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1001 Rules for My Unborn Son
May 21, 2009 10:46 AM   Subscribe

1001 Rules for My Unborn Son
posted by sciurus (122 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
365. Sadly, some things we love will never come back. The fedora is one of them.

It's like the site was made to be MeFi-bait. I'm still looking to see if it has anything about pinstripes and whether or not they ought to be sported.
posted by adipocere at 10:49 AM on May 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


I don't think I'll be buying the book. Besides, I have daughter and the most important rule for her is: "Stay pretty and you'll only have to work half as hard."
posted by rhymer at 10:50 AM on May 21, 2009 [6 favorites]


371. If you have an idea for a book but can't find a publisher, just get a blog first.
posted by barnacles at 10:51 AM on May 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yeah, that one is certain to light up the languagehat beacon.
posted by sciurus at 10:51 AM on May 21, 2009


1. resist urge to make list.
posted by the aloha at 10:51 AM on May 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


967. Jesus, you're really reading all these aren't you?
posted by GuyZero at 10:53 AM on May 21, 2009


Man, it must be so awesome to be a guy and get rewarded for following the rules of the kyriarchy. We women are sick of getting punished regardless of our actions!
posted by muddgirl at 10:53 AM on May 21, 2009 [4 favorites]


1002. Trying to impart all of your thoughts to your kids like this will only make them see you as hypocritical and overweening. Just love them and give them the support to learn life's little ins and outs on their own.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:56 AM on May 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


289. Address anyone who carries a firearm professionally as Sir or Ma'am.

No.
posted by mattdidthat at 10:56 AM on May 21, 2009 [11 favorites]


This guy clearly should have had his kid some time around 1962. At least now the little one has an handy rebellion to-do list.
posted by Thin Lizzy at 10:57 AM on May 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


These rules are not very helpful for unborn children. Here are some more on-point guidelines:

1. Don't poop yet. REPEAT: DON'T POOP YET.

2. Stop kicking your mom in the kidneys. I'll make sure she owes you one later.

3. Head first. Feet first, I kick your ass.

4. When I shout "SONOGRAM!", make a peace sign.

5. Once your eyes start to work, check to see if you still have a tail. It will blow your mind, if you have one yet.
posted by brain_drain at 10:57 AM on May 21, 2009 [88 favorites]


Eleventy-six: Just order the dang beans, already.
posted by Mister_A at 10:57 AM on May 21, 2009


Wait a minute. These aren't rules for an unborn son -- these are rules for a son who's already been born. They should have rules like:

147: Work on growing your spine first. There'll be plenty of time for you to work on your arms and fingers later.
236: If your mom ate spicy food, just go with it. No amount of kicking or jumping is going to change anything.
524: Lose the gill slits. They may look cool now but trust me, they're not helping anyone.
posted by PlusDistance at 11:00 AM on May 21, 2009 [16 favorites]


DAMN YOU BRAIN_DRAIN, YOU DRAINED MY BRAIN, DIDN'T YOU?!
posted by PlusDistance at 11:00 AM on May 21, 2009 [8 favorites]


Hold doors, pull out chairs, easy on the swears.
- Fresh Prince


Well, two out of three's not too fuckin bad.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:01 AM on May 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


YOU KEEP YOUR RULES AWAY FROM MY UNBORN CHILD!
posted by bondcliff at 11:02 AM on May 21, 2009 [4 favorites]


wow, it's like 'helicopter parenting' meets 'fantastic voyage'...where's raquel?
posted by sexyrobot at 11:02 AM on May 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm getting really nauseated reading these. I wonder what his wife thinks about #31 "No one likes a know-it-all", which is illustrated with a photo of Hillary Clinton.
posted by muddgirl at 11:03 AM on May 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


Don Draper would beat the shit out of this guy.
posted by incessant at 11:03 AM on May 21, 2009 [7 favorites]


Goddamn Fresh Prince always pulling chairs out from under me
posted by Dr-Baa at 11:03 AM on May 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


999. don't make lists like this one. by the end, it is annoying and you will be disliked.
posted by sentinel chicken at 11:04 AM on May 21, 2009


81. Remember, the girl you're with is somebody's sister. And he's perfectly capable of kicking your ass.

Doesn't even make sense. Is he implying that if the girl you're dating only has sisters, then you should feel free to rape 'er as much as you like?
posted by muddgirl at 11:06 AM on May 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


420. fuckkkkkk have you ever really thought about how the letters O and Q are close to each other int he alphabet? That shit isnt by accident. Fucking Jew Alphabet bankers.goddamn who wants dominos
posted by Damn That Television at 11:07 AM on May 21, 2009 [10 favorites]


But sadly, this blog functions as a contraceptive.
posted by applemeat at 11:08 AM on May 21, 2009


At the bottom of page 1, don't direct your reader to page 2 with the word "Previous".
posted by xod at 11:08 AM on May 21, 2009 [6 favorites]


887. Oh please, please, please don't be a fag.
posted by applemeat at 11:09 AM on May 21, 2009 [9 favorites]


So does this guy work for Esquire, or does he just with he did?
posted by Kronoss at 11:11 AM on May 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


um, WISH he did.
posted by Kronoss at 11:11 AM on May 21, 2009


972. (Most) MeFites suck the fun out of everything. Ignore them, do what you will and be proud of it.
posted by benzo8 at 11:12 AM on May 21, 2009 [7 favorites]


I used to have the Lego fire truck associated with rule number 6. I've since lost the instructions.
posted by sciurus at 11:12 AM on May 21, 2009


1. Never eat anything that is bigger than your head.
posted by Mister_A at 11:14 AM on May 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


Damn, Dad, no pressure or anything.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:14 AM on May 21, 2009


posted by sexyrobot wow, it's like 'helicopter parenting' meets 'fantastic voyage'

Naw, it's more like Life's Little Instruction Book meets Mad Men.
posted by mattdidthat at 11:15 AM on May 21, 2009


329. Don't underestimate your fertility.

That's what I've been doing wrong!
posted by The Whelk at 11:15 AM on May 21, 2009


Damn, muddgirl, you're really reaching for that indignation angle.
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 11:16 AM on May 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


6. Follow instructions.

Nope.

Rule Number 6: There is NO . . . Rule Number 6.
Rule Number 7: No pooftahs!
posted by The Bellman at 11:20 AM on May 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


39. Drink rail liquor. A good drink never needs more than one ingredient. Usually ice.

This is so wrong I don't even know where to start. Perhaps by noting that if there's only one ingredient, and that ingredient is ice, where does the rail liquor come in?

Also, can anyone seriously advocate the drinking of straight, warm Old Crow?
posted by solipsophistocracy at 11:20 AM on May 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


1. Beat the head and the body will die.
posted by Mister_A at 11:20 AM on May 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


I hope his unborn son's mother makes the "wanky-wanky" hand gesture whenever she sees this stroker sitting at the laptop cranking these out.
posted by COBRA! at 11:23 AM on May 21, 2009 [7 favorites]


Damn, muddgirl, you're really reaching for that indignation angle.

Really? I wouldn't describe what I'm doing as "reaching". I am reading the "rules" he has presented for his son and judging them as most people in this thread have.
posted by muddgirl at 11:29 AM on May 21, 2009


1002. Trying to impart all of your thoughts to your kids like this will only make them see you as hypocritical and overweening. Just love them and give them the support to learn life's little ins and outs on their own.

1003. Make sure your father does his obsessive listmaking before you're born, because in a few short months he's going to be so sleep-deprived he can barely remember his own name, he's gonna be a lot less sure about everything, and he's not gonna have time to fuck around on the computer.
posted by Miko at 11:31 AM on May 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


Just don't hurt nobody.

Unless of course they ask you.
posted by everichon at 11:36 AM on May 21, 2009


1004. I named you Skippy for a reason. Live down to it.
posted by ardgedee at 11:41 AM on May 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


339. Don't use a chisel for anything other than its intended purpose.

Really? Dude, you're at 339 and you're already throwing up pointless, insipid rules like that? I think you might want to reconsider this blog of yours.
posted by Caduceus at 11:44 AM on May 21, 2009


404. Your favorite band will suck.
posted by Sailormom at 11:49 AM on May 21, 2009


14. Men with facial hair have something to hide.

Yeah, our contempt for douchebags with hangups about facial hair.
posted by grubi at 11:50 AM on May 21, 2009 [14 favorites]


339. Don't use a chisel for anything other than its intended purpose.

Really? Dude, you're at 339 and you're already throwing up pointless, insipid rules like that? I think you might want to reconsider this blog of yours.


That was one of the small handful of rules I agreed with. A chisel is only useful if it's very, very sharp, and using one as a pry bar pretty much kills it.
posted by rocket88 at 11:52 AM on May 21, 2009 [4 favorites]


February 20: Marlon Brando, method actor

Dude, that's Roger Moore.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:57 AM on May 21, 2009


I know the context of the "Brando" photo, but the joke is dumb.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:59 AM on May 21, 2009


666: Literal viking.
posted by everichon at 12:00 PM on May 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


If he's doing one a day, that kid's gonna be born WAY before he's finished.
posted by zarq at 12:02 PM on May 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


1004. There are people in this world who will exploit and take advantage of anything and everyone. No event, no matter how sacred, no person, no matter how defenseless, will be seen as anything other than a chance to gain some advantage or make a quick buck.

1005. Teach by example.
posted by ND¢ at 12:02 PM on May 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


333. For my heartaches.
444. For my headaches.
posted by klangklangston at 12:03 PM on May 21, 2009 [18 favorites]


Rules for my Unconceived Son:

1) Try really hard not to get implanted.
2) If you could just miscarry on your own, everyone would be happier.
3) Don't take abortion personally.
4) Because you're not even really a person.
5) We all make mistakes.
posted by klangklangston at 12:06 PM on May 21, 2009 [11 favorites]


I've heard variations on the "the girl is someone's sister" rule, and the implications always bothered me - mostly for the assumptions it makes on men's morality. i.e: that we are prone to disresprecting women, but won't if we might get beat up; or, alternately, that the only women we respect are our mothers or sisters. Either way, I always gag a bit when I hear this, and I wonder where the frack the speaker is coming from.
posted by kanewai at 12:10 PM on May 21, 2009 [12 favorites]


Just kind of making conversation with my unborn son.

1. Dude you are like totally INSIDE a vagina right now!
2. I think.
3. I am not totally sure how all of that works.
4. Still though AWESOME!!!!!!!!
posted by ND¢ at 12:11 PM on May 21, 2009 [11 favorites]


I've heard variations on the "the girl is someone's sister" rule

I have too. The other thing it implies is that if you get out of hand, the woman isn't going to be able to resist. As if she needs her brother's protection to survive your stupid roughneck self.
posted by grubi at 12:18 PM on May 21, 2009


P.S. I did your mom.
posted by ND¢ at 12:24 PM on May 21, 2009 [6 favorites]


Wow. More evidence that twitter is actually a terrible format for writing anything longer than a few tweets at a time.
posted by deanc at 12:35 PM on May 21, 2009


Kronoss beat me to it, but if you like this blog, you really need a subscription to Esquire.
posted by Stylus Happenstance at 12:40 PM on May 21, 2009


81. Remember, the girl you're with is somebody's sister. And he's perfectly capable of kicking your ass.

Doesn't even make sense. Is he implying that if the girl you're dating only has sisters, then you should feel free to rape 'er as much as you like?


Actually, the implication is that "she" might be a he, since "the girl you're with" and "somebody's sister" are the only nouns that pronoun "he" could be referring back to. It's really pretty good advice.
posted by owtytrof at 12:44 PM on May 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


The concept is misguided, even if the "rules" themselves have merit.

As we all know, nothing excites kids quite like a list of rules.
posted by Afroblanco at 12:44 PM on May 21, 2009


1 Rule for my Unborn Child:

"Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It's round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you've got about a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you've got to be kind."
posted by Parasite Unseen at 12:48 PM on May 21, 2009 [17 favorites]


What a foolish, prating knave.
posted by bonecrusher at 1:01 PM on May 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


439. Haters will always hate.
posted by bshort at 1:05 PM on May 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


I found this more interesting than dated or stupid, as some seem to think.


Seems to me that all parents struggle to impart wisdom or guidance to their children. Sometimes it is explicit, "Don't get in cars with strangers", or sometimes it's implicitly implied in the parent's behavior "Don't smoke or drink too much, or at all".

It's certain that both the cultural ethics and trends that influence the content of those edicts as well as the methods through which elders pass information down to the next generation are constantly changing. In this modern era, it seems only natural that some portion of parenting information should begin to, in some way, transmit digitally.

So I think it's interesting that the dad chose a blog to write out not only advice for his child, but also quotes he feels are important and songs that he loves and wants his child to appreciate.

And while some of the rules did trip my meter as being outdated, irrelevant, or obsolete, many of them felt reassuring, parental, and relevant. Probably like most parents.
posted by lazaruslong at 1:06 PM on May 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Guess I really don't need to say implicitly implied. Sorry.
posted by lazaruslong at 1:07 PM on May 21, 2009


lazaruslong - I guess the reason I have such a viscerally negative reaction is this idea that children are amazingly plastic learning machines. The structures we create for them as children are structures they won't begin to question until well in their 20s and 30s. So I don't worry about explicit racism or sexism or cisgenderism so much as the implicit stuff that this guy is espousing at least 10% of the time - advice like "get to know your sister's boyfriends" may seem harmless on the outset, but it plants the idea that heterosexuality is the default state. Maybe that kid's gay. Maybe that kid is gonna think his parent's will be ashamed if he's different.

Also, even the framework squicks me out. It's "1001 rules for my son", and all the advice is about tools and facial hair. Where's the rules about making souffle's? when one should use gel vs. mousse? The correct way to change a baby's diaper? Did I skip those ones?
posted by muddgirl at 1:24 PM on May 21, 2009 [4 favorites]


We only have 3 or 4 rules in my house and it's a lot of working getting my kids to follow those. 1,001 is pretty optimistic.
posted by GuyZero at 1:24 PM on May 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


> 371. If you have an idea for a book but can't find a publisher, just get a blog first.

371a. eg
posted by ardgedee at 1:29 PM on May 21, 2009


wisdom is so easy
posted by philip-random at 1:41 PM on May 21, 2009


Makes me want to post a counter-blog: 1001 Rules for My Undead Son...

976: BRAINS
975: BRAINS
974: FEED
973: BRAINS

etc... actually, I'd want it to be a bit more funny than that, but maybe my (living) son (who is into Zombies) will take up the slack. (He wrote a good primer on his Facebook page for surviving the coming Zombie apocalypse.)
posted by not_on_display at 1:44 PM on May 21, 2009


I see and understand your points, muddgirl. I think that a parent consciously attempting to prevent those types of subtle biases into their teachings is a great thing. I think that parents attempting to teach their kids at all is a good thing.

This guy obviously has some moral and cultural pre-dispositions with which I disagree. But then, so do most of the people in the world. And he seems to be genuine in his desire for a better life for his child, so I'm going to interpret this less as a lesson on the outdated moral structures in which we subtly imprison our children and more of an earnest father using modern technology to adapt the flow of knowledge to the next generation. And that to me is interesting and laudable, if flawed.
posted by lazaruslong at 1:59 PM on May 21, 2009


And I want to emphasize that last sentence's first half was not intended to be a glib summary of a complex issue. I could not agree more with you concerning the often dangerously subtle moral structure we create for the ones that come after us.
posted by lazaruslong at 2:00 PM on May 21, 2009


an earnest father using modern technology to adapt the flow of knowledge to the next generation.

But to me, it looks like he's trying to sell a book by pandering to those ideas of John Wayne/James Bond Masculinity that seem to go over really well in our culture. I can't see how this can be written in earnest and then published to tumblr...
posted by muddgirl at 2:03 PM on May 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


True, wisdom is easy when there are no stakes. Try getting a teenage child (or any child) to follow any rule a parent makes up and see how far it gets you. There are lots of good reasons this guy is making rules before his son is born, only one of which is that at least they'll be obeyed for a little while.
posted by dg at 2:04 PM on May 21, 2009


But to me, it looks like he's trying to sell a book by pandering to those ideas of John Wayne/James Bond Masculinity that seem to go over really well in our culture. I can't see how this can be written in earnest and then published to tumblr...


Well, that's another interesting question. I also think it's delicious that in this particular case, you cite two different types of media transmission as suspect for his motivations.


If this advice was put into a book, or on tumblr, or on a sheet of papyrus...how and in what ways does that make us question his sincerity? For the book, the profit motive trips my alarm. But then, there are plenty of folks that make money from subjects and topics that are useful and worth being earnest about.

As for the posting online thing, to me that implies the suspicion inherent in making what would appear to be a very private thing to the masses. But then again, that is the hallmark of the digital age.

I don't know. Perhaps I am susceptible to the Bond masculine appeal. My Dad was more of a Paul Newman than a John Wayne. For some reason, my final impression would be a nugget of sincerity that blossomed into a product.
posted by lazaruslong at 2:08 PM on May 21, 2009


#1001: Dear Unborn Son (or Daughter), when you get an excellent idea, act on it. Otherwise someone is going to steal your idea for an awesome blog on Tumblr. The next thing you know, you'll be reading about it on MetaFilter.

Goddammit. :( Oh well, I'm still going to do something like this once I find out the sex of my child in a few weeks. Nor do I pretend like it was a very original idea to begin with. But still... :(
posted by mrzer0 at 2:09 PM on May 21, 2009


I meant to add, re: the decision to post online.

I think it could be reasonably argued that for his intended project, which included not just text but also images, links, and built in audio, that some form of web application is the best medium for him to use from a functionality standpoint.

The decision to make it public as opposed to private with his family as the only approved readers still stands as an interesting point of discussion, in my opinion.
posted by lazaruslong at 2:11 PM on May 21, 2009


339. Don't use a chisel for anything other than its intended purpose.

That was one of the small handful of rules I agreed with. A chisel is only useful if it's very, very sharp, and using one as a pry bar pretty much kills it. ~ rocket88

Sorry, rocket88. I'm with Caduceus on this one. Tools are intended to be employed for useful gain. They might be engineered with a single situation in mind, but that doesn't mean they aren't useful in other situations and configurations, as well.

With regard to this website: 1001 Rules for My Unborn Son reminds me a lot of Life's Little Instruction Book -- a book surprisingly diminutive in size given its bloated payload of pablum, banality, and commandment.

Thinking up such nonsense -- particularly this inconsistent, pointless, and inane nonsense -- is almost as great a crime against oneself as subsequently writing such nonsense down. It must be embarrassing for the author.
posted by Kikkoman at 2:22 PM on May 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Sometimes it is explicit, "Don't get in cars with strangers", or sometimes it's implicitly implied in the parent's behavior "Don't smoke or drink too much, or at all"."

My parents never told me that mixing Robitussin DX and lite beer led to a horrible night of vomiting. I had to learn that on my own.

Look, the reason why these are kind of interesting is that it's making explicit the values and expectations that the father believes are valid in his culture, and the amount of approval comes from people seeing articulated things they already believe are good. Which means that you can pretty much write the function of popularity=amount mainstream bias confirmation.

Which means that for the subset of folks who already think about gender rôles, all of this stuff is going to be boring at best and oppressive at worst. That, combined with the size of the project (1001 rules gives a lot of chatter to cherry pick) means that folks who find the vast majority of them inoffensive or "true" will feel annoyed at the (deserved) criticism that the rest of the rules get. This is especially true of the normative rules, by virtue of assumption. If the rules focused more on "It's OK to rub your dick, but make sure it's in an appropriate setting," this guy wouldn't have a book deal.
posted by klangklangston at 2:32 PM on May 21, 2009


I like looking at things from incredibly dark angles, so let's try this... what if his wife loses the baby? Will this go on to be published as some sort of "The First Lesson" (pseudo-play on Last Lecture) with a feel good message of hope for the future at the end? Because I don't see this blog as about the kid, so much as about the potential book deal.
posted by graventy at 3:12 PM on May 21, 2009


339. Don't use a chisel for anything other than its intended purpose.

That was one of the small handful of rules I agreed with. A chisel is only useful if it's very, very sharp, and using one as a pry bar pretty much kills it. ~ rocket88

Sorry, rocket88. I'm with Caduceus on this one. Tools are intended to be employed for useful gain. They might be engineered with a single situation in mind, but that doesn't mean they aren't useful in other situations and configurations, as well.


While it's true that tools are "intended to be employed for useful gain", using a chisel for anything other than it's intended use makes it more or less useless for that intended use. Therefore; using it incorrectly reduces the capacity for it to be "employed for useful gain". Using it as a pry bar, screwdriver or any other use other than chiselling renders it useless as a chisel. Some tools, such as hammers and screwdrivers, can be used for a range of purposes without affecting their utility, but not chisels (or pretty much anything with a finely-honed edge).
posted by dg at 3:16 PM on May 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


481. Inspire Conversation By Whatever Means Necessary.
593. No Publicity Is Bad Publicity.
1001. Consider Metafilter The Same Way God Considers Two Puppies Playfighting In A Backyard.
posted by SinisterPurpose at 3:39 PM on May 21, 2009


#101: Teach them to fight. To storm the wire of the camps. To smash those metal motherfuckers into junk. Turn it around. Bring us back from the brink.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:56 PM on May 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


Your first day, you HAVE to fight.
posted by Stylus Happenstance at 4:04 PM on May 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


Sorry, you lost me at the rediculous Elvis boxing photo.
posted by paisley henosis at 4:21 PM on May 21, 2009


619. God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason.
620. You drive on a parkway, and park on a driveway!
621. Men think about pesto and mozzerella paninis every 3.6 seconds, but only think about sex every 3.7 seconds. So never trust a man that won't fuck a sandwich.
622. Working hard, or hardly working?
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 4:45 PM on May 21, 2009


1002. Look, you're gonna have to forgive your dad here; he's never had a kid before, so he thought it'd be a great idea to have a bunch of pseudo-thoughtful 'rules' written down for you when you popped out, whereas in reality he's going to be so blown away by the fact of your birth that he'll forget about them, though not before looking at your little baby-ness and realizing that at age one you won't even get the concept of 'rule,' at seven you'll get the concept but be so busy pretending you don't that you certainly won't have time for 1001, at eleven you'll know exactly what a rule is but you'll have this look on your face every second of every day that screams “you can give me rules, but the moment you give them to me I'm going to be working on a way to break them,” at seventeen you'll openly acknowledge that you know about rules because you've figured out it's more fun to break them without getting caught, at twenty-one you'll think all those old rules are idiotic and will make up your own better rules, at thirty you'll be seeing a psychiatrist to deal with the nuclear fallout of all those rules, and at fifty you'll smile when look back at these rules and think what a naïve guy your dad was before he had you.
posted by koeselitz at 4:55 PM on May 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


887. Oh please, please, please don't be a fag.

888. At the very least be one of those manly fags that can pass. A man must not suffer a twinkle-toes to live.
posted by The Whelk at 4:59 PM on May 21, 2009


JCWAAH
posted by bardic at 5:13 PM on May 21, 2009


If you're good at something, never do it for free.

I feel so for this kid.
posted by Mitheral at 5:21 PM on May 21, 2009


Mitheral: "If you're good at something, never do it for free.

I feel so sorry for this kid.
"
posted by Mitheral at 5:23 PM on May 21, 2009


I tried to come up with 3 rules for my kids, but I only ended up with 2.
Compassion
Passion
Not sure why anyone would want 999 more to worry about.
posted by forforf at 6:14 PM on May 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


link: If you're good at something, never do it for free.

Mitheral: I feel so sorry for this kid.

The kid? I feel sorry for this kid's girlfriends.

Or boyfriends.
posted by koeselitz at 6:22 PM on May 21, 2009


1003. Nothing is more fun than going online to over-analyze and pick to death the expression of a soon-to-be new father's excitement and desire to teach his son. Bonus points if you can accuse him of actually advocating rape.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:34 PM on May 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh, come on. This isn't excitement—it's ponderous pontification from a guy who seems to think that getting somebody pregnant means his thoughts are a license to act as though he has authority on everything from chisels to marriage? Not to mention the fact that the whole idea is—well, kids need 1001 rules before they're even born? Seems like overkill to me, but what do I know?
posted by koeselitz at 6:50 PM on May 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


39. Drink rail liquor. A good drink never needs more than one ingredient. Usually ice.

I prefer "Drink rarely, drink expensively", myself.
posted by davejay at 6:52 PM on May 21, 2009


Speaking as someone who was in his shoes not two years ago, I can tell you that pre-fatherly excitement does in fact take precisely this form for at least some men. Some of us tend to wax philosophical in such situations, navel-gazey and bean-platey though it may be.

Do I agree with everything he says? No. Is some of the phrasing at best questionable? Definitely. Is the Hillary Clinton picture a really bad idea? Whoa, yes. Is his advice about chisels both true and better not learned the hard way? Unquestionably. (It's also precisely the sort of minutiae that we tool fetishists take seriously and long to impart to our children. YMMV, 31 flavors, etc.)

Are these actually meant to be taken seriously as "rules?" Are they adequate grounds for calling the man a homophobe, misogynist, or pro-rape monster? Or would that be the actual overkill?

posted by middleclasstool at 7:11 PM on May 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


It would. It's also a phantom of your imagination. He's been called, or imputed as, hetero-normative, sexist and as giving thoughtless tropes, but to read Muddpuppie's comment as calling him a "pro-rape monster" is as bullshit as calling him one would be.

Part of having a reasonable conversation about stuff like this is that you have to be reasonable in your defense, too. If you'd like to reply to the assertions that he assumes that his kid is going to be straight and should embody male gender norms and does so in an often uncritical way, I think you're going to agree.
posted by klangklangston at 7:43 PM on May 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh, and in a side note, mostly for mudpuppie: You know how jokes about raping women are a fast way to piss some women off? Jokes about men condoning rape piss a fair amount of guys off. I didn't mention it, because it didn't bother me, but because I spent too long a couple of days ago rereading one of the Offensive/racism/sexism threads, it came to mind. I can recognize "A perversion of this guy's logic condones rape, therefore zing!" But not everyone will smirk.
posted by klangklangston at 7:49 PM on May 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


Bleah. These remind me of those stupid Budweiser (redundant) ads featuring a series of meaningless "rules"; "Level the playing field." Be yourself." "Be the bigger man," etc. ad nauseum.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:57 PM on May 21, 2009


Fair enough, klang. I'll readily concede that my reading of some of those comments was just as uncharitable as some of those comments were about the content's author.

I suppose my initial reaction seeing the site was basically "Aww, I remember being there, and it's so awesome" (and I'm trying to be there again, incidentally), and when I saw all the "Jesus, he's gonna fuck this kid up" comments I went all WTF-ey.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:59 PM on May 21, 2009


(I should also apologize to muddgirl for my misreading of her comment. Sorry.)
posted by middleclasstool at 8:03 PM on May 21, 2009


""Aww, I remember being there, and it's so awesome" (and I'm trying to be there again, incidentally)"

I think you can only have your first kid once, MCT. Unless you've got a clone army, in which case I think a guide like this is essential—you've got to teach the whole army about chisels at once.
posted by klangklangston at 8:09 PM on May 21, 2009


While it's true that tools are "intended to be employed for useful gain", using a chisel for anything other than it's intended use makes it more or less useless for that intended use.

Certainly. I'm not disagreeing with that result. My disputation of this 'rule' posits a configuration space in which one possesses only a chisel and no other option. In such a case, I submit the tool shall serve the wielder in whatever capacity best suits it at the moment -- be it the role of an ill-fitting rivet, uncomfortable splint, or clumsy rabbit cudgel.
posted by Kikkoman at 9:51 PM on May 21, 2009


Rule 14* for my (own) unborn kid:

Understand the limitations of kids who've been subject to this kind of dogma. Don't be a jerk, but recognize opportunity: by the time these kids've sorted through their categorized rules only to find none applying to the situation at hand, you can be long gone.

*rules 1 - 13 either too drab to bear repetition or protected by family blood/honor code
posted by Graygorey at 10:44 PM on May 21, 2009


Rule #6221: If the van's a rockin', don't come a knockin'.
posted by mazola at 8:52 AM on May 22, 2009


Rule #X+1: Idealize time period of your upbringing
Rule #X+2: Write list based on this.
Rule #X+3: Try not to read about Mere-Exposure Bias.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 9:18 AM on May 22, 2009


Wait, are you guys talking about me or mudpuppie? I know it's confusing for you but it's even more confusing for me...

Jokes about men condoning rape piss a fair amount of guys off.

I didn't see it as a joke, because I'm a humorless feminist. I believe that the sort of logic he invokes leads to the idea that some classes of women are not rape-able, because any sex with them is by definition a consensual transaction (if they are prostitutes, if they are walking alone at night, if they are going out on a date with you, and so on).

I recognize that I put words into the author's mouth that he may not have intended, but I don't believe I went beyond the cultural implications of his statement. The reason a teenage boy should not "mess with" his date has nothing to do with whether or not that boy is gonna get beat up at school the next day. That sort of logic robs the date of all agency.
posted by muddgirl at 11:28 AM on May 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


I recognize that I put words into the author's mouth that he may not have intended, but I don't believe I went beyond the cultural implications of his statement.


I think ya kinda did, but then I'm a humorless rape survivor.

Saying don't mess with your date cause she has a brother doesn't mean if she doesn't rape her.

And it sure as hell doesn't get anywhere close to defining classes of women as unrapeable due to perma-consent.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:34 AM on May 22, 2009


Backing up what muddgirl said. When someone sets up the construction that the reasons not to violate someone's boundaries are based on the protection or vengeance they're going to receive from other males, not on simple respect for the boundaries and understanding of the limits of one's own power, there is a nasty implication about women's roles there.
posted by Miko at 11:36 AM on May 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Backing up what muddgirl said. When someone sets up the construction that the reasons not to violate someone's boundaries are based on the protection or vengeance they're going to receive from other males, not on simple respect for the boundaries and understanding of the limits of one's own power, there is a nasty implication about women's roles there.


That is one way of looking at his statement.

The guy has all sorts of sexist shit in here. Compliment your Mom's cooking, always shake hands firm and look *him* in the eye, no one likes a know it all (Hilary Clinton picture), and so on.

Some men who held these views beat their wives and rape women. Some don't.

This guy is trying to impart a sense of respect to women, however warped. And that's fucked up, yes.


But he is not advocating the rape of women with that statement. He is making a nasty implication about women's roles throughout the whole thing.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:49 AM on May 22, 2009


he is not advocating the rape of women with that statement

Of course not. I never accused him of doing so.
posted by muddgirl at 11:58 AM on May 22, 2009


Certainly. I'm not disagreeing with that result. My disputation of this 'rule' posits a configuration space in which one possesses only a chisel and no other option. In such a case, I submit the tool shall serve the wielder in whatever capacity best suits it at the moment -- be it the role of an ill-fitting rivet, uncomfortable splint, or clumsy rabbit cudgel.

Besides, you can always just sharpen the chisel afterward...
posted by Pantengliopoli at 12:53 PM on May 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Why in the world are you people over analyzing some random jackass's idiotic brain dump?
posted by Burhanistan at 1:39 PM on May 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


You do know where you are, right?
posted by The Whelk at 1:46 PM on May 22, 2009


Oh, right. Still, this is like finding a note on the subway by some high school dropout with 90 IQ and then ascribing it some kind of lofty rhetorical status that is in need of critique and deconstruction.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:51 PM on May 22, 2009


"Wait, are you guys talking about me or mudpuppie? I know it's confusing for you but it's even more confusing for me..."

Yeah, sorry, you.

"I didn't see it as a joke, because I'm a humorless feminist."

Yeah, "Is he implying that if the girl you're dating only has sisters, then you should feel free to rape 'er as much as you like?" is obviously a serious question and not disingenuous at all and it must be anti-feminism that would lead someone to read that differently.

"I believe that the sort of logic he invokes leads to the idea that some classes of women are not rape-able, because any sex with them is by definition a consensual transaction (if they are prostitutes, if they are walking alone at night, if they are going out on a date with you, and so on)."

All the women on the bus love it when I remind them that they're all, as a class, rapeable. "You, and you and you!"

"Of course not. I never accused him of doing so."

Yes, you did. When you said "you should feel free to rape 'er as much as you like."

Again, I read that as a joke, where you don't believe that's the father's sincere advice. But you should be aware that it can piss guys off to go from "I disagree with you" to "You advocate rape." But you don't get to say that you were serious about your claims and simultaneously disavow you made them, and you also have to be aware of how those claims will read to someone who doesn't already agree with you, and your comment was read as calling him a "pro-rape monster."
posted by klangklangston at 4:36 PM on May 22, 2009


link: 81. Remember, the girl you're with is somebody's sister. And he's perfectly capable of kicking your ass.

muddgirl: Doesn't even make sense. Is he implying that if the girl you're dating only has sisters, then you should feel free to rape 'er as much as you like?

Look, I don't like the implied sexism in the link any more than anybody else, but it's still only implied sexism; this little rule of his doesn't even faintly indicate rape. Even by the old standards alluded to, the notion that one had a 'duty to take care of females' didn't just mean 'don't rape them.' If one were charitable, this aphorism could be read as suggesting that a young man should be careful not to mistreat women—that is, speak too loud, use 'harsh language,' be cruel or crude in front of them—because punishment is virtually guaranteed. In fact, the implication is that it is in the nature of young men to be crude, cruel, and vulgar in a way that is unpleasant to all women.

And, frankly, I resent that implication.
posted by koeselitz at 6:14 PM on May 22, 2009


klangklangston got to the heart of what bothered me about your comments, muddgirl.

Everyone takes what they want from anything. My Dad raised me with a set of guidelines and....god, what is the term for the "maleness" that fathers define for their sons? I don't know what it is. But many of these rules struck me as things my Dad would say.

Even more of them struck me as things my Dad would vehemently reject.

But I took what I wanted from those teachings. And I think it's a large and rather offensive stretch to say that a father saying to his son "Don't mess with your girls, they all have brothers" would be interpreted by the son as "A girl without brothers is one you should feel free to rape".

Offensive to the dad, the kid, the girl, shit. It's just bollocks.
posted by lazaruslong at 7:51 PM on May 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


Rule 1002: A grail is genetically coded to its owner, thus it is impossible for anyone else to open one.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:57 PM on May 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


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