Oh, balls.

In trying to hit command/A to capture an URL for blogging, I mistakenly hit command/Q, quit my browser and lost a lengthy but boring post.

At least, I’m telling myself it was boring, to justify my refusal to try to recreate it now. Here’s the short version: Snow, birdwatching, errands, writing, an upcoming photo project, bloggage.

I’ll just do the bloggage, then:

Greg Beato does a great job with Nathan Greene, a Christian artist, here. A wonderful read, and not what you’d think.

If you’ve ever endured a miscarriage, this lengthy but readable WashPost piece on the best research on the topic is worth your time. News flash: As many as half of all sperm/egg unions are miscarried.

Finally, is anyone on the NYT op-ed page dumber than David Brooks? I mean, he makes Maureen Dowd look sharp as a stiletto. Especially in this piece on the death of family-based civilization in…separate checking accounts.

That said, I thought this post explicating it hits the nail on the head: This is not a column meant to persuade those who aren’t already convinced that the American family is in serious peril. It is a column meant to persuade those who are convinced. It is meant to persuade them that their fears are justified and that this is just another sign that things are getting worse so they better elect more Republicans if theywant to save the family as a fundamental American institution.

Brooks’ surface point is vacuous at best, but his underlying message plays right to fear that reside in the heart of the Republican base. And by openly mocking it we are playing into the stereotype that liberals don’t understand the danger that is right in front of them.

Liberals need to understand that this kind of mockery is really just self-congratulatory back-slapping (“Ha! Look at the foolish Bobos and their foolish concerns! Good thing we aren’t so foolish!”). It does nothing to reverse the political trend of this country. It may, in fact, make it worse.

So should we take the concern about separate checking accounts seriously? No. But should we take the deeper, underlying concerns seriously? Most definitely!

So I guess it should keep my mouth shut.

And finally, a great Lance post. On the movies. And, as usual, on lots of other things, too.

Posted at 9:49 am in Uncategorized |

20 responses to “Oh, balls.”

  1. Danny said on March 2, 2005 at 11:39 am

    Thanks for the link on Nathan Greene, Nance. It reminded me of something. A few weeks ago I was sitting in a movie theater mindlessly looking at the advertisements and movie factoids flashing upon the screen prior to the previews and feature. One of the factoids was about the actor Noah Wiley of ER fame. It stated that he has an odd hobby of “collecting arks.”

    I wonder if that means that he collects painted portrayals of Noah’s Ark of which I have seen several very cool ones or if there is a whole genre of art that I have never heard of. Building miniature arks in bottles? Anyone know?

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  2. Dorothy said on March 2, 2005 at 11:56 am

    Thank you, too, for the link to the article about miscarriages. I had my first one 23 years ago, then had a daughter, and another miscarriage when she was 11 months old. My gynecologist at that time told me I should “probably” stop nursing since that might have contributed to the 2nd miscarriage.

    I had already read literature (probably from La Leche League) that addressed that subject, but also dismissed that theory. Plus, I reasoned, I was not breastfeeding when I had the first miscarriage. So several months later when I got pregnant again, I was still nursing. I stopped nursing just before my second trimester. I happily gave birth to my son with no complications. My impression of the doctors’ reactions with my miscarriages was they had no clue what could have caused it. Of course I was aware of the likelihood of genetic malformation, etc., so I accepted that explanation and did not wring my hands over the possible causes. It was more of an emotional need than anything that I felt went unaddressed.

    Both times I was pregnant for only 9 or 10 weeks, but that was plenty of time to imagine that child’s facial features, names, milestones, marriage, even the grandchild it could have given me! Having two healthy children helped to heal the yearnings of “what if”, but you still grieve for the unknown, even if it’s just once in a while.

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  3. juan said on March 2, 2005 at 11:59 am

    I don’t think it’s so dumb. It’s just a microcosm of control and compromise. Initially, when we married, my wife was making more money than I. She was the veteran of a marriage where (despite making the big $) she had to beg her previous husband for the smallest of pocket change.

    I insisted on seperate checking accounts. She said “No.”

    I didn’t understand.

    She said, “If ‘control’ ever trumps ‘compromise,’ then the problem ISN’T the registration on the checking account.” (Translation: “Screw with me and you’ll be wanking your own weezer like the last bozo who did that to me.”)

    As a society we all want to drive. Nobody wants to be a gracious passenger. We all believe that we have a divine right to captain any and every ship we encounter. Individualism trumps collectivism.

    And on a micro level, that is great. On a macro level, constant power struggles keep the ship from making progress.

    Take a good look at what is unfolding in the U.S. congress this year. The minority party still asserts its right to drive. If they can’t drive, then they will struggle for the steering wheel until the vehicle crashes.

    And I don’t think liberals are stupid bobos. I understand. I want to drive all the time, too. I hate being the passenger, especially when I don’t trust the driver. The difference is that I’ll bite my tongue and dig my fingers into the mother-in-law handle in the interests of getting to the destination, even if it’s not my first choice destination.

    Gracious passengership; a lost art.

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  4. Nance said on March 2, 2005 at 1:11 pm

    Well, Juan, I guess my point is: Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. We maintain separate accounts because it’s simply easier to manage our household finances that way. And for two people with radically different money-management styles, it can mean the difference between peace in the valley or armageddon. We have a yours/mine/ours setup, and the “ours” is fully public (we manage it online). I’d know if Alan were draining off funds to support a mistress, and he’d know if I were nursing a heroin habit. Beyond that, I don’t really care how he spends every dollar, as long as there are enough to pay the bills and save the leftovers.

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  5. Nance said on March 2, 2005 at 1:15 pm

    Oh, and Danny — my dictionary gives at least four definitions of “ark,” only one of which is Noah’s. Although I guess it’s logical to assume a man named Noah would collect little boats with cute giraffe heads poking out the windows, he may also be fond of replicas of the Ark of the Covenant.

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  6. Danny said on March 2, 2005 at 2:12 pm

    Funny you mention the Ark of the Covenant, Nance. I too thought of that angle and I was joking with my wife on how he could just be collecting boxes and calling them arks. She looked at me oddly and I said, “You know, like the plastic boxes you have in our medicine cabinet labelled ‘nail care’ and ‘cosmetics?’ One is the ‘ark of nail care’ and the other is the ‘ark of cosmetics.'”

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  7. Nance said on March 2, 2005 at 2:34 pm

    Dorothy, I thought John Scalzi captured the unique sadness of that event well in this column.

    I’ve never had one myself, but it seems as though every woman I know has, and they all say the same thing, “You feel like the only one, and then people start saying, ‘I had one too.'” If the rates were anywhere near the official med-school-textbook statistic — 15 percent — you wouldn’t hear it so often, I think.

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  8. brian stouder said on March 2, 2005 at 2:52 pm

    regarding “the great lance post” –

    I found it to be 65% good stuff and 35% annoying – which indeed makes it a great post! It pulled me through all the way to the end. I especially liked his theory about college lit students who love the books, as opposed to the ones who love the subject .

    ‘Course, his whining about rightist rubes who (allegedly) all accept sophomoric critiques of movies, even while he disclaims accepting such criticisms by leftist critics was unconvincing.

    I always disdain supposedly unique insights into things, and/or general assertions about the unique ignorance of whole groups of people (especially groups of people who DISAGREE with the writer’s POV)

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  9. Nance said on March 2, 2005 at 4:00 pm

    Brian, Not that I don’t appreciate you, but I quote from Lance Himself:

    I wish he’d leave his criticisms on my site.� I could use the controversy.

    Lance stands ready to joust.

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  10. Lex said on March 2, 2005 at 4:17 pm

    As I said on my own site, I used to think I didn’t like to be around other people because I was a jerk. But thanks to Lance, I now know that the real reason is because I’m an ARTIST! Man, wait’ll I tell the wife and kids.

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  11. juan said on March 2, 2005 at 4:17 pm

    Your cigar is acknowledged, Ms. Nancy.

    And my point is this: Once Anna Nicole sticks the cigar between her ample hooties and begins kissing it seductively, it ceases to symbolise a cigar.

    Logic dictates that it is NOT easier to maintain three accounts than it is to maintain one. I don’t know you from Adam, but I am extrapolating that it’s easier to maintain three accounts than it is to deal with control issues in a marriage. Not mocking, I wholeheartedly agree with the logic of this. Whatever keeps the peace! I, too, opted for the easy(er) route, and was challenged to take trust and compromise to another level. (It helps that My Beautiful Wife is an accountant, as cheap as I am, and a brilliant money manager. That’s some pretty cheap pseudo-piety on my part.)

    But the NYT guy’s article was about the phallic cigar symbolism of individualism over collectivism, and how this is metaphorically illustrated by the rise in individual checking accounts. I guess I didn’t see how it belittled couples who went the dual account route. I just read it as pissing and moaning over the way things used to be better because … fill-in-the-blank. Lame? Sure. Dumb is a harder sell.

    When you have to write two columns a week, they aren’t all going to be Molly Ivins gems, right?

    Thank you for bringing the column to my attention. Even though we read it differently, I found it very interesting. Apparently my “death of the Bananna Seat Bicycle” rant isn’t as original as I would have thought.

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  12. brian stouder said on March 2, 2005 at 4:21 pm

    Well, I suppose I have stepped on the ‘nettiquette’ – (so we need a new Emily Post [pardon the pun], I suppose) –

    but since I followed the link from here in Nancy-land, I thought I’d react here, too.

    In the end, one could indeed accuse me of being provincial (I seem to recall reading some statistic along the lines of 90% of internet users spend 90% of their online time on the same 2 or 3 sites)….

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  13. mary said on March 2, 2005 at 5:32 pm

    When I was still married, the ex and I had a joint account. It sucked. He traveled a lot, and often unexpectedly had to use an ATM for some fairly large chunk of cash. I would be stuck 3000 miles away, standing at a supermarket cash register, having my ATM card declined. At least now I have no one to blame but myself if things get screwed up. Maybe separate accounts would have helped the marriage. Probably not, though.

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  14. Colleen said on March 2, 2005 at 6:39 pm

    We started off with yours/mine/ours, but it pretty quickly morphed into mostly the “ours”. We earn about the same, and discuss major purchases, yadda.

    I could never be in one of those marriages where it’s “you owe me 300 for the mortgage, 75 for groceries, and I paid for the movie last night, so you pick up the tab for my dry cleaning”. Gah. Too much scorekeeping.

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  15. John said on March 2, 2005 at 9:44 pm

    25 years…one account…simple system…I put money in, she takes money out.

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  16. Dorothy said on March 3, 2005 at 6:18 am

    Same here John. But we both put money in.

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  17. Lance said on March 3, 2005 at 7:49 am

    Shortly after the blonde and I got engaged, her uncle took me aside and gave me some advice.

    “Lance,” he said, “It’s like this. You’re in the line at the grocery store with the wife. You pay for the groceries and you move down. She takes the change. At the end of the week you look in your wallet, see it’s empty. She says, ‘What did you do with all your money?’ That’s marriage, Lance.”

    Everybody’s got a different story. What Brooks wants if for some people to think they’re story is the morally superior story and that only the Republicans value their story.

    Brian, if you think I’m being unfair to conservatives why do the likes of David Brooks and Michael Medved and William Bennett make so damn much money?

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  18. brian stouder said on March 3, 2005 at 8:55 am

    Lance – no accounting for who will make money in “the meeeedyuh” –

    honestly, my lovely wife gets the occasional People Magazine, and I’ve never heard of a growing portion of the personages in there.

    Jessica Simpson (et al) seem to have scored the tricky “famous for being famous” gig.

    Faux intellectual bearers of wisdom?

    What about Ralph Nader? Think of the outsized effect he’s had in consumer goods – never mind the 2000 presidential election!! – and based on what? Who appointed Michael Moore the latter-day Will Rogers everyman populist? Why should anyone care what Martin Sheen – who’s claim to speak is based on the fact that he PLAYED a president on a teevee show – says about anything?

    Did Jon Stewart earn the soap-box that he preaches from? Did he have any right to attack that bow-tie wearing guy on CNN?

    I guess, Lance, what it boils down to is – there’s no accounting for taste! (or popularity, or intellectual fashion)

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  19. wade said on March 3, 2005 at 9:32 am

    Jon Stewart had an obligation to slap down Tucker Carlson.

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  20. deb said on March 3, 2005 at 5:13 pm

    word, wade.

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