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off topic open thread

90s Throwback Sunday Tanya Donnelly Open Thread

This popped up on my Spotify recommendations. I’d forgotten how much I loved this song, especially the growly bits where Tanya Donelly sings along with the guitar riff. And I’d never seen the video. (There was no YouTube in 1991, obviously; I’m not sure I even had cable.)

While I’m at it, here’s another Throwing Muses song from the same album, this time with  Kristin Hersh on lead vocals.

And here’s a little something from Tanya Donnelly’s later band Belly. It’s a live clip, introduced by a baby Jon Stewart! Just look at him! He’s SO YOUNG.

Anyway, enjoy. And consider this an open thread. for non-personal stuff. I’ll put up one for personal stiff in a moment. As always, these open threads are for regular WHTM commenters/readers and basically anyone who isn’t an MRA or antifeminist or troll.

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EmperorofChairs
EmperorofChairs
4 years ago

Have coincidentally been recently listening to The Real Ramona. Currently listening to House Tornado/The Fat Skier.

opium4themasses
opium4themasses
4 years ago

Not sure I wanna see a thread for a personal stiff.

magnesium
magnesium
4 years ago

So this weekend can get in the bin. GamerGate’s found a new woman to hate. They got her fired from Nintendo America (who will never see another dime from me, now that I know they value the feelings of channer hate-groups so much) and now they’re doxxing her family. Because woman with wrong opinion. Trump supporter Mark Kern’s leading the charge, as per usual.

LindsayIrene
4 years ago

I just popped in to say that Kristen Hersh’s ‘Rat Girl’ is one of my all-time favorite musician memoirs.

Imaginary Petal
Imaginary Petal
4 years ago

Is this a place for sharing 90s musical throwbacks?

peaches
peaches
4 years ago

I’m sure my husband has a lot of Throwing Muses in his collection. He loves female-led bands, it’s his thing. To the point that he’s been known to chide me for listening to too many male artists.

Moocow
4 years ago

@magnesium

Ugh, it’s so disgusting to see actual companies side with a hate group. How the hell did GG get her fired?

Do you have some good links/articles on the situation? I’d like to know more

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

Since it’s an open thread…

Warning! Contains information about how humor works. There is a risk of seeing what the humor is supposed to be helping us feel better about more often.

I have a question, but first a little bit of set-up.

I’m working on a blog post that I’ve been agonizing over for a while because of it’s complex and how needs to be done well, and because it will add to a pre-existing social conflict. So I’m being careful and it makes the writing harder.

It’s has to do several very important things:
*Outline what humor is.
*Give some simple examples.
*Includes group psychology and group conflict as a complication.
*Dissects the video “Feminists love Islamists” that Richard Dawkins recently approvingly tweeted about (google at your own risk).

The components of humor.
Humor seems to primarily be made up of two components. One of them is an incongruity, a deviation from expected norms or experiences, it’s also a violation of sorts. In fact humor is considered a way of making a social violation acceptable (in the abstract, the social conflict angle mucks this up functionally, it’s not “just a joke”).

The other is something that I have not seen in the literature on humor as far as I can tell, but I think that it is definitely there. The problem is that I’m not sure what to call it, at the moment I have “emotional transformation concept bridge” which is totally unacceptable from an aesthetic standpoint. It’s an element at a kind of “joining spot” in a juxtaposition in the humor that allows emotions to transform, kind of like how a common denominator lets fraction math work.

Question 1: What is a better term? I’m thinking about “”transformation concept” as a best version, but I’m in need of some options.
Question 2: Does this idea of a conceptual link in a juxtaposition make sense? I have more examples and it seems to hold up. (It’s possible this is already something in research or literature too and I’m just noticing it but did not find the concept).

Let me explain a bit more.

#1 Consider the pun, “that joke was punny”.
It contains a linguistic violation, there is a “pu” instead of “fu” as in the word “funny”. That is the incongruity.

But the “pu” is similar in sound to the “fu” which calls it to mind due to being tangentially relevant (it’s in a close “concept space”). The sound acts as a conceptual bridge which helps to transform emotions.

#2 A visual joke.
comment image
The incongruity is someone placing a tile wrongly as a deliberate means of bothering others, a tease essentially.
Not everyone finds minor dominance displays like teasing funny*, but the conceptual bridge is the feeling of deliberately doing something that would bother anyone who would see it. The humor is produced by the intensity of the emotions in “some men want to watch the world burn”, which contrast with something so minor as a deliberately misplaced tile. Lots of humor uses such intensity alterations.

*It’s something called “aggressive humor”.

kupo
kupo
4 years ago

@Brony
Interesting question. The way you describe it, it’s almost like humor is an emotional allusion. There’s always a thread of truth, but you’re both saying that painful thing and pretending you’re not, thus in my mind it’s a type of allusion. Maybe I’m thinking about it wrong, though.

@magnesium
The Alison Rapp thing has me really upset. It’s hard to find straight answers though. Does anyone know if she actually was mixing her burlesque social media posts with Nintendo-related posts? If so, that sounds to me like it violates their social media policy. And yes, there’s a large amount of rules in their employee handbook about exactly what you are and are not allowed to post on social media if you include them as your employer on your profile. The actual reason they gave, though, of her having a second job, doesn’t violate their policies to my knowledge unless it’s a competitor (they have a non-compete agreement; it’s pretty standard in the industry).

I’m fairly certain that, had GamingGatekeepers not targeted her, she would not have lost her job, and that, plus the layoffs they lie about and some of their other general shittiness makes me not want to purchase their products again.

LinuxLea
LinuxLea
4 years ago

On the Topic of GooberGoshers:
TotalDipshit is having another meltdown as of late, which can be experienced in his recent vlogs, as well as his livestreams.
He seems to have shifted his bullshit from his Twitter to his videos, as well as doubling down on the anti-progressive warglebargle.
Examples: He calls Anita Sarkeesian as “a professional liar”, then proceeds to lie (by omission) about the call for more women in gaming.
He also partners with TAA for the “actuallyhelpwomen” charity, which has been called “weaponized” (for good reason).
Seems he figured he won’t be around long enough to face the consequences of his actions, so he decided to whip his drooling, neoreactionary fans into a frenzy.

When I first heard of his cancer-diagnosis I thought “Noone deserves this”, but I’m beginning to see the point of the “Karma” argument.

What a pathetic manchild.

LinuxLea
LinuxLea
4 years ago

After doing some research the story seems to be this:
FemFreq had a livestream for fundraising, which apparently was just a blank screen.
Dipshit trolled the chat and got banned. (Surprising noone).
He then proceeded to put on his own charity-stream consisting of a blank screen raising money for the Abhorrent Banana Enthusiast, just to spite FemFreq.
Relevant Link:

He then spent several livestreams rambling on about “the regressive left”, him being a liberal leftie (proving how dense he really is, by stating he voted LibDems in the UK), the gaming media being his competitors, therefore his enemies (really!) that can be slandered as he wishes.

This guy is unbelievable.

LinuxLea
LinuxLea
4 years ago

God damn, I can’t format for shit!

Sorry

Cyberwulf
Cyberwulf
4 years ago

The entire Gamergate hashtag needs a slap. OOPS HOW BULLYING OF ME. I can only hope most of its footsoldiers grow up to feel ashamed of themselves.

sunnysombrera
sunnysombrera
4 years ago

I’m sad that TotalBiscuit is such a twerp and I am actually sad that he’s got terminal cancer, purely because I really liked him in the Polaris podcasts. It’s that feeling where you realise that you can no longer justify liking a media figure but you can’t shake that you’re a fan of one of their works.

sunnysombrera
sunnysombrera
4 years ago

@Cyberwulf
I highly doubt that. Since most of them are young though, I hope that their awfulness seeps into their IRL lives and they get their consequences that way. Tantrums and spiteful harassing are not tolerated in most workplaces, for starters, and they’re unlikely to find a partner that will put up with their shitty personalities (though they’ll probably just blame her for “not loving me as I am wah wah shallow bitch”).

Cyberwulf
Cyberwulf
4 years ago

@sunnysombrera I swing between wishing violence upon them (I want to make quite clear I would never do anything to them IRL, this is a passing feeling of HULK SMASH) and telling myself that most of them are stupid kids being led around by the nose by right wing opportunists.

I wouldn’t wish terminal cancer on anyone and it makes me sad that TotalBiscuit wants to spend the time he has left trashing people he doesn’t agree with over something as inconsequential as video game reviews.

LinuxLea
LinuxLea
4 years ago

@cyberwulf
I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one.
The ones left are really beyond the pale. Everyone who sincerely believed this shitshow was about “ethics” left the “movement” a long time ago.
All that is left now are people who realized long ago that “ethics” was a convenient PR move and neoreactionaries who saw an opportunity to recruit emotionally stunted manchildren to their cause (Milo, Vox Day, Larry Correia, etc.).

It has always been about misogyny, while pretending to be inclusive. It’s their MO, and the Tophat Turd follows it to the letter: He partners with Banana Butt Boy for a charity and therefor claims to be a real feminist, while all the people who support, say, Crash Override, are in fact anti- feminist. (Not even kidding, he really does that.)
He then goes to FemFreqs chat and calls Anita Sarkeesian “con artist”.
When he gets banned for that he passive-aggressively puts on streams for his charity and in his commentary crafts a narrative for his drooling fanboys to repeat everytime their parents ask them what this Gamergate they keep rambling on about is all about.

The only thing that separates him from the Akkadian Neckbeard at this point is that he still doesn’t like Trump.
But it really seems like he just doesn’t give a shit anymore if people see him for the cretin he is.

Kevin Logan will find his recent livestreams a veritable goldmine.

Pony's Labia
Pony's Labia
4 years ago

Bless the 90’s. I miss you so much!

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

Just wondering if anyone out there has any experience of setting up a Housing Association? Specifically with the process of registering as “a provider of social housing” under the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008.

Possibly a long shot but there are a lot of knowledgable people on this site, so worth a punt. 🙂

kupo
kupo
4 years ago

Heads up: tomorrow (4/12/16) is Equal Pay Day in the US. Forecast calls for mantrums with occasional sprinkles of male tears.

Cyberwulf
Cyberwulf
4 years ago

@LinuxLea holy shit the Gamergaters live in a bizarro world, don’t they?

Criticism is “censorship”.

Harassment is “criticism”.

Hit pieces based on internet rumours are “ethical journalism”.

Victims of harassment who speak out about their harassment are “cry bullies”. (Anyone who uses the term “cry bully” in earnest retroactively deserves all the bullying they ever suffered.)

They treat their NotYourShield supporters like Pokémon. (“Milo, I choose YOU! SJWs are weak against gay types!”)

They deride Anita Sarkeesian as a scam artist while throwing their pocket money at a clown and a white supremacist who can’t even work a microphone properly to make a hit piece about her.

They smear a Nintendo employee they don’t like (because muh titty slider) as a paedophile while congregating on a haven for child molesters.

They whinge about “political correctness” and “SJWs” but scream “BIGOTRY!” when someone points out what shitty, shitty people Gamergaters are, even going so far as to compare themselves to black people and Muslims.

They do all that, and then they compare “SJWs” to Big Brother. Which, apart from being ironic, proves that they’ve never even read 1984 because if they had, they’d know that Big Brother wins.

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

Not gamergate again…
Seconding the request for sources, but on all of the situations mentioned in here. If some of this is part of a previous open thread just point me there.
If someone has cancer and they get political, the politics is still fair play. If they only give you emotional characterizations of someone or something and can’t get specific, that is still fair game. The immanence of death would make me more careful of my reputation, not less.

@LinuxLea
I’ll look at those twitter threads, but for some reason twitter give me trouble when it comes to navigating around. Do those links link to associated sources?

@kupo
Allusions are related, but so things like metonymy and other ways of talking about things non-literally by use of associated characteristics. Whatever category that allusions, metonymy and other things are in that might be more relevant. I’m pretty sensitive to non-literalisms.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metonymy

I’m honestly still thinking over it really carefully as well because I’m not sure how to define it precisely yet. In the case of that pun a simple sound was able to link two things, a joke being funny and the nature of the commentary on that joke (or maybe the joke was a pun, I did not specify and it can go more than one way). At the minimum I think that a sensory feature and a concept is needed though. (sound + something being funny)
The joke about the tiles I might have explained wrong because that is one I’m still thinking over. The (1) broken visual pattern (2) being mildly annoying from breaking expectations might both be necessary features.
A third example, a joke from Jerry Seinfeld that I’m using in the post.
” According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”
The incongruity is the idea of death being less scary than public speaking. The juxtaposition is between the fear of death and the fear of speaking while doing the eulogy.
To twist the emotions a basic sensory feature is used, location. In addition the social concept is feeling fear of social attention. The joke twists your attention into thinking about being dead by saying “you are better off in the casket” instead of simply saying that you are dead because the joke needs you to focus on two sides of death and fear of social attention since the point of the humor is feeling better about fear of public speaking.
I think. I’m still agonizing over it, but at least it’s really fascinating. But I’ve also been working on it for about two months.

@Cyberwulf
My view of it is “I’m allowed to say things that make you feel bad because I’m used to it, but you can’t say things that make me feel bad because that’s outrageous!”. I’m sure someone exists, but I still can’t get anyone to get specific on the content of one of Anita Sarkeesian’s videos. Being able to talk in quotes, time points and associated sources should be standard, not hyperbolic non-literalisms.
Have you ever listened to the “This week in blackness” podcast? Elon James White often jokes about “black person Pokémon” when it comes to criticism.

Crys T
Crys T
4 years ago

I’ve been lurking here for years, but have only commented 2-3 times before. I had to come out to fangirl over the Muses/Donnelly/Hersh songs.

Counting Backwards!!! Not Too Soon!!! Both are amongst my favourite songs.

David, your taste is impeccable.

And I KNEW there was a reason that, no matter what my state of mind, I kept coming back here.

Scildfreja
Scildfreja
4 years ago

@Brony,

Humour’s such an important topic, and so poorly understood! It really is a tricky pickle, that one.

I can’t really help overmuch, as it’s not my specialty, but I can certainly offer my thoughts.

The punny-funny comment, in which you pointed out that a good joke needed to have that element of similarity between the two switched parts. The two parts of the joke need to be brought together tightly – like you said, it’s about pairing things that aren’t normally paired together. Having the similar sound will activate similar neural structures in the brain (Broca’s zone for that one, I think?), which will help activate the brain regions associated with both. Just a guess – you’d want a study done or something!

As for Jerry Seinfeld’s joke. I think you’re missing a part of humour – humour as social lubricant. Jokes and humour are meant to ease people, they’re a sign of friendship and easy communication. This usually includes indirect communication – metaphors and examples instead of direct description. So, “you’d rather be dead that speaking in public” -> “you’d rather be in the casket than at the podium.”

That’s at least a possibility – it’s what came across my head when I read it. Hopefully it helps! Let us know what you come up with, it’s interesting stuff!

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

Just watching a documentary about ‘England’s Early Queens’. Didn’t know that Mathilda refused the title of Queen but insisted on being called ‘King’. (It didn’t end well)

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ Brony

My view of it is “I’m allowed to say things that make you feel bad because I’m used to it, but you can’t say things that make me feel bad because that’s outrageous

I see it more as classic school bully mentality.

If their victims ‘tell on them’ then they’re just a ‘sneak’ and that’s unacceptable (“You shouldn’t grass” and all that)

But when someone just smacks them back then they’re the first ones who go crying off to teacher.

weirwoodtreehugger
4 years ago

I almost peed with excitement at the new Game of Thrones trailer!

It was much needed pick me up for a Monday.

LinuxLea
LinuxLea
4 years ago

@Brony:
TBs vlog “Rise of VR and end of drama” (or something like that)
His “Enter the Gungeon” livestreams. (Archived on a fan channel)
On that archive there’s also a vid named “literally nothing” (or somesuch), which is his spitestream.

I’m not getting the links, so as not to give him views.

As to the reputation thing: I would definitely be mindful of my reputation.
TB on the other hand has a history of pigheadedness and doubling down on bullshit, and it just seems to me that he just decided to drop the mask entirely.
I mean noone worried about their reputation would touch TJ Kirk with a ten yard stick.

kupo
kupo
4 years ago

http://venturebeat.com/2016/04/05/game-developer-group-doesnt-let-nintendo-off-the-hook-for-firing-alison-rapp/

The IGDA has issued a statement about the Alison Rapp incident. They don’t have as much power as the ESA, but it’s a good start.

Freemage
Freemage
4 years ago

brony: I can’t really speak to the topic you’re trying to write about, but I can point to a couple of decent works by other writers:

The Dilbert Principle, by Scott Adams. Yes, Adams is a douchebro of the highest order. But this was his first book, before his ego became completely unmanageable, and thus has some decent stuff in it, including his own breakdown of the elements of humor. If you opt for this, look for a cheap copy at a used bookstore (Half-Priced Books usually has some in stock), so as to not actually give him any more money.

The Road To Mars, by Eric Idle (of Monty Python fame). This novel you can buy new and feel good about. The plot mirrors the classic road movies (two guys, traveling and trying to survive) of the early era of comedy film, but with a twist–it’s told from the point of view of their robotic companion, who is attempting to do a treatise on what humor is, and why it exists. The book is, itself, a very long set-up for a very subtle pun, which makes it nicely meta. My only real critique is that, like much of Monty Python, it completely fails the Bechdel Test.

EJ (The Other One)
4 years ago

@Brony:
IIRC, Wittgenstein defined humour as “two stories, one less worthy than the second, with an unexpected switch between them.”

For example in the tile incident, there is the worthy explanation (people make mistakes) and the unworthy explanation (someone was filled with hatred towards all of civilisation and chose to express it by deliberately placing a tile in a slightly wrong position.) By drawing our attention to the tile, the joke sets up the first explanation in our minds, and then suddenly switches to the second. Hence, humour.

This is why jokes aren’t funny the second time: the switch is no longer expected.

This is also how my favourite joke (The Reverse Aristocrats) works. It relies upon the audience knowing The Aristocrats, and then telling them a very long story which does not become obscene in any way. At some point they will realise this. The “worthy” story (a conventionally filthy telling of The Aristocrats) is replaced with an “unworthy” one (an entirely banal and unremarkable tale which you are wasting your time by listening to) unexpectedly. The longer the teller draws it out the more “unworthy” the second story becomes and so the more funny it is.

EJ (The Other One)
4 years ago

Off-topic:
I’m going to vent for a moment.

Can we as humanity just agree to learn to differentiate “what I am romantically attracted to” from “what I think is a good idea”? Aaaargh.

Last night I had a conversation with several people, one of whom was a very loud (and slightly drunk) woman who explained to everybody how she thought that men being sensitive and intelligent was a bad thing. Real men were strong, silent and authoritative, she explained; they didn’t negotiate but just took what they wanted.

Sadly, several men agreed with her and started talking about how “real women” were a pleasure to work with and to date, but all these modern women had strayed from the template in ways that were unacceptable. Society would be better, they opined, if everybody [insert a list of bullshit genderbinaries that I don’t want to type out.]

Did I stay silent? Yes I did, because it wasn’t my event and I didn’t want to be blamed for ruining it by starting an argument. Reader, you may have read my work before, and if so you may understand that this was difficult for me.

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

Re: Humor and jokes.
I think I’m just going to call the second one a “conceptual juxtaposition” and go from there. I’m not sure about how emotion gets transferred, shunted or whatever else functionally happens anyway.

@Scildfreja
How is your name pronounced? I want my internal monologue more accurate while I read.

I think that topics like this are things where anyone can have a contribution. We are still working it out and if we all experience the mental phenomena in question a perspective that helps to figure it out can come from anywhere. A study would be nice, but it’s just me and I have limited resources. Besides, plenty of things in psychology originate from people just thinking about what we already know and talking to other people about it.

As for Jerry Seinfeld’s joke. I think you’re missing a part of humour – humour as social lubricant. Jokes and humour are meant to ease people, they’re a sign of friendship and easy communication.

I am admittedly deemphasizing the social lubricant aspect of humor here, but I’m not neglecting it and I will be addressing it. My main focus will be on how when group psychology is thrown in what is a social lubricant to one group (sexist bigots and insulting juxtapositions) becomes social weapons against another (feminists, and muslims as a secondary target). Humor is a phenomena that changes according to a lot of variables:

*Type of humor (self-enhancing, self-deprecating, affiliative, aggressive). Humor can be more than one of these at the same time too. My ADHD support group got into an interesting discussion about the “black humor” that was used by Jews in Ireland that combined several of these.

*Is the target of the humor personal or impersonal? If the target is a person, or personal characteristic (less sensitive but in some people) that can invoke more intense emotions in either direction.

*Psychological in-group/out-group effects. Humor can be different depending on if it is perceived by in-group or out-group members (especially humor about another group), or if it is about an in-group member.

Group A [A1, A2…]
Group B [B1, B2…]
There are at least four perspectives for an individual in there:
-[individual]-[whole in-group]
-[individual]-[in-group member]
-[individual]-[whole out-group]
-[individual]-[out-group member]
…and positive and negative perspectives for each.

*Relationship to target of humor. Are you the target? Is it an in-group member? Is it an out-group member? Is it your group? This is similar to the above, but it covers seeing an in-group member being a target.

*Time. (The phenomena of it being “too soon” for some humor)

I’m sure there is more I will need to note at some point. Humor is a social lubricant, but it does not lubricate everyone, everyone the same way, and even does the opposite.

This usually includes indirect communication – metaphors and examples instead of direct description. So, “you’d rather be dead that speaking in public” -> “you’d rather be in the casket than at the podium.”

I think that is part of how the humor works. In my experience non-literal references actually add complexity that seems to make the humor more intense and amusing.
Those are good things to bring up. Let me know what you think if you think I should consider anything else. Thanks!

@Alan Robertshaw

I see it more as classic school bully mentality.

I agree and should have been more specific,. That is my mocking rewrite that displays the illogic of the position that is a bully mentality. They want to portray others as being oversensitive for their complaints about things that bother them, which is expressing sensitivity about being bothered. This is usually combined with an utter lack of specificity about what others are complaining about, because avoiding that is the point.

If their victims ‘tell on them’ then they’re just a ‘sneak’ and that’s unacceptable (“You shouldn’t grass” and all that)

I wonder what the adult version of that one is.

>But when someone just smacks them back then they’re the first ones who go crying off to teacher.
The adult version of that one I have heard, it’s the unexpanded insistence that what the other person is saying is outrageous, and the mythologizing of how “conversation gets shut down when people use sexist/racist”.

@Freemage
Thanks! I’ll see if I can get a copy.

@EJ
Sorry to hear that. I had one of those last night at my ADHD support group as well. I need to look up some criticisms about attraction and evopsych now. Hopefully a different event will work out better.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

This is great. I love octopuses (octopi?, octopedes?)

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/14/world/asia/inky-octopus-new-zealand-aquarium.html?smid=nytcore-ipad-share&smprod=nytcore-ipad&_r=1

This story could only be better if the staff noticed one of their cars was missing as well.

@ brony

Sorry for not replying earlier. Only just saw your post; but yep, agree totally.