you're relating to the other as a signifier or an individual.

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There's a contradiction in ... (Below threshold)

October 8, 2010 2:38 PM | Posted by Fenris: | Reply

There's a contradiction in your post there, Alone: If the curse of the narcissist is expecting others to see them the way they want to be seen, then what is the "middle age, middle America homely housewife with a facebook account" doing posing as someone she's not?

I'm not disagreeing with you about the dude. I just don't understand how it's not also narcissistic and creepy to create a persona obviously designed to attract men and then strike up friendships with them posing as that person. Why would she do that?

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Still trolling this blog, h... (Below threshold)

October 8, 2010 2:49 PM | Posted, in reply to Steve's comment, by anon: | Reply

Still trolling this blog, huh?

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I also didn't realize this ... (Below threshold)

October 8, 2010 5:21 PM | Posted by M.: | Reply

I also didn't realize this was actually a documentary when reading other articles/reviews about this movie. That shit is scary.

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I don't recall him saying s... (Below threshold)

October 8, 2010 8:46 PM | Posted, in reply to Fenris's comment, by Sean: | Reply

I don't recall him saying she wasn't a narcissist, just that his narcissism reached pathological levels when he crossed the line and went after her.

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Very good question. Loved t... (Below threshold)

October 8, 2010 8:50 PM | Posted, in reply to Fenris's comment, by Christina: | Reply

Very good question. Loved the post, but this is also something that bugged me.

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Well, I'm glad you've stere... (Below threshold)

October 8, 2010 8:57 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by termm: | Reply

Well, I'm glad you've stereotyped me as the type of man who doesn't care about face or personality, and just goes straight for the tramp stamps. Maybe you should take a look at your own attitude before you chastise us for "what so many of us don't seem to realize." So a girl isn't dressing sexy for me, specifically. Who cares? I don't, I still find her sexy. Of course, I don't take that as an invitation or a message, I am simply appreciating an attractive human female. Those who say "she dressed like that, she was asking for it" are scum, and deserve to be in jail if they harass or violate a woman. However, your attitude stereotyping people doesn't help either.

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I'm with Fenris.I ... (Below threshold)

October 8, 2010 8:59 PM | Posted, in reply to M.'s comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I'm with Fenris.

I haven't seen the movie but if the women was speaking to this guy in a romantic context for 9 months .... and you then have to warn her of the dangers of social media ?

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The sort of outfits you des... (Below threshold)

October 9, 2010 3:59 AM | Posted, in reply to Termm's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

The sort of outfits you describe are really, really uncommon. Unless it is like 90 degrees at the beach (where in which booty shorts are acceptable), I just don't see many IF ANY women dressing like this:

"But surely you've seen girls wearing booty shorts, a brightly colored whale tail for all to see, 80% of her midriff exposed, and cleavage nearly to the nipples? "

It happens sometimes but it's REALLY RARE...and besides, I don't think the previous poster was talking about that extreme nearly nude appearance but was instead talking about women who fix their hair, wear makeup, and wear a sexy outfit that isn't revealing (example: tight jeans).

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"Uhhh... what? So you're we... (Below threshold)

October 9, 2010 4:05 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

"Uhhh... what? So you're wearing high heels, which cause back, foot, knee, ankle, and hip joint problems, as well as rendering yourself unable to sprint for YOURSELF? You're wearing a short skirt and tiny shirt when it's 45 degrees outside for YOURSELF? You put on plenty of makeup, which has its own list of adverse health effects, for YOURSELF?

I actually think of women as being generally more intelligent and open minded than men, but... your post, if true, has changed my opinion. Dear god, I hope you're wrong, I hope women are dressing for either men, or other women, because subjecting oneself to that level of discomfort and adverse health effects is... well, honestly the only way I can put it is "stupid as f*ck"."

You sir are an ass of the highest order.

First of all I always am full clothed, and I don't know any women who are not prostitutes or strippers who are not clothed. These supposed naked women you are all seeing, I believe they are figments of your imagination, strippers, or women you see on TV... not many women IRL dress this way.

Second, I LIKE wearing nice shoes, it makes me feel good about myself, and I LIKE doing my makeup (and actually have a massive cosmetics collection but that's sorta off topic) because it also makes me feel good about myself. When I look in the mirror and look nice, I feel good. I enjoy these things. There are no 'adverse health effects" from wearing makeup, and if you wear heels once in awhile you're not going to GET TEH CANCAR.

There are more adverse health effects to piling back cheap beer and taco bell, which I am sure you do with abandon since you sound like quite the slob sir.

You call it "stupid as fuck", well maybe you have to be girly to understand these things, since from what I can see a lot of girls and feminine men enjoy makeup and clothes and dressing nicely.

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Everyone sees that angle al... (Below threshold)

October 9, 2010 4:10 AM | Posted, in reply to Fenris's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Everyone sees that angle already Fenris. That is the angle the movie is selling us. No one needs to tell us "it is creepy when an old woman pretends to be 19 and tries to make imaginary relationships with 24 year old men". We know that already.

The reason TLP made this post is because it is not quite as obvious that it is MUCH creepier when a 24 year old man has a 9 month "online relationship" with a 19 year old girl and then just HUNTS HER DOWN in the dead of night as if she has no rights at all.

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Nev didn't drive up to see ... (Below threshold)

October 9, 2010 6:18 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Nev didn't drive up to see her in the hopes that she was hot. Boys like Nev don't care about or want actual sex. They prefer masturbation. He drove there because he knew it would make a good movie, and he'd already moved on from Meghan being a source of narcissistic supply to the movie being his supply.

I know this because I used to be a 200+lb girl in her early 30s who had online relationships with narcissistic young men. I never even showed them pictures of myself, fake or otherwise. That's how much they didn't care who I really was. Oh, they'd ask, but I'd make an excuse and they didn't push. One of the relationships lasted 5 years. Relationships like this are just mutual masturbation between broken people. But as odd as it is, when that 5 year relationship ended and my fake reality was dissolved, it was the catalyst that helped me lose 70lb, leave a bad marriage, get my first job in 13 years, and create a real life. Just saying. Sad insecure broken older women and young irrationally arrogant narcissistic men have things they can learn from each other. Those two people in the movie probably had a real emotional connection that had nothing to do with her being "hot". He'll regret hurting her sometime later in his life when he grows up. They'll probably become friends at that point, if they haven't already.

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some men will drive 300 ... (Below threshold)

October 9, 2010 8:40 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

some men will drive 300 miles just on the chance that you are hot
Some women will drive 200 miles to kill a man who says she is not hot at all.

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anon - "Some women will dri... (Below threshold)

October 9, 2010 8:58 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

anon - "Some women will drive 200 miles to kill a man who says she is not hot at all."

Of course, but TLP's post is less about being obsessive or deceitful and more about how we, the viewers, don't even question the absolute narcissism of filming your stalking and making it into a movie. The stalkers obsession isn't really with the other person, it's with himself, with how he looks in the movie of his life. It's amazing how many people commenting here can't get past the girls vs boys mentality - we're all human beings and a great deal of that gender you're so busy constructing is, well, constructed. A bit more self knowledge about who you are as an individual (and a bit more self acceptance) may help you stop clinging so defensively to your gender as an identity or, rather, taking some shallow, TV/advertising created version of male or female as your identity as a means to avoid yourself.

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"Uhhh... what? So you're we... (Below threshold)

October 9, 2010 11:36 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

"Uhhh... what? So you're wearing high heels, which cause back, foot, knee, ankle, and hip joint problems, as well as rendering yourself unable to sprint for YOURSELF? You're wearing a short skirt and tiny shirt when it's 45 degrees outside for YOURSELF? You put on plenty of makeup, which has its own list of adverse health effects, for YOURSELF?"

Are you fucking kidding me? You are using the SPRINTING argument against women wearing high heels? How many times in a woman's life does she have to run away from a baddie? And even if she has to- I have a very simple solution: She kicks them the fuck off and runs on bare feet.

As for the rest of your arguments: As with everything, if things are done in moderation there are no long-term health issues. Let's take a look at the dude-version: http://www.thisiswhyyourefat.com/

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"Uhhh... what? So you're we... (Below threshold)

October 9, 2010 11:36 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

"Uhhh... what? So you're wearing high heels, which cause back, foot, knee, ankle, and hip joint problems, as well as rendering yourself unable to sprint for YOURSELF? You're wearing a short skirt and tiny shirt when it's 45 degrees outside for YOURSELF? You put on plenty of makeup, which has its own list of adverse health effects, for YOURSELF?"

Are you fucking kidding me? You are using the SPRINTING argument against women wearing high heels? How many times in a woman's life does she have to run away from a baddie? And even if she has to- I have a very simple solution: She kicks them the fuck off and runs on bare feet.

As for the rest of your arguments: As with everything, if things are done in moderation there are no long-term health issues. Let's take a look at the dude-version: http://www.thisiswhyyourefat.com/

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Original Comment:"... (Below threshold)

October 9, 2010 4:16 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Foobs: | Reply

Original Comment:

"True Art is not determined by popular support or feedback. It is not a democracy. It is the heart and soul of the artist being poured out onto paper, canvas or instrument. It is entirely introspective. Stop sucking and selling out. You're too good for this shit."

Translation:

"The quality of art is determined by my opinion, which I decree to have objective merit. In fact, it is a democracy and I am the only voter. I am insane."

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Anonymous, I'm just going t... (Below threshold)

October 10, 2010 7:11 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Termm: | Reply

Anonymous, I'm just going to agree to disagree on this one, then. Perhaps we have our own, very different walks of life with very different social circles, types of people, etc. Because in my personal experience, what I have described is not uncommon at all, not nearly as rare as you say.

I don't doubt your statement, and I'm sure you don't see that on a regular basis. But I do want to point out in my general experience, I do witness that not uncommonly.

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An addendum to my post dire... (Below threshold)

October 10, 2010 7:19 AM | Posted by Termm: | Reply

An addendum to my post directly it's not like I live in the red light district or something like that. I don't want people to assume that about me.

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Yes, I am using the sprinti... (Below threshold)

October 10, 2010 7:27 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Yes, I am using the sprinting argument. Let's say a mugger with a knife appears. Your male caretaker can easily outrun this fool. You might be able to, also, had you not been wearing heels. I've seen women try to "run" on heels and it's just really not possible. Now, not only are you endangering yourself, even worse, you endanger your male caretaker because he has to stay around protecting you.

Lose-lose scenario.

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You are not really thinking... (Below threshold)

October 10, 2010 8:15 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

You are not really thinking of this properly. The evolutionary psych experimental design would be to ask the following questions:

How often is a woman attacked by a mugger? (Hint: it's low)
How often is a woman hit on when she is in heels, and it leads to sexual intercourse? (Hint: it's high)

These experiments obviously would ignore whether an actual conception takes place, because that would just be too difficult.

So, just like you preconceived, women DEFINITELY wear heels to have sex with you. And then have your baby.

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The thing is though, he doe... (Below threshold)

October 10, 2010 8:06 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

The thing is though, he doesn't go to Michigan because he thinks she's hot. There's no element of "claiming his woman" involved in the trip. He only goes *after* he is reasonably sure the entire story is fabricated.

I'm sure you could write a post about how creepy what is basically a 300 mile revenge/humiliate-another-person-for-personal-gain trip is, but all the "show up unannounced at the hottie's door" analysis in the post and in the comments is based on a faulty assumption.

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You, my friend, are much mo... (Below threshold)

October 11, 2010 6:27 PM | Posted by George: | Reply

You, my friend, are much more screwed up than anyone in the movie.

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Endangering yourself is pre... (Below threshold)

October 12, 2010 2:05 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Endangering yourself is preferred to endangering your "male caretaker"?

You're a fucking psychopath and you need to be put down like a sick dog. Go back to reading those misogynistic books about how to manipulate women, you dumb shit, maybe one day you'll screw something other than your hand.

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No, endangering JUST yourse... (Below threshold)

October 12, 2010 2:54 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

No, endangering JUST yourself is preferable to endangering yourself AND your male caretaker. It would be equally stupid if your male caretaker endangered the two of you when he could only be endangering himself hence the point about high heels.

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"Male caretaker" *rotflmao*... (Below threshold)

October 12, 2010 8:19 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

"Male caretaker" *rotflmao* Yeah right, I'm sure you "take care" of the women you lust after by making sure you know exactly where they are every moment of the day whether you're actually dating them or not...and controlling what they wear if you do suck some poor woman in with promises of caring when you're really interesting in the taking part.

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Good one! How long did your... (Below threshold)

October 13, 2010 5:37 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Good one! How long did your woman-brain take to come up with it?

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"I mean, in what fucking wo... (Below threshold)

October 13, 2010 7:49 AM | Posted by All-a-twitter: | Reply

"I mean, in what fucking world is it okay for this MEDIOCRE AT BEST 24 year old to pretty much go out and "claim" his wo-man?"

No - what makes this whole charade so sad is that he didn't date anyone else, not out of choice, but it was a more convenient fiction to say he had "a girlfriend in another state" than to explain that he couldn't get a girl to put lotion on his tramp-stamp.

He wasn't claiming anything as a man, he was making a film, but when it got a little close to revealing the truth, knowing that she was an imposter and that his pathetic love life would be exposed, there was backpeddling and consternation about actually filming the meeting.

It was all for the camera - Manhood never figured into this picture.

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This is why huge corpora... (Below threshold)

October 13, 2010 5:17 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

This is why huge corporations can't fire people based on what they did online. "Well, we don't want that kind of person working here." They're all that kind of person, you're that kind of person, every one of us carries around multiple shames that would exclude us from society, let alone Walmart... Jobs suck, we do them in spite of ourselves. Asking me to clean up my online profile because you want to pay me $11/hr is a bit much. Shut it.

Pure gold. Please go deeper into this in an upcoming entry.

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I'm a little slow tonight .... (Below threshold)

October 14, 2010 3:15 AM | Posted by L: | Reply

I'm a little slow tonight . . . I read

"If you come at me and say, "hey, are you the guy who writes The Last Psychiatrist?" then you better come at me strong because I will take you down."

I could not figure out what that meant, I was like, you mean if I was at a party and guessed some random stranger was you? I don't understand what you mean by come at me, how does that even make sense?

And then I was like ooooooooooooo you mean if I stalk you into IRL. That makes sense now.

I have actually found someone's address through a series of steps . . . but it was to call the police and have them do a welfare check.

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I figured out the premise o... (Below threshold)

October 23, 2010 3:09 AM | Posted by toni: | Reply

I figured out the premise of this movie the moment i realized that i added twist+facebook together--- duh!

there is no way that these men didn't know exactly where this was going- they figured it out early on and realized it would make a good movie---

the woman living the fantasy life is portrayed as a villain when really she is obviously straddled down by life and used the internet as a way to cope and imagine paths in her life that couldn't be...

i couldn't watch the movie- it was too obvious that these guys were faking the whole "not knowing" thing, and i didn't want to watch them exploit this lady and then grind their heels into her as if she didn't do them the biggest favor in the world by following through as they expected...

where has compassion flown?

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if you actually saw the mov... (Below threshold)

October 29, 2010 4:12 PM | Posted by Martiny: | Reply

if you actually saw the movie, vs just putting together arguments from the web, you would know that they go to find out the truth behind Angela when they are up in Michigan. Nev isn't going there because he thinks he's meeting a real women. He's more curious about the person. I think calling men pigs is like calling pigs pigs - we are all pigs. We can't help that. We see a pretty girl - our heart beats faster. Women know this. This is why they show their breasts. It's no accident. I like your post-modern feminist attitude but it doesn't really work here. I'm sorry. What's more interesting about the film is that Angela played the filmmakers like a violin. She knew the guys were making a movie about her - she wanted the publicity. Think about it. This is her ticket to some sort of stardom - she's the feature of a successful documentary. Her painting is finally being realized. This to me is the more interesting subtext of the film - she created that web for them to fall in and they did it perfectly. At the end of the day, I don't think she expected to get as much attention as she did so she's now in hiding - but hey - she's the fricking feature of a 20/20 episode. This is the modern life - people exploiting each other and getting success from it. We almost can't exploit each other any more. Really nearly all publicity is positive. Hence the phenom of women doing sex tapes to get famous i.e Paris, Kim, and now Lawerence Fishborne's daughter.

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<a href="http://www.asics-u... (Below threshold)

November 2, 2010 2:08 AM | Posted by coach handbags: | Reply

asics running shoes

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Am I the only person who fi... (Below threshold)

November 5, 2010 1:50 AM | Posted by Bellafana: | Reply

Am I the only person who figured it out from the minute the lights went down? Why didn't the guys ever consider that Megan might not be what she claimed?

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First of all I'm gonna quot... (Below threshold)

December 16, 2010 12:52 PM | Posted by Alfie: | Reply

First of all I'm gonna quote you "If you come at me and say, hey, are you the guy who writes The Last Psychiatrist? then you better come at me strong because I will take you down". Everyone seems to agreed with you been so clever they all forgot to do their own analysis instead just agreed with you, which to me its just simply obnoxious. And why that is? because you claimed yourself to be TLP therefore you most be smart and always right?! The reason why I refused to take your article serious or of any credible is because when you analyze something you forget you suppose to look at it from both party but instead you choose to slate the film and that I called bias. On your conclusion you went as far as men think of women as some kinda of commodity narcissistic? Did you not think it could be in reverse as Nev wasn't the first one to start the whole relationship as i like to call it Angela did. Therefore, she could have been thinking the same as woow he's hot I gotta have him?! which turned out to be the case. And for your comment about Nev like himself so much...... who doesn't? Because I've always been told you needs to like yourself before you can like anybody else that's just human nature duuuh. Yes they did traveled 300 miles but not because their primary concern was she's hot lets go check her out anyway even though they know she's been lying to them, they went there because like any human being we all like to know the truth when we being lied to that's just what makes us who we are, the needs to know! And finally, for all of you that banging on about how wrong Nev is u all should check yourself and ask will I never have done something like this include all you woman who seems to think this movie is simply about how man can take advantage of women! I'll have you know it isn't. The film goes in two part and then the third part is to make your own conclusion what you will do if it was you either Angela or Nev?.

Angela: the whole relationship based on fantasy of delusional housewife that failed to accomplished her goals in life and decided to formed online avatar of who she could, would have been if she hasn't wasted her life having a good time when she had a chance and that's in her own words!

Nev: the mirror of any repugnant person that still think in this 21st century its all about "ME" and I must have it all even if it means stepping or climbing over everybody else. More so, travel around the country only to found out they were wrong and self inflated life-long psychology problems to himself. Why? you asked, well if you traveled 300 miles to get what you think is yours and then found out its actually not what you want then it tell you a lot about who you really think you think you are yourself.

The Third Part (My Conclusion): be able to receive is good but giving is much much better! Never always think the there's one side to anything because the universe work in many side or should I say five ways: right, left, middle, up and down. When you look at something in front of you somebody else is looking at it from back. Yes media might have been the biggest problems in this 21st century society but it also made this society what it is. Without it we'll still be in Victoria era. In the end it all comes down to when you take don't expect that it will never be taken from you too!!! Angela continue to take from Nev and Nev want to take back by having relationship with Megan and none of them think of giving back until there's nothing else left to be taken and boom everything crumbled.
I know I know you all asking yourself what is this stupid guy talking about! But the fact is you're not wrong(because you choose to be the taker which mostly all of us are, we are all takers and doesn't wanna give) neither am I? and if you think I'm wrong go on let me hear it.

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"I've always been told y... (Below threshold)

December 16, 2010 1:45 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

"I've always been told you needs to like yourself before you can like anybody else"

I've heard that too but it's exactly backwards. If nobody has ever liked you you'll think you're not likable. You'll have no idea liking you is even possible. Kids learn what they're taught and base their lives on that.


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I think Alfie is actually N... (Below threshold)

December 16, 2010 6:40 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I think Alfie is actually Nev.

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Yes I am Nev because I'm ho... (Below threshold)

December 20, 2010 4:09 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Alfie: | Reply

Yes I am Nev because I'm honest and and human which means needs to know is part of my nature. Also about we were thought to learn that we were love is absolute rubbish. Yes, we were always been told to understand that we are love but if you do not love yourself first it doesn't matter how much people love you, you will never be please. For example take people that commit suicide, i.e celebrity that have massive fans across the World and know that they were love still ended commit suicide. Why? Because they just don't love themselves therefore doesn't matter if millions of people around the World love them or not. Think about it!!!

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Is English your first langu... (Below threshold)

December 20, 2010 1:06 PM | Posted, in reply to Alfie's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Is English your first language?

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What is my mother tongue ha... (Below threshold)

December 20, 2010 3:37 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Alfie: | Reply

What is my mother tongue have to do with this?

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good aiticle~!!... (Below threshold)

January 18, 2011 1:35 AM | Posted by 电脑IP地址查询: | Reply

good aiticle~!!

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To TLP, I love everything y... (Below threshold)

January 23, 2012 3:31 AM | Posted by shirley jean haney: | Reply

To TLP, I love everything you write. It has literally snapped me (for now) out of a severe MDD episode; I hadn't felt interested in anything at all for weeks (don't worry though, I get tons of professional help). This article is my favorite so far, though. I love how everything you write brings something interesting and fresh and intelligent to the table...also, to 'Anonymous' who posted a big ol' bunch about how she dresses cute for herself and not other people, 1. why on Earth should we care? Isn't this what every woman's mag tells you to do and be and isn't it also what most women would think they do?...And so, so what? What is it you think you are bringing to the table? And 2. I dress like a slob when I want (which is most of the time) and I generally only dress up when I AM trying to get some favorable attention. Perhaps this is because I am 40 and figure I damn well have earned the right to do as I please, perhaps it is the depression, or maybe it is simply I have my priorities straight (why can't I feel good about myself when I am sloppy)? Or maybe because I am a realist (I get better strokes when I try to look pretty). I don't know.....but I do know that something about your whole "I do it for me!" thing, especially since you've reiterated it, sounds...maybe disingenuous. And trying to defend your position by dragging other women into it for backup seems kind of weak. Are you the same anonymous who seems to respond to every article here at TLP? Because that would really worry me.

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ooops, sorry! I don't reall... (Below threshold)

January 23, 2012 3:49 AM | Posted by shirley jean haney: | Reply

ooops, sorry! I don't really read the comments much (I mostly just glance at them) which is why I thought Anonymous was, like, all over this blog. I checked (naturally I had to do it after I wrote my comments, not before, durrr)and realized a ton of people must post anonymously. This bugs me, but whatever. I'd just like to get a sense of the people who are posting, which would be useful if there are people posting repeatedly. Someone (maybe even an anonymous someone?) once said what a reader really wants out of the material is to know the author better. Hard to do when everyone is named 'Anonymous.'

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OMG. I tried to read the co... (Below threshold)

January 23, 2012 4:19 AM | Posted by shirley jean haney: | Reply

OMG. I tried to read the comments for ....principle? or maybe novelty?...and I have to say, many of you-all sound like sanctimonious self righteous twits. Also like TLP wannabes. You know (and I admit this is just my opinion) everybody's narcissistic in some way or another, it is just a useful tool for viewing some things a certain amount of the time. Trying to call everybody/group/thing you don't like 'narcissistic' is dumb. At least if you simply said, "well, sexists/men/whatever is/are just DUMB!" You wouldn't be trying to dress it up and pretend it is all brainy and heady and special and 'right' as an insult; you'd just be, you know, humans who are having their 2 cents and owning it...

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This is a work of excellenc... (Below threshold)

April 20, 2012 6:00 AM | Posted by Clipping Path: | Reply

This is a work of excellence. Brilliant! want more post like this. Thanks.

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WOW! What a lovely piece of... (Below threshold)

April 23, 2012 2:49 AM | Posted by Clipping Path: | Reply

WOW! What a lovely piece of work! Very much happy to see this. Thanks for sharing....

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This blog has such insightf... (Below threshold)

March 16, 2013 2:34 AM | Posted by mb: | Reply

This blog has such insightful and intelligent writing and I really like it. On the 20/20 special Angela said that she was diagnosed with schizophrenia. My mother and brother have schizophrenia and I find it difficult to believe that Angela has schizophrenia. I'm really curious about what her condition is...is it a delusional disorder? Why would she say that she has schizophrenia? Maybe she's delusional about her actual diagnosis. Maybe she doesn't want to say the words...delusional disorder. I just don't believe she has schizophrenia. For some reason this bothers me.

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if you are reading an anony... (Below threshold)

March 16, 2013 5:30 AM | Posted, in reply to shirley jean haney's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

if you are reading an anonymous comment, it's for you

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Flipping channels the other... (Below threshold)

January 30, 2014 12:30 PM | Posted by Voltaic: | Reply

Flipping channels the other day, I saw an MTV spinoff of this "movie", which Nev hosts. I recommend checking it out, it'll send you on the mood swing of your life (mostly just bad moods).

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