You're going to say I'm an idiot...
May 20, 2017 5:45 PM   Subscribe

 
That was fun, thank you.
posted by gemmy at 5:48 PM on May 20 [2 favorites]


I LOVE THIS.
posted by pretentious illiterate at 5:57 PM on May 20 [2 favorites]


First, be smart from the very beginning…
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:01 PM on May 20 [25 favorites]


Patricia Bateman?
posted by Nanukthedog at 6:01 PM on May 20 [5 favorites]


A friend posted this on FB the other day. I definitely had a good laugh.
posted by BrotherCaine at 6:03 PM on May 20


That was a really good read, i'm grinning like a fool.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:06 PM on May 20


No.
posted by shockingbluamp at 6:08 PM on May 20 [2 favorites]


So, we talk first. I invite them over. We watch Arrested Development.

I've read the whole article and I'm still tempted by this alone.
Watching Arrested Development with people who equally love Arrested Development just promises a fun evening.
posted by bigendian at 6:10 PM on May 20 [4 favorites]


There goes my self care month of staying away from graphic depictions of violence.

But I guess that is how it goes all the time for other people, so thanks for the reminder.
posted by Dr. Curare at 6:16 PM on May 20 [4 favorites]


[edited to add a graphic content warning, thanks prismatic7 for being flexible!]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:25 PM on May 20 [2 favorites]


Thanks to you, Eyebrows. My heartfelt apologies for not including a warning (I didn't want to spoil the story). On reflection it would have been wiser to have included one.
posted by prismatic7 at 6:29 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


Well, then, he says...

(uninstalls Tinder from his tablet)
posted by Samizdata at 6:30 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


I guess I don't see the humor? It seems more writing exercise than a well realized story.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 6:36 PM on May 20 [30 favorites]


I guess I don't see the humor?

SPOILER





Well, see, she fucking killed him.
posted by yhbc at 6:44 PM on May 20 [60 favorites]


Lane Loomis is a horror writer.
posted by Sebmojo at 7:26 PM on May 20


so edgy
posted by indubitable at 7:27 PM on May 20 [4 favorites]


Sounds like a story Teddy Duchamp would have told.
posted by 2N2222 at 7:37 PM on May 20 [3 favorites]


So which way am I supposed to swipe again?
posted by cjorgensen at 7:54 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


Yeah. Count me among those that just don't get this. It just seems really graphic without much justification.
posted by Betelgeuse at 8:07 PM on May 20 [10 favorites]


This is a great story.
posted by kafziel at 8:08 PM on May 20 [2 favorites]


I think the 'joke' is that it really builds up to one expectation and then does a complete 180?
Was a bit too on the nose for me but I liked the general idea.
posted by The Toad at 8:15 PM on May 20 [6 favorites]


I like how absurdist and nakedly feminist this is. Stories like these are a dime a dozen on tv, in newspapers, magazines, etc., but they're mostly about male serial killers who earnestly go about the business of fetishizing and punishing women without an ounce of self-examination.
"I wonder if he was ever afraid in the shower the way I am sometimes when the curtain is closed and you aren’t certain what’s going on in the outside world anymore. Women are trained to think this way. We realize our compromised senses because of the pouring water and the opaqueness of the shower curtain could be our downfall, we’re always aware of when we’re in danger."
I mean, yeah.
posted by xyzzy at 8:27 PM on May 20 [60 favorites]


That felt like a lot of the point, to me. That this ending feels like a transgression, where the expected ending feels ... expected, and how incredibly fucked up it is that that's what it is. That this setup has an normalized outcome in which he abuses and kills her, but for once she acts first and suddenly people are complaining in the comments.
posted by kafziel at 8:32 PM on May 20 [79 favorites]


Patricia Bateman?

No Patrick Bateman is more like the guy who showed up having lied about himself and then demanded she acquiesce to his misogynistic demands
posted by beerperson at 8:33 PM on May 20 [9 favorites]


The joke worked on me. I was rolling my eyes and about to close the article and post something snarky here about millenial-casual-sex-filter, when I got to the punchline halfway through the article. Which was rather, well, arresting. So well played. Didn't go much deeper than that, but it was good for a momentary reality adjustment.
posted by Nelson at 8:33 PM on May 20 [4 favorites]


Reader, I murdered him.
posted by lefty lucky cat at 8:37 PM on May 20 [79 favorites]


..but for once she kills him and suddenly people are complaining in the comments.

well not really. Psycho man kills woman. We all agree, sick. Psycho woman kills man. Oh! All cool. Totally justified. About time.

I do not get it and I won't. Where is simple humanity?
posted by shockingbluamp at 8:39 PM on May 20 [6 favorites]


MetaFilter: fuckboys aren’t really people, right?
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:48 PM on May 20 [4 favorites]


well not really. Psycho man kills woman. We all agree, sick. Psycho woman kills man. Oh! All cool. Totally justified. About time.

I do not get it and I won't. Where is simple humanity?


The point is that she's not a psycho, she's someone who is justifiably scared of the Patrick Bateman type she's just let into her house and decides to strike first. Where is the simple humanity in the thousands of women killed each year by people like him? But oh no! In a satirical story the woman struck first! That's just as bad as thousands of women dying each year at the hands of their sexual partners, one guy dying in a story!
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 9:08 PM on May 20 [32 favorites]


Really? People found this edgy and interesting? To me it seemed obvious, and not particularly well written. I'm in the minority on that though so don't listen to me...
posted by WalkerWestridge at 9:12 PM on May 20 [9 favorites]


Hee, right there in the 2nd sentence: "You’re supposed to make sure the other person isn’t a serial killer before you give them your address."
posted by glonous keming at 9:23 PM on May 20 [11 favorites]


Psycho man kills woman. We all agree, sick.

Or, you know, an iconic scene from one of the most lauded horror films of all time?
posted by ODiV at 9:31 PM on May 20 [26 favorites]


Old habit I picked up from Mefi: mentally swapping the story genders to see if it's still a good story.

Yeah, not so much.
posted by cowcowgrasstree at 9:44 PM on May 20 [10 favorites]


Yeah, it's gross. Revenge isn't justice.
posted by rokusan at 9:50 PM on May 20 [4 favorites]


The point is that she's not a psycho

No, she is a sympathetic POV character, but she clearly is also a psychopath. It's right there when she thinks that it's "fun to turn the tables" and goes to great detail in describing the best way to kill someone. Which means this probably isn't the first time she's done it. I think she's a serial killer and he's a rapist. It's kind of similar to Dexter or Hard Candy, where a predator gets kiled by another predator.
posted by FJT at 10:00 PM on May 20 [25 favorites]


I can find this a compelling story (not sure if it's good, exactly, but provocative, compelling, worth reading) without at all endorsing murder.

What works for me in it is the sharp 180-degree turn from the horror of 'something awful is going to happen to her' to the horror of 'wait, the awful thing is the thing that she did' which was mixed with a wave of relief that nothing awful happened to the narrator. The way it forces you to sit with that feeling where you're not sure whether you're glad she's okay or you're horrified that she killed a guy ... that's really effective, for me.

And the way the voice is EXACTLY a 'personal narrative essay about my bad date' voice so that the twist is also a moment of 'wait, is this fiction? I hope it's fiction?' is well done.
posted by Jeanne at 10:04 PM on May 20 [69 favorites]


The point is that she's not a psycho

um
posted by Sebmojo at 10:07 PM on May 20 [2 favorites]


yaass drag him
posted by klangklangston at 10:17 PM on May 20 [4 favorites]


I really loved it. I was drawn in by the set up and I was completely taken off guard by the twist. And then it made a point. Succinct and powerful. Bravo.

Yes, my emotions were cheaply manipulated. The same way a roller coaster cheaply manipulates you.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:31 PM on May 20 [7 favorites]


That was amazing. I went from scared for her, in a very real sense, to giddily thrilled in one line. Perfectly done.
posted by greermahoney at 10:37 PM on May 20 [4 favorites]


I've been happily married longer than Tinder has existed. I didn't realize being single got so complicated.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:39 PM on May 20 [4 favorites]


Worked for me. I had completely though this was non-fiction up until the point it was blindingly obvious it wasn't. Not sure what do with it now but a good enough read.

The point is that she's not a psycho, she's someone who is justifiably scared of the Patrick Bateman type she's just let into her house and decides to strike first

There are some interesting things to discuss but "not a psycho" isn't really on the table. She's a serial killer.
Jamie was fun to kill. It was fun to see him be scared. It was fun to watch him die and know that he was realizing what a wasted little life he led.
[ . . . ]
I’m trying to cut down on killing people.
[ . . . ]
I just like doing it, to be honest. I like showing men what it’s like to really be afraid.
posted by mark k at 10:44 PM on May 20 [8 favorites]


On one hand I hated this because I give myself permission not to read (or watch anything) depicting sexual assault or rape because I live that reality. I think men should read those stories and that most (all?) women don't need another reminder of Bad Things That Are Stastically Likely to Happen to Us. So around the point when I decided to stop reading before he assaults her or something the tables turn and I wanted to be relieved, and I guess I was, kinda, but the whole thing made me feel shitty and not amused like I think I was meant to be?

I've never been able to enjoy the rape revenge stories because I can't watch violence/gore without feeling like I'm going to pass out; but oddly, when I used to walk around more in sketchier parts of Seattle in the evening my way of being alert was to imagine absolutely pulverizing any guy who would try to touch me in vivid, castrating detail. Maybe this story was the author's way of preparing herself for the sense of dread in the back of her mind whenever she meets a strange man off the internet. Regardless, it left me feeling unhappy for making me worry about the author when I initially thought was non fiction and I wish I hadn't read it.

Oh, I never got to the other hand from the start of my comment: on the other hand, I wish this was nonfiction and I hope she never gets caught.
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 10:46 PM on May 20 [10 favorites]


Psycho man kills woman. We all agree, sick. Psycho woman kills man. Oh! All cool. Totally justified. About time.
I do not get it and I won't. Where is simple humanity?


Uhhhhck. Yes, no one should kill anyone. We all understand that. But the truth is, women worry themselves sick every time they meet a guy that they will be raped, killed, both, or worse. And there is no equivalent dating fear for most straight cis men. So for once, there was a story where I thought it was going to be the same cautionary tale that ends terribly for the woman, and it was flipped. I'm apparently a person with no humanity because a post I assumed was all-too real, suddenly was revealed as fiction.
posted by greermahoney at 10:49 PM on May 20 [30 favorites]


And to those talking about whether she's a psychopath, I'm reminded about the arguments on the politics threads about whether it's okay to punch a nazi like Richard Spencer and have to admit that I think in both cases (being a nazi/being a rapist) they got what they were asking for.
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 10:50 PM on May 20 [7 favorites]


"Men are worried women will laugh at them. Women are worried men will kill them."
posted by loquacious at 10:53 PM on May 20 [15 favorites]


I mean, you get to the end and it was... fine, and it came from a good place and all that but it wasn't, like, brilliant, and you can't help but feel that if it had been on The Toast it would have been so much better, and as you're thinking all this, you suddenly see it, with a freezing chill...

thoughtcatalog
posted by ominous_paws at 11:24 PM on May 20 [12 favorites]


I liked the story, but then I was kind of traumatized by a user name appearing in this thread which made me think of people being poisoned with blowgun darts and dying slowly via asphyxiation due to paralysis of the diaphragm.
posted by XMLicious at 11:26 PM on May 20


when social conventions betray the norm; but we are ultimately responsible for our own actions.

1. don't be that idiot
2. our choices define us
3. rules vary by gender - common sense
4. chaos causes randomness - shit happens
posted by locidot at 12:22 AM on May 21


I once met in person someone I met online, way back in the before-tinder time. She claimed to have lost a lot of weight recently, and to be fair, I made the same claim. We each traded a single recent pic, and based upon that, as well as sarcasm and wit and a lot of mutual pop-culture favorites, I agreed to share my apartment for a week, or to pay for her hotel for a week if things did not work out. I insisted her Mom and (terrifying to this day, even tho he likes me) step-Dad have my address and both mobile and land line.

When I picked her up at the airport, she was significantly more attractive than advertised. She must have not have noticed that I was 10 lbs heavier than I claimed, as we were making fun of a recent superhero movie we were both disappointed in.

We had a magnificent dinner, and a long walk along the sea-shore while complaining about movies we both hated. I invited her back to my place to watch a very nice bootleg copy of Rankin & Bass' "The Hobbit" and well...

Dear Reader, I married her! Going on a decade now. No. Regrets.
posted by Slap*Happy at 12:56 AM on May 21 [40 favorites]


Thanks for sharing this warning.
#UpdatingTinderProfilePics
posted by ambrosen at 2:04 AM on May 21


I read the story because I noticed there were already 50+ comments here about it. I noticed the warning before reading, so I was on guard from the first sentence on.

It was an okay read at 2am Pacific zone - and it got better at the midpoint. Not at the surprise of "and then I fucking killed him" ( didn't see that coming ) but at the realization, just two paragraphs below, that she's done this before "I always go for the side and make sure I get it in deep, the long way".

That one additional word, "always" was the gut-punch for me.

Two surprises in one story by the author, when I expected none - good work, writer. Well delivered.
posted by seawallrunner at 2:36 AM on May 21 [4 favorites]


glonous keming: (a) I had missed that detail! Nice. (b) Your username is amazing.
posted by XtinaS at 3:04 AM on May 21 [1 favorite]


I'm glad someone finally had the courage to point out that serial murder is wrong. Perhaps now the mefite copy cat killings will end and those of us who date women will feel safe once again.
posted by eotvos at 4:32 AM on May 21 [52 favorites]


I found the piece funny. Then I found the comments on Metafilter even funnier. "I don't understand why people think this is funny!" Hello, gender flip this story and it's half our entertainment landscape. I've never understood the sick fascination with serial killers. "Oh, but Hannibal's not REALLY about that! It's about the complex cinematography and sophisticated food metaphors." Yeah.
posted by rikschell at 4:59 AM on May 21 [17 favorites]


The cool thing is that it is BOTH a gender-flipped serial killer parody AND AT THE SAME TIME a pointed piece on the different levels of danger involved between men and women in something as "simple" and universal as dating. Like, we're horrified, but we're also kind of rooting for the gal, and that makes us horrified again, but we're also horrified at the potential for what the guy might have done and by then the only thing left to do is laugh because what can you do?
posted by rikschell at 5:04 AM on May 21 [15 favorites]


On a less snarky note, I really appreciate the fact that the author chose not to make the guy actually do anything demonstrably evil. He's just a skeevy dude giving off bad vibes and making people feel uncomfortable. (Which is shitty, but probably wouldn't convince a typical jury that he had it coming.) As much as a I love stories and songs on this theme, they too often trip over themselves trying to make sure the hero's actions are objectively justifiable. This version is a lot more interesting than socially acceptable self defense.

Also, coming into this cold with no knowledge of the author and having no idea this was fiction, both twists absolutely worked for me. This was great.
posted by eotvos at 5:07 AM on May 21 [10 favorites]


It made me laugh.

The set-up is perfect. There are hints of where it is going that are really only noticeable in hindsight. Otherwise, it nails the beginning of so many of these tales.

As I started to read, I began to feel angry for the author. I could imagine exactly where this was going: This man was going to rape her. He would leave after, content in having proved his masculinity; she would be haunted and have no recourse. I could imagine what would happen to a woman who tried to report being raped by a man she met on Tinder and invited over. He was about to commit the "perfect" crime.

So when she killed him, I let out a surprised snicker. When it turned out that she was actually a female serial killer - a woman who serially victimizes men, so far without consequence - I snickered again. And then I read the comments by men who don't get it or don't think it's "nice" and snickered some more.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 5:17 AM on May 21 [35 favorites]


> "Old habit I picked up from Mefi: mentally swapping the story genders to see if it's still a good story. Yeah, not so much."

This is not always a great or useful technique when examining a story that is specifically about gender issues, for the same reason that, say, picturing an all-white production of "A Raisin In The Sun" and realizing it would be a pretty terrible idea is not necessarily indicative of the quality of the play as originally conceived.
posted by kyrademon at 5:31 AM on May 21 [56 favorites]


"Old habit I picked up from Mefi: mentally swapping the story genders to see if it's still a good story.

Yeah, not so much."


My understanding of the usefulness of mentally gender swapping a story is to use it to check if the characters and plot are conforming to tired gender stereotypes that are passing unnoticed because they're so ingrained in our culture. It's a useful tool, but using it as a Good Story / Bad Story checkbox can miss a lot of nuance - gender neutrality is not always the goal. Especially in this case, where the whole story is built around (wildly) violating gendered plot and character expectations.
posted by Secret Sparrow at 5:39 AM on May 21 [19 favorites]


Jinx
posted by Secret Sparrow at 5:39 AM on May 21 [6 favorites]


She gave him a chance to show sexually predatory intent. Had he eased back, perhaps he would have left, sexually frustrated but alive and none the wiser. (That is assuming that she is the “fucking superhero” who only kills those she judges to be creeps.) Then perhaps, years later, he'd hear somewhere about some bro disappearing near that apartment and realise that that's the same one he went to. Perhaps by then the narrator's definition of a creep would have broadened considerably.
posted by acb at 6:30 AM on May 21


I invited her back to my place to watch a very nice bootleg copy of Rankin & Bass' "The Hobbit" and well... Dear Reader, I married her!

Your story pleases us. Much better that awful other one, yesssss.
posted by rokusan at 7:34 AM on May 21 [2 favorites]


eotvos: The way you put that reminded me a little of the differences between Hit Girl in the Kickass comic-book where she straight-up murders her way through a cast of hundreds, and the movie adaptation where they wimped out and always made sure to have her victims do the "last minute attack the hero so the hero can kill them guilt free" thing.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 7:52 AM on May 21 [3 favorites]


To me it was funny because I was so afraid she was going to be raped that I was relieved that she's actually just a Dexter-type-serial killer.
posted by TheLateGreatAbrahamLincoln at 9:21 AM on May 21 [3 favorites]


This reminded me some of the Misandrist Lullabies post we had a few years back (RIP The Toast). This didn't make me literally LOL like those did (do, still), but I like it and appreciate the setup and twist.
posted by rtha at 9:26 AM on May 21 [6 favorites]


Hello, gender flip this story and it's half our entertainment landscape. I've never understood the sick fascination with serial killers.

I don't understand it either, and hate that stuff. This included.
posted by bongo_x at 9:30 AM on May 21 [1 favorite]


I read this in the midst of being run out of an online community that I've been a member of for twenty years because I had the temerity to suggest that maybe we could do something about the institutional misogyny that plagued the group. It was deeply satisfying.

I shared it with my husband, and he brayed with laughter when he got to the "so I fucking murdered him" line. Which was also deeply satisfying.
posted by KathrynT at 10:06 AM on May 21 [9 favorites]


I am reminded of Funny Games, a quite disturbing horror movie about home invasion. I HATED that movie, but I believe the point of it was that I was meant to. As I understand it, the director was trying to get us to think about why we enjoy watching other people suffer as a form of entertainment. He did this by taking things too far/straying for some of the conventions of horror movies (while sticking to other conventions quite closely).

I am also reminded of The Girl with the Dragon tattoo and other super-heroine origin stories where our heroine becomes a one women killing/revenge machine, but only after she has been horrifically raped or abused. And how, at least some of us, are OK with that kind of superhero and origin story. It was interesting that the author avoiding making the victim a clear villain, in a way that would exonerate the narrator. It made me think (again) about the trope of "women may kill as long as she has been the victim of a horrific crime."
posted by CMcG at 10:10 AM on May 21 [8 favorites]


It's like a longerform Reductress article. Loved it!
posted by Cookiebastard at 11:17 AM on May 21


And that man was ... Albert Einstein!
posted by Chitownfats at 1:04 PM on May 21 [1 favorite]


Especially in this case, where the whole story is built around (wildly) violating gendered plot and character expectations.

Except the story is so trite the only way its ever gonna get written is with this twist, which, it then follows, is why the "twist" is no surprise at all and the story is so completely "meh."
posted by WalkerWestridge at 2:33 PM on May 21


Honestly, if you read much horror at all (and I have spent many years as a slush reader at various SF/F/weird fiction venues), this isn't even a twist anymore. Honestly, this sort of reversal is about three times more common than the "normal" version in slushpiles, because every newbie author thinks "I'm so daring! I'm flipping the script!" Unless there's some really impressive descriptive writing or unique tone, I toss these in the reject pile automatically.

Hell, without the interior monologue touching on some of the actual psychological problems caused by gendered violence and cultural strictures on gender roles, this is basically just the old "alluring black widow" trope, popular in gross patriarchal horror stories since Lilith. Watch out, men! She's after your essence!

I appreciate the effort, but meh. I kind of resent that this was initially presented as if it were a factual piece; I was interested to read about gender issues and appearances and expectations and roles. I thought this piece was linked because it had some new or penetrating insight into the existing problems. The disappointment of finding out it was just a "hunter hunted" fiction story likely contributed to my negative reaction.
posted by Scattercat at 2:49 PM on May 21 [8 favorites]


Being presented as a factual piece was the unique tone.
posted by jacquilynne at 3:21 PM on May 21 [5 favorites]


This pleases me.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 3:27 PM on May 21 [1 favorite]


I read scads of creepypasta, and if I had known from the outset that this was creepypasta, it would've been mid-range at best. Part of the excellence of the story for me was the initial assumption that this was one of those factual think-pieces about Tindr (or whatever it is the youths do these days).

Plus, as TheLateGreatAbrahamLincoln pointed out, the relief of tension also contributed to this being awesome. I was absolutely waiting for this to be some sort of "heavy lesson learned" story, and was sort of girding myself to read it. I'm glad I did.
posted by XtinaS at 3:45 PM on May 21 [5 favorites]


Except the story is so trite the only way its ever gonna get written is with this twist, which, it then follows, is why the "twist" is no surprise at all and the story is so completely "meh."

It's posted to the hilariously misnamed "Thought Catalog", longtime supplier of really edgy clickbait, and there's no trace of the author anywhere else on the Internet (their social media accounts are a few months old, at the most). Wouldn't surprise me that much if this is another "creative writing" project from the internet marketing bros who gave us Rachel Brewson.
posted by effbot at 3:46 PM on May 21 [5 favorites]


I believe the bingo card is now complete.

What do we win?
posted by motty at 3:53 PM on May 21 [1 favorite]


A plate of beans. 👀
posted by XtinaS at 4:06 PM on May 21 [2 favorites]


Well I feel terribly betrayed and misled because the title made me think it was going to be about a woman who invited a male Tinder employee to interview for a position at her firm, and we were going to find out that Tinder employees have been using their internal access and face matching algorithms to comb through and find a doppelgänger who looks just like themselves, but nerdier, to use as their LinkedIn pic.
posted by XMLicious at 4:40 PM on May 21 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: just like themselves, but nerdier
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:18 PM on May 21 [1 favorite]


I liked this. It highlighted some gender biases for me. Setting it up like a typical Buzzfeed article was great. It was very easy to drop her into one of just a very small number of baskets:

I know from the headline you're going to get into trouble, but how bad, and which of the usual female foibles will be your downfall? Let's see. Oh look you're a sexy empowered lady who knows what she wa...no, wait, now you're a feeble idiot about to get raped in your own apar...

...oh.


OH.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 5:24 PM on May 21 [4 favorites]


The disappointment of finding out it was just a "hunter hunted" fiction story likely contributed to my negative reaction.

it's a joke


but after all I feel the same way about other jokes -- 'knock knock?' the disappointment of finding out that asking "who's there?" did not immediately elicit a comprehensible response likely contributed to my negative reaction. as one so often says to oneself, in life.

jokes: the worst. predictable AND confusing! how dare they.
posted by queenofbithynia at 8:57 PM on May 21 [5 favorites]


It was a short trip and I'm glad they got there quickly.
posted by some loser at 9:33 PM on May 21 [1 favorite]


So which way am I supposed to swipe again?

Up through the diaphragm, then sideways.
posted by Coventry at 5:55 AM on May 22 [6 favorites]


Honestly, if you read much horror at all (and I have spent many years as a slush reader at various SF/F/weird fiction venues), this isn't even a twist anymore. Honestly, this sort of reversal is about three times more common than the "normal" version in slushpiles, because every newbie author thinks "I'm so daring! I'm flipping the script!" Unless there's some really impressive descriptive writing or unique tone, I toss these in the reject pile automatically.

Then I guess I'm glad I don't really get too deeply into any one genre, because well-executed turns like this are almost always delightful to me. This one made me giggle when I got to it. Also, I didn't think the turn was daring so much as really surprising and entertaining.

I also never guess whodunnit, not even on Law and Order. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by lunasol at 7:25 AM on May 22 [1 favorite]


Honestly, if you read much horror at all (and I have spent many years as a slush reader at various SF/F/weird fiction venues), this isn't even a twist anymore.

I, too, am above things
posted by beerperson at 9:09 AM on May 22 [3 favorites]


Come on, it's a valid criticism from Scattercat's perspective. If anything it implies that Scattercat is more in the gutter than the rest of us, because they make their living reading this stuff.

I enjoyed the story and also found the critique interesting.
posted by Coventry at 9:17 AM on May 22


Honestly, if you read much horror at all (and I have spent many years as a slush reader at various SF/F/weird fiction venues), this isn't even a twist anymore.

Neither are:

-man becomes hero (or antihero) because his wife or girlfriend was raped and murdered
-man becomes hero (or antihero) because his mother was raped and murdered
-man becomes hero (or antihero) because his daughter was almost raped and murdered
-man who rapes and murders was ALSO raped and almost murdered!!!!!!tragic_backstory!!!!!
-man goes to space because earth is full of rapes and murders (discovers space is ALSO full of other rapes and murders)
-man becomes magician because his woodnymph friend was raped and murdered by [mythological creature]
-man finds out vengeful spirits are trapped in haunted house because that is where scantily clad lady ghosts were raped and murdered

None of those tropes have waned for even ONE MINUTE since the ancient ur-texts that contained the same plots were first recited around campfires, and yet hundreds more (thousands?) are produced every year, and their authors (or self-proclaimed auteurs) are feted and celebrated as iconoclasts who "unflinchingly" look at the gritty narrative that pervades our entire culture and 97% of our "entertainment".

So, you know, we need approximately 3 BILLION lady murderers turning the tables before we come anywhere close to "tired narrative" status that dudefeeling stories somehow always overcome, and in the time while we wait for that to happen there will be another billion "man has sad feelings because of all the graphic scenes he witnesses of women being raped and murdered" stories, so, you know, I'm not going to cry over the tiredness of THIS twist just yet.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 9:19 AM on May 22 [10 favorites]


I think this story only worked for me because it was linked from here. Which set me up to assume either "Men are horrible" or "outrage that Tindr is offensive in someway" was going to be the moral of the story and instead it delightfully didn't have a moral.
posted by Mitheral at 10:32 AM on May 22 [3 favorites]


I too would like to express an opinion about how the fact that I loath murder may or may not balance with recognizing pervasive sexism, and I look forward to the game-of-inches critique of my ideological and empathic bona fides once I reveal what I think, which is
posted by mobunited at 11:19 AM on May 22


None of those tropes have waned for even ONE MINUTE since the ancient ur-texts that contained the same plots were first recited around campfires

There's the Sumerian poem Inana and Šu-kale-tuda (𒈹𒈨𒃲𒃲𒆷?, "in-nin me-gal-gal-la", translation of text) from near the dawn of written language in which an ugly loser assistant gardener happens upon the goddess Inanna sleeping, rapes her, and spends the rest of his short life fleeing in terror as she destroys the countryside hunting him down and killing him.

Though Inana (Sumerian)/Ištar (Akkadian) was hardly typical for a goddess of mythology in her behavior:
Inana/Ištar is by far the most complex of all Mesopotamian deities, displaying contradictory, even paradoxical traits (Harris 1991; see also Bahrani 2000).

...

Inana/Ištar is equally fond of making war as she is of making love: "Battle is a feast to her" Harris 1991: 269). The warlike aspect of the goddess tends to be expressed in politically charged contexts (Leick 1994: 7) in which the goddess is praised in connection with royal power and military might. This is already visible in the Old Akkadian period, when Naram-Sin frequently invokes the "warlike Ištar" (aštar annunītum) in his inscriptions (A. Westenholz 1999: 49) and becomes more prominent in the Neo-Assyrian veneration of Inana/Ištar, whose two most important aspects in this period, namely, Ištar of Nineveh and Ištar of Arbela, were intimately linked to the person of the king (Porter 2004: 42). The warrior aspect of Inana/Ištar, which does not appear before the Old Akkadian period (Selz 2000: 34), emphasizes her masculine characteristics, whereas her sexuality is feminine.
posted by XMLicious at 12:48 PM on May 22 [3 favorites]


None of those tropes have waned for even ONE MINUTE since the ancient ur-texts that contained the same plots were first recited around campfires, and yet hundreds more (thousands?) are produced every year, and their authors (or self-proclaimed auteurs) are feted and celebrated as iconoclasts who "unflinchingly" look at the gritty narrative that pervades our entire culture and 97% of our "entertainment".

Yeah, but that still doesn't make this edgy or well written, or even surprising. Sorry.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 9:40 PM on May 22 [1 favorite]


But I was surprised, as were others. Do we just happen to be especially thick?
posted by obiwanwasabi at 11:02 PM on May 22 [1 favorite]


Yeah, but that still doesn't make this edgy or well written, or even surprising. Sorry.

Well, since that wasn't remotely my point, there is no need to be sorry! You are arguing with a conceit that I did not imply even once!

Demanding the works of women to be "edgy" or "well written" or "surprising" (and especially the demand that these terms meet your personal subjective standards, which, ha, fitting) is holding women writers to a standard that about 99% of male writers would fail, since 99% of male writers write regurgitated, tired tropes that we have all read a million times.

Guess what: even unsurprising narratives can be fun. Guess what: sometimes things aren't written for you. Guess what: it's okay to dislike things without insisting that they shouldn't exist and that anyone enjoying them is stupid and wrong.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 5:11 PM on May 23 [7 favorites]


holding women writers to a standard that about 99% of male writers would fail

And it doesn't get much more obvious than attacking a piece of copypasta for not being up to the standards of great horror writing. It's a joke.

It punches above its weight because the specific joke it makes plays our expectations that we're about to read yet another story about men terrorizing women - and therefore, has social commentary embedded within it by default. (And explicitly, here and there.) That has resonance with many members of its audience.

But for fuck's sake, no one is selling the author as the next master of horror. Sneering at it for not being something it's not even intended to be is really missing the point, and is a great example of what you're talking about.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 7:01 AM on May 26 [1 favorite]


And it doesn't get much more obvious than attacking a piece of copypasta for not being up to the standards of great horror writing. It's a joke.

There must be some signals crossed somewhere. I don't understand "copypasta", it looks like a story posted on a web site, with the authors name. It's not a horror story, it's a joke? It really doesn't come off that way to me.

It punches above its weight...
...But for fuck's sake, no one is selling the author as the next master of horror. Sneering at it for not being something it's not even intended to be is really missing the point,

I guess I don't understand what it's weight is supposed to be. It's a story. Are we treating it like it was written by a child? The about page says Lane Loomis is a horror writer. I feel like your defense is insulting the writer and selling them short.
posted by bongo_x at 11:55 AM on May 26 [1 favorite]


I mean, if you don't know what copypasta is, then you kind of don't know the genre Loomis is parodying here. Which is fine, but it means that you fundamentally don't understand the allusions she's making.

It's a riff. A lot of riffs get most of their mileage out of "I C WHAT U DID THAR" from the audience. If you do not c what she did thar, then yes, the piece will be much less enjoyable.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 12:00 PM on May 26 [2 favorites]


Copypasta is the word for cut&paste text and in some circles has come to refer to urban legends spread across the internet, usually presented as something a family member or friend experienced to achieve the required distance. I've mostly heard creepypasta for the latter, though. These days I've mostly seen the terms used as insults in non-creepypasta specific sites. The assumption is that copypasta is a sign of no creativity.

I wouldn't consider this creepypasta, though, because of the strong authorial voice and first person pov. It's much more like a parody/riff on the first person confessionals made most central on sites like OXOXjane, with the "it happened to me" series. Those confessionals almost always end up with something bad happening to the woman who wrote them and her learning a valuable lesson; turning that on its head and having the presumed villain actually suffer while being treated as an object - an atypical pattern in general as male characters tend to not be objectified - is a fun twist and why I personally enjoyed it (the touches of sociopathy really help too, as women tend to not be identified with that phenomena so it adds another layer).
posted by Deoridhe at 12:13 PM on May 26


I agree with Deoridhe, I didn't feel like this was riffing on creepypasta but on "it happened to me" lady-trauma confessionals.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:49 PM on May 26


I agree with Deoridhe, I didn't feel like this was riffing on creepypasta but on "it happened to me" lady-trauma confessionals.

Fair enough. I don't think it's riffing on creepypasta either - it's riffing on exactly what you say - but I think it has elements of that kind of viral storytelling.

The overall point, that it's being held to this unreasonably high standard by people who feel defensive about its content, is what's important.

It's not a horror story, it's a joke? It really doesn't come off that way to me.

If you don't get what it's riffing, that doesn't mean it's bad. It's pretty obvious to me and many others in this thread.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 6:40 AM on May 27


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