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Nikki Craft: American Activist
April 9, 2006 1:30 PM   Subscribe

Nikki Craft : American Activist ; "I start by skinning Torrie..."
posted by mischief (123 comments total)

 
I'm not an expert, but I think that she might be schizo-affective. At least
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:42 PM on April 9, 2006


I don't get it. However, that "skinning Torrie" link deserves an NSFW - even though there are no images, the text alone is enough to trigger many workplace filters.
posted by deadmessenger at 1:44 PM on April 9, 2006


ObBestOfTheWeb?Snark
posted by aspo at 2:14 PM on April 9, 2006


Note that the "skinning Torie" line is what Craft is protesting, not what she wrote.
posted by swell at 2:17 PM on April 9, 2006


I think the protest against American Psycho was extraordinarily stupid and misguided, but on the whole I admired the heck out of people like Nikki Craft. The use of the web by activists like her is really inspiring to me.
posted by jayder at 2:32 PM on April 9, 2006


I don't know of the American Psycho protest, but I know that the parts of the book that I read were pretty horrifying, and yet the Terri Baxter protest, and her comments on it, just strike me as extraordinarily stupid and misguided. It seems she isn't so interested in changing minds as either being an asshole or a martyr appreciated only by people who already agree with her. What a wank.
posted by Bugbread at 2:43 PM on April 9, 2006


Mayor Curley, where do you get the schizo-affective stuff? Ms. Craft seems eminently rational and level-headed to me. Yes, the Bret Ellis page is written in quite strident language, but if you survey more than one of her works, you will see the woman is anything but crazy.

I read through some of the stuff on her site, and found this piece fascinating, about her work to put a child molester in the naturist movement behind bars (warning, it's PDF, from her site "Nudist Hall of Shame"): Busting Mr. Short-Eyes.
posted by jayder at 2:47 PM on April 9, 2006


Working Short-Eyes link
posted by mischief at 2:53 PM on April 9, 2006


American Psycho, in my view, was a really powerful critique of American culture; a vicious parody of the emptiness of narcissistic young urban professionals; and a satirical criticism of consumeristic excess. It parodied yuppies, hyper-consumers, and status-obsessed superficiality. American Psycho is a critique of the very attitudes that Terry Baxter and Nikki Craft are imputing to Ellis.

In short, they missed the point.
posted by jayder at 2:55 PM on April 9, 2006


She certainly didn't appreciate being linked to.
April 9, 2006 NOTE: METAFILTER VISITORS. There is inaccurate information on your site. One of your members has posted that I said "I start by skinning Torrie.." with a link to my site. Thanks for all the visitors, however I did not say that. Bret Easton Ellis did in American Psycho and that quote is taken from his book in a review written by Steven Hill. It's a complete misrepresentation and I'm sure it is not the first time that has happened on METAFILTER, or that that unethical user has had to resort to lies to misrepresent someone he can't get above board. Too bad if you fall for it without being more thorough in your own fact checking. Probably just one of those nudist pedophiles all upset the feddies are comin' to get em. : ) Please tell your administrators to correct the lie. Have a great day. Nikki Craft
I have found there is no easier way to get a website to comply with your wishes than to publicly accuse them of habitual inaccuracy, a lack of rigor in fact-checking and top it off with a musing that a member is a child molester.

I wish Ms. Craft well in her future endeavors.
posted by illovich at 3:41 PM on April 9, 2006


Why are the stupidest and most ignorant the most vocal and dedicated?
posted by Falconetti at 3:42 PM on April 9, 2006


Although I did not attribute the quote to Ms. Craft, I have no problem attaching "- BE Ellis" to make that clear.
posted by mischief at 3:46 PM on April 9, 2006


Okay, having seen that "note to Metafilter visitors," I take back what I said about her not being schizo. : )
posted by jayder at 3:54 PM on April 9, 2006


Bret Easton Ellis : "It's a complete misrepresentation and I'm sure it is not the first time that has happened on METAFILTER"

I certainly doubt that's true.
posted by Bugbread at 3:59 PM on April 9, 2006


I guess it depends on what the meaning of "that" is.
posted by jayder at 4:04 PM on April 9, 2006


bugbread, are you attributing Nikki Craft's silly rantings to Bret Easton Ellis?
posted by mullacc at 4:06 PM on April 9, 2006


Nikki Craft : "bugbread, are you attributing Nikki Craft's silly rantings to Bret Easton Ellis?"

Of course not.
posted by Bugbread at 4:16 PM on April 9, 2006


bugbread writes "Bret Easton Ellis : 'It's a complete misrepresentation and I'm sure it is not the first time that has happened on METAFILTER'"

Maybe I'm stupid, can you explain what this means? I thought that : "Quote" implies that said "quote." That doesn't make sense in the case, obviously.

So, why put BE Ellis' name in front of the quote? Are you trying to say that Nikki craft is accusing Metafilter of misquoting her in a similar way that Craft herself misrepresents Ellis' work?

posted by mullacc at 4:22 PM on April 9, 2006


Whoops, that should read: I thought that [Name] : "Quote" implies that [Name] said "quote."

I tried to use the arrows around "Name" before, and I guess it was interpreted as an html tag. Sorry.
posted by mullacc at 4:24 PM on April 9, 2006


Note to "Mischief" and MetaFilter system operator, or whoever can correct this error:

The metafilter page reads:
"Nikki Craft : American Activist ; "I start by skinning Torrie..." posted by mischief (14 comments total) [!]"

I'm not sure what literary guidelines you use, Mischief, but from what I know when there are words within quotation marks beside a person's name that attributes the quote to that person. If not, then please educate me about how I am misreading what you have done here. If so, then you have falsely attributed a quote to me and it needs to be changed at the original entry to read accurately that it is a quote by Bret Easton Ellis in American Psycho. The only relevance I have to that quote is that I have, along with many others, protested it, which btw, is my right. Thanks for correcting this factual misrepresentation. Nikki Craft
posted by NikkiCraft at 4:26 PM on April 9, 2006


Mullac: I was hoping that my attribution of your comment as being said by Nikki Craft would give it away, but: It was a joke. Apparently, not a funny one. Nikki Craft was upset at a quote by Bret Easton Ellis being apparently attributed to her, so I attributed a quote from her to Bret Easton Ellis while saying that I didn't think that misattribution happened on MetaFilter.
posted by Bugbread at 4:27 PM on April 9, 2006


I used a semicolon not a comma.
posted by mischief at 4:27 PM on April 9, 2006


*head spins*

It probably was funny, I'm just slow today.
posted by mullacc at 4:28 PM on April 9, 2006


NikkiCraft: Your crique of style is irrelevant - everything is cleared up if you just bother to click the link associated with the Ellis quote.
posted by mullacc at 4:31 PM on April 9, 2006


NikkiCraft : "I'm not sure what literary guidelines you use, Mischief, but from what I know when there are words within quotation marks beside a person's name that attributes the quote to that person."

That's because you haven't been introduced to the wonderful world of summary quotes
^_^
posted by Bugbread at 4:31 PM on April 9, 2006


Nikki: Mischief can't edit a post once posted. The admin (or co-admin) can, but generally don't read all threads. So I've posted a request to them in the admin area. If the admin or co-admin are asleep or outside or on the way to work, it may take a while for the change to happen, but since mischief is cool with the syntax being changed, it'll probably happen, given a little time.
posted by Bugbread at 4:40 PM on April 9, 2006


NikkiCraft: And, presumably, mischief is linking to your site because he finds your work interesting. Even if he wanted to attack your work, it would absurd to think he would try to do it by attributing Ellis' work to you. You'd probably do yourself a great deal of service by politely requesting that the post be clarified rather than attacking mischief as "unethical."
posted by mullacc at 4:40 PM on April 9, 2006


Note to "Mischief" and MetaFilter system operator, or whoever can correct this error:

The metafilter page reads:
"Nikki Craft : American Activist ; "I start by skinning Torrie..." posted by mischief (14 comments total) [!]"


So did you add that quote before "Nikki" or did it get edited?
posted by hototogisu at 4:42 PM on April 9, 2006


As this FPP is currently phrased, any reasonable person is going to think that Nikki Craft said "I start by skinning Torrie", unless they already have specific knowledge of the subject. Ms. Craft is correct that it's a misleading summary.

The complaint on her page is offensive and inflammatory, but she is right.
posted by Malor at 4:42 PM on April 9, 2006


The only people capable of misinterpreting the link after reading the link can't read to begin with--her "NOTE: METAFILTER VISITORS" is pretty fucking obnoxious, too.
posted by hototogisu at 4:48 PM on April 9, 2006


If I remember my Santa Cruz history correctly, Ms. Craft was instrumental in decriminalizing nudity on Santa Cruz beaches. As a result I owe her a debt for many pleasant hours I've spent baking in the sun. She's apparently an old school anti-patriarchy feminist and maybe a bit different but society really does oppress and fear women so maybe we're the ones who are crazy.
posted by rdr at 4:49 PM on April 9, 2006


Where is the "NOTE: METAFILTER VISITORS"? I don't see it...is this a problem with my local cache?
posted by Bugbread at 4:51 PM on April 9, 2006


Yes, do a refresh of http://www.nikkicraft.com/ and you will see it at the very top.
posted by jayder at 4:52 PM on April 9, 2006


It's at the top of the first and third links.
posted by hototogisu at 4:53 PM on April 9, 2006


I don't know about you guys, but I didn't assume the "skinning Torrie" quote was something that Nikki had said. I just assumed that it had something to do with the content being linked to, which it did.
posted by Afroblanco at 4:56 PM on April 9, 2006


Ah, never mind, refreshed my cache, and it appeared.

While Nikki Craft is right that the quote does appear to indicate she said it, and her request to have the syntax changed is one with merit, I have to say that her particular way of phrasing her complaint and casting aspersions on mischief's motives smacks of the actions of an exhibitionist coprophile.
posted by Bugbread at 4:57 PM on April 9, 2006


I also think that, although American Psycho can be a difficult read (I had to skip some parts, and I have a pretty strong stomach), it's safe to say that Ms. Craft missed the entire point of the novel.

I'd hate to see what would happen if someone gave her a copy of A Modest Proposal.
posted by Afroblanco at 5:02 PM on April 9, 2006


WHY WOULD ANYONE WRITE THIS BOOK?
WHY WOULD ANYONE PRINT THIS BOOK?
WHY WOULD ANYONE READ THIS BOOK?
WHY WOULD ANYONE SELL THIS BOOK?
Why would anyone isolate the most disturbingly graphic bits of this book and publish them context-free on the Web?
posted by flabdablet at 5:04 PM on April 9, 2006


I did not assume that the quoted phrase about "skinning Torrie" was one uttered by Ms. Craft. I don't understand her hostility over the FPP, but I do understand that being new to MeFi (which I assume she is) she may not understand that it's something of a convention here for FPPs to be cryptic and require clicking of the links to understand what the FPP is about.

(I think it would be cool if Ms. Craft sticks around and becomes a contributor here.)
posted by jayder at 5:06 PM on April 9, 2006


I'm a world-class idiot for assuming she is new here. Sorry.
posted by jayder at 5:06 PM on April 9, 2006


My exact question. If they are as dangerous and offensive as she indicates ("Perhaps most destructively, Ellis writes long passages that begin as sexual turn-ons for male heterosexual readers, and end in a bloody orgy of murder and torture. This subconsciously conditions the reader to experience sexuality linked with brutal, sexual violence."; "The FBI says a woman is raped once every six minutes in this country, and many more rapes go unreported. How many more women must be raped before we as a society refuse to tolerate woman-hating literature like American Psycho and other forms of pornography?"), why on earth reprint the most brutal sections?
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:09 PM on April 9, 2006


Nikki Craft: Your complaints are being discussed here in MetaTalk.

That being said, you should take a deep breath and understand our readership and membership tends to be a lot more literate and critically minded then the average internet user.

It looks as though few people if any have mistakenly attributed the American Psycho quote as yours. Most of us probably understand the meaning of a semicolon.

And also: welcome.
posted by loquacious at 5:10 PM on April 9, 2006


Color me an idiot as well. I forgot about this thread, probably for good reasons. Argh.
posted by loquacious at 5:12 PM on April 9, 2006


Loq: I already linked up above to the MetaTalk thread, but your link was clearer. I'd forgotten the other thread, so I figured she wouldn't know what MetaTalk was, and avoided the phrase. Oops.
posted by Bugbread at 5:21 PM on April 9, 2006


She lost me at "Amerikkka".
posted by Cookiebastard at 5:26 PM on April 9, 2006


I read it the same way Craft did - hence my earlier comment. This is a "look at the loon" post, the title is "Nikki Craft:American Activist" (the title can be read as a play on the title of the Ellis novel), and the quote is clearly attributed to her.
posted by swell at 5:27 PM on April 9, 2006


============
Hi,
I've been on Metafilter twice. One day to clear up a situation around a (btw) now convicted child rapist who posted misrepresentation about me and what I have posted here now and that's it. A few hours on this website over a year is not near enough time to understand the ropes and I have nooo idea what this website is or how things operate, but in my two days here I am aware that there are some intelligent and savvy and really funny people here. Also some really rational ones who truly care about the facts emerging who do their research, I might add. Why ya'll would waste your time this way is beyond me :)...but the fact remains I don't think you are dunces by any means.

When I first saw this skinning quote beside my name there were only the first three replies ("swell" had not posted the one clarifying it was not my quote) and I didn't realize I still had this account (which one of the administrators opened for me when this last situation from last year happened), so I requested my password be sent to me so I could write my reply directly instead of on my own pages (as I did with the previous situation) as I did in the first place.

Lastly, it *is* unethical to attribute to someone a quote about skinning another person; and in fact, it's even unethical to defend this type of misrepresentation. It's especially disgusting in light of the most recent developments at Duke where the racist white athlete talked in email of skinning the black strippers alive and even more abusive to attribute it to an anti-violence activist, as is the presentation of it, with no context beyond the misrepresentation, to the general readers on metafilter. That's how it stands now regardless of Mischief's actual intent. So maybe he just doesn't know, maybe that is how it's done on Metafilter and I just don't understand, and he simply linked to the sites because he found it of interest or liked my websites. If so, then it still needs to be fixed and thanks to whoever can facilitate that. I appreciate it. Nikki Craft

P.S. Thanks Swell. I just saw your latest post and of COURSE the quote is being attributed to me.
posted by NikkiCraft at 5:46 PM on April 9, 2006


I guess it wouldn't help much if I posted a link to my own novel, huh?
posted by localroger at 5:47 PM on April 9, 2006


That's how it stands now regardless of Mischief's actual intent

Except that no, no it doesn't. Your bizarre sanctimony is more than a bit much.
posted by hototogisu at 5:51 PM on April 9, 2006


if he had used a colon, you'd have a valid argument. but he used a semicolon, and therefore it's plainly obvious that he's not attributing that quote to you.

but boy, i sure wish mischief hadn't stirred up the one-woman hornet's nest that is NikkiCraft. oof!
posted by Hat Maui at 5:51 PM on April 9, 2006


Nikki, why do you skin people?
posted by ori at 5:52 PM on April 9, 2006


I've always said if there were books I truly wanted my kids to read, I'd get on TV protesting and trying to get those books banned from their school and library.
posted by surplus at 5:55 PM on April 9, 2006


I'm sure ellis would thank you for the free publicity, mebee you could protest the Misfits song by the same name? It could use some exposure, old as it is. Thanks. Maybe some good old fasioned book burnings are just what we need right now, it being a Bush administration, you know? Hey, lets just censor everything we don't like, while we're at it. That southpark show just annoys me to death. You know those 'dumb' people out there, they'll do anything they read about. Let's ban some movies while we're at it.........
posted by IronLizard at 6:02 PM on April 9, 2006


The book, but primarily the movie, were criticized as exploitative and suggestive in Canada after the Bernardo killings in the early '90s, as Bernardo used the book as inspiration for his stylized videotaped rapes and murders, and he pretty much (tried) to fit the role of Patrick Bateman.

I will say that I had the most visceral response to the book that I've ever had while reading, and the acts described were things that my (previously) innocent mind had never considered, but anyone who thinks that Bernardo, or anyone else capable of rape and murder wouldn't commit those acts but for the book is insane. They may well be influenced in their method (style?), but I can't see how Ellis's depictions could possibly convince a non-rapist/murderer to cross that line. You either are the kind of person who would enjoy bursting eyeballs with lighters or not, I don't think you can come around to it via the power of suggestion.

Also, in terms of the plot, brutal murders and torture of men is also described in detail, and the plot of the novel focuses on the murder of a man. He's not a "sexual killer" but an equal opportunity killer whose killing's include a sexual dimension when they involve women. If that makes sense. That's not obvious from the linked passages, and is pretty significant when discussing the book I think.

I'd also agree with those that say that the novel is one of the best pieces of recent fiction, and that Ellis is one of the best writers of the last 20 years. It was a very well written novel, and the movie didn't do it justice. I get the feeling that people often make their judgements about it and Ellis based on the movie and not the book (which, ironically, is far more graphic and difficult to handle). The movie was more thriller and murder mystery than social commentary or psychological examination.
posted by loquax at 6:03 PM on April 9, 2006


I linked to your websites, NC, because I think you have an interesting perspective.

A semicolon separates independent statements, and further, anyone reading the novel review on your site would realize immediately that you are not the author of what I quoted. As I indicated upthread, I have no problem with a moderator revising my original post.
posted by mischief at 6:06 PM on April 9, 2006


I wanted Metafilter to be conscious while I was torturing it, so I waited until early afternoon, EST. First I started editing the front page HTML source, inserting random CSS and XML tags, deleting others, my hard-on bobbing gleefully on the backspace key. Its once-elegant navigation bar was now replaced with a splattered mess of unclosed tags and broken links, and grotesque lines of text jutted out awkwardly where once were elegantly aligned paragraph. The blue background gave way to a non-standard brown that probably renderred incorrectly on macs, looking like the earthenware pottary section of the Pottary Barn catalogue, until finally I replaced it with an animated GIF of an elephant urinating.
posted by ori at 6:09 PM on April 9, 2006


What swell said. I knew it wasn't a quote from her only because I knew Nikki Craft was a feminist activist. Without that knowledge, I probably would have thought it was indeed quoting her.

Also, judging by some of mischief's past posts, I'd guess that his motivation in posting this was indeed probably something along the lines of "HUR HUR LOOK AT THE CRAZY FEMINIST". Maybe I assume too much, but I just don't think somebody with pro-feminist beliefs would, in a thread about the Duke lacrosse team rape scandal, incessantly talk about how strippers rip people off and basically go out of his way to find the most favorable interpretation possible for the accused team members.
posted by a louis wain cat at 6:09 PM on April 9, 2006


Now you're here, Nikki, would you mind terribly much addressing my question?

It's a serious inquiry. I truly don't understand what you hope to gain by publicizing - nay, republishing! - the exact content you're objecting to.

I for one had not read American Psycho and had not intended to do so; but now you've exposed me to all the gory bits, I feel bound to go and buy it in order to understand the context: I find it difficult to believe that anybody would have taken Ellis seriously as an author if the stuff you've lifted is all that was in the novel.

I'm sure I'm not the only person in this position. It seems to me you're actually doing Ellis a favour with your site, and I don't understand why you'd choose to do that.
posted by flabdablet at 6:16 PM on April 9, 2006


Having just posted that, I see mischief's latest post here. Eh, maybe I was wrong, but "an interesting perspective" can be taken a couple of different ways...
posted by a louis wain cat at 6:17 PM on April 9, 2006


I have no idea who anybody is but what i initially gleaned from a look at the post up there that it was something to do with a female american cannibal who is a combination of Andrea Dworkin and Sawney Beane , which is of course incorrect.
So it's a misleading post.
posted by sgt.serenity at 6:20 PM on April 9, 2006


I'm going to go out on a limb here.

Disclaimer:
I'm against book burnings, etc. I dismiss Nikki Craft due to the age of the book and my expectation she will have any affect on her declared enemy, whatever that is.

That said, 2 questions:

1) Anyone have a really weird friend who likes that book? A really really wierd friend? Books like that are a magnet to smart imbalanced people.

But I don't think the book has made him any more dangerous.

2) Would you agree there's a strata of acceptability for violence against women in different media?

- in a book
- in a movie: maybe a bit less acceptable
- in a TV series: less acceptable, but snuff-spatter is kind of an untested market
- in music: even less acceptable, despite the demonstrated commercial market for ha ha slap some hos violence
posted by surplus at 6:30 PM on April 9, 2006


"I have no problem with a moderator revising my original post." posted by mischief

thanks mischief. I appreciate it. Nikki
posted by NikkiCraft at 6:31 PM on April 9, 2006


alwc: If you reread that thread, you will see that I was trying to describe the difference between a stripper and an escort as well as establish a credible chain of events given what was reported as fact. Nowhere in that thread did I say anything, nor even imply, that the lacrosse team is innocent; I don't think they are.

Generally speaking, I don't follow these sex scandals, but this time, I caught one from the very beginning and the evolution of how this issue has been reported (and blogged) fascinates me, especially how the press has been misrepresenting the escort industry.
posted by mischief at 6:31 PM on April 9, 2006


I guess it wouldn't help much if I posted a link to my own novel, huh?

Attribute authorship to Bret Easton Ellis and you'll be just fine.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:37 PM on April 9, 2006


Ms. Craft, while you're with us on Metafilter, I hope you will answer a couple of questions I've had:

(1) Why do you think that Bret Ellis's depiction of violence against women constitutes approval of such violence?

(2) Do you accept that Ellis may have intended his depictions of violence against women as a critique of American society or culture, and did not endorse such violence in any way?

(3) Is it your position that there should not be ANY depiction of violence against women in literary works?

I ask these things because I am largely in agreement with your views; for example, but I think you're absolutely wrong about Ellis's novel---as I said above, I think American Psycho is a critique, not an endorsement, of the attitudes you are attributing to him.
posted by jayder at 6:47 PM on April 9, 2006


I have a couple of questions too, more about the style and tone of the protest than the content:

(1) In what way do you feel that adding animated blood-underlining increases the effectiveness of your protest?

(2) I personally feel that using phrases like "Amerikkka" reduces your target audience to those who are already - at least potentially - somewhat sympathetic to your position. Was this your intent?

(3) I feel in both cases that the tone of your protest is pushed closer to an appeal-to-emotion rather than an appeal-to-reason, which for me substantially decreases its effect, but I might well not be the target audience of the protest. Who did you have in mind when you were writing it?
posted by Jon Mitchell at 7:24 PM on April 9, 2006


mischief: Okay, re-reading it with your explanation in mind, I think I see what you were trying to do a bit better. (I still don't agree with a lot of it, but that's beside the point.) I think it might have helped if you posted something like what you did here when you started out in that thread, as I wasn't the only one there who read it as a defense of the lacrosse team, but I get now that that's not what you intended. Thanks for clarifying.

And with that, hopefully mathowie or jessamyn will be along to revise the post soon so this particular tangent can be put to bed...
posted by a louis wain cat at 7:29 PM on April 9, 2006


I haven't clicked on any of the links and have never heard of Nikki Craft, so here are my thoughts as an impartial observer:

1. I did assume the quoted words were being attributed to Nikki Craft.

2. I also assumed that "Torrie" referred to Tori Spelling. For some reason.
posted by mmoncur at 7:36 PM on April 9, 2006


(2) Do you accept that Ellis may have intended his depictions of violence against women as a critique of American society or culture, and did not endorse such violence in any way?

yes, in the lamest, most overbearing manner possible ... can anyone really say that the portrait of an all-american yuppie as a mass murderer was that insightful?

seems to me that if the context of these descriptions of murders was really compelling, it would have gotten more attention than the blood and the gore

i'd say that ellis failed at what he was trying to do, except that i strongly suspect that his real goal was to piss a lot of people off by shocking them

ironic, isn't it, that nikki craft's action in the bookstore had the same result? ... in protesting his book, she furthered his goal ...
posted by pyramid termite at 7:37 PM on April 9, 2006


You know, Nikki is one of those people on the web who (like the Timecube guy) you can always go visit when you want to be amused by someone crazy.

When I saw the post here I was wondering if I should comment about how sanctimonious, confrontational and flat out whacky she is... but then like magic she showed up and made the point all by herself.

"Why are the stupidest and most ignorant the most vocal and dedicated?"

Their feelings of outrage are all they have to live for. Being a victim, or being the defender of victims, is the only self definition they posses.

p.s. of course anyone who doesn't agree with her is clearly a pedophile.
posted by soulhuntre at 7:49 PM on April 9, 2006


pyramid termite, did you read the book in question>
posted by jayder at 7:56 PM on April 9, 2006


pyramid termite, did you read the book in question

yes
posted by pyramid termite at 7:59 PM on April 9, 2006


Fair enough. But the following statement,

seems to me that if the context of these descriptions of murders was really compelling, it would have gotten more attention than the blood and the gore

neglects the fact that media discussion of any cultural or literary work always focuses on the sensationalistic aspects ("women are dismembered in this book!") and slights the subtle, literary aspects of the work. You write as though pop-cultural, media reaction to the book is somehow conclusive of the literary merits of the book, which I think is absurd.

In my view, the fact that the violence in the book got all the attention, and the literary merits of the book got none, is not at all conclusive of the book's merits.
posted by jayder at 8:10 PM on April 9, 2006


Hurray for Pyramid Termite. I read a good part of American
Psycho when it came out before tossing it aside in disgust. Far from a clever critique of Reagan's America, it was a sophomoric but very calculated piece of writing. "I know, I will make my character a status seeking Yuppie psycho killer! The critics will love me!" The character was grossly unbelievable. It still would have been a critical triumph if Ellis had not indulged in all the murderous sexual sadism that he mistook for satire. Ironically, in a book written entirely for literary critics, he forgot the humorlessness of the feminists who make up such a large portion of those critics. He was hoist by his own petard, and it was beautiful.
posted by LarryC at 8:10 PM on April 9, 2006


The post is de facto misleading, even if it oughtn't be. That is to say, the semicolon does make all the difference and a correct reading would be aware that there was no attribution. However, if it confused a lot of people then it confused a lot of people. It was confusing.

"p.s. of course anyone who doesn't agree with her is clearly a pedophile."

Her note to mefites was certainly astonishing. She's pretty quick to assume a great deal of malice.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:15 PM on April 9, 2006


alwc: Perhaps if the DA was not such an obvious noob about dealing with the media, I could have sounded less defensive about the jocks. Allow me then to toss this out and maybe balance my observations.

Today's revelation that the accuser arrived at the house obviously injured does not mean that the party attendees did not hurt her further. How much more callous would that paint the accused if they attacked a woman who was already suffering?
posted by mischief at 8:27 PM on April 9, 2006


LarryC writes "The character was grossly unbelievable."

The character struck me as very believable. I feel like I'm surrounded by Batemans on a daily basis (I work on Wall Street); in fact, we use the term "Bateman" to describe the bankers that are trying really hard to look like "bankers." That we conveniently ignore the serial-killer implications of this comparison probably makes it even more appropriate. Of course, I don't think any of my colleagues are killers, but I think Ellis' decision to take the character that way made it an interesting work.
posted by mullacc at 8:34 PM on April 9, 2006


Ironically, in a book written entirely for literary critics, he forgot the humorlessness of the feminists who make up such a large portion of those critics. He was hoist by his own petard, and it was beautiful.

Okay, so, his critics are humorless, but you still loved seeing him "hoist by his own petard"? Your logic seems questionable here. Maybe you're kind of like a rubbernecker at traffic accidents---you just like seeing carnage?
posted by jayder at 8:35 PM on April 9, 2006


I read the book. Nikki is wrong.


and spoilt.
posted by bonaldi at 8:48 PM on April 9, 2006


I think it's also worth mentioning that Ellis wrote a book called Glamorama, which completely skewers the fashion/modeling industry.
posted by Afroblanco at 9:04 PM on April 9, 2006


You write as though pop-cultural, media reaction to the book is somehow conclusive of the literary merits of the book, which I think is absurd.

change "you write" to "ellis wrote" and i think you've summed up my view quite well
posted by pyramid termite at 9:05 PM on April 9, 2006


I saw the movie and didn't overly object. The book, on the other hand, had too much 80's twaddle in it. I've already lived through it - reliving it in prose? Bugger that for a game of soldiers.

On the other hand, Nikki Craft makes me want to read it aloud on the bus. I think I'll start with the linked quotes then go to the book, for context. Because context is important.
posted by Sparx at 9:11 PM on April 9, 2006


oh, for the love....

Okay, I know I'm far too late coming into this thread, but it hasn't been said yet and I feel it's fairly obvious and important even if no ones paying attention anymore.

Regardless of the syntax and organization of the original post, and what it may make the casual reader think initially, anyone who follows those links will immediately understand that she did not say those things.

Q: If they don't follow the links, what chance do they have of ever remembering the post and thus attributing that quote to Nikki Craft?

A: NULL.
posted by Parannoyed at 12:04 AM on April 10, 2006


What an unfortunate derail. The finer points of punctuation / attribution & a long-dead debate over the virtues (or otherwise) of American Psycho. Ho-hum.

Nice, however, to see moomintrolls get a look in :)
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:29 AM on April 10, 2006


I don't give a damn about Ellis and I think this was a pretty poorly constructed post, but what I really can't understand is the animus against Nikki. What the hell, people? Is it really so pathetic and misguided to be outraged at child molesters and violence against women? Are we all supposed to be too cool for that? Yes, she goes a little over the top and her graphic sense leaves something to be desired, but is it using classy typefaces and layout really the most important thing in life?

Nikki, I'm glad you're taking it so well; try not to let the asshattery get to you. It comes with the territory, unfortunately.
posted by languagehat at 6:58 AM on April 10, 2006


Nikki is our new Todd Lokken.
posted by beth at 7:25 AM on April 10, 2006


It is possible to question her criticisms without simply being a dick. I think her stance her is incredibly misconceived. Had she simply criticisized the book for being mediocre satire, I wouldn't have had a complaint, but she presents it as a dangerous pornographic fantasy that feeds into violence toward women. I find this stance gallingly simplistic and feel it does a disservice to actual violence against women, which is neither literary not satiric, and to the arts, because it suggests that if you approach a sensitie subject in any way but with a socially approved sense of anguish, you're feeding into the problem.

The arts are more complex than that, and Ellis's cartoon fantasy of Yuppie mass murderers is no more responsible for violence toward women than Wylie E. Coyote is responsible for an increase in anvil-based accidents. Of course, Ms. Craft is free to dislike the book, free to criticize it, free not to buy it, and free to suggests others do as well -- I would suggest doing the same with the music of Billy Joel, because it is likewise crappy art. But to suggest that the book should be boycotted because it might cause violence toward women -- while quoting the offending passages, free of context, on your own Web page -- is downright bizarre.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:33 AM on April 10, 2006


languagehat : "what I really can't understand is the animus against Nikki...Yes, she goes a little over the top"

I know you don't agree (and I don't particularly think she deserves it, either), but I'm surprised that you're surprised. If she'd only aimed the invective at Ellis, I doubt people would have gotten their backs up, but when she says of mischief "Probably just one of those nudist pedophiles all upset the feddies are comin' to get em", it is probably seen as a slap in the face, not only of mischief, but of anyone who read mischief's post and didn't think the original Ellis quote was from Nikki. Strictly speaking, Nikki didn't accuse me of being a nudist pedophile, but it certainly felt that way.

Now, it's not like she got me all riled up with that. It's not like she knows me or anything. It's just an offhand insult on the internet, like saying folks live in their parents' basements, or masturbate to tubgirl. However, the people who are exhibiting animus against Nikki don't seem to be getting deeply riled up, either, but just tossing internet insults back.

Plus, you have a contingent of folks who read American Psycho and found it to be a critique of a certain mentality. When there's a link to someone who criticizes the book for exhibiting a mentality that said MeFite thinks the book is actually written in opposition to, then you're going to have some friction. If the subject of the link comes to MeFi, then that friction will be even more overt.

So, put those two together, and I'm actually pleasantly surprised at how little animus there is. I was predicting quite a bit more.
posted by Bugbread at 7:43 AM on April 10, 2006


The best way to lose an argument is to overstate your case.

Using appeals to emotion are classic overstatements.

Understanding the point of American Psycho is key to understanding the ridicule being showered upon Nikki. It is exploration of taboo which appears to have all of you a twitter.

I like taboo. It makes me feel all tingly.
posted by daq at 8:06 AM on April 10, 2006


...and her graphic sense leaves something to be desired, but is it using classy typefaces and layout really the most important thing in life?

Hardly, languagehat, but they do matter for presentation. You don't fill out a job application with crayon or pink marker, and you don't show up to a corporate job interview in a sweatsuit—no matter how goddam great your resume is and how well-qualified you are for the job.

And if all you've got around the house is crayons, well, you ask someone with a nice pen to give you a hand.

I'm not saying that this should undermine her content or her work (though I do disagree, regardless, with the basic construction of the quotes-page; high on drama, low on argument), but people do react to the superficial dressing of the people and ideas they encounter. If they didn't, we wouldn't have a thread worrying about whether or not a quote was misattributed here, because the matter would be resolved with a simple click on the link, which is what one does with web content.

There have got to be a few sympathetic geeks with slightly better design sense who would be happy to dress up her content in somewhat less confidence-sapping html.
posted by cortex at 8:16 AM on April 10, 2006


"what I really can't understand is the animus against Nikki...Yes, she goes a little over the top"

I don't consider her a little over the top - I consider her seriously off the point and lost in her own sense of drama. Finding her arguments weak, her vitriol misplaced and her logic nonexistent doesn't make one a supporter of violence towards women. Conversely that her cause (ending violence towards women) is a good one adds nothing to compensate for the flaws.

There are people like Nikki who need and want an enemy to rail against and who look for signs of vast oppression in everything about them all over the net. She happened to land on "feminism" but could as easily be screaming about alien abduction (and the government cover up) or NSA mind control rays.
posted by soulhuntre at 9:15 AM on April 10, 2006


For what it's worth, I have a real respect for Ellis. American Psycho is only the second book (After Maldoror) that was just too much for me. I made it further through Psycho, but ultimately just couldn't finish it. The first half was unbearably boring, and the second unbearably grotesque--I think it works as a critique of the 20th century, WWII, the banality of evil, &c. just as well as of Wall Street.

That said, while I like feminists a lot, it does seema little silly to post the gory bits on the web and to abuse metafilter...
posted by Squid Voltaire at 11:38 AM on April 10, 2006


She calls pornographers "mass murderers of women". Her primary target is not child-molesters and rapists, it's pornographers.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:14 PM on April 10, 2006


Speaking of Maldoror - It's over 100 years old. Presumably, it's now public doman. However, I can't find it anywhere online, except in French. Is it that the original is public domain, but all the translations are newer and thus covered by copyright?
posted by Bugbread at 12:30 PM on April 10, 2006


I think it was done better in Profit, but I enjoy a good campy bad guy.
posted by graventy at 12:37 PM on April 10, 2006


bugbread--
I found from selections from it, but I can't find the full thing online, either. Maybe I'm too superstitious about the thing, or maybe once I read another five pages I would all fall apart somehow, but where I stopped reading it seemed like a truly evil text... And that's pretty cool, really.
posted by Squid Voltaire at 2:12 PM on April 10, 2006


The movie was more thriller and murder mystery than social commentary or psychological examination.

I disagree. The movie, if anything, captured more elegantly the decadent and paradoxical lifestyle that Bateman embodied. Most of the violence in the movie was merely implied, but that did nothing to lessen its impact. Moreover, I'm not sure why one would call it a "murder mystery", unless something like, say, "The Telltale Heart" is a murder mystery (which seems strange to say).


The character was grossly unbelievable. It still would have been a critical triumph if Ellis had not indulged in all the murderous sexual sadism that he mistook for satire.

It's not clear to me that the novel would have succeeded without the violence. I'd have to think about that some more, though.
posted by voltairemodern at 2:45 PM on April 10, 2006


I'm probably not interested in her opinion of Nabokov either.
posted by xod at 3:11 PM on April 10, 2006


Odd that Ms. Craft would pop up here to demand correction of the phrasing of the FPP, but when we raise sincere questions about her ideas and activism, she doesn't bother answering.
posted by jayder at 3:45 PM on April 10, 2006


jayder : "Odd that Ms. Craft would pop up here to demand correction of the phrasing of the FPP, but when we raise sincere questions about her ideas and activism, she doesn't bother answering."

Doesn't seem so odd to me. She came here to request the correction of what she took to be (right or wrong) a misquote, not to discuss or defend her views. If she was arguing her viewpoint here, but ignoring questions about her ideas or activism, that would be strange. But that's not the situation.
posted by Bugbread at 4:15 PM on April 10, 2006


bugbread: Okay, that's a good point.
posted by jayder at 4:31 PM on April 10, 2006


"She calls pornographers 'mass murderers of women'. Her primary target is not child-molesters and rapists, it's pornographers." written by "Ethereal Bligh"

The fact that convicted child pornographers, molesters and rapists are my most important priority/target is more than established by decades of my political work.

http://www.nudisthallofshame.info
http://www.nostatusquo.com/ACLU/Porn/KGWP1.html

Can you provide a citation for the claim you have made?

--Nikki Craft
posted by NikkiCraft at 4:46 PM on April 10, 2006


Ah, now we've broached the wall of quote discussion and entered idea discussion.

I don't really know who your primary target is.
However,
If you consider child molestors to be child molestors, and
If you consider rapists to be rapists, and
If you consider pornographers to be mass murderers, and
If you consider mass murder worse than rape or child molestation,
Then it would seem likely that your primary target would be pornographers, and not child-molestors or rapists.

However,
If you have multiple primary targets,
Then it could be all three.

So I understand EB's interpretation, and I understand yours.
posted by Bugbread at 4:59 PM on April 10, 2006


I disagree. The movie, if anything, captured more elegantly the decadent and paradoxical lifestyle that Bateman embodied.

Really? I thought the movie did a much worse job of depicting that (understandably, given Bateman's tendency to elaborate about every detail of that life as part of an internal monologue).

Most of the violence in the movie was merely implied, but that did nothing to lessen its impact.


I strongly disagree. I'm fairly desensitized to violence these days, but I could barely stomach reading some of the book. I had friends who had to stop at the first (and tamest) murder (of the homeless man and his dog) and were terrified of how the movie would depict it, ultimately shrugging it off with comments along the lines of "that's it? A stabbing? That's like every movie murder I've ever seen." The movie was obviously still violent, but nothing like the book, if you ask me. Read through the parts quoted on the linked page - does the movie really convey the absolutely brutal and filthy sexual torture described in the book? His "cannibalism" is barely touched upon in the film also.

Moreover, I'm not sure why one would call it a "murder mystery", unless something like, say, "The Telltale Heart" is a murder mystery (which seems strange to say).

Maybe that's a bad word for it, but the movie was certainly more plot driven than the book, and skipped over large sections of introspection and dialogue in favour of the more action-packed scenes. In the book, the Paul Allen murder and the detective's visit don't occur until the last third of the story, in the movie, it happens in the first 15 minutes or so. I've had friends who have seen the movie and their only thought is pretty much "so did he really kill those people or what?"
posted by loquax at 5:25 PM on April 10, 2006


"She calls pornographers 'mass murderers of women'. Her primary target is not child-molesters and rapists, it's pornographers." written by "Ethereal Bligh"

Ethereal, provide a citation for this claim please.
posted by NikkiCraft at 5:50 PM on April 10, 2006


Ethereal claims I call "pornographers "mass murderers of women". Where?
posted by NikkiCraft at 5:52 PM on April 10, 2006


You know, Nikki, I don't think EB is sitting reloading this thread every minute or two and racing to reply to you. Perhaps if you gave him more than two minutes? Or even more than an hour and three minutes.

unless you gots campaigning to do, and be all busy and stuff. in which case keep posting every couple of minutes until he answers.
posted by bonaldi at 6:44 PM on April 10, 2006


You decry fascism on the horizon, but how can you be blind to the same tyranny implicit in pornography? Pornography, most often, dehumanizes women. It reduces us to fethishized objects and provides a blueprint and support network for men who commit acts of sexual terrorism. And you, fully aware of the media's powers to mold mass consciousness, still ask us for proof that these images cause prejudice and violence against us.

Listen! There are atrocities being committed in your own backyards. Read the casualty lists! The names appear by the thousands in eroticized, pornographized newspaper articles: every day, women taken away, one by one by one by one. The torture chamber is not Dachau or Auschwitz. It may be the closet in a house across the street or the windowless van in front of you on the highway. Yet you can look, with that most disgusting smirk, at images of the eroticized and glorified torture, lean back in your easy chair, cross your legs and ever so rationally speculate: "But you know some women want that."
- From here.

I haven't been able to find you using the exact phrase EB accused you of uttering, but I did get curious and poke around all your sites (some of which were really interesting, honestly, and surprisingly, to me at least). You really are quite committed and passionate, and although I don't agree with much of what you say, and how you say it, I agree with more of it than I thought.

That being said, I don't think it's a stretch to read between the lines and come to the conclusion that you do, in fact, equate pornographers with mass murderers. You often refer to killers of women (like Marc Lepine, among others) as having been influenced by pornography, and have written at length at the violence you believe is inflicted upon women as a direct result of pornographic materials, in very strong terms. I think one could be excused if they inferred that you believed that pornographers were therefore directly responsible for these womens deaths. Rhetoric like that I quoted above adds to that perception, like the comparison to Dachau and Auschwitz, and the use of the term "sexual terrorism", which you also reference in many other articles.

This is not to condemn you, only that EB's characterization of your beliefs is probably fair judging by your writings, even assuming that you never actually said "pornographers are mass murderers" in so many words.
posted by loquax at 7:09 PM on April 10, 2006


She may be on to something. When I watched Boobie Bondage last week, I followed it with a tri-state murder spree of comely co-eds.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:09 PM on April 10, 2006


Nikki - since you're here: how on earth did you manage to read American Psycho as anything other than a condemnation of the very societal ills you campaign against? I mean, it's a book that very obviously, arguably ham-fistedly, condemns the very same things that you condemn. You have read all of it, I assume, not just the gory bits?
posted by jack_mo at 8:09 PM on April 10, 2006


jack_mo, I don't think she's going to answer us. I asked something similar yesterday. No reply.
posted by jayder at 8:58 PM on April 10, 2006


Nikki - since you're here: how on earth did you manage to read American Psycho as anything other than a condemnation of the very societal ills you campaign against?

Probably because (lookign at her writing) she honestly, truly thinks that that book accurately reflects how most men look at most women.

Like several other outspoken extreme / radical feminists the level of contempt they hold for men is almost without limit.
posted by soulhuntre at 9:58 PM on April 10, 2006


I just went on a trek through Craft's websites looking for the cite that she has asked from me. I couldn't find it. I have a pretty strong memory of the quote, but since I cannot find a citation I'll retract my statement.

I will assert, however, that pornography is Craft's main target, with molestation and rape being symptoms of the misogyny most clearly and pervasively expressed as pornography.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:34 AM on April 11, 2006


Ethereal, Previously in this thread I wrote it several times because I got to thinking the earlier versions were not written clearly enough to know specifically what I was requesting that you clarify; not because I expected an immediate response.

Of *course* you can't find where I wrote "pornographers which was: "She calls pornographers "mass murderers of women", which btw you notice you did put in quotation marks, because I _never_ said it. And I never did claim that a criitique of pornography was not a priority of mine; sexual predation is the priority and where pornography is part of that you better believe it's the target. So what? (snore)

That's a far cry from what you initially wrote:

"She calls pornographers "mass murderers of women". Her primary target is not child-molesters and rapists, it's pornographers."

You're wrong. plain and simple and you can't back up what you claimed either.

First misquoted on the front page of MetaFilter, with no correction, then continually misrepresented and misquoted to further vilify (Manhater? oh foooh.) on this page. Sure tells a great deal about this forum, but not much about me. --Nikki Craft
posted by NikkiCraft at 1:50 PM on April 12, 2006


Correction:

Of *course* you can't find where I wrote "She calls pornographers "mass murderers of women"--which btw you notice you did put in quotation marks--because I _never_ said it. And I never did claim that a criitique of pornography was not a priority of mine; sexual predation is the priority and where pornography is part of that you better believe it's the target. So what? (snore) Nikki
posted by NikkiCraft at 2:00 PM on April 12, 2006


Well, it may tell you a great deal about a few members of the forum, but if you're willing to generalize that to the whole of Metafilter's membership, you've shot whatever righteous credibility you had.
posted by cortex at 2:11 PM on April 12, 2006


I was not generalizing about all members. The fact that it remained uncorrected on the front page says it about the forum, not the forum users specifically, numerous who advised that it should be changed. It would have been quite easy to correct that entry for clear accuracy, and even the author apparently agreed. I've gotten a few really nice emails from a MetaFilter users who visited my sites, and there have been some incisive comments made by numerous members, but that it was never changed no the front page? You better believe it says more about the forum than it does about me. It's not my quote. Nikki Craft
posted by NikkiCraft at 2:48 PM on April 12, 2006


Nikki, numerous members also disagreed, respectfully, with your interpretation of the post as a damaging and unambiguous misattribution. I don't know that I said as much in the original thread, but I'm one of them—it didn't even occur to me to think that the quote belonged to you.

And regardless, the forum is a greater whole than the sum of Matt's editorial actions (or elections not to act); it is the sum of the many, many users who populate it and give it life. And so you cannot excuse yourself from generalizing about all members when you speak about the forum.
posted by cortex at 2:53 PM on April 12, 2006


Nikki, if you're still reading, do you have any comment on my comment here?

To me, it essentially establishes that you do consider pornographers guilty (at the very least implicitly) of "sexual terrorism" and, essentially, mass murder.
posted by loquax at 2:58 PM on April 12, 2006


"You're wrong. plain and simple and you can't back up what you claimed either."

I'm wrong about my retraction? Or did you not notice that part? Or am I wrong about porn being your primary target? You can say that this isn't true, and of course you'd know best, but I'm not sure I'd believe you. Your websites seem to indicate a preoccupation with porn and media stunts like the Esquire incident.

There's a lot of folks, of which I am one, who work here and there in practical ways to combat misogyny, such as volunteering at rape crisis centers, like I have. Then there's the people who think helping other women is getting their name in the paper.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:57 PM on April 12, 2006


"Your websites seem to indicate a preoccupation with porn and media stunts like the Esquire incident."

Haha. A preoccupation with porn? I'd say there's many more on the net that have a much bigger preoccupation with pornography than I do, eh? ; )

If you are using Esquire to bolster your position it doesn't, in fact it counters your original statement because Esquire is not pornography, that issue was about men owning their wives.

I said you were wrong plain and simple about your original quote. I never said such a thing and it wasn't accurate either. Nikki Craft
posted by NikkiCraft at 9:23 PM on April 15, 2006


Are you ever going to answer loquax, Nikki?
posted by bonaldi at 10:05 AM on April 16, 2006


NikkiCraft writes "I said you were wrong plain and simple about your original quote."

Yes, and EB has retracted that statement, so we're past that point.
posted by Bugbread at 11:27 AM on April 16, 2006


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