Archive for June, 2006

terre haute cuisine

A friend and I were discussing how online dating can make one feel so cut off that one starts writing for one’s own amusement, especially if one is a bit bored with one’s job. He sent me one of his first e-dating correspondences with a lady I found rather snobby and insufferable, though I give him all props for writing someone not-thin and not-younger-than-him. Here’s her ad and his self-indulgent (it’s clear it’s him giving himself “goose bumps”) but hilarious reply. He says this was a sincere effort to get a date, though he sees now he was rather — how do the Brits put it? taking the piss out of her(? could that be right? sounds gross).

Contemplative, Sophisticated, Smart…Click Here!
Reply to: xxxxxx@craigslist.org
Date: 2006-02-23, 7:28AM

Craigslist is really starting to make me wonder about the human condition. Is there any one left who was raised with manners, possesses any degree of refinement and understands the difference between Haute Cuisine and corporate America’s chain restaurants?

Are there any men who are enlightened, who have taken the time to contemplate what life is about and who have come to some conclusion about how to live it? Are there those who understand that having a “killer body” says nothing about their intellect or their true inner being?

I’m beginning to find that this place is more shallow and hopeless than ever, everyone is concerned about external appearances.

This is who I am seeking. A genuine, caring, loving man, who has a good grasp on life, has the resources to enjoy what NYC has to offer, as I do, but who has not been totally brainwashed and pulled in by the insidious veil of shallow ideas that most New Yorkers are striving to achieve. Life is meant to be lived, savored and enjoyed…not rushed thru.

I’m a 49 year old very attractive, full figured and proportionately shaped woman with a lot to offer. I have a keen zest for life, a great sense of humor, live a life of refinement and good taste and would love to converse with some one that possesses style, intellectual prowess, understands the world and life and sees the “big picture”. I am a non- smoker and am seeking the same.

Do you want a loving, caring, intelligent woman to share your life with? Are you tired of clicking on CL posts?

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this craigslist posting was forwarded to you by someone using our
email-a-friend feature….

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Hi, xxxxxx@craigslist.org,
My name is J_____.

I’m 48, live in Manhattan, am divorced with two sons, nine and eleven, who live with me half-time. I am tall, with an athletic/slim build, lots of intact hair, and even a few teeth left. I’m the creative director of an interactive media agency, which I expect (perhaps even hope) would be meaningless to you if you are not in the same business. That being said, it actually means that I use video, animation, websites, DVDs, CD-ROMs, rings and strings and sealing wax and other fancy stuff for clients. BTW, does “That being said…” seem to you to have supplanted “At the end of the day…” as the au courant, annoying business phrase for Q1 of 2006? Let’s discuss amongst ourselves…

I started my career as a filmmaker, writer, word processing temp, repertory theatre house manager, ballet stagehand, golf caddy, farmhand, Rizzoli bookstore clerk, and carpenter—although not necessarily in that order.

For what it’s worth (and it did come with a subway token), I also obtained a Master’s Degree in Philosophy, which until now has led me to believe in the power of the self-fulfilling prophecy above all else. Currently, however, the hypothesis that you, xxxxxx@craigslist.org, can be relied upon to give voice to your true feelings about the cultural anthropology of contemporary New York City as it pertains to self-actualization criteria, body image issues, and the urban food pyramid is giving my previous weltanschauung a good run for its money.

In truth, if you believe in that sort of thing, while my philosophical training has given me an incredibly sensitive instrument for the detection of hypocrisy, posturing, hidden agendas, and double standards—in myself as much if not more than in others—it’s only the 30 years I’ve spent in the Evelyn Freud School of Speed Therapy that has taught me to read the tea leaves of my own heart.

After contemplating your sophisticated evisceration of contemporary mores, I felt the sting of seeing myself in the pitiless mirror you held up to the men of Manhattan. I’m assuming that the pain arose out of our (us guys’s) moral turpitude, not from seeing my own face in the mirror… But I digress—you have my photos and seem more than capable of forming your own judgments, a trait I share, and value in the characters I call friends. So let’s move on to what is, in diplomatic circles, called “the good part” of this increasingly unwieldy missive, shall we?

I must strenuously object to your implication that a distinction can necessarily be made between “Haute Cuisine” and “America’s chain restaurants.” I make this objection not only in the spirit of disinterested (n.b., not uninterested) linguistic integrity and logical consistency, but I appeal–heck, I’d even pander–to your evident wisdom regarding “the insidious veil of shallow ideas” particularly as regards the aforementioned food pyramid/body image issue constellation.

Thus, on behalf of the good people of Indiana still living the life of classic small-town America, I urge you most fervently to consider “Terre Haute Cuisine”. It just may be the Hegelian Synthesis of the “Haute Cuisine/Chain Restaurant” Thesis/Antithesis that you so passionately and incisively grab by the throat in the first paragraph of your posting. Naturally, a meeting of our minds for a joint post-Hegelian analysis, perhaps even a post-Structuralist Foucaultian/Derridaist reading of the “text” from the “link” below is called for as soon as possible. Right about now is good for me. Or perhaps the weekend is more felicitous timing for you. The quotation marks around what Hegel would have known as die Begreiffen, of course, symbolize our transcendence, together, to a meta-level discourse, where we may fluidly move from macro to micro, contradiction to resolution, accepting both with equanimity. Almost sounds romantic, doesn’t it?

http://www.terrehaute.com/restaurants.aspx

I don’t know about you, but I’m kind of getting goose bumps. I mean, if there really is a place where they still understand that “Life is meant to be lived, savored and enjoyed…not rushed thru,” whether it’s a town in the middle of nowhere, or a shared space of hearts, minds and bodies, I can’t get there alone. So I’m hoping that we’re clicking here now.

They were not. HE was clicking away furiously, but she never wrote back.

hip-hop Congressional campaign on Myspace

Other candidates have MySpace pages, but Joe Ford Jr. of Tennessee uses only MySpace, no Web page. When the page opens, it launches the campaign rap, They Said It.

They Said It’s the usual empty dumpling of a hip-hop lyric — “My rapping/beats/ weaponry/music-clothing-movies empire is better than yours, nyah, nyah, nyah” — stuffed with the tiniest morsel of stump speech. The “have nots and ain’t gots” in “gold grills, dreadlocks” are invited to help Ford “spread his hustle” and “do this thing.”

Candidate Ford elaborates on that platform with a Myspace collage of links to news stories and You Tube videos (Malcolm X, Tupac); and an “Official Biography!!!” His Myspace groups are topped by Bringing Down the Man and Support Your Troops; his heroes include God, Jesse Ventura, and Bill Clinton.
Poking around his site, it hit me how Myspace’s popularity contest format and 89 million young, impressionable members is ideal for politics. The site, so perfect for launching pop stars, is crying out for a scary candidate to brainwash “Voters ages 18-40 who feel disenfranchised by the current government system” — the first target on Ford’s “Who I’d Like to Meet” list.

Ford is probably not the Memphisian Candidate to succeed where Howard Dean failed. Even if he’s right in extending the age of MySpace adolescence up to 40 (yikes), Ford will certainly need more than his current 1299 friends by the election August 6. Yes, his Myspace friends do include Dwyane Wade, who has 2,637 friends, among them Shaq and Allen Iverson. If anyone famous in the chain engaged in Myspace the way some bands have, the Ford candidacy presumably could spread virally among young Tennesseans.

But August isn’t far off. And Ford needs the kids, because he sure isn’t sucking up to the grown-ups — his campaign’s like something out of Wild in the Streets. His favorite movies include the slacker/stoner trilogy Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Dazed and Confused, and Office Space. (Adolescent, yes, but aye like them too!) With friends like Ya Nigga Wanna Wife Me, the fabulously scabrous King Willie page mocking Memphis’s mayor (you really ought to click this link just for the Clinton mammography graphic, again, adolescent but I cracked up) and various stripper-looking ladies who write Ford how much they enjoyed seeing him last night, baby, he’s operating in some post-Monicagate political space that’s stupid, lowest-common-denominator and pandering, but WAY less hypocritical. A lot of these guys ARE in it for the pussy!

If everyone threw their dirt out like this, we wouldn’t have campaigns undone by the dirt-diggers. Ford may be deeply trifling, but he’s not going to be undone by allegations of womanizing or screaming at a rally.

The link to Ford’s site came from this amazing PC Week overview of social networking.

Ford was only one of the fascinating things in there, I hadn’t known about PeerTrainer or Tagworld (I’m sick of linking, go check it out. Guarantee there’ll be SOMEthing you didn’t know about among its multiple jumps).

let glamour readers helm your e-datership

got forwarded this e-mail today:

GLAMOUR seeks single gals willing to keep a blog about their dating
life!

This could be a continuing feature for Glamour, so if you’re a good
writer, this would be really fun and interesting…

Read below for details…
———————

We’d like to let the glamour.com community steer someone’s dating life
for awhile. This person would have a blog and would have to post EVERY
single decision they had to make, re, dating (“Should I ask him out or not? Go
out on another date with this guy? Sleep with him?”) and the community would
vote on what she has to do and then SHE HAS TO DO IT!!!

Obviously, we need someone who’s a major dater and who’s completely game
for this. Someone who’s not necessarily a writer but is chatty, articulate,
lively. Even better if she is already a blogger.

She would only need to use her first name. This would not be paid work
(as of now). It’d be for fun and notoriety, but who knows where it could
lead!

Interested parties should contact me ASAP….

We’ll want to see some samples of their blog, or other personal writing.

Let me know if you’re interested, or know someone who is.

Thanks!

R____

At first I thought of a control board like the one that seized the mayoral reins from charismatic DC crackhead Marion Barry. But then as I imagined having to do whatever I was told (“Sleep with him, he’s rich!” “Forget that one, did you see his SHOES?”), it started to seem more like the Milgram experiment At what point would one say to the glamour.com community, “No, I won’t do that”?

polyamorist seeks open-minded

Oh yay, the poly guy said I could link him here. Have at him, freewheeling ladies. He gets points from me for making me look up “praxis” and for sucking at Scrabble, which I do too. Cute, too.

Wouldn’t that be great if his wife commented here? I always want to hear from both sides of these arrangements. Is SHE on OKCupid? How does it work? What percentage of the time doesn’t it work?

Carmen Electra called me

on the phone yesterday to invite me to join “her” new dating site and then today I saw Luvoo’s ad (Carmen had spelled it for me on the phone) advertised on one of my favorite sites, OK Cupid

I was on OKCupid replying to a married polyamorist who’d “woo’ed” me, asking him if I could link his profile here. OKCupid is great because it’s free and smart and the members write the personality quiz questions themselves. And it’s poly central; for some reason sleeping with people other than your “primary” is common among the Burning Mannish, Web-savvy techno-hippies who are on OKCupid.

So hopefully, he’ll say yes and maybe fill us monoamorists and negamorists in on the poly lush life.

Who IS Carmen Electra? I know she went out with Dennis Rodman, but is that what she’s famous for? She kind of looks like the very funny Jennifer Coolidge, doesn’t she?

Samuel Beckett on passion

I love Beckett’s plays and decided to try reading the trilogy of novels: — Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnameable. Not sure yet if I’ll make it all the way through, but every few pages something makes me laugh so hard I’m sustained through more pages of our hero doing nothing and yet still managing to be indecisive.

Oh, I’ve got an online dating hook, don’t worry. I’d love to see someone put this, from Molloy, under “My Ideal Relationship.” He explains that his first lover Ruth, or maybe her name was Edith, had “a slit”…

and in this I put, or rather she put, my so-called virile member, not without difficulty, and I toiled and moiled until I discharged or gave up trying or was begged by her to stop. A mug’s game in my opinion and tiring on top of that, in the long run. But I lent myself to it with a good enough grace, knowing it was love, for she had told me so.

I hope none of Beckett’s issue sue me for quoting him.

and speaking of skin

Online daters discriminate right out there in the open, making tribe with every blanket policy. In the “What I’m Looking For” part of the profile, the “height-weight-proportional,” the college-educated, the nonsmoking, the high earning, and every other clique are  self-sorting with their check marks.

When I started online dating, back in 2000, I figured everyone would check “Any” or “Doesn’t Matter,” next to the Race box, that that would be one area where people would not discriminate. I was wrong. I tried to imagine the guy scrolling slowly down the boxes, carefully deciding, “Yes to Pacific Islanders, but no Hispanics or African-Americans, hmm, should I let East Asians in?” You ask guys who do this WTF? and they mutter looking down that they’re sexually wired more visually and specifically than the ladies. Their lust is separate from politics, they insist. They shrug ironically (but not) that “I’m not racist; some of my best friends….”

I believe them. There’s a lot of blonde on billboards and TV and magazines programming them that way. Maybe it’s not their fault, but it’s still not very appealing. I told a cynical friend about my policy of not corresponding with men who’ve checked any racial preference. He snorted at me. “You, a white woman, won’t go out with a white man if he doesn’t want to go out with black women? That’s absurd! And don’t you know that all the smooth hipster guys on nerve — just check “Any” to look PC?”

I told him he might be right after I read A study by the Freakonomics guys Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. Their analysis of dating site data indicates that people don’t spread far at all into the melting pot. They looked at the outgoing mailboxes of white e-daters who didn’t check a racial preference and found that the men sent 90 percent of their first-contact e-mails to white women, while the women contacted 97 percent white men.

I don’t know what to make of that 97 percent. For what it’s worth, I think my girlfriends and I have dated more interracially online than we did offline, my guy friends less so. Of those 90 percent of men in the study, I’m sure they’re not all necessarily timid, much less racist or — in the case of white men seeking only “Asian” — gender role Neanderthals or sexual tourists. But a fellow does flash the possibility with those check marks. And maybe the “Any Race” guys are trying to play PC womyn, but at least those guys know that’s impressive. To me anyway. “Those who tend to align with or at least not shrink from what people deride as PC” is one of my tribes. Gooble gobble, one of us.

shallower than skin deep

Back when this loathsome site debuted, I got a kick out of their explanation:

About the BP concept

BeautifulPeople.net is the most exclusive club in the world. Only one in 15 applications is successful; because only the most beautiful and succesful people are admitted.

Becoming a member of BeautifulPeople.net is the beauty equivalent of being accepted in to MENSA. It is an official recognition of your society and culture’s perception of beauty and what is deemed to be attractive.

I like that the beauty equivalent of MENSA can’t spell successful.

Today I notice that 67,618 have applied, 12,371 have been admitted, but only 54 are online. Maybe they’re taking a break from beauty’s pressure at regularlooking.com.

brilliant album about online dating

Mecca Normal’s The Observer is all about singer/songwriter Jean Smith’s online dating; the whole album is as great as the track linked on their blog. (via rarelythetwain)

Welcome

What the world needs now is blogs, more blogs. So here I go. I’ve just finished writing a book about online dating and would like to open the discussion up beyond my room. I’ll be posting links and my blather and your observations about finding sex, love, companionship or community on the Internet.

I Love You, Let's Meet is Stephen Fry proof thanks to caching by WP Super Cache