Weekend Thoughts

  • I have discovered that discussing circumcision makes people possibly more insane than discussing abortion. Also that the posts in which I’m probably the least invested start the biggest brou-ha-has.
  • Mad Men is kind of falling apart. Fat Betty? But I enjoyed Season 2 of Boardwalk Empire. Anybody have a good series that you can have an affair with?
  • I am very happy Jonathan Chait went to New York Magazine, because that how I discovered Dan Amira, who consistently cracks me up. This slideshow gave me the giggles.

Rose Woodhouse

Elizabeth Picciuto was born and reared on Long Island, and, as was the custom for the time and place, got a PhD in philosophy. She freelances, mainly about disability, but once in a while about yeti. Mother to three children, one of whom is disabled, two of whom have brown eyes, three of whom are reasonable cute, you do not want to get her started talking about gardening.


  1. I’ve no help for you on TV. Mrs. Likko just finished watching all of those Twilight movies. I saw a cumulative total of about a half hour of screen time, between them. Wretched.

    But I will say you should not have been surprised that a post on circumcision would serve as a clarion call for fanaticism.

    • I did, just thought it would be less intense than abortion.

      • I’m convinced that there are people that google the issue and pounce whenever someone brings it up.

        My coblogger wrote a lot about the Lara Logan deal (believing that Logan is a fraud) and whenever she wrote about it, we’d suddenly a lot of drive-through. Long after the incident was in the news so much.

        • I think they must have. Which makes me wonder if the same people have the same argument over and over on different blog posts.

          • I blogged about the Amanda Knox trial once. I got fantastic results — well-thought out analyses of the evidence, careful and sober consideration of opposing points of view, and a respectful but critical critique of the Italian criminal justice system.

            ….Oh, wait. No, I didn’t get that at all. I take it back. What I got was lunatics shouting at each other about irrelevancies.

        • It’s probably because her blogs were so idiotic people had to respond.

  2. Whatever you do: Do not discuss whether the toilet paper roll should go over or if it should go under.

    Mostly because it should go over.

      • I will provide links to PEER-REVIEWED studies which prove beyond a doubt that toilet paper that goes under leads to tremors, bloody noses, and eventually, complete mental breakdown.

          • Russell, I wonder if I convey the wrong impression when I say that this comment is why I love you.

          • Only to readers we could do without anyway.

            Cmon now. Looking at the images looking back at me on ya’lls gravatars, there’s something sorta … congenial about the whole discussion.

          • @Mike Schilling — dry heaves are indeed a common reaction to Tom Friedman.

          • I’m not a big fan of most of the insulting nicknames for pundits, but The Mustache of Understanding is wonderful.

        • How dare you? That is a terrible insult and disparagement to the autonomy of the toilet paper roll. Ought the roll not to decide for itself whether it should go over the top or out from underneath? For every PEER-REVIEWED study you point to in favor of over the top, I can point to more PEER-REVIEWED studies that out from underneath is better from the perspectives of spatial efficiency, ease of hand access, AND tear-off control. That leads to less usage of excess paper and thus a longer life for the roll. Why do you want to waste toilet paper so? Are you some sort of enemy of the environment? Gaaaah!

          • Your comment proves you have a thinly veiled sexual agenda. Because you are a fascist and mental pervert.

            Everyone knows that there are over 20,000 soft toilet papery fibers on every square of toilet paper. Putting the paper under the roll forces these fibers against the wall of the toilet paper dispensing receptacle, and shears them off. If you say you enjoy your wiping experience just fine with an under-the-roll sheet, it’s because you just don’t know the pleasure you’re missing from an over-the-roll, intact square.

          • That may be your subjective wiping experience, sir, but you also ignore the deep cultural significance of the out-from-underneath roll mounting position. It is hard to believe in this day and age that somoene could be genuinely ignorant of this, and so I can only conclude that you, sir, are a toilet paper bigot.

          • The need of lube is a function of inadequate lateral leaning and posture, or the use of a low grade of paper, or of spending too much time after the principal business is done to finish reading the Tom Friedman column and resultant drying. No toilet user can ever really be sure that his experience is the same as some other user’s, especially when Friedman’s gone up on high horse about the Federal Reserve Board again.

            So face it, you over-the-top chauvanist you, there is no adequate or scientifically validated evidence supporting the idea that softness or need for lubrication has anything to do with the orientation of the toilet paper roll. You just want everyone to be like you and to impose your subjective experiences on everyone else.

            And you call me a fascist. It is to laugh.

          • Look, I understand your need to defend under-the-roll wiping. There’s probably a lot of suppressed anger and denial that you’re dealing with. Your parents no doubt meant well when they raised you in an under-the-roll wiping household, probably because they were part of an under-the-roll wiping community and didn’t know better themselves. Or maybe they were over-the-roll types at one point, but saw how many people around them went under and felt the need to conform, to have their roll look like everyone else’s. You’ve got a lot of history, and I understand the need to defend it.

            But you have to face the undeniable preliminary scientific evidence that over-the-roll is more healthful. Over 17,000 experts agree with me.

          • finish reading the Tom Friedman column and resultant drying

            ITYM “dry heaving”.

          • Oh, and now you patronize me. This only further proves your extremist water closet prejudices and the subversive agenda associated therewith. As if further proof were needed. I have nothing further to say to you, sir. Good day.

          • Typical. Running away from the truth. I’ll bet you didn’t know that the same people who recommended under-the-roll wiping also recommended making little girls sit in carbolic acid, to keep them from scratching. Think about that the next time you reach for the Froot Loops.

            But enough of this. I tire of you, as well. Go to your sadly diminished, under-the-roll wiping and leave me in peace.

        • Though you are entirely correct in every respect, there is but one exception to this rule and if you ever see it, pity the poor soul who must, MUST reverse the roll. For you have found a Kitten Owner.

          Yes, a kitten is not merely a fluffy little shit factory but finds the toilet paper roll to be an object of endless fascination. That kitten will unroll an entire roll of Charmin onto the bathroom floor if the roll is put on in the Going Over position. Only the Going Under position will keep it on the roll.

    • Rose, this was, um, not the discusion you were hoping to inspire, was it?

      • It may not be what she was expecting, but it is freaking hilarious. Funny and unexpected is always awesome in my book.

        • Hoping to inspire, no. Totally delighted by, yes. Masterful work, both of you! You make excellent nut jobs!

    • Depends on whether you have children or [other] pets. Over works for most house-holds, but you definitely want under if tiny paws can grab hold.

      Wait — I’m being serious again! Dang it!!!

  3. Recent decently liked shows have been: most of the HBO type stuff, Downton Abbey, 30 Rock, Sherlock, Modern Family, Luther….we’re reasonably open-minded.

    • Far and away, the best new show of the season for me has been Revenge. It’s not… of great substance… but fun as heck to watch. Did you ever see Profit?

      I enjoyed Boss, which was very HBOey, though a lot of others didn’t like it. I’ll see if I can think of anything else.

      If you have a Netflix subscription or something, go back and watch Better Off Ted. One of the most underrated shows of the last ten years.

    • We watch far too much TV.

      The Voice and Amazing Race have everything good about reality TV (ordinary people doing fun things) without the garbage. Modern Family, Raising Hope, Suburbatory and Top Shot (especially since there weren’t any real a**holes this year) are great fun. Grimm and Once Upon a Time provide a fun look at fairy tales, from completely different points of view.

      • The Better Half LOVES Once Upon a Time, and every time I watch it with him is very patient about explaining exactly what it is that is going on.

      • I have always liked the story of Snow White (not the Disney version though). I like what Once Upon a Time did with her story.

  4. I read your post about circumcision, but after reading a handful of the comments I quit. I knew I would not be going back.

    I watch very little television so I’m sure you have seen everything I’ve seen (and more).

  5. My understanding is that they wrote in Fat Betty to cover January Jones’s pregnancy, and then she crossed them up by hardly gaining any weight.

  6. Mad Men is most certainly not falling apart. I question the veracity of that statement. You can make Betty fat, but can you make her likable or sympathetic? That is the question.

  7. I have written about circumcision in the past at a different site, and I knew exactly how much such posts would blow up (and took the right social media steps to make sure they blew up). I gave a couple of co-bloggers a heads up, and even with that, they were pretty stunned.

    There was a particularly large influx of female commenters. One co-blogger, who shall remain nameless, responded (playfully) with something to the effect of, “ladies love weiners”.

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