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Flunking Charlotte Allen

caitlin and rachel.jpg

An online column by a two very fine writers of the distaff persuasion [seen above, Manteuffel on left and Gibson on right with Gene in betwixt], posted in response to the Charlotte Allen screed in Outlook.

By Caitlin Gibson and Rachel Manteuffel

It's hard to know what side Charlotte Allen was arguing for in her March 2 piece, "We Scream, We Swoon. How Dumb Can We Be?" Her thesis seems to be that "women are dumb," which is certainly provocative, but the article is so illogical and incoherent that it more forcefully argues that women who think women are dumb are dumb.

Women are silly for a variety of reasons, according to Allen, starting with the way they gush and swoon over politicians who inspire them. Barack Obama, Allen points out, is responsible for a grand total of five women fainting in the past six months. Without granting legitimacy to this pointless observation, let it be noted that there's no way to determine exactly why these women fainted. Perhaps they hadn't eaten, or locked their knees, or were overwhelmed by their own feeble-mindedness. But we can at least be reasonably sure that they didn't pass out because, say, they were so intent on watching football on TV that they forgot how to chew a pretzel.

Yet despite her list of Reasons Why We Babes are Dopes, Allen has no judgment to make about the equivalent of this behavior in men. For every woman who faints at a rally, surely there is at least one man who has shivered shirtless through a football game, his bare skin smeared with body paint to match his team's colors. Allen's piece implies that men are permitted to indulge and express their own absurdities without it necessarily reflecting on the entirety of their intellect -- but women aren't granted that same freedom.

[Click here to keep reading.]

By Joel Achenbach  |  March 5, 2008; 3:05 PM ET
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Next: Grand Canyon Older Than We Thought?


Yeah, I missed the ironic tone in Charlotte Allen's article. It would have been funnier if we had known tongue was in cheek. She needs to learn how to do that from Joel.

Posted by: slyness | March 5, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

To Raysmom: both, and odd errands.

Worked on a rough draft of Shacky whacky cabin fever... using an abbreviated muppet version of a classic song.

You are now warned.

Shacky Whacky Cabin Fever
When snow comes, Wa-hoo!
Shacky Whacky 'round the igloo
When snow comes, Wa-hoo!
Shacky Whacky Cabin Fever
Shacky wacky 'round the mountain,
Shacky Whacky Cabin Fever
When snow comes, Yoohoo!

Shacky Whacky snow clearin'
When snow comes, backs will break!
Shaky Flaky trucks steerin'
When snow comes, nerves will crack!
Shacky Whacky snow we welcome'
With some language that's the vilest
Shacky Whacky cold's searin'
When snow comes... just kill me, by Jake!

Snow'll be followed by ice and frost
When snow comes, Yeah! Daggers to dread!
Snow'll be followed by ice and frost
When she comes, Yeah! Stagger and sled!
Snow'll be followed by ice and frost
After Arctic winds have criss-crossed
Snow'll be followed by flu's cost
When snow comes

Yeah! Ice and Frost! Shacky Whacky! Wah-hoo!

Shacky Whacky Cabin Fever
When snow comes, Wa-hoo!
Shacky Whacky 'round the igloo
When snow comes, Wa-hoo!
Shacky Whacky Cabin Fever
Shacky wacky 'round the mountain,
Shacky Whacky Cabin Fever
When snow comes, Yoohoo!

Snow'll be brickin' us up shack-whacky
When snow comes, more firehood'!
Snow'll be stickin' us up shack-whacky
When snow comes, more skierhood'!
Snow'll be crackin' us up shack-whacky
While the weather channel plays on
Snow'll be smackin' us up shack-whacky
When she comes

Snow's coming! Yeah! Shacky Whacky!
Brains will crack! Wa-hoo!

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 5, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Joel for posting this rebuttal. I thought the Allen piece was abysmal and was surprised TWP ran it. We have come a long way baby since these types of garbage excuses for any kind of behavior were permitted.

Posted by: eidrib | March 5, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Oddly enough, Ms. Gibson and Ms. Manteuffel have written a far more compelling indictment of Ms. Allen's article than did I, yet failed to mention either group dynamics or overlapping distributions.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 5, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, I'm a little new to boodling, but I really wanted to comment on the last post. Since I'm here I'll say that, although I didn't actually go and read what's-her-name's post about women, this followup is first-rate. I particularly liked the bit about painted shirtless guys freezing at football games. (And perhaps those women fainted at Obama rallies because of having to stand for however many hours in line. Just sayin'.)

But firstly I have to say that reading that Puerto Rico had 43 (63? I forget. Well, I'm female) delegates was about the first time I smiled all day--then yellowjkt had to completely break the mood and say they didn't count. That is just too crazy. But I suppose they do keep voting to keep it that way in Puerto Rico. San Juan is lovely! If I were Joel, I would be booking the flight already. Others besides Ted go there :-)

Posted by: sbw | March 5, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

In her defense, when you read the Outlook "discussion" with Ms. Allen she does come across as legitimately shocked at the uproar she has produced. I believe her when she claims she was trying to be funny. Therefore, I think her article falls in the same category as a failed joke.

And as one who has made many failed jokes, I suspect she is now in her own private hell.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 5, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

*quietly realizes the lyrics may have been to a tune cootie ideal for going shack-whacky with.*

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 5, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Well, given that I did find cookie-baking and dog-biscuit making guys in around 5 minutes of browsing, I think she needed to do a little fact-checking there while re-reading her article to start with.

BTW, I suspect I could do a better job of failed humor for the WaPo. Where do I line up to apply for her job?

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 5, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, that's a tough job description. But wait: Wilbrodog is sartorially spendiferous and can be taught to do odd jobs. Perhaps he might have an affinity for the shovel?

As for Ms. Allen, I'm pretty good at detecting satire, irony, and the like, but I sensed none in her piece. Either this is an after-the-fact explanation or she's just really bad at (and should hereafter avoid) humor.

Have I mentioned my National Sarcasm Society ("like we need your support") T-shirt?

Posted by: Raysmom | March 5, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for sharing this, Joel. I read that Allen piece and just flat couldn't figure it out. First, I assumed it had to be satire or irony or some such attempt at humor. I gave up on that idea because it wasn't funny and had no characteristics of special (or specific) forms of written humor, with which we here at the Kit n Boodle are so familiar. Then, I thought possibly it was meant as serious commentary. This didn't work either, though, because it wasn't coherent even on its own terms. Finally I gave up entirely and put it in they "what were the editors thinking" category. I'm glad to hear that she intended it to be funny, and must assume that she has a tin ear or can't write worth a gosh darn, or both (I've never seen her name before).

And I did enjoy RD's refutation of the "group" assumptions in some recent Boodle or other.

The published riposte, by contrast, is both coherent and witty. Nice work.

Howdy sbw.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 5, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Love the picture. Clearly, in addition to being very intelligent these two young ladies are also startlingly good looking.

Of course, my assessment might just be due to visual contrast with other elements in the scene.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 5, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

The last president with gravitas was, um...mmmm...maybe Johnson? And even he had a big snickering gallery.

I suspect that whoever wins in November will be gravitasy enough to wear a laurel wreath during the inaguration ceremony. Didn't Dukakis plan on that?

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 5, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

There is certain self loathing streak that runs through conservative women pundits. I don't know whether it's Stockholm Syndrome from being around conservative men or if it is a rejection of the liberal tendencies they see in other women or what.

Here is what Kathryn Jean Lopez of National Review Online said about the column (copyright infringement notice, this is the entire post):

Charlotte Allen
eviscerates women. I love it.

It's not satire because Allen sincerely believes that women are dumber. Here she is on the Larry Summers debate:

"Wouldn't it be preferable, rather than pretending that the sexes are identical and interchangeable and blaming society for women's problems, to talk openly about men's and women's strengths and weaknesses (as groups, not as exceptional individuals) and explore rationally the reasons relatively few women seek scientific careers? The reasons probably range from slight variances between the sexes in the extremes of intellectual ability to the likelihood that some gifted girls find science and math just plain boring."

Her WaPo column is nearly an exact rewrite of this thoughts here which is even more irony free. She sincerely believes it.

The firedoglake blog has a whole page of links of completely sincere and idiotic things she has said:

She shares a lot of traits with other right wing female firebrands like Michelle Malkin, Ann Althouse, and the queen of outrageous hyperbole Ann Coulter who famously said:

"If we took away women's right to vote, we'd never have to worry about another Democrat president. It's kind of a pipe dream, it's a personal fantasy of mine, but I don't think it's going to happen. And it is a good way of making the point that women are voting so stupidly, at least single women."

If there is any of the spirit of Swift in there, I can't find it.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 5, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom, I can fetch snow shovels from the garage to the deck with a request written in advance.

However, I do not actually operate snow shovels due to anatomical issues. I also have a vet's note excusing me from even being asked to touch an upright vacuum, as well. I do remain open to the idea of herding a roomba, though.

Thank you for your interest in evolving my job description. I regret to say that we cannot pursue your suggestions.

Posted by: Wilbrodog | March 5, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Ooh, Raysmom... you've done it. Wilbrodog's in a full-out sulking snit.

He accidentally chewed the page when he was looking up "splendiferous" in the dictionary and it left a bad taste in his mouth.

And now the reminder he can't actually operate big stick-thingss the same way people can. That just hits home to his inadequacy issues.

But don't worry, I'll just make him do something around the house, treat him, and then he'll forget all about it.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 5, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I'm sorry I made you feel bad, Wilbrodog! I was trying to cover up the fact that I can't find a young man strong enough or decorative enough to fax over to the gnome. Over-reached again.

Posted by: Raysmom | March 5, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

What I want to know is, how ever did Weingarten become such a chick magnet? Jeezy-peezy.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 5, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I might have to meet that Charlotte Allen chick. She sounds like a real keeper. And she knows her place, too (ducking to avoid flying hands of feminist mom and wife).

Posted by: Gomer | March 5, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I also think "Puerto Rico" is insanely fun to say.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 5, 2008 03:19 PM

I agree RD but most Americans don't know how it's pronounced. "Port-o Ree-ca" just doesn't have the proper ring. Of course this will probably change in the coming years as the Hispanic population soars past the Irish-Italian population.

"Pwear-toe Ree-ko" is lovely.


Posted by: DLD | March 5, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Incidentally, I like to extend a personal invitation to Ms's (jeez, what the heck is the plural of Ms.?) Manteuffel and Gibson to, ya know, stick around the Achenblog and Boodle from time to time. God knows, the bunker is certainly presentable, what with all the doilies and Lladru the place is festooned with. I mean, ya can hardly sit down and put your feet up without smacking into a statuette of Pan or some shepherd playing a lute. (And I'm warning ya, if that Kinkade doesn't come down right quick I'm burning it.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 5, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Quick drive-by defence of Charlotte Allen.

Gibson and Manteuffel:

"Yet despite her list of Reasons Why We Babes are Dopes, Allen has no judgment to make about the equivalent of this behavior in men."


"When men do dumb things, though, they tend to be catastrophically dumb, such as blowing the paycheck on booze or much, much worse (think "postal"). Women's foolishness is usually harmless. But it can be so . . . embarrassing."

Posted by: SonofCarl | March 5, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Clearing up my quotes:

Kathryn Jean Lopez said "Charlotte Allen
eviscerates women. I love it."

The Allen quote about Larry Summers is from here:
where she asks if he is a martyr or a moron.

Everytime WaPo gives voice to a marginal wingnut (I'm looking at you Ben Domenech) it ends up embarrassing both the writer and WaPo. Wingnuts are a special breed of hothouse flower that don't do well outside of their echo chamber greenhouses. Speaking of our old buddy Ben, here is his pre-primary prediction:

"Barring a shocking turn of events, Barack Obama will effectively seal the nomination of the Democratic Party on March 4th."

I remember how he got ridden out of town on a rail. Good times. Good times.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 5, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Truth in advertising would be nice.

Everybody in the business knows that Charlotte Allen is the pseudonym Guiliani uses when he writes in drag.

Posted by: lupo | March 5, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Ree-ko Swaaah-vaay!

Posted by: Gerardo | March 5, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

DLD - I agree that most 'mericans butcher the name "Puerto Rico." I try to get it right without sounding too pretentious. But what I really enjoy is when this young lady I know, whose parents came from PR, says the phrase. It becomes like the trilling of a tropical bird.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 5, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I've got the lighter for that Kinkade. And the lighter fluid. Personally, I'll take some dogs playing poker over one of those. Maybe even a black-light Elvis poster (the cape looks good in that light).

But I warn you...touch that basket of yarn and I'm pretty sure there will be no Christmas for you.

Posted by: LostInThought | March 5, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Rachel and Caitlin.

Boots and skirts. I'm just sayin'.

And if you want to read something REALLY funny, find Rachel's piece a few years ago where she is discussing her, ah, bosom.


Posted by: DLD | March 5, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Both of those very talented writers are just a little too buxom for Gene's stated tastes.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 5, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Back to the Earth-and-Moon photo for a moment. The ratio of the diameters, Moon/Earth, is 0.28 (measured in whole millimeters on my screen. Sure, I could have gotten it in pixels by investigating it in Photoshop, but I don't care that much). This is about right, and makes sense, because the distance from camera to the two target objects is nearly indistinguishable (distance between Earth and Moon is pretty small compared to distance from Mars to Earth). Thus, there is no effect on the relative apparent diameter due to the fact that the Moon is either in the foreground or background. Without another image to show me the relative motion of Earth and Moon, or checking the available ephemeris information ( ), I have no reasonable way to determine which object is closer to the camera.

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 5, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

I believe the term "just a little too buxom" was a googlenope until just now.

Posted by: DLD | March 5, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm trying to bring us back to high-minded discussion and away from wallowing in euphemisms for bosominess (surely that's a word). Buxosity? Buxitude?

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 5, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Agreed again RD. Lived for 4 years in Sebana Seca. Also very nice to say and hear.

Of what you speak, I know.


Posted by: DLD | March 5, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

It was a Googleyup, but just barely:

"Sexy and savaged in her torn short-shorts and shirt, this prototype Daisy Duke was just a little too buxom for the comfort of parents of the time."

Posted by: yellojkt | March 5, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

And here I thought Buxitude meant you could pay for your tab at the end of the night.


Posted by: DLD | March 5, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, but "just a little too buxom" does get one hit:

Which includes the following sentence: "Sexy and savaged in her torn short-shorts and shirt, this prototype Daisy Duke was just a little too buxom for the comfort of parents of the time."

Posted by: Tim | March 5, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

"Bodaciousness" is the word you're looking for SciTim.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 5, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Dang. I am too slow.

Posted by: Tim | March 5, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Great minds think alike. What's our excuse?

Posted by: yellojkt | March 5, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Shouldn't "bodacious ta-tas" be a reference to the portion of the anatomy with which a bodacious individual may go "ta-ta" (depart) rather than, you know ... other bits? It just makes sense to me.

Posted by: LexicalTim | March 5, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

It would be wrong of me to help you out here S'Tim (women do tend to hear these terms more often than men). But I will give you a hint...try one that ends in -licious.

Posted by: LostInThought | March 5, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

i was at a yankees game where a certain intoxicated gentlemen had shaved the yankee logo into his chest hair...

and I'M supposed to be a dope?

and you'll never, ever EVER catch me wearing pink!

Posted by: mo | March 5, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Now, now, boys. Let's not make Joel regret posting that pic. One of the things Ms. Manteuffel's famous essay did is make me realize how really stupid we men can be about bodies.

Which is another reason Charlotte Allen's humor fell so flat. Compared to the way the other gender acts, women can't help but look brilliant.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 5, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Oh, come on now, mo. Not even for Halloween? Pink Goth gear?

Posted by: ConceptualTim | March 5, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Um, Boodlicious?


Posted by: bc | March 5, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

When my little sister was a teen she briefly went through a phase where she wore nothing but pink and black clothing. She called it Punk Prep. She looked like a giant Good 'n Plenty.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 5, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

If you follow the picture links back you end up with this description of the picture:

"At the time the image was taken, Earth was 142 million kilometers (88 million miles) from Mars, giving the HiRISE image a scale of 142 kilometers (88 miles) per pixel, an Earth diameter of about 90 pixels and a moon diameter of 24 pixels. {or a ratio of 0.267 - yj} The phase angle is 98 degrees, which means that less than half of the disk of the Earth and the disk of the moon have direct illumination. We could image Earth and moon at full disk illumination only when they are on the opposite side of the sun from Mars, but then the range would be much greater and the image would show less detail."

Running those distances through the law of cosines as a sanity check places Mars at 220 million kilometers from the Sun, which is fairly close to perihelion. I am such a geek.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 5, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

And I'm very glad that Joel's caption clears up that it's Gene in the middle. That would be an embarrassing mistake to make otherwise.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 5, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

[All of bc's comments on the topics of buxosity, cleavageness, bosomitude, pectorality, or any other canned torsal comedy has been redacted for the good of the Boodle.]

[This Boodle Comment has been Sanitized for Your Protection.]


Posted by: bc | March 5, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

yello - but he certainly does look betwixt.

And to Mudge's query. I suspect Gene is often in the company of charming women because they consider him funny, intelligent, respectful, and exceedingly non-threatening.

The latter characteristic, I imagine, is one he must occasionally resent.

I know I sure do when women say that about me.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 5, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

RD, do you resent it as much when we say it's because you're like a brother to us?

Posted by: LostInThought | March 5, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm also glad that Joel didn't use the term "mits" in reference to Gene.

Probably not as glad as Gene is, though.

FWIW, it looks like that pic was taken in the lobby of the downtown offices of the WaPo.


Posted by: bc | March 5, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

You know...the kind of brother who points out when you look like a Good N Plenty?

Posted by: LostInThought | March 5, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Jeez, LiT, you might as well just say "You're my favorite eunuch."

Good heavens. Women say that MEN are insensitive. Oy.

Posted by: Tim | March 5, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Jeez, LiT, you might as well just say "You're my favorite eunuch."

Good heavens. Women say that MEN are insensitive. Oy.

Posted by: Tim | March 5, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

RD, I think it's better to be thought of as a nice guy than a creep.

Nice guys get second (and third, and...) chances, my friend.
Creeps don't.


Posted by: bc | March 5, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

How did that happen?

How did that happen?

Posted by: Tim | March 5, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

LiT - Certainly not! I just hate it when women start talking about stretch marks in my presence.

Look, I may be middle aged and married, but you know, I like to think I could still channel some George Clooney if I had a mind too.

Or at least some George Castanza.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 5, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Good N Plenty - oh, that's good.

To RD & Tim's point: Nothing takes the air out of a guy's tire like being told he's "safe."

Why do we have egos that make us feel this way?


Posted by: bc | March 5, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

But S'Tim, it's so much better than "I value your friendship too much..."

Posted by: LostInThought | March 5, 2008 6:26 PM | Report abuse

awwwww but bc - i DO feel safe around you!

i did wear pink once... it was a micro-mini hot pink pleather jumper dress... this was in los angeles... many moons ago... and many pounds ago... (my gay guy friend made me buy it...)

(and WHY perchance did i get this ad?)
10 Rules to Cut Belly Fat
I Found the 10 Rules to Cut Belly Fat, and I Lost 9 lbs every 11 Days

rub it in why don't ya! sheesh!!!

Posted by: mo | March 5, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

There is nothing wrong with wearing pink. Actually I think men who wear pink shirts are sexy.

Think pink.

Posted by: eidrib | March 5, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

and bc - that's one area where i will admit being a dope - i usually need to be hit over the head several hundred times before i really "get" that the guy is really a creep...

Posted by: mo | March 5, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

SciTim, bodacious works, but given the context "too much chest attitude" would work as well.

That's how I felt when I was watching Madonna go through her cone-bra phase, personally.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 5, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

I used to have a pink shirt. But this was in the 1980s. The world was different then.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 5, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

I used to wear a pink shirt with my three piece suit to high school Model United Nations conventions. A girl on our team used to castigate me because she claimed that pink clashed horribly with my red hair.

Here's a picture of me in the peach shirt that went with that suit. I also had the same style in mauve.

My wife has declared my hair is no longer officially red. Maybe I can go back to pink shirts now.

I've been getting the weight loss Google ads for days. I thought it was just me.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 5, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

When I read C.A.'s piece in the early AM on Sunday, I put it down, thinking:

I must be coming down with something because I don't get this at all.

I did not return to it, partly because of the lovely weather but also because the boodle-response told me what I needed to know. Basically, my brain was fine. The piece flopped. More than that, the piece failed....flailed? Both.

C.A. lacks the skill, apparently, to control her complex piece's mood and tone. I found the online discussion with C.A. not at all helpful.

I guess the kindest thing to say is that C.A. wrote a failed piece. Usually, the Post is not the venue for a failed piece. An author, without strong editorial support, can really miss the mark. I think that I would give a great deal of manna -- or yarn -- to take the Way-Back Machine to the editorial meeting that considered and passed this piece forward. Therein, is the bigger problem, I think.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 5, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

I find myself mildly amused that you've never figured out the easy way to deal with the Kincaid and the doilies.

You simply pile the doilies on top of the Kincaid and said Kincaid disappears. Sure you have a pile of doilies but its all tidy like in one place.

Which totally disproves the entire Charlotte Allen article. We might like doilies but bad taste does not mean we are not smart.

Posted by: dr | March 5, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Consider this doily, the one on the crockpot that doubles as a cookie jar: it includes the entire Shield of Achilles on it. I think that MostlyLurking made this one day, working with two cast-off Bic pens and a Swiss Army knife.

Another doily here, by DR, is based on a fractal pattern found in lichens native to a slough near Saskatoon. DR's work is shortlisted every year for the Golden Needles award.

And, if you look closely at the "Kincaid" you will see that Maggie O'D crafted this of tiny pixels of color that are all based on repeating fibonacci numbers. You simply THINK this is a Kincaid, which was Maggie's sly version of trixtering. If you look at it with the magic glasses that LiT is always playing with, it really IS the dogs playing poker picture of your dreams!

And, that braided rug over there? Raysmom based her color scheme on the strata of igneous rock native to Western PA.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 5, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

YJ, it is the way of red hair to lose its burnish as we age. Sorry, there is no way to sugar coat this. Now, you can visit the aisle of CVS; however, I do not recommend the henna products, as with your fair skin the purple hue is harsh and not so natural.

You can, however, use a little lemon juice in the summer. Sick on the deck and read the newspaper in the warm sun. You will then, be slightly and naturally blondish. With red sun kissed highlights.

Secrets of red-headed women who want to go natural but not too dish-water into that good, good twilight....

Posted by: College Parkian | March 5, 2008 7:09 PM | Report abuse

SIT on the deck, YJ. Sorry.

We may have interesting and energetic comments here in the wake of the C.A. piece.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 5, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

CP, I *heart* you.

Its a good thing you posted this in the afternoon when I don't have a coffee to spit allover my keyboard.

Posted by: dr | March 5, 2008 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom at 4:55 - WHAT YOU SAID!! I didn't get it no matter how I approached it! Totally baffled.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 5, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Since I only know how to slop goo on flat surfaces, I humbly beg you to also explain to Mudge that the door marked "push" that he keeps trying to open and can't, is actually a painted trompe d'oeil.

The same goes for the so-called glass case with the axe labelled "Smash in case of emergency."

I'm sure you've already observed all the other trompe d'oeils, including the cat watching himself in a mirror on a shelf, but I wouldn't expect Mudge to have noticed those.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 5, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

As we are busy in Afghanistan etc. it seems that domestic terrorism is on the rise.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 5, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse

College Parkian,
My secret is out! I thought that I was safe...

Posted by: Maggie O'D | March 5, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Hey sbw!! *welcome-to-the-Boodle Grover waves* :-)

LiT, I don't think there'll be any Easter for 'Mudge if he messes with the yarn.

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 5, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, the women are smarter. Women are smarter in every way. Repeat the first part 3 times use the last statement as a coda. Twirl about as you do this.

Posted by: jack | March 5, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Aw, you just say that to all the girls, Jack.

Posted by: WIlbrod | March 5, 2008 7:52 PM | Report abuse

You guys are cracking me up. RD, you and the Good and Plenty.

And then the reference to Gene as being non-threatning, as in a lamp post, perhaps?

I've just got in, and have been informed that the g-girl is on her way. Quiet is definitely over.

I did not read the Allen piece, the title was enough to turn me off. I think she's trying to cop the humor bit to cover the outcry. Where were the Post editors when she did this? Please tell me they aren't all men?

And as for the picture, the young ladies are attractive, and the guy in the middle, well, he needs some work. And I don't say that in bad way.

Time for bed. Night, boodle. Sweet dreams.

Posted by: cassandra s | March 5, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Hello sbw. I rather liked your post.

Posted by: Yoki | March 5, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Charlotte Allen is a conservative? That explains it.

Guys, don't push it too far about the bunker. You do want us to let you come in, don't you? After all we do to keep YOUR bathroom presentable, you just better keep some thoughts to yourselves.

Posted by: slyness | March 5, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

i read the allen piece when it came out and pretty much thought it was a piece of crap. she had no clear point of view and no sense of audience, among other issues.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | March 5, 2008 8:27 PM | Report abuse

I don't care if the bathroom is presentable. I just want it to be usable, without a sense of fear for the consequences.

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 5, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Tim, Tim, Tim.

When will you learn?

Nothing's usable unless it's also presentable!

Where ARE your manners, young man?

Posted by: slyness | March 5, 2008 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to SBW,

We hope you stay. Thinking of DNA girl because tonight is a all-biology/all evening fest of flashcards, white board sketching, and practice tests. The MD State High School Assessment flurry is about to be underway and CPBoy is in the middle of it.

I am still amazed that he wants a sci-study-quiz buddy and that I fit the bill.

There once was a lady biologist
Whose sis was a Freudian psychologist
One knew meiosis
The other psychosis
Their children took up with astrologists.

Said by Dr. Francis Flaim, S.J., my biology teacher long ago and far away.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 5, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

RD and yellowjkt--I just knew there were some sexy guys on the boodle. *swoon* :-)

I must agree with Cassandra, however, that the guy in the middle of the pic...who will go unnamed...needs some work. Pink shirt, maybe? Hmmmmmm.

Posted by: eidrib | March 5, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Hawaiian floral print shirt and a striped beanie with a propeller was more how I'd do the satorial adjustments, but each to their own.

Pink shirt would help-- with rainbow suspenders and some big buttons pinned on his lapel, and loud bellbottoms.

Or a pink shirt paired white lounge suit (although I think it'd immediately look rumpled... he has a strong rumple field on him). I've never been sure what shoes go with white suits-- brown? black? white-and-black saddlebacks?

And may I suggest black horn-rimmed glasses or jazzy sunglasses?

We're assuming nobody touches the hair on that man, of course.

Now you know why I have very low fear of public speaking.

Nudes in black socks are just so dull to imagine...and honestly, it's not that conductive to feeling confident-- would you feel confident if you were, in fact, addressing a full nudist convention who had decided to sock for the event?)

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 5, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

For CPBoy:

And for the other boys:

Posted by: DNA Girl | March 5, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

This surgeon has a gut feeling that Type II diabetes may all be in the gut, and not in the /fat/ fat gut sense.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 5, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Whew! You're here! Tried and tried but couldn't conjure up the boodle today at work. IM'ing with Son of G and lo and behold he could get on.

Were they blocking me from my beloved boodle? Was I going to have to QUIT MY JOB?

Son of G sent me a link to a site that allows bypassing of such blockage. Lo! The boodle!

Now all this was happening on my rarely taken-to-work laptop; never tried the desktop as it was busy doing real work for someone else. But a trip the IT department revealed that...

No.. they are not blocking any sites. In fact, the IT director was able to get on the boodle in a heartbeat. So all I know is now that I'm home, you're here.. I'm here.. I can relax now. I am happy again. Sigh. Carry on.

Posted by: TBG | March 5, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

I think you just made Joel's "dangerously obsessed fan" list, TBG.

But welcome back. We love you anyway.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 5, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Rachel and Caitlin, I just want to say thank you for an excellent response. I had similar thoughts on (and a counterpoint for) every one of Allen's bleatings, but your witty, incisive slap-down was pitch perfect. Brava (bravi? bravas?)!

Posted by: Sleepless (but laughing) in South Riding | March 5, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

In true homage to the Boodle, the very first response to Gene W's topic is.. off topic!

(Wow.. that's quite a URL.)

Posted by: TBG | March 5, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Tinyurl it at

Now if they only had a tinywaist function that worked so easily, I'd tinywaist myself.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 5, 2008 11:41 PM | Report abuse

TBG, now the IT Director at your workplace knows about the Boodle! I hope you didn't divulge your supersecret disguise. Oooops.

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 5, 2008 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Eeeewwww, Gene's right, it's not a blog, it's a "group". I don't like the format, especially the thing that says how many times you've posted...

Since I'm a few boodles behind - love the pictures of the Earth and Moon. Have no idea how they were taken, but I believe they're real.

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 6, 2008 12:01 AM | Report abuse

I only had him go to the blog "home," mostly.

You can imagine what was going through my head as I was trying to figure out why they would block the WaPo blogs of all places.

Posted by: TBG | March 6, 2008 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Before I go to bed, I just want to point out that one of my banner ads above, right next to the picture of Gene Weingarten and his lovely companions, is an ad for GW University Summer Programs.

"Make the Most of Your Summer with GW!"

g'night all!

Posted by: TBG | March 6, 2008 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Joel, Guam is only a short hop away from the island of Borneo. There are many nice places to visit on this island. I could show you around. Sipadan, a small island off Borneo, would be the perfect place for you to relax after your hectic schedule. The down side about Sipadan is that you could get kidnapped by pirates. If you're not into that much adventure, there are still other nice places you could go to where there are no pirates.

Posted by: rainforest | March 6, 2008 3:17 AM | Report abuse

All I can say about that photo is that Gene is one lucky guy. If I say much more, Mrs. M will hurt me.

I'm with Jack on the "women are smarter" mantra. At least in the interest of self preservation. It may have taken me a couple of decades to figure it out, but "Yes, dear" followed by "of course, dear" is a very effective method of diffusing a highly volatile and potentially explosive woman.

Speaking of which... why don't women come with warning labels that say "anger me and you're doomed"? If they can put "contents may be hot, you dolt" on cups of hot coffee, why not some similar warning on women? I'm not talking about stitching it on, just maybe a tattoo.

A users manual would be nice, too. (not that I'd read it)

Wide awake at 3:20am. I remember when 3:20am was when I'd start thinking about leaving the bar.

Maybe there's a good sleeping pill on the History Channel or something...

Peace out.

Posted by: martooni | March 6, 2008 3:33 AM | Report abuse

*faxin' martooni some chamomille tea*

And speaking of chamomille... I was waiting for my car to be fixed the other day and the syndicated "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" was on in the waiting room. Some guy needed to waste a "Phone a Friend" on figuring out whether chamomille tea or chocolate milk had more caffeine! *L*

I think we should make it a point to ensure the Gene Pool is always off-topic.

*sorta-back-to-a-normal-schedule Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 6, 2008 5:06 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, friends. Welcome, sbw. Stick around, we love having you.

Mudge,Slyness, where are you? Morning Scotty, Martooni, and all.*waving*

The news is Hillary's campaign has revived, and moving forward as always. I'm wondering if there is any discussion to bring this thing to a close? Anyone out there with some answers. With so many dates still looming out there, won't that put the Dems behind in getting started on McCain?

Some folks here are pretty upset this morning. The school board has decided to revamp the schools here, closing some and changing others. And all without some citizens input. We just got a new Primary school, but they're changing that to a Ninth Grade Academy. I meant to go to the meeting last night, but so tired by the time I got home, could not make it.

The g-girl did not show up, wanted to stay with mom and dad. She's suppose to be here this morning for the bus. I don't know. I think she and mom are running late.

I'm thinking about the movie with Tom Cruise, the Minority Report, where he asks the woman in the greenhouse, which of the three sages is the smartest. Her reply for me was an Oscar moment, she said of course, the female. Like, duh, did you need to ask. I thought, wonderful, yes!

Well, got to get moving. I need to go to the laundry room, but don't really want to do that. And I'm expecting a visitor from UGA, a professor, and I'm kind of anxious about the meeting because my apartment is in a mess, and I don't feel like doing what it needs. Cleaning.

Have a great day, folks. The weather is a bit chilly here. I had to turn the heat on this morning.

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Posted by: cassandra s | March 6, 2008 6:00 AM | Report abuse

I think anyone wanting to know about how smart the female is should read the Scriptures.

God put man over everything on earth, the animals, the things of the earth, but he gave the female characteristics more like Himself. The power of Creation. You see, God is a Just God. The female in Scripture is called a "help meet". Not less than or a rug, but side by side.

It just don't get no better than that. Excuse the double negatives, but this is slang.

Posted by: cassandra s | March 6, 2008 6:11 AM | Report abuse

I was talking to my dad the other day, and he said, "a woman that does not want to be kept up with, will not be kept up with", and this in reference to men trying to keep tabs on their women. I was shocked to hear him say that. I mean, stunned is a better word.

Are you saying that men don't have that kind of power over women? That we allow our men folk to know where we are? Get out of here, I said.

I was laughing so hard on the phone, but I did not want my dad to hear me, so I was quiet with it.

My dad is a trip, some days.

Posted by: cassandra s | March 6, 2008 6:20 AM | Report abuse

For Martooni:

Click next to go through the series of 6 strips.

Posted by: DNA Girl | March 6, 2008 6:22 AM | Report abuse

good laugh this morning, DNA Girl.

Posted by: cassandra s | March 6, 2008 7:24 AM | Report abuse

I'm an agnostic myself, Ms. Cassandra, but I love how Ishida works faith into some of his cartoons.

This one's for you :-)

Posted by: DNA Girl | March 6, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Morning DNA Girl! *envisioning the superhero outfit, complete with cape sporting a double-helix logo*


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 6, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, and I've got 'books' of steel too! :-)

Posted by: DNA Girl | March 6, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse


TBG, it sounds like your computer was afflicted with what I had on Monday when I couldn't get on the boodle all day. I felt like I had been in solitary all day and raced to the computer when I got home to catch up. Thankfully, the issue seemed to have resolved itself.

I checked out Gene's discussion-thingy. I'm not sure I'm a fan. For one thing, the font is awfully small. At my age, things like that matter *a lot*.

Morning mouse report. I put the seed can, with Little Chef inside, into my car (belting it in with the seat belt, 'cuz God forbid I hit the brakes, tip the can over, and end up with the little bugger in my car!) and took him for a little drive. I stopped at a grassy area (as far away from houses as is possible in these parts) with woods about 50 feet away. I took the can out and tipped it sideways. He jumped out and looked around, as if surprised not to see the front of my garage, then scampered off toward the woods. I drove home and put the can back in place, hoping to trap any of his remaining relatives and friends. I opened the can this morning and looked, but no mouse-eyes peered back at me. I have to admit, I kinda miss the little guy. Within limits, of course.

Posted by: Raysmom | March 6, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Your knowledge of webcomics makes me suspicious that you are considerably younger than the typical boodle demographic. And that is neither a good thing nor a bad thing. Just an observation. My son and I both enjoy Questionable Content, although I am several weeks behind in reading it.

It's too colorful to read discretely and the office and I'm usually too busy blogging while at home to relax and surf webcomics.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 6, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Morning, everybody!

I had to get up and take Mr. T to work, which totally disrupted my normal schedule. We're going to the mountains this afternoon, so he didn't want to have to come back home. The things I do for that man!

TBG, glad you were able to overcome the problem. I feel bereft when I don't have access to the Boodle.

Cassandra, I hope you find the energy for the day. I sympathize, having those issues myself.

Raysmom, may you find no more mouse family in the seed bin!

Posted by: slyness | March 6, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

yello, that nutty guy is right. drive a couple miles due east of Bird in Hand and you enter Intercourse. Of course this raises the question of: Where the heck is Two in the Bush?

Going back up to catch up...

Posted by: omni | March 6, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

And hi sbw. I'll add your handle to the list if you post again.

Posted by: omni | March 6, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

According to the news, there is going to be more snow in Toronto, and you know I feeel for them I really do. Faxing the R household snowblower to dmd, Shrieking, and any one else who just can't shovel anymore. Pass it on as required.

Posted by: dr | March 6, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Just a comment about Charlotte Allen's piece: I've found that I can be too sublte, and too clever by half when trying to be funny or satirical.

If you want readers to *get* the joke, you have to bring them in on it.

Was Andy Kaufmann a comic genius?
Chuck Barris?
Charlotte Allen?

Naturally, it depends on who you ask, as well as when and where you ask them.
Thus is formed bc's Theory of Comic Relativity (TM).


Posted by: bc | March 6, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Thank you dr, I took a photo the other day of the one spot in the garden not buried in snow, one lone croci had just popped a tiny bit out of the ground. That spot is not buried in snow.

Also this Canadian would like to apologize for our PM, and his office - this is a man who control everything - and prides himself on that - I do not believe for a second it was done innocently.

Posted by: dmd | March 6, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

DLD, it was a googleuno and is now a googledos:

Posted by: omni | March 6, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Oh jeez, evereyone beat me to that

Posted by: omni | March 6, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Props to Harold Meyerson-

for mentioning Luis Bunuel's wonderful "Exterminating Angel."

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 6, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

American taxpayers spent $1 million on a military recruiting station? (the one that was bombed in Times Square this morning) One MILLION $$$ for 520 square feet!

*shaking head in utter disbelief over government's squandermania*

From the NYT:

The station reopened in September 1999 after a $1 million redesign by Stephen Cassell and Adam Yarinsky of the Architectural Research Office, a Manhattan-based architecture firm. The 520-square-foot building is decorated with 33-by-14-foot flags rendered in fluorescent lights and a giant, nine-panel television screen. The interior contains space for Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine recruiters and one bathroom.

Posted by: Loomis | March 6, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

"An F.B.I. official said that in today's attack [on a recruiting station in NYC], a man in a gray hooded sweatshirt was seen leaving the scene on a bicycle."
So I guess that Bill Belichick somehow blames the Army for his team's Super Bowl loss?

Posted by: crc | March 6, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

A fellow in Switzerland, Karger, is behind the introduction of a new scientific publication, Sexual Development, which will provide the latest scientific research or thinking about those pathways--genetics, molecular biology, evolution, endocrinology, embryology and pathology--of sexual determination and diferentiation.

Wouldn't want anyone to get too carried away with ancient Biblical thinking about sex roles.

Posted by: Loomis | March 6, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Remember the Alamo. After all, it is Alamo Day in Texas.

Posted by: omni | March 6, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Is it Kincaid or Kincade? I wouldn't mind hanging this on the wall:

Posted by: omni | March 6, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Back to pink for a moment. When I was in about 6th grade, my mom bought me a shirt that was pink and black with a sateen finish. It was to go with black slacks and my white buck shoes with the snap-clip closers. Boy, was that a long time ago!

Re: Amish country. I used to tell folks that in order to get to Paradise you had to start at Bird in Hand, pass Blue Ball and go through Intercourse. The usual response was generally of the same sort as Charlotte Allen has gotten, which why I slave away in the bowels of a government building instead of trading barbs with Leno or Letterman.

Posted by: ebtnut | March 6, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

... as per Joel's kit... well done. Not to mention, men who attempt to hang on to that mattress strapped to their car roof, while driving along with one arm out the window, holding on for dear life :):):)

Posted by: Miss Toronto | March 6, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

About Charlotte A, with nods to Eb and bc:

writing this stuff is hard and can fall flat. EDITORS are to help with this. I am still totally mystified by the editorial lapse here. Writers, especially youngish ones, can think that writing editorless would be a dream. Actually, good editors are angels!

Posted by: College Parkian | March 6, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Over at, Walter Shapiro has a very good column ( on why it is a good thing that Hillary and Obama are still duking it out for the nomination. I think I agree with him.

Omni, it appears there are two Kinkades floating around. The girl on the surfboard you linked is Carleton Kinkade. The one I find objectionable and schlocky is Thomas Kinkade.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 6, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, how do feel about the Reuben Kincaid? (Personally, I think he put up with way too much guff from Danny, and secretly had the hots for Mrs. Partridge.)

Posted by: byoolin | March 6, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

In my experience much of the stupidity of men (in traditionally male dominated professions) is covered up by assumptions of ignorance or mistake. Why did the electrical outlet in my NoVA basement specifically designed for the lighting in a china cabinet get covered up with drywall? Not ignorance of the fact an outlet would go there as the blue box with the roughed-in wiring was quite visible, and not a "mistake." Two men (one of whom I admired enough to marry) made a deliberate, and stupid, decision that the drywall taper/mudder (that would be me) could cut the opening after the sheet was up more easily than they could measure and cut the hole to fit.

Having said that, it seems to me that as is often the case with comparing two demographics-there is more variation among individuals than between groups. Or as Ma Frostbitten has always said, "most people are stupid."

BTW Boodlicious is an oft used word at Chez Frostbitten. Kuching is a "boodlicious babe" of a cat, and something witty, smart, pointy headed, or unexpectedly cerebral is always boodlicious.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 6, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

The transformation of Times Square from the squalid mess it was forty years ago has made the recruiting station site incredibly valuable. Think of it as the military's permanent Superbowl ad.

The "Street of Dreams" arson in the Seattle area reminds me of the burning of the University of Washington's Center for Urban Horticulture. The nut cases thought they were doing genetic engineering when in fact they were a member of the Center for Plant Conservation (a national consortium of botanical gardens).

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 6, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

i liked the article at salon, mudge.

yesterday, i had a chuckle over this from howard kurtz:

"Karl Rove told Fox viewers that a prolonged Democratic battle could knock John McCain off the front pages and hurt his effort."

well, if rove is worried about something, then i'm all for it.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | March 6, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Mudge - Shapiro may be correct. It comes down to the psychology of the electorate. It is entirely possible, as he implies, that after witnessing a brawl the electorate will be loathe to not put the winner in the White House. But I am terribly concerned, for the reasons I mentioned yesterday, that a long battle may alienate the electorate. Not everyone likes a bloody brawl.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 6, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

I hear you RD. Hope the primary contest doesn't start to look like Brangelina's knock down drag out in "Mr. and Mrs. Smith."

Posted by: Raysmom | March 6, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Howdy. We are expecting snow here. The radar says it is snowing, but looking outside the window says it is not. Hard to know what to believe.

Thanks for the comix, DNAgirl! An awesome book stack is important. The Boy is a big manga fan. I like Full Metal Alchemist (written by a woman!) but he & Ivansdad also read DeathNotes and some others I haven't picked up yet. I'm getting used to the whole read-from-the-back right-to-left concept. See, an old dog can learn new tricks.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 6, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I'm inclined to agree if the brawl is in fact a bloody brawl, Padouk, but if they can manage to keep it relatively civil, I think it will be OK. But of course keeping it civil is the tricky part. They've tiptoed with nastiness before, and got criticized and wrist-slapped for it before, so I hope they've learned their lessons. But all along Hillary's tactics have been to knock down Obama, and all along I thought that was a big mistake. I think both of them would do much, much better to concentrate on attacking Bush et al. (Among other things, there's such great cannon fodder there. How can ya miss?)

But then again, neither camp has had the foresight to hire me as campaign manager, so what can I say? (I think Hillary, in particular, needs to dump her staff and start fresh with a new team. Mark Penn is a maroon, as far as I can see. They've all behaved badly, and they can't keep their eye on the prize. Obama's people sure can; I've been very impressed with them, with the single exception of the NAFTA thing.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 6, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

byoolin, I was never a Partridge Family watcher (perhaps a defect in my personality?), so don't know from Reuben Kincaid.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 6, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Last night Beatrice the rabbit & I had a little quality time. I read while she hopped around and occasionally joined me. As an experiment, I play a little bit of guitar. She stopped stock still for a while, hopped back to her cage, then seemed to decide this was okay. I pushed a little harder and played some chords and simple melody on the piano, but it didn't appear to disturb her. Playing for her is very satisfying, since she has no benchmark for skill, and if she were to notice a wrong note she doesn't express her displeasure vocally. Different from people, even babies.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 6, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, I have a greast deal of difficulty imagining you as "an old dog."

Just sayin'.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 6, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Anybody heard about the Times Square bombing?

I'm glad nobody was there to get hurt, but like nearly all bombers, they showed their lack of class in what they chose to target.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 6, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Just stepping in to note that I read the transcript of yesterday's "chat" with Ms. Allen. She doesn't appear to like being challenged, and she expressed a very high snarkiness coefficient in response to those who would deign to challenge her for, among other things, a significant lack of both gravitas and humor.

She admitted that she thought what she wrote was humorous satire. Um, isn't that left up to the beholder as to how funny it might be or that, indeed, it might actually signify satire?

That the Post actually printed her initial column says more about the opportunistic and schadenfreudistic approach the Post inevitably takes when women are attacked, with the understanding that if a similar column had been written about (pick one) blacks, jews, asians, etc., there would probably have been an editorial meeting to discuss the repercussions of such submission, and I suspect it would not have seen the light of day.

This is not to say that there should not ever be discussions about vast (or even not vast) stupidity (esp. in regard to our current "president" a/k/a "little boy"). But when entire groups are slapped with a snarky, b i t c h y brush as to intellectual prowess or the lack thereof, then it's merely narcissistic bloviating which serves no particular interest nor, indeed, any particular purpose whatsoever.

Hey, Ivansmom, can you tell I'm preparing to draft a Motion for Summary Judgment, huh, huh, huh???

Back at it.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | March 6, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to obsess over Puerto Rico (what can I say it was 6 degrees this morning), but what pops into my mind when one mentions the pronunciation (or anything, actually re: PR), is the song in West Side Story that begins "Puerto Rico, my heart's devotion--let it sink back in the ocean!" With a good R roll of course. Great song.

Gail Collins mentioned the Puerto Rico primary this morning in her column, too.

I'm slightly concerned that omni is going to add me to a list, but I posted anyway. :-)

Posted by: sbw | March 6, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Ivansmom - when you see the rabbit undertake a midair convulsion - the sign of Lagomorph joy - you will have arrived.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 6, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, you on the guitar is so hard to imagine. I don't know, I guess it's the lawyerly thing sticking out, that I can't get beyond. You know, forming a picture of an individual using their profession to etch in the lines, and it's just weird. Not that you're weird. I'm not putting this well. I hope you get it, I certainly have lost it.

Of course, this comment could fall under that same category.

Posted by: cassandra s | March 6, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Firsttimeblogger, that post was admirably conclusive. Keep it up and that summary judgment will be granted.

RD, I look forward to the rabbit convulsion of joy. So far I've only managed to keep her amused by my litter-box training attempts. I've never made a cat laugh, but I've made a lagomorph laugh.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 6, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

I understand completely, cassandra. Usually we really only know a few things about the folks we know. This can make for fun (or scary) surprises sometimes. I started out in music and it is still an important part of my life. I like to play the guitar (badly) for fun. Not in public. The rabbit doesn't count as public.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 6, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

omni just has to keep a list of approved boodle handles. He has to file a monthly report to the shop steward. Nothing you need to worry about.

Welcome aboard.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 6, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Oh, cassandra... can't you just picture Ivansmom... with her blue suit, stockings, sensible heels, hair piled up/pulled back in a conservative, lawyerly do.. sitting with her legs demurely crossed at the ankles strumming her guitar... "Michael Row the Boat Ashore" and other such folk songs.

Then she goes upstairs and reads her Full Metal Alchemist, back to front.

Posted by: TBG | March 6, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

What, you've never heard of those famous lawyer guitar songs:
"Paperwork to Heaven"
"Born to Judge"
"Lawyer don't Preach"
(I'm going to have my lawsuit)

And the classic favorite for long nights:

"The lawsuit that never ends"
(Somebody began suing for justice, not knowing what justice was...)

Folks. When you work hard on words all day, you need nonverbal release, whether it's cooking, eating, painting, music, riding, or shootin'.

That's the only way to stay sane.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 6, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

TBG, Funny. And Mr. Engineer YJ riding his bike around HoCo in screaming yellow bike-lycra;

Greenwithenvy, in a Little Feat t-shirt, with binoculars and a telescope, but later choppin' wood;

BC, grease monkey gearhead cosmologist...etc.

RD talking sweetly to tiny tomato seedlings....

Oh, the mysterious ways of the boodle.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 6, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, you forgot some of those great Country & Western lawyer hits, such as "My Baby Done Filed a Writ of Mandamus," "Been Humming those Amicus Curiae Blues," "Lonsome Certiorari," "I'm Gonna Shepherdize Some Booty Tonight," "Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Process Servers," "Your Honor, May We Approach the Bench of Love?" and "The Jury's Still Out on the Second-Degree Manslaughter of My Heart."

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 6, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Well, given that I never watched country-western videos on MTV, that's forgiveable.

Good of you to weigh in with those, but I'm surprised you didn't instantly mention those law shanties such as
"Haul away Joe"
"Hanging Johnny"
"Paddy get back" (you have a restraining order)
"Leave her, Johnny" (ditto).

And now I feel like we're on the songs part of "What's My Line?"

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 6, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

No worries sbw, it's a good list. It's called the SAO15. A list of all the regular posters here.

This is for you:

Posted by: omni | March 6, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

TBG, yeah, I see that, and I'm still laughing.


You go, with that list.

Posted by: cassandra s | March 6, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

hello all. I started to read that Charlotte A column and stopped quickly as I found it to be useless drivel. So, for once, I was right.
Ivansmom, if the rabbit starts tapping its foot, it's not a sign it's getting on the music. As a student I had a neighbour with a courageous miniature rabbit. The rabbit enjoyed playing with our fast-growing kittens. The little guy was sending the kitten rolling with well placed two-legged kicks. I found that quite hilarious but again, I am easily amused.
By the time the next storm rolls in next Saturday I should be finished with the shovelling. At least this time some of you guys will get a taste of it.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | March 6, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for a good laugh, 'Mudge. You forgot that obscure Spooky Tooth ditty: "You Broke My Heart So I'm Suing Your Butt".

Posted by: jack | March 6, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

view the complete list here:

Posted by: omni | March 6, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Gene's Pool, combo blog and pub, IS IMPOSSIBLE TO READ, due to the font size as Raysmom reports.

JA and Hal: Please oh PLEASE do not take on this format. I have a 20-something look; she reported the same problem, even though her eyes are frisky and perky.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 6, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

...and a warm welcome to you, sbw. We have passed through the winter season of drought and are on our way into the warm season: the plum trees in our fence row have flowered. It'll soon be time to cut the weeds.

Posted by: jack | March 6, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

I have no problem with font size of Gene Pool. I do however have a problem with the complete lack of humor and the fact that nobody hass anything interesting to say. Also it just seems strange that 128 comments in and everyone single comment has been on topic except Erol2 at 1:04 PM.

Posted by: omni | March 6, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

The other thing I find offputting about the Gene Pool is the sequence of comments (most recent first). If you want to have a discussion and be able to follow the thread of it, the boodle-way is better. (Yes, I know I could go to the last page and read bottoms-up, but sheesh!)

That, and they (so far) seem to be relentlessly on-topic.

Posted by: Raysmom | March 6, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I had trouble reading it earlier today, and in addition to the small print found the subject matter not very interesting either (in if it wasn't for posts by yello, Scotty and bc, it would have been nearly a total waste of time, IMHO).

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 6, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I meant to add with exception of the regulars here there is nothing interesting over there.

Posted by: omni | March 6, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom, are you sure, cause I'm seeing it oldest at the top newest at the bottom.

Another thing is the multiple pages. I think there is a max of 20 posts to a page

Posted by: omni | March 6, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Right, Mudge. As I read the comments, I kept thinking, "Where are all the amusing people who post on Tuesday?"

Posted by: Raysmom | March 6, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

You might be able to reset that, omni and Raysmom. I'm fairly used to various Groups... and I do agree that the formats can be a pain; generally, I prefer less formatted and more chronological.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 6, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom - loved the bunny story. My daughter wanted a bunny for Christmas and we briefly considered it, but realized the faithful beagle and a bunny in the same house is just asking for trouble.

DLD - thanks for pointing out that Rachel was the author of that great piece on the trials of buxom-ness. Way funny.

Mudge - interesting article by Shapiro, makes me feel a little better. Although this little nugget on TPM makes me think,'s just gonna get uglier, which can't be good for the Dems. Sigh.

Posted by: Kim | March 6, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

It goes to show, doesn't it, that Liz Kelly's excellent producing talents are half the Weingarten chat magic. She chooses the comments he sees, after all. Left to his own devices, the group discussion is what we get. It is really really bad. Bad.

Posted by: Yoki | March 6, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

omni, I think you're right--which makes it even more confusing!

I think we could (and probably already did) take the same topic and have an interesting conversation.

Posted by: Raysmom | March 6, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I googled to see what else Rachel Manteuffel had written and came across this from a few years ago:

The woman can write!

Posted by: bia | March 6, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Not only can we, we have. Many Weingarten topics drift over to the boodle and get heartily raked over the coals. What they have created is a message board forum which is a completely different animal than a blog comment stream. I prefer the comment streams in general. In particular, the forum software they have is pretty limited. I like a button that takes you direct to the last unread message. Opinions vary over threaded vs unthreaded. I'll give a few days and see how it settles down. Or perhaps ramps up as it gets more publicity.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 6, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Communities take time. This forum took months to really coalesce. I am sure that Gene's experiment will evolve into something very interesting.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 6, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I read Ms. Allen's Outlook article and the chat transcript. She wasn't writing satire or employing any form of irony, really, but just trying for a very low form of humor that I remember from junior high school; I'd call it "ridicule." It's what my friends and I used to do--look around and make fun of people's clothes, ("Look, KMart had a sale!") or their hairstyle ("There's a new invention called a "brush"--think she's heard of it?") Nasty stuff, totally rooted in fear and insecurity. When I went to my 20th high school reunion I found that one of the women there was still in that mode, making snarky comments about other attendees. I moved away from her table at the first opportunity. I'm sure she had nasty things to say about me later.

My point is, this is an adolescent form of humor that I am glad to have left behind, and I hope Ms. Allen grows out of it eventually. From the discussion it looks to me as if Ann Coulter is one of her role models--she sees herself as a right-wing intellectual, her position is that most women should forget about being equal to men, but at the same time they should have equal opportunity just in case one of them happens to be qualified. This is a somewhat absurd position to take, but I think it is not tongue-in-cheek; it is what she really thinks.

Posted by: kbertocci | March 6, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

This is a Manteuffel article that I can relate to:

I'm not quite there, but flatchested is not an adjective that describes me!

Posted by: slyness | March 6, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Arms-for-diamonds (Africa's "merchant of death"--if you remember much about the B1ood Diamond trade...Is the Kimberley Process really working?) dealer and world's top arms traffic dealer Viktor Bout arrested in Thailand.

The story tops the news at the NYT, along with an in-depth profile/feature story the NYT magazine printed in 2003. Fascinating reporting about Bout by reporter Landesman a handful of years ago.

LL: We;ve been driven indoors by a cold rain. Finally--rain! Tornado warnings for the counties to our southeast. Watch out, folks, as this storm marches east along the Gulf states and through the country's midsection.

Posted by: Loomis | March 6, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Ÿou find this boodle is coalesced RD Padouk? We may just have a lower standard of coalescence now. Entropy still pretty much runs this place.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | March 6, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

" This forum took months to really coalesce."

Very true, RD. And we're close to three years running now. We're just about a month away from that birthday. Going back to that first Kit to have a Boodle, I see someone calling himself Corndog (I remember him!) posted this... just the beginning of three years of wonderful drivel...

"I swore to myself that, should the day ever come that Achenblog start taking comments, I would use the word "poopyhead" so that it would show up on"

Posted by: TBG | March 6, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe with all the TV I watch I only got a 5/10.

Three wrong should have been right cause I really do know better. Not only do I have a bad memory, I'm also an idiot!

Posted by: omni | March 6, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Heads up, I'm going to post a new kit in a few mints.

Posted by: Achenbach | March 6, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I forgot all about Alamo Day--until I backboodled and read your post. There was a reenactment at 6 a.m. or 6:30 a.m. this morning.

What a change in weather. Yesterday it was 80 degrees, turquoise sky, we cleaned off the patio table and had a great lunch outdoors. Now, today, we were thinking clam chowder or chili, but had smoked trout on crackers with cream cheese, along with a side of steamed broccoli, instead. At least, Loomispouse finished his fence project that took all of yesterday and this morning before the rain started.

We have a new YMCA that opened in the large park just across from our subdivision. We joined on Tuesday. My husband is looking forward to the weight room. I'm looking forward to trying exercise classes--once Loomispouse heads back to work next week--such as Senior Sculpting and I'm really anticipating enrolling in Zumba (a class featuring Latin dance, similar to the older Jazzercise).

Posted by: Loomis | March 6, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Rain on LindaLoo= some more !%$#\@ snow on Shrieking Denizen later *sigh*

Posted by: shrieking "snowblower" denizen | March 6, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

apropos of Frostbitten's 10:28 and webcomics generally:

Allen's chat struck me as massively defensive. She accuses those who say she wasn't funny as having no sense of humor. If a comedian bombs in front of an entire audience, I'm not inclined to blame the audience.

And regarding this "well, people make fun of men all the time" schtick, well, that's because men, as a sex, generally don't need defending. A humor column ribbing on typical female foibles, the way Achenbach jokes about male obsessions with power tools or meat, wouldn't raise such an outcry. They appear every day. Allen's column was a different beast entirely.

Posted by: mmg | March 6, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

mmg, xkcd is my favorite webcomic! The name is hard for me to remember, but luckily when you google "webcomic" it's the top of the list. So I guess I'm not the only one who likes it!

Posted by: kbertocci | March 6, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I got a 9/10 but I must register a protest. I knew every answer (no guessing), but had to guess on number 7 and got it wrong.

But the question is worded incorrectly: The character's name shouldn't have been used... they should have used the actress' name. By using the character's name, they are implying that it was part of the storyline, not a network standards issue.

Posted by: TBG | March 6, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

New kit!

Posted by: frostbitten | March 6, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

The Allen piece is much easier to understand now that I know where she comes from ideologically.

Posted by: kindathinker | March 6, 2008 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Wow, other women felt a need to "rebut" the original article. Women must be stupid.

Posted by: Robert17 | March 7, 2008 2:47 AM | Report abuse

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