Skip

ANTM star and model blogs domestic violence
January 6, 2008 9:19 AM   Subscribe

Elyse Sewell blogs domestic abuse in her Livejournal. Previously. Think you had a shitty weekend? Nah. Why not compare it to mine? . . . On the drive home (home?) from Albuquerque to Portland, my ex-boyfriend got sh*tfaced and roughed me up in a Sacramento hotel. I escaped from the room through a blitzkrieg of violence and talked to hotel security, who called the fuzz.

Frankly I'm not even sure I should be posting this but in her journal comments Elyse has said that she understands she has posted to a public forum and doesn't want to be able to pretend it didn't happen. Over the weekend Elyse's now-ex-boyfriend, Marty Crandall of The Shins, was arrested for domestic violence against Elyse in a hotel room; his time in jail can be followed here (enter the name Martin Crandall). Elyse was arrested as well (her journal notes that she bit him in self defense and he demanded her arrest) but her parents posted bail. Her livejournal entry recounts the incident in her normal dry, mordant style, noting that her jailers recognized her from America's Next Top Model. There are a few press reports, too, mostly citing to the livejournal site.

Is there a clear downside for Elyse in livejournaling this, as long as everything she says in her comments is true? My first instinct (and other commenters as well) was to suggest she take the post down in case it was used as evidence, but on the other hand as long as it is true could it actually hurt her in court?
posted by onlyconnect (180 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Man, I remember her from ANTM. I liked her a lot. I thought she was going to be a doctor.
posted by spec80 at 9:28 AM on January 6, 2008


my first instinct...was to suggest she take the post down in case it was used as evidence...

oh, the internet still remembers things even after they're taken down.

also, dtmfa.
posted by bruce at 9:35 AM on January 6, 2008


I thought she was going to be a doctor.

She ended up being a model.
posted by smackfu at 9:37 AM on January 6, 2008


I think there are some details missing in her account. Even the worst cops don't say "arrest the woman just because we can, and let the man go free" while on a domestic violence call.

Also, the "Now I am a felon" bit is probably exaggeration. Unless the courts move very fast in California and she kept the omission theme going and didn't mention the trial.

Lastly, there probably a few victims of domestic violence in my city last night. Why should I care more about this person? Oh, I know:

Cuz she was on the TeeVee!
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:37 AM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Mayor Curley, perhaps you could put together a post about the victims of domestic violence in your city.
posted by transona5 at 9:39 AM on January 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


They are (of course) talking about this on the Televisionwitoutpity America's Next Top Model forum (what - I live in Kiev and don't speak Russian - not a lot to do on a Sunday night!) and she popped in there as well to say that she'll be OK.

How strange it is to witness this thing that's unfolding between two people who I don't know, and only feel like I have some knowledge of via seeing Shins shows and watching my guilty pleasure tv show. I hope they both get the help they need.
posted by monkey!knife!fight! at 9:40 AM on January 6, 2008


Yet another reason why everyone on earth should hate the fucking Shins.
posted by item at 9:41 AM on January 6, 2008 [7 favorites]


then there's the square in the upperleft of her blog with asian characters and the english words "thug life". maybe if she hadn't glorified this culture and dated someone with thug attributes, she wouldn't be facing charges.
posted by bruce at 9:41 AM on January 6, 2008


Someone in the Shins has thug attributes?
posted by Roman Graves at 9:44 AM on January 6, 2008 [8 favorites]


Wincing the night away, indeed. Awful, awful stuff.
posted by porn in the woods at 9:44 AM on January 6, 2008


I think there are some details missing in her account. Even the worst cops don't say "arrest the woman just because we can, and let the man go free" while on a domestic violence call.

Wrong, Mayor Curley. As the post notes, Marty had injuries from where Elyse bit him in self-defense. Since he had injuries from Elyse, he was within his rights to claim domestic violence as well and let the facts get sorted out at trial. The cops don't know it was in self defense if they weren't there.

On the felon point, she notes later in her comments that she won't be a felon unless she is convicted, and she doesn't go to court for a few days. So yes, she is not actually currently a felon, just has charges pending.
posted by onlyconnect at 9:45 AM on January 6, 2008


Um, bruce, setting aside the specious connection between her silly icon and the "thug life", I think you'd be hard pressed to find a less thuggish band than The Shins.

Thus, I hope my sarcasm detectors are still needing caffeine lubrication and you're making a funny.
posted by abulafa at 9:45 AM on January 6, 2008


bruce- you're kidding, right?
posted by griphus at 9:45 AM on January 6, 2008


Someone in the Shins has thug attributes?

Every boy band has a "thug."
posted by iamck at 9:46 AM on January 6, 2008


No, Mayor Curley has a point. She's already done a reality show. Some people get off on being marginal "stars" and her blogging about her drama seems like an extension of that same desperation to be famous, who cares what for.
posted by 45moore45 at 9:47 AM on January 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


Also, Mayor Curley, you're a douche as usual. 1) He didn't go free, and 2) he had a bite mark. They both had marks, they both got arrested.
posted by Roman Graves at 9:47 AM on January 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


Every boy band has a "thug."

Even the Eagles? That Don Henley always seemed a bit nasty to me...
posted by jonmc at 9:48 AM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


I just assume idiot posts are all sarcastic... it makes life easier.
posted by smackfu at 9:48 AM on January 6, 2008 [5 favorites]


The lesson here is to ensure your side of the story is the first one posted to the internet.

Wrong, Mayor Curley. As the post notes, Marty had injuries from where Elyse bit him in self-defense. Since he had injuries from Elyse, he was within his rights to claim domestic violence as well and let the facts get sorted out at trial. The cops don't know it was in self defense if they weren't there.

Whereas we do because she said so on LiveJournal.
posted by pinkbuttonanus at 9:49 AM on January 6, 2008 [5 favorites]


maybe if she hadn't glorified this culture and dated someone with thug attributes, she wouldn't be facing charges.

Nah, Bruce. I think she probably invited a beating because of what she was wearing. Also, if she hadn't talked smack, he probably wouldn't have ahd to beat her.

Let me think, let me think ... in what other way can be blame women for their own abuse? Oh yeah: She probably likes it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:51 AM on January 6, 2008 [23 favorites]


(Kneejerk Shin defense by "Garden State" soundtrack lovers.)
posted by smackfu at 9:53 AM on January 6, 2008


I don't know who this woman is and I don't much care, but presumably the icon is supposed to be an ironic comment on the fact that she's just got out of jail and isn't her usual LJ avatar?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:54 AM on January 6, 2008


I think it's weird that I cared about what happened to this person when I thought she was an anonymous blogger, but suddenly stopped caring after I found out she's a fashion model and her boyfriend is a rock star. I guess I'm biased against wealthy celebrities.
posted by MegoSteve at 9:56 AM on January 6, 2008


Wealthy? She's not Gisele and he's not Bono.
posted by smackfu at 9:58 AM on January 6, 2008


PeterMcDermott -- that's the usual icon she has. She often posts photos of mistranslations and the like. (I'm so proud that I know that... sigh...)
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:00 AM on January 6, 2008


but suddenly stopped caring after I found out she's a fashion model and her boyfriend is a rock star.

so you're commenting to impress us with how unimpressed you are?
posted by jonmc at 10:00 AM on January 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


i am unfamiliar with the shins, have no idea if they're thugs or not. i have seen a great deal of positive thug references in our culture of late, and this is something i cannot support. she made a choice to help promote and glamorize "thug life". it's the thugs who use words like "bitches" and "hos" all the time, not me. words and symbols have power, and choices have consequences. if you desire to conflate the messenger and the message and defend thug life by calling me an ass or engaging in other kneejerk feminist wankery, go right ahead, i can take it.
posted by bruce at 10:01 AM on January 6, 2008


People who are wrong always think they are being oppressed because their opinion is unpopular, not because it is stupid.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:04 AM on January 6, 2008 [14 favorites]


Bruce -- read the dang blog. She doesn't promote "thug life." She doesn't denigrate it. It just doesn't come up. It's a funny blog about modeling, travel, and street food.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:04 AM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


so you're commenting to impress us with how unimpressed you are?

Yeah, kind of like how you feel the need to comment in every thread that has anything to do with current music and tell everyone how inauthentic their taste in rock is.
posted by MegoSteve at 10:05 AM on January 6, 2008 [7 favorites]


that's the usual icon she has.

*Sigh*

Regardless of how wrong it is, it kind of invites snark, doesn't it? I wonder how Tupac's rape victim feels when she sees 'Thug Life' emblazoned all over the place?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:10 AM on January 6, 2008


Oh man, I know a girl who got arrested for domestic abuse after biting her ex-boyfriend in self defense. It didn't turn out well for her at all. This girl is rich and can afford a good lawyer, and I think most guys would drop the charges in some incidental thing like this, I don't know. But my friend's ex was a really vindictive fucker who would call the cops whenever he saw her, and actually lied repeatedly to them, making up false charges and so on, which never seemed to have any negative effect on him. It was really fucked up.

If you're ever attacked by someone do not fight back unless you're sure they're going to kill you or something.
posted by delmoi at 10:11 AM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


(fortunately my friend was only charged with a Misdemeanor, not a felony)
posted by delmoi at 10:14 AM on January 6, 2008


defend thug life by calling me an ass or engaging in other kneejerk feminist wankery

Wow.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:14 AM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


You'd imagine it's more likely that she just found the English words amusingly incongruous there in all that Chinese text. Kind of like when I'm staying with my brother and overhear Welsh couples chatting away cheerfully about something I can't understand then they use an English word - stands out in contrast.
posted by Abiezer at 10:15 AM on January 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


I don't really know if you can say she supports "thug life", she has a live journal icon with those words, it may just be that she thought that they were funny, or funny now that she has these charges pending.
posted by delmoi at 10:16 AM on January 6, 2008


i am unfamiliar with the shins, have no idea if they're thugs or not.

So why not make yourself a little more familiar with the band before you kneejerk and state with such certainty that "maybe if she hadn't glorified this culture and dated someone with thug attributes, she wouldn't be facing charges"? Or maybe you did a quick search and took this a little too literally.

Anyway: domestic violence is a crime; everyone's human and needs hugs, not bruises or bite marks (unless they like that sort of thing); these two humans may also be attention whores and there may be yet more Net and MSM coverage to come on both sides; and the case hasn't come before the courts yet, so who knows how this will shake out? But if it happened as she said it did, Marty deserves a kick somewhat higher than his shins.
posted by maudlin at 10:18 AM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


her blogging about her drama seems like an extension of that same desperation to be famous

It's LiveJournal. She's talking about her life. People talk about their lives.
posted by kittyprecious at 10:19 AM on January 6, 2008


bruce: i am unfamiliar with the shins, have no idea if they're thugs or not.

ten seconds on wikipedia nets you this: "Their sound draws on several musical genres, including pop, alternative, alternative country, and folk." Other adjectives used in the article are jangly and wistful, neither of which I've come across in gangster rap (although I admit to limited knowledge, and I'm assuming that's what you're referring to).

I agree with you about the references in pop culture, and the power of words and symbols, but this isn't about that.

on preview: dammit, maudlin!
posted by heeeraldo at 10:20 AM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


We have no idea what happened. Just because she posted it on livejournal doesn't make it true. However attacked the other person should be punished, but this isn't really anything we can do something about nor is it really our business.
posted by Justinian at 10:21 AM on January 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


However=whoever, doh
posted by Justinian at 10:22 AM on January 6, 2008


bruce: No offense, but you suffer from a severe lack of intellectual depth here. Was the "thug life" icon an ode to violent nihilism, or simply an ironic juxtaposition? Are The Shins a thug band? You don't know the answers to these questions, but you spout off as if you do.
posted by delmoi at 10:26 AM on January 6, 2008


I think there are some details missing in her account. Even the worst cops don't say "arrest the woman just because we can, and let the man go free" while on a domestic violence call.


Mayor Curley, if you read the entry more carefully, you'll see that it notes that (at the time the entry was posted) Marty (the boyfriend) was still in jail. He was arrested as well, but had not yet posted bond.
posted by tigerbelly at 10:26 AM on January 6, 2008


They aren't very cute for pop stars are they? If that guy can score a model, there's hope for us all someday.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:30 AM on January 6, 2008


Boys, no need to fight.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:31 AM on January 6, 2008


why would i care enough to research an obscure band? all i know is from her blog, which casts her assailant in a distinctly thuggish light. why would she choose those words for her logo, if not as some kind of identification with what they mean? ah yes, violent crime is fun, glamorous and exciting - right up until it happens to you.

one thing you can be sure of, if her assailant has a good lawyer, he or she will get a copy of that blog page before the jury. the strategy will be to paint them as equally at fault, and her embrace of "thug life" will not be helpful to her in court.

if you're ever attacked by someone, do not fight back unless you're sure they're going to kill you or something. or something? the problem with this is that by the time their intention to kill you is manifest, it is usually too late to fight back effectively. the thug doesn't care if you live or die, fool.
posted by bruce at 10:32 AM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


why would i care enough to research an obscure band?

Because you cared enough to comment on them, and comments should be informed.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:34 AM on January 6, 2008 [14 favorites]


So if bruce gets attacked by some nutter tonight we should feel free to ignore it because his posts on public internet forums mention "thug life", and thus was indirectly asking for it.

Yeah... to quote MXC "it all makes sense in your little world, doesn't it?"
posted by clevershark at 10:35 AM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Bruce, she's been using that icon forever. It's from one of the photos she took while working in China, and the incongruity of those words surrounded by Chinese is the point of the picture. As an above poster mentioned, she frequently posts photos of funny mistranslations. And from her blog, seems like the least thuggish person possible, as does her ex-bf. We're talking about a skinny model and emo band member for goshsakes. But clearly you've fixated on this one icon and nothing else in the story will get your trollish clutches off of it.

I wish Elyse well, she is intelligent and funny and it very much sucks that she experienced a domestic violence situation. Hopefully the support she generates from the blog post will outweight potential negative legal consequences.
posted by Mr Bunnsy at 10:39 AM on January 6, 2008


why would i care enough to research an obscure band?

I dunno, when having a conversation, people prefer that the participants have a fucking clue what the hell they're talking about. We're funny like that.
posted by jonmc at 10:39 AM on January 6, 2008 [29 favorites]


All sorts of people, doing all kinds of work, are capable of behaving violently. You might stretch this to say that they're behaving like thugs. But "thug life" and "thug" in the context of popular music has a pretty specific meaning. The Shins aren't a thug band. And any lawyer who would try to make that ironic little LJ icon some kind of evidence that she embraced the thug life would -- oh hell, he'd be a lawyer doing the best for his client, even if he got laughed out of court. And he would.

FAIL.

(On preview: changed "embraced the hug life" to "embraced the thug life".)
posted by maudlin at 10:40 AM on January 6, 2008


why would i care enough to research an obscure band? all i know is from her blog, which casts her assailant in a distinctly thuggish light.

It didn't cast him in a "thuggish" light, just said that he "got shitfaced", and that was it.
posted by delmoi at 10:41 AM on January 6, 2008


Is there a clear downside for Elyse in livejournaling this, as long as everything she says in her comments is true? My first instinct (and other commenters as well) was to suggest she take the post down in case it was used as evidence, but on the other hand as long as it is true could it actually hurt her in court?

Perhaps this would get answered if this post were listed in Ask Metafilter?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:43 AM on January 6, 2008


astro zombie, if someone physically assaults a woman, wtf difference does it make what kind of music they play? i'm a retired lawyer, businessman, judge, not a music critic. i'll have to defer to the more knowledgeable on the question of whether or not the shins are a good band.

clevershark, i mentioned "thug life" in the context of criticizing it. maybe you should have signed up as "dumbshark". don't worry about me being attacked by a nutter. there's very little violent crime where i live, because the criminals know that most of the residents have guns and will not hesitate to defend their homes with them.
posted by bruce at 10:44 AM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: Embrace the hug life
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:45 AM on January 6, 2008 [8 favorites]


We're talking about a skinny model and emo band member for goshsakes.

The shins are emo now? I think they used to be post-punk revival but their newest album sounds like what I would call "nerd rock", like the Decemberists, Arcade Fire, and so on. About as far away from the "thug" atheistic as you can get. These are people who wear suits and ties in their music videos, fer chrissake.
posted by delmoi at 10:47 AM on January 6, 2008


I have never heard of this person, her boyfriend, or the boy band of her boyfriend. It's good to be old.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:47 AM on January 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


astro zombie, if someone physically assaults a woman, wtf difference does it make what kind of music they play?

uh, you are the one who brought the whole question of 'thug life,' into the coversation, sir. But it's cute watching you backpedal.

The 'thug life' idea might have a smidgen of validity if we were talking about some gangsta rapper or death metaller here (and even then it'd be meaningless legally and morally speaking), but this guy plays 'emo,' music for whiny poorly-dressed teenagers.
posted by jonmc at 10:47 AM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


astro zombie, if someone physically assaults a woman, wtf difference does it make what kind of music they play?

No it doesn't. What does matter is that you suggested, based on one humorous mistranslation of an ideograph, that she somehow invited her beating by celebrating a culture of violence. That was a statement made in ignorance, and most people, upon being corrected, would retract it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:48 AM on January 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


astro zombie, if someone physically assaults a woman, wtf difference does it make what kind of music they play?

Um, you basically said she deserved it for dating someone who had "thug attributes" and that she glorified "thug life". You based this on thing at all, and if this is the first time he assaulted her then what "thug attributes" could he have that she should have picked up on? Certainly nothing in his music.
posted by delmoi at 10:49 AM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


This post is amazing. but not about getting hit.
posted by beerbajay at 10:50 AM on January 6, 2008


You gotta hear this one song, it'll change your life I swear.
posted by limon at 10:50 AM on January 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


She is pretty remarkably flippant about the whole thing....I don't know whether to admire or poo-poo that.


On second thought, neither. I should just point that out. I don't know how my writing voice would be if I were a woman in her position.
posted by nevercalm at 10:51 AM on January 6, 2008


Waitwaitwait - you're saying that she glorifies "thug life" because those words appear in her LJ icon among simplified Chinese characters in an image from a newspaper clipping? That's about as "thug" as the New York Times Book Review.

Actually, the Book Review may be more "thug", because their title font is Gothic.
posted by casarkos at 10:55 AM on January 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


Turns out bruce has calibrated both my sarcasm baseline and my batshitinsaneometer.

I'm sorry this person may have been assaulted and, to address the question of whether she should have blogged about it or not: the easy legal answer is "no" since counsel would always prefer to have all the cards information and statement-wise, but we're convincing ourselves it's a New World out there so this may be on par with a phone call to a family member: emotinoally necessary, somewhat corroborative, but mostly irrelevant.

Oh, and don't feed the troll.
posted by abulafa at 10:56 AM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Surely by now someone should have said 'I'd hit it' or some variant thereof."

No, that restarts the Jessamyn countdown.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:59 AM on January 6, 2008


posted by iamck Every boy band has a "thug."

Not mine. We're all complete wimps.
posted by fandango_matt at 10:59 AM on January 6, 2008


maybe you should have signed up as "dumbshark".

This is a fake post, right?
posted by ®@ at 11:04 AM on January 6, 2008


maybe you should have signed up as "dumbshark".

Wow! You're the first person to rip on the handle! Congratulations! No one's ever done that before! Actually that's usually the one line of attack on sites such as Fark. Perhaps that's the forum that's best suited for you.
posted by clevershark at 11:04 AM on January 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


but suddenly stopped caring after I found out she's a fashion model and her boyfriend is a rock star.

Because models don't hurt?
posted by cmgonzalez at 11:06 AM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Off topic, but "Because Models Don't Hurt" would have been such an excellent New Wave song that I can't even stand it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:07 AM on January 6, 2008 [10 favorites]


Is there a clear downside for Elyse in livejournaling this, as long as everything she says in her comments is true? My first instinct (and other commenters as well) was to suggest she take the post down in case it was used as evidence, but on the other hand as long as it is true could it actually hurt her in court?

IANAL, if she kept quiet a lawyer might try to argue that the bite could of been self-inflicted or from someone else (bite mark forensics is a little vague and can only be used to exclude suspects). Personally I think posting anything related to legal matter your involved in is very, very stupid, and (even if true) it can hurt her if some lawyer try to paint her as a "drama queen" that craves attention and sympathy.

I actually came across a link to this journal last night and said to myself "I can't believe someone posted this (right-click, save)".
posted by bobo123 at 11:08 AM on January 6, 2008


The cops know biting is not an offensive strategy. Unless your talking about pit bulls or vampires.

Cops often arrest a victim because by law they, when called about assault, have to observe every injury as a the result of a potential assault. It's common both people have injuries. If both people press charges sometimes they arrest both. Cops have to let the courts sort it out.

If a woman bites a man in a fight 99% of the time it HAS to be defensive. Biting is a some what instinctive reaction to being restrained or grabbed. All one has to do is examine the position and location of the bite and it is pretty easy to tell if has occurred when the bite-ee was grappling with the biter. And let me tell you outside of some fairly obscure Indonesian martial arts I have never seen ANYBODY leap across somebodies personal space to land a one-off bite and the opening salvo of a fight. I say this as a professional opinion.

In this case I bet she was either more inebriated or more physically out of control during the initial police interview so cops being cops booked her. They just want things simple. I also say this as she refers to them as "pigs." Which to me reveal a very combative state of mind. Not uncommon in domestic abuse situations as usually the male has purged his anger (on the woman) before the cops get there and men can usually put on the "What, who? Me?" act in front of the cops. And the victim is still roiling with anger and adrenaline.

While I don't give a shit about this post, this woman, her idiot boyfriend or ANTM it's obvious to me she was attacked.
posted by tkchrist at 11:10 AM on January 6, 2008 [8 favorites]


i didn't say she invited or deserved it, i suggested that some choices she made may have made it more likely something like this would happen. there's a big difference, and the people who don't understand it are not very bright, and the people who are deliberately misstating it are just liars.

i'm surprised to see such a wellspring of defensive attitudes toward thugs and thug culture. i stand by all my remarks. who is the real friend of women here, the one who denounces thugs when they assault women, or the ones leaping to their defense? the notion that a style of music is relevant to thug status is laughable, if barry manilow beat up a woman in a hotel room, i'd call him a thug too. many of the old-fashioned mafia thugs prefer opera music (from what i've heard), they're still thugs.

she put "thug life" on her logo. i say thugs are bad. no matter how many of you say thugs are cool, or harmless, or funny, or glamorous, i will not agree, and in the larger arena, not just metathugger but all of society, my side is going to win.
posted by bruce at 11:10 AM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ugh, once again, I feel the need to point out that hot girls and gross guys seem to always end up together when one or both are famous. If he's hit her before, and I'm sure he has (googling also turned up that he's cheated on her)... get away from him.

I don't know what it is about the music community that lets guys (and girls) believe that one singular talent can outweigh endless personality defects, but I for one am sick of it. Nobody should be excused for crappy relationship behavior; not actors, models, musicians, writers OR politicians.

Everybody play nice or stay the hell away from me.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 11:10 AM on January 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


Precisely the train-wreck of misconceptions and idiocy I'd predicted when I saw the headline...dangit. I wanted to be wrong :(

I learn so much about the other people here when their knees are set to "jerk instantly".
posted by batmonkey at 11:11 AM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ugh, once again, I feel the need to point out that hot girls and gross guys seem to always end up together when one or both are famous.

note to self: become famous.
posted by jonmc at 11:13 AM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Assault of women is not limited to "thugs" or those who glamorize them.
posted by casarkos at 11:15 AM on January 6, 2008


What does it say about me that my first response was to be surprised that Elyse Sewell was still together with the guy from the Shins? That's like an eternity in rock star/ model relationship terms!

I have nothing to say about this except the usual "that sucks" type stuff, along with the obvious "even guys who play jangly, country-inflected folk-pop can be abusers" things.
posted by craichead at 11:16 AM on January 6, 2008


MeTa, re: bruce.
posted by heeeraldo at 11:16 AM on January 6, 2008


No, that restarts the Jessamyn countdown.

Which is now at February 6th.
posted by jessamyn at 11:17 AM on January 6, 2008


i didn't say she invited or deserved it, i suggested that some choices she made may have made it more likely something like this would happen.

You mean "dating someone"?

i'm surprised to see such a wellspring of defensive attitudes toward thugs and thug culture.

What the hell are you talking about? No one here is "defending" 'thug culture" life, they're merely pointing out that there is no evidence that either one of the people involved were actually involved in anything like that. "Thug life" is completely tangential to the discussion here, and you are the only one who jumped to that conclusion based on an ambiguous user icon.

What you're doing here is assuming that any guy who ultimately assaults a woman is a thug. That's probably true in some sense, but there may not be any indication that the guy might do something like that before it happens. Normal, every day people do sometimes become violent when they're drunk. It happens, and it doesn't mean that the guy is some stereotypical "thug".

In fact, all of the evidence indicates that these two are intelligent, educated, people who (my guess is) just didn't think through the consequences of their actions.
posted by delmoi at 11:20 AM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Domestic violence sucks, if posting about it reminds her not to get back with him when he goes into the "honeymoon stage" then I'm quite alright about it. Good for her for not keeping it secret.
posted by konolia at 11:27 AM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


In fact, all of the evidence indicates that these two are intelligent, educated, people who (my guess is) just didn't think through the consequences of their actions.

or it's evidence that 'intelligent, educated people,' are as capable of acting like assholes as anyone else.
posted by jonmc at 11:27 AM on January 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


Cops often arrest a victim because by law they, when called about assault, have to observe every injury as a the result of a potential assault. It's common both people have injuries. If both people press charges sometimes they arrest both. Cops have to let the courts sort it out.

If a woman bites a man in a fight 99% of the time it HAS to be defensive.


That's probably true, but women can definitely get convicted for biting men.
posted by delmoi at 11:28 AM on January 6, 2008


"metathugger"
Wow...
posted by Kloryne at 11:28 AM on January 6, 2008


first thoughts....having no freakin idea who the woman was were

a. well... that sucks
b. hmmm...is there a chance this post might end up screwing with her legal case somehow

after hearing she is some reality show loser...could care less

America's Next Top Model..?

is there anyone who wants to defend why this kind of stuff is even on the air?

honestly wondering who watches this sort of thing, and is actually invested in it enough to care

yes yes beating up women is a bad thing...but I cant see this as anything but a cry for attention from someone whose 15 minutes have seemingly passed
posted by timsteil at 11:30 AM on January 6, 2008


[a few comments removed - please stop with the bruce derails and take that to MeTa, thanks.]
posted by jessamyn at 11:32 AM on January 6, 2008


Having worked with abuse victims there is no doubt a certain percentage of abuse victims repeatedly get involved with abusers as part of some deep seated psychological play-back loop. I guess you could describe that as drama.

But most do not. Most are not dating rock stars. Most victims simply get the shit beat out of them for no reason what so ever.

The only commonality I know of is that a huge majority of cases there is drug or alcohol abuse in the mix somewhere. Usually the abuser. Or both. This does not disqualify somebody from being a true victim. Nor does it abdicate the abuser from moral and legal responsibility for their actions. Nor is any of it an excuse for society to turn away.
posted by tkchrist at 11:32 AM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


after hearing she is some reality show loser...could care less

I'm pretty sure that Adrian Curry is the reality show loser now, Curry was the winner of the first season, while Sewell was the winner.

And yes, I'm embarrassed to know this.
posted by delmoi at 11:36 AM on January 6, 2008


(Ack, I mean Sewell was the Runner up)
posted by delmoi at 11:36 AM on January 6, 2008


Man, the whole thing is sad.

As an aside, I never realized he was from the Shins (he got to visit her on ANTM as a bonus) I remember thinking how much they looked alike, except he was pudgier.
posted by fermezporte at 11:40 AM on January 6, 2008


i was actually going to post this earlier but thought i would be crucified for it.
but oh man, is it just me or is her LJ kind of awesome? i mean, yes it's a livejournal, but for a model she is really entertaining and an intelligent sort of way.

these were my favorite posts:

on the hardships of modeling

and

on how hackneyed ANTM is
posted by timory at 11:44 AM on January 6, 2008


I have never heard of this person, her boyfriend, or the boy band of her boyfriend. It's good to be old.

Amen to that. It's also good to not care.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 11:50 AM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Brings to mind the Zsa Zsa Gabor incidents. Tragic.
posted by xod at 11:59 AM on January 6, 2008


astro zombie, clevershark, delmoi, for mischaracterizing my statements as suggesting that the woman invited or deserved the attack, i have just called you liars in the metatalk thread.

the people who just called me an ass, etc., i have no problem. you're certainly entitled to your opinions, keep 'em coming!
posted by bruce at 12:04 PM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Someone is crying in their livejournal. News at 11.
posted by blacklite at 12:08 PM on January 6, 2008


The 'thug life' idea might have a smidgen of validity if we were talking about some gangsta rapper or death metaller here (and even then it'd be meaningless legally and morally speaking), but this guy plays 'emo,' music for whiny poorly-dressed teenagers.

Well, it's not like gangsta rap and death metal is for well dressed adults.
posted by justgary at 12:11 PM on January 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


keep 'em coming!

Stop. Feeding. The. Idiot.
posted by joe lisboa at 12:12 PM on January 6, 2008


kittyprecious writes "It's LiveJournal. She's talking about her life. People talk about their lives."

Not real people. Bloggers.
posted by orthogonality at 12:15 PM on January 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


What teenage subgroup does dress well?
posted by delmoi at 12:16 PM on January 6, 2008



Why does everyone say "news at 11"?

It's "film at 11".
posted by wfc123 at 12:16 PM on January 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


This thread has gotten to tragicomic territory at this point. I will not take on the role of smartalecky music guy:

The shins are emo now? I think they used to be post-punk revival but their newest album sounds like what I would call "nerd rock", like the Decemberists, Arcade Fire, and so on. About as far away from the "thug" atheistic as you can get.

The Shins are not emo, and no one calls any of those bands nerd rock or post-punk. All three fall squarely under the umbrella of indie pop. I'm not sure whether or not they're atheists.

And The Shins are pretty far from obscure, what with their last album debuting at #2.

Bummer about Elyse and Marty. She seemed pretty cool from her blog, and he was always fun to watch onstage.
posted by ludwig_van at 12:21 PM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


If he's hit her before, and I'm sure he has (googling also turned up that he's cheated on her)... get away from him.

Yea, they broke up at least once before because he cheated, and she mentions in the comments on her LJ that this was not the first time he hit her. I hope, if all those allegations are true, that they do *not* get back together.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:34 PM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


jonmc writes "Even the Eagles? That Don Henley always seemed a bit nasty to me..."

It was Joe Walsh.
posted by krinklyfig at 12:55 PM on January 6, 2008


Elyse just posted a new entry to her LJ:

Hi guys! I'm feeling much better on this new day (after sleeping until noon). I've decided to heed the advice of many commenters, lawyerly types, and friends-lock my last entry about the legal foibles between me and my ex-boyfriend. You will be able to re-experience the magic after our court date (COURT!!!!!!!!!) on Tuesday, when I will unlock it.

Livejournal readers, I thank you. This blog is something I do for fun, but yesterday your comments really did help me through a shitty situation. I was so grateful for the love.

posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:58 PM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Looks like she locked the blog entry. I was able to read it an hour ago.
posted by k8t at 12:59 PM on January 6, 2008


She just locked the entry. Before she did, though, I did notice that she said (in a comment) that it was the first time he'd hurt her -- something like "It was the first. It will be the last."
posted by booksandlibretti at 12:59 PM on January 6, 2008


I think it said "it wasn't the first, it will be the last."
posted by heeeraldo at 1:01 PM on January 6, 2008


Yes, I remember reading that heeeraldo said.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:05 PM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


timsteil writes "America's Next Top Model..?

"is there anyone who wants to defend why this kind of stuff is even on the air?"


The first season of ANTM was awesome. I think they're replaying it on MTV; you should give it a chance.

timory writes "but oh man, is it just me or is her LJ kind of awesome?"

It's really good. She leads an interesting life, and discusses it with a good degree of intelligence and perspective, while totally avoiding taking herself too seriously.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:06 PM on January 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


Elyse and Marty had been together since before either one was famous, or at least long before I had ever heard of either one. I don't really know when (if ever) the Shins came into "fame," but they'd been a couple for four years before Garden State came out.

I watch ANTM because it's a very entertaining combination of reality competition, fashion, photography, and over-the-top campy humor. Elyse was my favorite in the first season. She came in third. I've always enjoyed her blog, too.
posted by lampoil at 1:06 PM on January 6, 2008


Wow, okay let me try to clear up a lot of misconceptions in this thread. My comment will probably be ignored, but at least I tried.

1.) Elise was on the first season on America's Top Model. On the show she was at constant odds with the other contestants because she didn't really take modeling seriously. She was pretty, young, and slender, so she went to the casting call on a whim. Before, she had plans to go to med school, which was what she'd stated she'd do if modeling failed. One of my favorite scenes is where she's explaining to the judging panel that she's attractive based on good genes and facial symmetry, which left the judges agog.

2.) Elyse has found the most professional success of all the ANTM contestants, and has been traveling overseas for at least the past 2 years. During this time, I started reading her LiveJournal blog. She would typically post photos and scans of her modeling shoots, as well as accounts of her experiences in the modeling world and traveling around Asia.

3.) The "thug life" icon is just an ironic poke both at the "Engrish" phenomenon and her own white-bread background. She's used this icon for as long as I can remember, so it's not even poking fun at her current situation.

4.) She'd been in a relationship with the Shins guy for around 7-8 years. I think they actually met before they became famous, so this isn't a case of 2 spoiled rich celebrities hooking up, but of 2 young kids both achieving success and staying in a long-term relationship (until apparently he goes nuts).

5.) As has been pointed out, The Shins are not at all a thug band at all.

Finally, I want to say, though in general modeling may not get much MeFi respect, reading her journal shows to me a young woman who's intelligent, realistic, fully aware of the superficiality of her job, but goes along with it because it's given her more money and life experiences than she would have gotten otherwise. As she's said, she can always chose to go to med school to once modeling ceases to be worthwhile.

But all of this doesn't matter. I could defend her character all day long, but I shouldn't have to. She's a young woman who's been involved in a domestic violence situation. Whether that's front-page material or not is not of my concern. What is my concern is that her situation is a serious matter, and that this thread has been derailed because people would rather spend their time attacking pop culture and each other than address the situation.

This could have been an interesting discussion on the legal issues around posting her story publicly, or on the blurring of boundaries between celebrity/fan or the public/private, or on the issues surrounding domestic violence accusations/prosecutions and the he said/she said phenomenon. But it's not, which is rather personally disappointing to me.
posted by lychee at 1:16 PM on January 6, 2008 [39 favorites]


Having worked with abuse victims there is no doubt a certain percentage of abuse victims repeatedly get involved with abusers as part of some deep seated psychological play-back loop. I guess you could describe that as drama.

But most do not.


Each of the last three women I attempted to support through hardcore domestic violence scenarios not only invited their batterer back into their lives but did so after having done all the hard work necessary to get a PFA (protection from abuse order) in court. One girl I worked with recently violated her own PFA order the following day. This means that not only was she from that point on inviting further violence onto herself but would face the very real possibility of going to jail for contempt after it happened. Judges generally do not like it when you take up their time and then go violating their orders. I'm sure you have some basis for asserting that most women do not return to their abusers but I think the attitude of family court judges here doesn't jive with that. They see the same women over and over, get sick of seeing them pretty quickly and will lock them up to let them know the court won't be used that way.

Of the women I worked with who invited their batterers back, the consequences were as follows: one woman had her batterer hole up in her house smoking crack for three days; he destroyed the place and forced her and her two year old child onto the streets. One woman had her child abducted by her batterer after inviting him back into her home and it took months to get the child back. The other one just continues to get beat up a lot, still.

Two of these three women have been intensive consumers of domestic violence services, including having been spirited thousands of miles away and placed into a special black site shelter by one agency and having received special housing subsidies and placement from another. These women consume resources like emergency rooms, social services, law enforcement and the courts as heavily as the chronically mentally ill and I think are adequately qualified as having a genuine pathology.
posted by The Straightener at 1:43 PM on January 6, 2008


The first season of ANTM was awesome. I think they're replaying it on MTV; you should give it a chance.


Really? Awesome?...I mean like wows you down to the socks because it is such compelling television? I haven't had cable since the 80's, so that whole MTV thing....not so much.

Not trying to be a dick or anything, but why in god's name should anyone who is not actually trying to be americas next top model, care about americas next top model...?

I honestly just dont get it.

From what I've seen the next top model is usually picked off a beach somewhere at about 18 years and three seconds. mostly because they can pass for 13, and somewhere, some 60 year old creep in an LA skyscraper is figuring this is the best way to make women think this is what they should look like and what they should be wearing.

With that said, I will cop to the fact that I like flipping open my latest New Yorker or whatever and seeing some tanned bimbo in a set of high heels and legs that pretty much attach to her earlobes advertising a skirt that would cost most real women a month's salary, but I also realize that

a. no one is gonna cough up that kind of money because (insert name here) is wearing it..

b. that ad is nothing more than a masturbatory fantasy for men, and has nothing to do with the way women dress on daily basis

c. these women exist for about a half a second while a shutter is snapped, then they go back to being vapid teens who couldn't manage a decent conversation.

I dont think there is enough bandwith left on the interwebs for me to fully voice my disgust with the Idols, Survivors, Apprentices, Losers, Models, or any other horrible reality tv stuff where someone gets voted off every week, or my utter disgust with the people who produce and watch same.

Sure....they're fun to look at, same way you slow down and gawk at a car wreck. But in the end these women are nothing but meat. The best might go on to be weatherfolks in small market TV, or modeling at trade shows, or get spit out the bad end of porn.

As a father with several daughters, this kind of crap and the people who purvey/consume it just tick me off to no end.

Want to impress me?....Instead of having them throw hissy fits about something before going to a commercial break for zit cream....have one of these ANTM idiots balance a checkbook live on camera.

OK...begin endless thread of how I just dont get it, and a lot of people like to watch it, and like when Ashley totally threw her dress at Britney it was so incredibly rude because she like wasn't even wearing the right shoes for it!!!!

Honestly...I would love to hear one sentient viewpoint about what ANTM or anything like it adds to our culture other than a quickly/cheaply produced show for the networks, and an hour or so of bottom feeding escapism for viewers.

seriously
posted by timsteil at 1:54 PM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Honestly...I would love to hear one sentient viewpoint about what ANTM or anything like it adds to our culture other than a quickly/cheaply produced show for the networks

It's a fun television show, and it's a reality show that has managed to remain entertaining for 9 seasons (some formats get old after one or two seasons; see: The Apprentice, Survivor). Does it need to be more? Why can't people just enjoy watching it? There are a lot of other misconceptions, about the show, models, and the modeling industry, in your comment, but I'm waiting to see if you're interested in engaging on this topic, or if you'd prefer to just foam at the mouth.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:57 PM on January 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


She seems like a sweet, bright, sensible, whimsical person who could (and may yet) write cogently and with perspective about an appallingly sad and common situation. On the other hand, whether they met before or after they got semi-famous, she's also yet another really attractive woman who fell for a self-centered asshole musician (instead of a nice nerd like me, natch) and I'm sure I speak for much of Metafilter when I say: "meh".
posted by nicwolff at 2:06 PM on January 6, 2008


I'd seen her journal before, I'm pretty sure it's been linked from here before. Not surprising, given her interesting writing and photos. This is great.

abulafa but we're convincing ourselves it's a New World out there so this may be on par with a phone call to a family member: emotinoally necessary, somewhat corroborative, but mostly irrelevant.

An excellent point that needs to be repeated. There are a lot of people, mostly born in the 80's, who blog their every thought, who update their Facebook status multiple times a day, who carry cameras and photograph every interesting thing they see. It strikes me, a child of the 70's, as odd, and I imagine it must seem far more alien to those born earlier.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 2:07 PM on January 6, 2008


I had no idea who Elyse was but am impressed that she came up with "Push Button. Get Bacon. Eat Bacon."
posted by ooga_booga at 2:07 PM on January 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


Man, it's the Sunday Afternoon of the Angry Old Men on Metafilter.
posted by mr_roboto at 2:07 PM on January 6, 2008 [5 favorites]


This is extremely not the place to debate the validity of ANTM as a cultural object.
posted by 235w103 at 2:11 PM on January 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


Honestly...I would love to hear one sentient viewpoint about what ANTM or anything like it adds to our culture other than a quickly/cheaply produced show for the networks, and an hour or so of bottom feeding escapism for viewers.

Well, as I just said, "I watch ANTM because it's a very entertaining combination of reality competition, fashion, photography, and over-the-top campy humor."

But now that I've read your comment, I realize that the real reason must be that you're smart and I'm dumb. It must be so, since I have cable and you don't. Oh, and I'm also disgusting.
posted by lampoil at 2:13 PM on January 6, 2008 [5 favorites]


I haven't had cable since the 80's

You seem pretty familiar with what's on tv, though.

these women exist for about a half a second while a shutter is snapped, then they go back to being vapid teens who couldn't manage a decent conversation.


You also know a lot of models?
posted by JanetLand at 2:16 PM on January 6, 2008


Man, is this thread some kind of beacon for people who want to embarrass themselves, or what? Does anyone want to follow timsteil and complete the hat-trick?
posted by ludwig_van at 2:23 PM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm sure I speak for much of Metafilter - me

Reading what I just wrote, this is surely the kind of formulation that when you type it you should realize you're about to be an ass. What I meant was more like "it's a shame that the same attributes that let this woman draw a lot of attention to her sad story also make it easy to forget that many women in that situation don't have the power to publicize it or the freedom to walk away".

I was at Kelley and Ping a couple of years ago when the couple next to me found a huge waterbug in their pad see yew - but they were both obviously models so no-one really cared. Still, food shouldn't have bugs in it.
posted by nicwolff at 2:23 PM on January 6, 2008


Want to impress me?....Instead of having them throw hissy fits about something before going to a commercial break for zit cream....have one of these ANTM idiots balance a checkbook live on camera.

It's too bad you're taking this position on ANTM about this post on Elyse Sewell. She, more than anyone else on ANTM, has always come off as very intelligent and well spoken, with a clear perspective about the sometimes vapid modeling industry but, at the same time, an appreciation for what the life allows her: travel, experience with different cultures, crazy situations and perks that she wouldn't otherwise ever see. She was eliminated from the show basically because she laid down some science regarding female facial features being mostly influenced by high amounts of estrogen during pregnancy and all the judges/models felt threatened that she was saying much of their "talent" was genetic and not some super skill they had learned.

I did think it was really interesting and frankly risky to blog about something that had yet to be hashed out in court. On one hand to me if everything you are saying supports your position of what happened than it seems like it could help you -- a prior consistent statement being used to rebut possible evidence of bias, inconsistent statements, etc. And I also agree with konolia, that it sounded like to some extent she wanted to document this publically almost as a way of shaming her future self not to get back together with him under any circumstances, which I think was healthy and really brave. On the other hand, who knows exactly what Marty's defense lawyer might be able to make of the blog (see e.g. this long strange conversation re the "thug life" icon), so you never know.
posted by onlyconnect at 2:29 PM on January 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


But in the end these women are nothing but meat. - timstell

And this is an even better example of something that if you find yourself typing, you should just close the window.
posted by nicwolff at 2:30 PM on January 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


I had no idea who Elyse was but am impressed that she came up with "Push Button. Get Bacon. Eat Bacon."

I doubt she came up with it—it has been on T-shirts for years.
posted by grouse at 2:35 PM on January 6, 2008


Biting is a some what instinctive reaction to being restrained or grabbed

Or if you have your ex-bf tied to a chair. Just sayin'.
posted by jsavimbi at 2:37 PM on January 6, 2008


TheStraightener These women consume resources like emergency rooms, social services, law enforcement and the courts as heavily as the chronically mentally ill and I think are adequately qualified as having a genuine pathology.

The pattern you describe is mentally ill behavior, in the same sort of way as drug addiction. I think the appropriate social response to that is a second level of womens' shelter operating on a voluntary commitment model, more like a rehab or detox clinic - ie, a woman should be able to sign herself in for a month, maybe more, of therapy, and not be easily let out. This of course raises all kinds of further questions: her home, her kids, her job, etc. Tackling the problem of domestic violence would require huge resources and political will.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 2:44 PM on January 6, 2008


onlyconnect She was eliminated from the show basically because she laid down some science regarding female facial features being mostly influenced by high amounts of estrogen during pregnancy and all the judges/models felt threatened that she was saying much of their "talent" was genetic and not some super skill they had learned.

Heh, that is absolutely awesome. I hadn't watched any "next top model" shows or much reality TV at all, but now I'll go look that up. Well not right now, I'm already late for work. Anyone got a youtube link?
posted by aeschenkarnos at 2:48 PM on January 6, 2008


Elyse explains how beauty is hormonal, near the end of this clip.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:50 PM on January 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


That was awesome, TPS, thanks (although it's at about 4:00 into the clip).
posted by grouse at 2:56 PM on January 6, 2008


I would like to thank onlyconnect for her previous thread about Elyse Sewell: since then, I have read her Live Journal with great pleasure and interest. She is bright and funny, she has a great way of looking at her surroundings, of being as the same time gross and sophisticated without being ever snob nor condescending.

Professionally, I have to admire the flowing way she uses photography and text in the LJ context and the very light touch she has in handling the comments of her readers. She is a natural at mastering the new mix of text, images and interaction that the web has brought to us. Some people here seem to dismiss her for being a model, but she is not read because she is a model, she is read because she is an interesting storyteller.

And that's what the fuss is all about: something bad happened to a successful writer and she tells her readers about it. The model part, the ANTM part and the musician part are just elements of the background but they are not the story.

She wrote once that she had been offered to quit LJ because she could better monetize her success with a blog elsewhere. She refused because she just enjoyed the LJ format. Nevertheless, I guess that's what she'll end up doing because she is so good at it. More important, she handles herself gracefully and she did it again today. Great kid. I am surprised that she ended up in an abusing relationship but I have always been surprised when it has happened to people I thought I knew. Anyway, she survived, I wish her the best and I am sure I will enjoy her stories in the near future.
posted by bru at 2:58 PM on January 6, 2008 [8 favorites]


Honestly...I would love to hear one sentient viewpoint about what ANTM or anything like it adds to our culture other than a quickly/cheaply produced show for the networks

If you cared to suspend your preconceptions about the uniformly "vapid teens" who model for a living, you could probably find an intelligent discussion of the cultural value (or lack thereof) of ANTM on Elyse's well-written blog.

On preview: What onlyconnect said.
posted by teem at 3:03 PM on January 6, 2008


Heh, thanks ThePinkSuperhero, now I'm really late for work. Interesting, but I think she either missed the point of the question or deliberately chose not to take it: the women were looking for an ego-stroking, and some acknowledgement that it takes more than beauty to be a successful model (ie, it takes self-confidence, a willingness to be looked at, indeed a certain amount of exhibitionistic desire to be looked at, willingness to work with awkward shooting schedules such as a 5am shoot in the freezing cold ocean, to maintain calm and project happiness--ie, act a part--for long periods of time under trying conditions) was what they were asking for.

I think her short lecture didn't go over the women's heads, despite that gesture; I think they clearly understood what she said, as it's rather obvious and she put it in very simple terms. They rejected it because they disliked having the obvious pointed out to them, especially when they were seeking something else. This is a lesson intelligent folks have to learn, often over and over, often bitterly.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 3:04 PM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Gold teeth and a curse for this town / were all in my mouth..."
posted by naju at 3:06 PM on January 6, 2008


I think her short lecture didn't go over the women's heads, despite that gesture; I think they clearly understood what she said, as it's rather obvious and she put it in very simple terms.

Agreed. It was a mistake on her part, if she wanted to win the contest. Of course, she's a working model now, and the winner of that season, Adrienne Curry, is married to a Brady. So....
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:08 PM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


The pattern you describe is mentally ill behavior, in the same sort of way as drug addiction.

Quite similar, yes. It's sort of surreal to sit with a battered woman in the emergency room, plying her to go to court and get the necessary paperwork to start the PFA process and you can see that she's only half listening because part of her brain is already thinking about the next time she can see her abuser. It's very much like the 2nd Step in recovery where insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result each time. Not surprisingly, many in the DV field are DV survivors themselves, much the way many in the D & A field are recovering alcoholics and addicts.
posted by The Straightener at 3:13 PM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Gold teeth and a curse for this town / were all in my mouth..."

Ha! My point exactly.
posted by ludwig_van at 3:17 PM on January 6, 2008


I'm going to pass on the rest of this thread, except to say that this: "
If you're ever attacked by someone do not fight back unless you're sure they're going to kill you or something.
" is probably one of the worst pieces of advice I have ever read.

I, personally, have always had problems ascertaining the intent of someone attacking me during the attack. Should I ask a series of questions? Are there posture or facial clues I should look for? I'm trying hard not to attack the poster here, but having been on the losing end of quite a number of martial contests... Well... I just don't think you've had the isht kicked out of you enough if you can honestly make that statement with a straight face.

Personally, my motto is stay out of the rough stuff whenever possible, but once it looks like things are inevitable, you do the best with what you have, as fast and as hard as possible, and hope you see the end of it without getting permanently injured.

I'll relurk now, and sorry if you take that personally, delmoi... It's not really about you - it's more that I would hate to have someone follow you're advice, and end up senseless on the ground with ALL of their options taken away, because they were dithering about intent, when they should have been fighting or running. Please forgive me.
posted by Cathedral at 4:21 PM on January 6, 2008


your advice, even! ARGH! I just committed my own Original Punctuation Sin!
posted by Cathedral at 4:23 PM on January 6, 2008


How the hell does this kind of guy get married? How the hell do they even get a second date?

Do men turn a certain age and just start instantly beating their spouses?
posted by tehloki at 4:25 PM on January 6, 2008


How the hell does this kind of guy get married? How the hell do they even get a second date? Do men turn a certain age and just start instantly beating their spouses?

Do you want a serious answer? It's complicated. Very, very, very complicated.

Otherwise ... it's still complicated. People aren't always attracted to people who are good for them, and people stay with people who are bad for them long after they rationally should have left. On the upside, it's damn hard in a liberal democracy to raise even the shadow of an argument in favor of domestic violence. Even the Repugs still condemn the actual act, even while pushing policies that make domestic violence much more likely.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 5:29 PM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


CAT, n.
A soft, indestructible automaton provided by nature to be kicked when things go wrong in the domestic circle.
posted by hortense at 5:41 PM on January 6, 2008


I always liked Elyse and her blog, this is really out of left field for her. But I have to say good for her for fighting back (she must weigh like 85 lbs, but it sounds like she put up a hell of a fight), for dumping him without hesitation, and for not being ashamed about it.
posted by whoaali at 5:59 PM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


ANTM is a fantastic show.

ANTM has a large audience of women ages ~13-35. This show provides some cultural perspective, advice on fashion, social guidance, experiences and life lessons. These girls, Tyra Banks especially, aren't just fashion models, they are ROLE MODELS...to literally hundreds of thousands of women.

Throughout the series the girls deal with all sorts of issues. Skin problems, illness, fears, authority, interpersonal dramas, identity changes, and myriad other challenges THAT ARE COMPLETELY RELATABLE TO YOUNG WOMEN TODAY. There was the girl who wasn't comfortable with her body. Or the one who got too drunk at the networking party. The one who was reaching for her dream against the wishes of her family. Or the one who was asked to chop her hair/fix her teeth/lose weight/gain weight/quit smoking/lighten up/be more serious. There are the naive girls, the bitches on wheels, the insecure, the mean, the charitable, the stuck-up, and on and on. They co-exist and learn from each other. A lot of them change and grow. We get to see them do that.

Before you all misconstrue this as evil reality TV fluff drama, stop and think about the audience. Many of the viewers take it seriously and really care about the girls they relate to. Think about how each one of these challenges are dealt with on the show. What does Tyra do? How are decisions made? What is the advice given? What are the judging criteria? Who "wins"?

ANTM completely impresses me because positive cultural values such as professionalism, healthiness, class and grace are encouraged, from the top down. Tyra makes it clear that being a model is more than just being pretty. She is a mother and mentor to these women, and takes the time to repeatedly explain individually what it is that can make each one of these selected girls reach their full potential. The girls are constantly judged on all of these criteria. It is reiterated over and over. Some girls learn, some don't. The ones that do go on to be successful, likeable, and beautiful–on the inside and the outside. That is what the show is about. And for many, that is what learning to be a woman is about.

You may think that TV is bad and evil and whatnot, but the truth is, many impressionable people are watching it. There's a reason why shows like this are popular. Find out why before you make mutually exclusive blanket statements.

Like some have said above, I am also saddened that this thread has turned into the same tired defenses and petty cuts. This could have been a great opportunity to start a new conversation...one about blogging, law, privacy, and how it relates to domestic violence. I would love to hear personal experiences and intelligent speculations about what could happen next for this couple, future court cases, the rights of bloggers, etc. Oh well. The ANTM marathon is on right now, and my favorite new obscure emo thug band is in my iPod, both ready to rot my brain and pervert my soul.
posted by iamkimiam at 6:16 PM on January 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


I was a mild fan of Elyse when she was on ANTM. She was intelligent and well-spoken, and really the only reason to watch the first season of the show. I was pleased and unsurprised when I heard that she'd achieved success.

I'm sorry to hear that she was victim of domestic abuse. I've been in that situation myself, and it's never easy or simple, even if it sounds like it should be. It's a situation that can probably affect just about anyone, really.

I'm glad she's friends-locked her post - it's never a good idea to comment on an unresolved court case.

(And a big WTF? to most of this thread.)
posted by kyrademon at 6:36 PM on January 6, 2008


ANTM is a fantastic show.

You only think that because you don't get a *really* fantastic show about fashion and looking good like How To Look Good Naked.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:43 PM on January 6, 2008


Tyra makes it clear that being a model is more than just being pretty.

While at the same time being clear about the fact that it *is* about being pretty and fitting into certain standards, and that you can work hard at being a model without letting what modeling is about eat you from the inside out. Tyra can be weird, overdramatic, and crazy, but I do love her.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:10 PM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


hortense CAT, n. A soft, indestructible automaton provided by nature to be kicked when things go wrong in the domestic circle.

Animal abusers, n. People whose sole function is to disprove the philosophical proposition that some possible fate exists that no-one could deserve to suffer.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 7:32 PM on January 6, 2008


for clarity: I forgot to link to Ambrose Bierce.
posted by hortense at 8:36 PM on January 6, 2008


Dang, the entry is now locked :(
posted by starscream at 10:14 PM on January 6, 2008


I'll relurk now, and sorry if you take that personally, delmoi... It's not really about you - it's more that I would hate to have someone follow you're advice, and end up senseless on the ground with ALL of their options taken away, because they were dithering about intent, when they should have been fighting or running. Please forgive me.

Thomas Junta fought back, and when his attacker died, he was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to ten years in prison. Keep in mind that according to some witnesses, Junta only struck his attacker three times.

if you are attacked, and you fight back, you can go to jail. It's not about the next 5 or 10 minutes, it's about the rest of your life. Injuries can heal.

Also, I didn't say anything about not running away.
posted by delmoi at 11:07 PM on January 6, 2008


The shins are emo now? I think they used to be post-punk revival but their newest album sounds like what I would call "nerd rock", like the Decemberists, Arcade Fire, and so on. About as far away from the "thug" atheistic as you can get.
The Shins are not emo, and no one calls any of those bands nerd rock or post-punk. All three fall squarely under the umbrella of indie pop. I'm not sure whether or not they're atheists.

Christ, I meant "aesthetic"
posted by delmoi at 11:22 PM on January 6, 2008


use the cache, luke.
posted by Hat Maui at 11:25 PM on January 6, 2008


Accepted. You didn't say anything about not running.

I stand by the rest of my comment.
posted by Cathedral at 12:45 AM on January 7, 2008


Is that dude in the photo Martin? Because I'd bite it.
posted by limnrix at 12:49 AM on January 7, 2008


Thomas Junta fought back, and when his attacker died, he was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to ten years in prison

Junta was a huge man who either started or continued a fight over a hockey game with the coach, and even if he were an innocent party attacked, he fought back so hard as to put himself, according to the court, beyond reasonable self defense; ie, he defended himself, then continued to beat the other party to the fight unconscious, leading to his death. I do not see how you can possibly extrapolate the facts of that case to a woman defending herself from domestic violence.

if you are attacked, and you fight back, you can go to jail

And if you don't, you can be killed. The worst likely outcome of fighting back is better than the worst likely outcome of not fighting back. Choose wisely, for you will choose only once.

Also, I didn't say anything about not running away.

Ah, now there is some sensible advice. :)
posted by aeschenkarnos at 3:27 AM on January 7, 2008


"But, you've won one too many fights,
Wearing all of your clothes at the same time,
Let the good times end tonight.
"

The Shins, "Girl Sailor", Wincing the Night Away
posted by omegar at 7:51 AM on January 7, 2008


I think that this is an awesome idea. See, you're not supposed to hit people. My mom totally told me that, and if, by now, that hasn't fucking sunk in for this guy, then he deserves his ass smeared. And if she bit...well...nobody bites offensively. I don't think she'll be charged with anything too serious. I say name and shame with domestic abusers. Now Mr. Shin-famous-man is going to have this hanging over his head wherever he goes, and with whoever he dates.

Just like your mom told you. I don't care who started it, you don't hit. And if you do, you face the consequences.
posted by saysthis at 9:14 AM on January 7, 2008


Even the Eagles? That Don Henley always seemed a bit nasty to me...

Actually... it was JOHN FOGERTY!!!!!!!
posted by miss lynnster at 11:25 AM on January 7, 2008


We actually *do* get "How to Look Good Naked" here in the USA - it's hosted by Carson Kressley and appears on Lifetime.
posted by batmonkey at 12:27 PM on January 7, 2008


if you are attacked, and you fight back, you can go to jail. It's not about the next 5 or 10 minutes, it's about the rest of your life. Injuries can heal.

Yes. It's good to have a stay out of jail plan.

However please don't listen to the rest of delmois advice. It's terrible. Please.

If you are small and you are attacked and you can't run -- FIGHT BACK. Pretty much over whelming evidence suggests it's your best option to survive an attack. If you are out massed by any significant amount you fight like a crazy person. Listen to me. I have been teaching fighting and self defense related skills for over a dozen years.

The average woman unarmed against the average man? Let's just say the courts do have a basic understanding of physics.

Advising people to wait and see what the capricious whim of an attacker might be... y'know, if he merely wants to maim you, torture you, or rape you... instead of just kill you... well... that is about as stupid as it gets.

Delmoi stop advising people. You could get somebody killed.
posted by tkchrist at 4:57 PM on January 7, 2008


Sometimes not attacking, staying calm, and talking the attacker down works much better than escalating things, especially when the attacker is way way bigger. It all depends.

I know this for certain.
posted by konolia at 5:10 PM on January 7, 2008


I know this for certain.

No.

If your BEING attacked you either run or fight. It's too late for talking.
posted by tkchrist at 5:25 PM on January 7, 2008


Let me rephrase that.

I know it from EXPERIENCE.
posted by konolia at 5:42 PM on January 7, 2008


Junta was a huge man who either started or continued a fight over a hockey game with the coach, and even if he were an innocent party attacked, he fought back so hard as to put himself, according to the court, beyond reasonable self defense; ie, he defended himself, then continued to beat the other party to the fight unconscious, leading to his death. I do not see how you can possibly extrapolate the facts of that case to a woman defending herself from domestic violence.

So, lets suppose you've never been in a fight in your life, and some guy comes up and attacks you. You're supposed to stay calm and collected the entire time? I don't know if Junta had been in a fight before, but given his size I'd guess not.

A lot of people say that if you're defending yourself, you have to keep going until you know the other guy isn't a threat. Well how do you know when the guy stops being a threat?

And anyway, some witnesses say he hit him just three times. That could happen in as little as two or three seconds. I don't really think it's realistic for someone to be attacked at T = 0 and be in complete control of their facilities at T = 2s.

What's interesting about that case is that there were a lot of witnesses, and they all had different stories. Some said he hit the guy three times, some say ten. Shows how unreliable eye-witness accounts actually are.

Anyway, the point is, regardless of who actually starts the fight, even if you're defending yourself, you can still get in a lot of trouble. Unless you're a serious martial artist or get into fights all the time you're just not going to know how much damage your defense is going to do. It's ridiculous to expect people to know that, but they are.

And if you don't, you can be killed. The worst likely outcome of fighting back is better than the worst likely outcome of not fighting back. Choose wisely, for you will choose only once.

Which is why I said you should fight back if you think you're attacker will kill you. If you've dated someone for 7 years and they've never been violent before, they probably won't kill you. If you know someone pretty well, and they don't seem like a murder, then don't fight back. If you're attacked in a back alley by someone you've never met before, then you might want to fight back. You might also want to consider doing it if you're pretty certain the attacker won't press charges, even if they end up worse off.

It's never going to be a question of reasonable self defense, it's a question of whether or not you'll be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it was and you have to weigh that with how much damage you think is going to happen to you.

Delmoi stop advising people. You could get somebody killed.

Maybe I should rephrase my advice. If you think there is a realistic chance the person could kill you, fight back. But not everyone who hits you is going to kill you, and if it's going to be your word against theirs, you can end up really fucking up your life by fighting back. It's just a fact. Even if you're 100% in the right, all that matters is whether you'll be able to prove that in court.
posted by delmoi at 6:11 PM on January 7, 2008


if you are attacked, and you fight back, you can go to jail

That's a risk I'm willing to take. If someone attacks me, I am going to fight back and fuck them up the best of my ability and if that means being charged and possibly convicted to jail time well, I have big girl panties and I'm not afraid to wear them.
posted by fshgrl at 7:27 PM on January 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


That's a risk I'm willing to take. If someone attacks me, I am going to fight back and fuck them up the best of my ability and if that means being charged and possibly convicted to jail time well, I have big girl panties and I'm not afraid to wear them.

Well, like I said. I know someone who actually operated that way, and it didn't turn out well for her. Fortunately she just got charged (and convicted) of a misdemeanor. If she'd just sat there the guy would be the one in trouble. And there is no way she would have died or anything like that.
posted by delmoi at 7:49 PM on January 7, 2008


Well, it's understandable that people are imagining how they would -- if they were the other person -- react or respond in a fight. Or how they would expect such a situation to logically go down. But speaking from personal experience (although I was not in a domestic violence situation), when you are a woman and you are being attacked by a man, you are intimately aware during the experience that in order to get out of a physical battle you are NOT going to win on pure strength. You know that in order to survive you have to use your brains to get out of the situation and flee... because it's simply not a fair physical fight (and the attacker knows it as well, which is often why they have chosen to physically attack). So as a woman you have choices... either you outsmart them, try to go for their weaknesses, humanize yourself to them, just plain get lucky, someone else helps you, or any possible combination of all of the above. Or the attacker changes his minds about wanting to fight you in the first place for whatever reason, whether it's because he's lost interest or you're too much work or whatever.

Some women have their wits about them enough to be able to do these things when in danger. Some people have serious survival instincts that kick in. Some people do not. Some people are frozen victims. Everyone reacts differently, as do their attackers. So I'm just thinking it's probably good to not generalize "how fights work" when you're talking about domestic violence. It's REALLY not the same as an alley fight, especially if the woman being attacked knows her attacker and quite possibly loves (or once loved) him. For some women, violence inspires catatonic fear or protective instincts, but they're not the kind of natural fight/survival response men experience. And like I said, that's part of the reason some men attack women. If they didn't know they could win, they wouldn't be so brave to hit another human being.
posted by miss lynnster at 7:51 PM on January 7, 2008


I'm with fshgrl here. If you are a big ol boy, AND you attack me, I guaran-goddam-tee you that I will do everything in my power to fuck you up in a big, bad way if I have any capacity to do so. And I'm willing to bet that there's not a jury in the land that will convict me.
posted by dejah420 at 7:59 PM on January 7, 2008


delmoi, that may be true, but there was a case in Dallas where a serial rapist dragged a girl off the street and she killed him. She didn't mean to, it was a lucky swipe of the knife, but the DA declined to prosecute because, while Texas has it's flaws, it's also got an unspoken but understood "he needed killing" rule. There would have been a huge public outcry if they had tried to prosecute this attempted rape victim.

Domestic violence cases are handled differently because the jury can be prejudiced to believe that the woman should have been able to do something to get away before it escalated.
posted by dejah420 at 8:13 PM on January 7, 2008


She didn't mean to, it was a lucky swipe of the knife, but the DA declined to prosecute because, while Texas has it's flaws, it's also got an unspoken but understood "he needed killing" rule

dejah420: That's what I'm talking about when I say a situation where you think there's a good chance the person might kill you. I'm not advocating not defending yourself in situations like that, rather not fighting back when you're in a fight with someone you know, someone who you don't think would kill you. Maybe I should have been more clear above.

Domestic violence cases are handled differently because the jury can be prejudiced to believe that the woman should have been able to do something to get away before it escalated.

That's exactly the kind of thing I'm talking about. (and I would thrown in most fights between acquaintances.)
posted by delmoi at 9:39 PM on January 7, 2008


I'm with fshgrl here. If you are a big ol boy, AND you attack me, I guaran-goddam-tee you that I will do everything in my power to fuck you up in a big, bad way if I have any capacity to do so. And I'm willing to bet that there's not a jury in the land that will convict me.

Good luck with that. I hope you are not a small woman, and I hope you are unussually strong, and I hope your attacker doesn't outweigh you by 100 pounds.

Some fights you can only win by your wits. Because if you make your attacker mad enough he WILL kill you. If you are gonna fight the first blow has to incapacitate them because anything else just made your situation worse.

And now I really don't want to talk about this anymore.
posted by konolia at 6:01 AM on January 8, 2008


delmoi So, lets suppose you've never been in a fight in your life, and some guy comes up and attacks you. You're supposed to stay calm and collected the entire time?

It's not likely to happen, chances are good that she is just as angry as he is, but staying calm and collected if possible is a good goal to aim for. If she can talk him down, she should do that. If he won't be talked down, she should get away from him. If he won't let her get away, or if he took her by surprise, then she needs to fight to get away, and that most of the time means, make him unable to stop her from getting away.

She, and he, are also entitled to plead a defense of provocation. Although if both were charged with assault the man would usually attempt to plead provocation and the woman plead self-defense, both parties can use either, or both, if they can be justified. Provocation generally speaking is pleaded to excuse blows struck in anger, self-defense to excuse blows struck in fear. A person who did something that got them charged with assault while both angry and afraid, can of course plead both defenses.

Your friend's lawyer probably raised provocation, or should have, but it sounds from your brief description that she went too far, and counterassaulted the guy who attacked her to a degree more than self-defense and/or provocation could excuse. If that's the case, then it's entirely fair that she was found guilty. Going too far is what she did wrong, and that's what your advice isn't taking into account. A woman legally can, and practically should, fight back to a certain point. Them not attacking her any more is pretty much how she can tell that she's reached that point. Only if she goes further with the violence (and provocation will tend to give her some leeway over and above self-defense), will she be at legal risk. And even then, she and the guy will both get charged for what they did to each other. Her assaulting him back doesn't excuse him for assaulting her first. Lethal force is only a legal option for the defender if the aggressor, to a reasonable person, seems able and willing to kill the defender. A big guy with a hockey stick is pretty close to the line on that one; killing him could go either way. But some emo-looking musical jackass with maybe twice the arm strength of a skinny model? Not so much. Marty probably grabbed Elyse, she probably bit and kicked him to make him let go, he probably let go, and she probably left, and if that's how it happened, she did everything right, at least in the course of the fight, if not necessarily in the events leading up to it (we've only heard a little bit of her side). If she'd grabbed up a knife and stabbed Marty, she would be facing manslaughter charges and her self-defense argument probably wouldn't cut it, so to speak.

Further, a woman in Elyse's circumstances who gets charged and convicted of assault is still probably a first offender, at least for that crime, and so can expect to be punished less harshly than people with a history of assault charges. She'd probably get a fine, a stern warning from the judge, community service, maybe probation.

In summary, you would be unequivocally wrong both legally and practically to advise women to not fight back at all.

I don't know if Junta had been in a fight before, but given his size I'd guess not.

The man is a 270lb truck driver with a strong interest in hockey, apparently given to calling out to the coach at games in a belligerent manner. The chances of him being a newcomer to fighting are pretty low. Again, he's hardly a good example of a domestic violence sufferer.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 7:27 AM on January 8, 2008


an update. And since it may disappear:

Update: The D.A. has rejected the case against me. I am free. I wish the same outcome for Marty and have no intention of pursuing any further legal action. I would not wish entanglement in the widening gyre of the American legal system upon my worst enemy.

It was incredibly naive of me not to realize that my blog entry about this incident would become tabloid fodder. That was not my intention. I consider the small circle of people who frequent this LJ to be a support group; the much larger world of tabloid readers is certainly not. I will never speak of this again, nor malign Marty in this space. And tomorrow this'll be fishwrap.

Expect few updates to this journal in the next couple of weeks as I will be untangling the web of seven years of cohabitation with my ex-boyfriend, packing up my shit, and thickening up a plot to travel and work in more temperate climes.

posted by peep at 12:24 PM on January 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


I worry that she's not pursuing legal action.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:13 PM on January 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


According to one report, neither defendant was ultimately charged "due to insufficient evidence."
posted by onlyconnect at 2:42 PM on January 8, 2008


I worry that she's not pursuing legal action.

Eh, after having a friend on the business end of "legal action" I have to say I think this is the best result.
posted by delmoi at 9:24 PM on January 19, 2008


« Older Tiny treasures - classic and contemporary netsuke   |   You're just too, too obscure... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post