February 23, 2011 2:37 PM   Subscribe

I'm kind of flabbergasted that a man could maintain that he'd had no idea that abortion rights could have any specific relevance to his own life. I can only assume that he's a sort of reverse Leonard from Memento, unable to project the impact of his own actions forward in time more than a few seconds.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 3:17 PM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

You misunderstood, Horace Rumpole. It wasn't that he had no idea that abortion rights could have specific relevance to his own life, it was that he had never thought about whether it would. The world is full of people who, before something affected them, had never thought about whether it would - for example, I had not until just now thought about the extent to which the takeover of America by violent extremist Christians would cramp my Canadian style. But now I have; does that mean that, if it were to happen, I'd be justified in being 'kind of flabbergasted' that few other people have?

Thanks for posting these, zarq. They're great.
posted by Fraxas at 3:23 PM on February 23, 2011

When I read this, I couldn't help thinking, "if I were your daughter, I'd probably turn to drugs, too." Big junkie hug!
posted by micketymoc at 3:33 PM on February 23, 2011 [5 favorites]

Some of these are quite interesting, but what hit me hardest was the story about the kids leaving home and leaving their pets behind. I am guilty of same. Her name was Satch and she was a delightful little Staffordshire Terrier-cross-something and I had dognapped her two or so years earlier - I suppose she would have been eight or nine already at that point - from a family down the road who were neglecting her terribly, leaving her chained up beneath the house for days at a time while they went away fishing or whatever, leaving her with nothing but a big pink plastic bowl filled with the cheapest dog food imaginable, which quickly became infested with ants and maggots. So I decided she would be better off with me and I went into their yard, under their house, unchained her, and walked her home. I'm not sure her "owners" even cared, but they moved away a few months later and fuck them anyway. So Satch was my best friend, as a dog generally is to a young boy, and we went for lovely long walks and she very much enjoyed swimming in the lake down the road. She would wait for me at the gate for me to come home from school every afternoon. But a few years later I decided I had had enough of my pathetic hometown of Townsville and moved to Brisbane, then bounced to Sydney, then to Melbourne. This was a couple of years of bouncing. Mum tells me that for the first few months Satch would still sit and wait for me religiously every afternoon.

Child that I still was in my brain, I was actually upset with her for telling me that, though of course I needed to hear it. I've felt rotten about it ever since then, though of course my parents both loved Satch and took the very best care of her, walking her even as they themselves grew old and slightly frailer (though I have a feeling my mother, at nearly 70, will outlive me), taking her for rides in the old Commodore. Mum, a woodworker hobbyist, even constructed a little ramp for Satch to walk up to get in the back seat of the car - years of being spoiled rotten by mum and dad had left her as basically a little barrel with legs, and her joints worried her terribly. Her most incredible talent was her ability to take a ripe coconut, strip it of its husk with her teeth, and then crack the coconut open by smashing it against concrete (clamping down on the fibers with her teeth and thrashing her head wildly), then licking up the milk and having a wonderful time gnawing away at the flesh. She had a great life with us, and was loved dearly and given the very best (and most expensive) of care, and was put to sleep peacefully when the pain in her legs became too much for her, but, rightly, I have still felt like a complete asshole for not taking her with me, or for not staying with her, and whenever I need to cry, I think about her sitting there at the gate waiting for me. Works every time.
posted by tumid dahlia at 3:35 PM on February 23, 2011 [7 favorites]

Reading about that "recovered memory" horseshit always makes my blood boil.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:43 PM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

This is not as funny as the modern family shows that's on the television.
posted by GuyZero at 3:53 PM on February 23, 2011

Memo to self: Don't read the comments on Salon articles. Just don't.
posted by KathrynT at 3:59 PM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Not reading the comments on any article anywhere is a pretty good rule of thumb.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:24 PM on February 23, 2011 [3 favorites]

It's about time that someone chronicled the experiences and tribulations of middle-class white people.

Some of these are really interesting despite my aversion to this genre. I just read "The Lie That..." and I can't decide how I feel about it, so it's definitely challenging me.

These are like the "My Turn" column in Newsweek*, except longer-form and less wishing that the author was in front of you so you could assault them. And they're not so heavily edited that they read like every piece was written by the same author. "My Turn" always suggests to me that it's like Penthouse Forum, cranked out every issue by some frustrated, aspiring writer; but instead of being forced to describe unlikely sexual scenarios, s/he must imagine the most mundane, suburban worries and aspirations. And every one of those 300 words is a little piece of the author's soul that has been blackened.

*assuming that the column is still in Newsweek and that Newsweek is even still published. I haven't looked in a few months.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:57 PM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

The pink boy story reminded me of another, the mom who created a children's book about her son that likes to wear dresses...does anyone know the title? It's very inspiring and relieving to see moms let their children grow up to be what they will be!
posted by worldli at 6:45 PM on February 23, 2011

"I don't want to sound glib."

Doin' it wrong, etc.

Interesting stuff. I second micketymoc's big junkie hug.
posted by Neofelis at 6:58 PM on February 23, 2011

Memo to self: Don't read the comments on Salon articles. Just don't.

That's good advice that I can't seem to follow. I have an account there under the same name, and I do often read and sometimes contribute to their letters threads. They do have some good contributors, but it's a snake pit in there. Salon just cannot be bothered to moderate the letters much at all. There's one spammer who keeps coming back under different names and making some really generic stupid comment "Dude, that makes a lot of sense when you think about it" as an excuse to post his stupid link site, and Salon for some reason hasn't figured out how to permaban him.

There are some trolls as well, but the worst is a woman who has posted over 1200 letters in the last eight months or so (and before that she had another account), all heavily laden with all caps, and all strident in tone. She's the kind of person you don't want to agree with even when she's right, as she sometimes is. Threads are constantly derailed by arguments with her, and the woman is the most self-righteous cow imaginable, always bragging about how she runs her life and going into baseless and offensive tirades about how other people should run theirs.

It really makes me appreciate Metafilter and its mods. People complain about the snark here, but really you don't know how nice it is here compared to there.
posted by orange swan at 8:17 PM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

When I read this, I couldn't help thinking, "if I were your daughter, I'd probably turn to drugs, too." Big junkie hug!

Couldn't agree more. One would imagine that if you were writing a story about yourself, you wouldn't find a way to make yourself sound like a completely socially inept moron.
posted by TypographicalError at 8:35 PM on February 23, 2011 [2 favorites]

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