ITEM: Last Saturday I was in Yarmouth, with a handkerchief on my head and trousers rolled up above my ankles, trying hard to pretend that lukewarm water and a slight breeze could pass muster as summer. Next Saturday I’ll be at the theatre for Play Without Words and the Matthew Bourne Dance Company.
It’s only today that sucks.
ITEM: Last night a friend was explaining to me how she divides fanciable men into ‘husband material’ and ‘lust objects’, but when I raised the possibility of a similar winnowing with women I find fanciable, her response was ‘They’ll all be in the lust category!’
Even my friends think I’m shallow.
ITEM: One evening last week, while walking the Golden Mile in Yarmouth I observed two alpha mules strutting their stuff, shouting and jabbing their fingers at each other while their female companions sat patiently by and looked bored by it all.
My first thought – ‘See! Real life is just like the internet!’
ITEM: Staying with the theme, I witnessed a similar altercation in Lowestoft High Street later in the week. This one seemed more serious, with clenched fists and the women taking part, one shouting abuse and the other trying to drag her partner away.
Out came a shopkeeper and screamed at the younger man, ‘Just walk away!’
And miraculously, the guy did just that, turning round and walking back to his car, at which point the shopkeeper shouted, ‘That’s right! Get in your car and fuck off!’
And so, predictably, the guy turned back and it all kicked off again.
Moral of the story – know when to intervene, and know when to let it go.
ITEM: Genre circles of the internet have been heaving with controversy this week just gone.
There’s been the Readercon thing, with the con board failing to enforce it’s policy of a lifetime ban for those found guilty of sexual harassment, apparently because the offender is a really nice guy and he’s said sorry.
There’s been the Liz Williams vs Requires Hate ten rounder, with Catherynne Valente dragged in as collateral damage, because some people appear to have taken seriously the Biblical adage, ‘who is not with me, is against me’.
There’s been Jim Hines distancing himself from Reddit when they allowed a ‘rapists speak out’ thread on their forums, as rapists are the real victims and they need a cuddle too, and how awful that somebody should take exception to that.
There’s been the ongoing kerfuffle about the Stop the GR Bullies website, with reports of reviewers’ personal details being disclosed on the internet and death threats made.
And, not to be outdone, in the UK we have the Lamblake Heinz controversy.
ITEM: In a shop I saw a DVD of the Mel Gibson film Payback (this is the one where Lucy Liu plays a dominatrix), and noticed that the tag line was the wonderfully apt, ‘No More Mr. Nice Guy.’
Oh, how I sniggered to myself.
ITEM: And could you guys try a bit harder with the comments please? Even the spammers have noticed that you’re not doing very well, with one of them attempting to post – ‘Could it be just me or does it seem like some of the remarks appear like they are coming from brain dead folks? ‘
Yes, dear! It is just you.
My brother has intervened in a few fights in his time, usually were a woman was concerned, and yes, sometimes it backfires.
Oh dear, I fear I am brain dead and thus the spammer is right.
Ah, Mistress Cate, I believe even a brain dead version of yourself could run rings run round any pernickety spammer.
I commend your brother as a man of honour. I once intervened when The Imaginary Girlfriend was sexually harassing an office junior, but sadly I was motivated by jealousy rather than any more noble instinct 😦