Thursday, August 8, 2013

My Daughter's Arangetram

I've been away from the blog for some time getting ready for my daughter's Arangetram, which went off flawlessly this past Sunday.  I wouldn't put pictures up of her on a public blog but I would like to say I feel sorry for anyone who wasn't there. It was a truly spectacular performance in a tradition that is not her own but which she has made her own.  Her ability to communicate spiritual and emotional concepts through mime and gesture was just stunning.  The South Asian guests, who had come to see her partner dance, could not stop coming up to me to tell me how personally moved they were by her dancing.  I was too.  It was over in a flash and I am still trying to recapture individual moments and experiences.  Five minutes before she went on my Father-in-law had a fainting spell in his hotel room and so my in laws didn't come to see her, having journeyed all the way from Florida to be there.  We then spent the rest of the week getting him into a hospital, and out again and finally on their way home this morning.  I feel like I've barely drawn breath for weeks.

Meanwhile, of course, if anyone is bopping over here from LGM--yes, that really was me having that idiotic argument with Joe from Lowell.  I had just been thinking that its been months since I had a fight with him about anything--usually, once a year or so, we would have a terrible fight about the Catholic Church and Pedophilia.  This time it seems to be over something even kookier and less relevant to our lives: is it a good idea to waste time, money, and political capital constructing a program that would give (some) people 1000 dollars to move to where a new job was waiting?  I would have thought that people of goodwill could disagree about the population served, whether this is really a big issue at a time of low employment or for the kinds of jobs that are being offered in a cut rate service economy. Apparently, no. The arguments I made could only have been made by Aimai's evil twin and/or by the LGM troll.  The entire discussion became so ridiculous that I started to feel like a character in a bugs bunny cartoon. When Joe began ferreting out the ways I couldn't possibly be myself I saw it was time to give up. One of us is nuts and I'm hoping its not me because I still have teenagers to raise.


  1. Well, that was an odd little episode at LGM. I've always been impressed by the intelligence and depth of knowledge you've displayed in your comments, so thank you for sharing your thoughts there and elsewhere.

  2. Thanks Pseudonym, I appreciate that. To me it could have been quite an interesting discussion, had it not been derailed by a nice exchange of personalities (as they say in English novels of a certain period). Since this does happen periodically with JfL I think its some kind of feature of his on line persona and I don't take it personally. It jibes in an interesting way with the discussion of "mansplaining" in the thread below that one. I would definitely say that our little spat did not have the slightest tinge of mansplaining about it, giving the lie to the assertion (by some commenters) that "mansplaining" has become an all purpose insult and form of control exerted by women over men. Its clear you can have lots of different kinds of spats and conversations--even ones in which a person acts like a total lunatic, lobs insults, and accuses the other person of trolling and nymjacking without there being the slightest tinge of masculinist condescension. I have no doubt that after a period of sulking JfL will go right back to interacting with me online in the same old way--at least until I trip one of his hot buttons again.

  3. I have to say that a man taking particular offense at the term "hysterical" was an unexpected twist to the mansplaining theme.

  4. I reviewed that thread today and I can do no more than shake my head and figure that JfL was in some kind of fugue state. He basically attacked me continuously, personally, over and over until he decided that I was nymjacking and then he pretended that he was attacking a troll version of me. If he really thought that he could, and should of course, have sent me email (which he could have done at any time) alerting me to his conviction that I was being nymjacked. And/or he could have apologized to me under me actual postings (all of them) when he discovered what should have been obvious since my name was clickable, that I was really the very same person he agrees with most of the time. I prefer to laugh it off but you know, reviewing it was disgusting. Absolutely revolting. All I can say is that if he isn't bipolar or subject to alcoholic meltdowns then I have no idea how he can switch it up this way without being schizophrenic.

    1. I know this is nitpicking and you were probably speaking metaphorically, but I can't help it since I used to spend a lot of time working with people with all sorts of problems: schizophrenia can present in many ways, but generally speaking, schizophrenics don't sound like that at all. Your other two guesses are more plausible— so much so that I now regret having replied to him angrily and in detail (though probably no one will notice), because that's just not helpful in such cases; I was always really bad at that as a nurse, I was OK with violent psychotics but if someone who was manic or tweaking or mean-drunk started saying offensive stuff in a superficially coherent way, I would get all flustered and feel like shit for the next 24 hours and of course would not succeed in making them reassess their point of view.

      Of course there are also people whose behavior on the Internet seems pathological in ways that they aren't in real life. It brings out the best in some and the worst in others.

  5. I was late reading all that (and wasted some time posting an angry reply in the original thread before I realized no one was there any more), but... holy shit, yes, that was disgusting. Not that it's any of my business, but if it were me, I would never respond directly to the guy any more even if he did seem to "go right back to interacting in the same old way." At least not until he actually provided the "world's biggest apology" that he unambiguously promised, but possibly not even then; whatever's going on with him, this is likely to be a recurring thing as you say, and for him to go right back to the insults not even an hour after discovering his mistake is not a good sign.

    Anyway, mostly what I wanted to say was just that I really appreciate your writing there and here and elsewhere, and I thought your argument in this case was perfectly clear. I lurk mostly because I can't argue very clearly, so when I do jump in it usually means I'm unusually angry or excited and therefore even less clear. I don't know how people like you and Bijan do it.

  6. That's sweet of you to say, Hob. I remember your nym and your posts very well--that's the only reason I re-read that thread because I saw you had posted something there and I was curious to see where the conversation was going. I can assure you that JfL will never apologize, and he will just keep going. I don't mind. I've avoided his posts for several years because he flies off he handle over certain things but with the things he can deal with he's a perfectly reasonable person. I wasn't expecting this, on this topic, but it was quite typical.

  7. Yeah, I agree. I was speaking more or less metaphorically. I don't like to diagnose people over the internet and I really dislike when people say things like "are you off your meds?" or accuse other people of, among other things, bipolar. However eventually you bump up against enough people who have major mood swings and or lash out viciously, engage in "splitting" and just generally tear up the joint and then go back to pretending nothing had happened. In the real world there is always a proximate cause. In the online world? I don't know. They either radically separate their online social persona from any real world one or they are quite used, in the real world, to winging widly between offense and teary eyed sentimentality and being forgiven and moving on without apology.