Despite the tsuris the usual suspects are having, this isn’t the first time I’ve read about the odd, tiny subculture of people who believe that in their core, they are really amputees, even if they have all their fingers, arms and legs, and whatever else you can cut off and still live.
It actually came up during the infamous Huntington Castrator story. My colleague Bob Caylor had an Atlantic magazine story on the phenomenon, which he found extremely weird — correctly, I guess I should add. Some people are deeply into body modification, a continuum that probably starts with eyebrow-plucking and moves on from there.
Here’s the story that’s causing the tsuris. If you follow the usual wing nut thought patterns, the concern is this: Here’s a single story where one guy says the “transabled” should be taken seriously, i.e., this is what Caitlyn Jenner wrought. Once you allow an Olympic gold medalist to decide he’s a woman, sooner or later you’re allowing people to cut off their hands in the name of…something.
It’s deeply weird, I’ll allow. I’m not sure it is at the bottom of the slippery slope.
However, at the bottom of the barrel is this email, which arrived today in my personal inbox:
Dr Suzanne Levine, Celebrity Podiatrist on Park Ave in NYC speaks out on Caitlyn Jenner’s transformation surgery. In Vanity Fair cover shot she is shown wearing fabulous stiletto heels. Dr Levine asserts the feet have not been feminized and must have been airbrushed. Is it possible the entire photo was photo shopped? Her feet look too dainty in the heels – hint, hint – it’s all about the feet.
Dr. Levine states in many male to female transitions, the feet feminizing procedure is one of the most overlooked factors in creating a feminie appearance, and can be the true defining change to create the most feminine appearance possible.
Dr Levine is available for interviews via phone or skype.
Good to know that somewhere in the world, there’s a celebrity podiatrist, and she practices on Park Avenue.
This is a good story by the AP: The FBI has small aircraft in the skies over major U.S. cities, spying on us.
I’m so glad I live in the north, and my child is done, today!, with public education.
And that’s what I have today. Happy Hump Day.
James said on June 3, 2015 at 5:55 am
Foot binding, maybe?
alex said on June 3, 2015 at 7:08 am
If you follow the usual wing nut thought patterns, assuming that Bruce Jenner just wants to go into women’s shower rooms and get an eyeful, then the transabled, obviously, are trying to get military discounts at retailers, along with a hero’s welcome wherever they go.
Nancy, I remember puzzling over drinks what sort of person would want to go to Bodkin for surgery, and I seem to remember it was Alan who came up with a very logical explanation: Trans people who couldn’t afford the surgery through normal channels but could get it finished on the public dole if they were maimed. But subsequently I remember this being dispelled when information came out about the cult of body modification and that these people were simply into having it all cut off and being smooth down there like a Barbie doll, that’s all. As for what motivates the transabled, it’s anyone’s guess, but I doubt there’s a logical one.
Jeff Borden said on June 3, 2015 at 7:25 am
I feel sorry for kids educated in some of the nuttier reaches of our fair republic. While Europe and Asia invest in more and better education for a 21st century workforce, we’re teaching our kids religious dogma instead of science. This will certainly turn out well.
Wim said on June 3, 2015 at 7:32 am
Congratulations to your daughter! What a feeling of liberation it must be.
coozledad said on June 3, 2015 at 8:00 am
Remember that loud dumbass in Sperry topsiders and khakis who sat at the back of your anthro class? The one who couldn’t figure out why polyandrous Eskimos didn’t just take a stick to that woman and be more like Americans?
The Republicans want that dipshit teaching your kids.
Alex, Re: life drawing. Spot on. I took a six week class, and there was one model out of about twelve who still had a somewhat visible musculo-skeletal system. The other models looked like they’d been poured on the dais. Sure, it’s instructive to draw anybody, but I thought I’d pretty much got corpulence memorized. I did learn a lot, despite myself.
The last class featured a sadass middle aged guy who looked like one of my former bosses. Near the end of the class this shapely girl came in, and I noticed the teacher writing her a check. She modeled for the remaining ten or so minutes of the class, and asked afterward if anyone there knew of a professional photographer.
The sadass guy, who was obviously checking her out, said “I take Pitchas!” She gave him a death look. “I. Said. A. Professional.”
Made the whole six weeks worthwhile.
Andrea said on June 3, 2015 at 8:01 am
Yes, congrats to you and your daughter. What a milestone!
Unfortunately, evolution can’t get rid of those wing nuts fast enough. What a crying shame! We really are becoming two countries–those who believe in science and those who don’t. Think climate change, creationism, anti-vaxxers, abstinence-only, etc. It would be easier if the non-science believers were consistent in their non-belief, so that none of them would even pursue a career teaching “science” but as the daughter of a tenured college professor who taught environmental engineering and yet doesn’t believe in climate change, I have a front row seat to the crazy inconsistencies of homo sapiens.
alex said on June 3, 2015 at 8:15 am
Andrea, he doesn’t happen to be at Ole Miss by any chance? My brother worked for just such a guy, who tried to browbeat everyone into coming to his house for bible study and was livid that my brother dared to beg off.
beb said on June 3, 2015 at 8:18 am
Today’s topics are too weird for me.
So let’s talk about Bernie Sanders. He’s running for president. Most commentators who talk about him begin by saying he has no chance of winning. Not with that attitude, obviously. But he’s polling well in Iowa and drawing large(ish) groups. I’m not sure he’s serious;y running for office or is just being a stalking horse for Hillary, whom people suspect will drift dangerously rightward if not challenged from the left. Then again I suspect there is some real hunger for someone who will speak out against corporations and the super-wealthy. Sanders readily agreed that he wouldn’t mind the tax rates from Eisenhower’s era (90% as the top rate.) and he’s calling for a transaction tax (aka, a sales tax) on financial transactions. The amount of the tax would be small (0.01%) but since there are so many transactions every day, hour, minute, it adds up to some real money for the the large players. And Mayor de Blagio was on Jon Stewart last night talking some pretty good smack about the “carried interest” loophole that allowed Hedge Fund managers to pay a lower tax rate than their secretaries. So I think there is some good news in politics. Just not on the GOP side.
Connie said on June 3, 2015 at 8:57 am
Brian, concerns over damage caused to Belle Isle by the Grand Prix. http://www.deadlinedetroit.com/articles/12412/folks_lament_about_the_negative_impact_of_the_grand_prix_on_belle_isle#.VW75nkYRVwU
BigHank53 said on June 3, 2015 at 9:29 am
Bernie Sanders wants to keep Clinton from following DLC advice. Part of the rage the right feels towards Bill Clinton comes from his co-opting Republican ideas, like welfare reform. Remember that, when nearly a third of his cabinet officials resigned in protest? Now, it’s worked as a political trick since it’s forced the GOP into ever more extreme territory, but it’s been terrible for 80% of the country’s population. We’ve barely spoken about stagnant wages or financial deregulation (I sure wish we still had the Glass-Stegall Act, fer example–thanks, Bill!) or offshoring or fixing infrastructure or dozens of other things.
If Sanders is on the primary ballot in my state I’ll vote for him. Maybe he’ll be scary enough that Clinton will pick him as VP. (Clinton: “I dare you to impeach me. President Sanders will have you begging for my return in three weeks.”) And in the general election I’ll most likely be holding my nose and voting for Clinton. But you never know.
nancy said on June 3, 2015 at 9:30 am
Talk about the end of an era: The Columbus Dispatch has been sold. Kirk? Anything?
brian stouder said on June 3, 2015 at 9:36 am
Connie – the concerns are legitimate, I’d say.
But on the plus-side, the Belle Isle race will almost certainly draw my son and I next year.
If they can come up with a way to reduce the 3-month impact (or whatever the length of time is, for significant impact) by half, that would seem to answer the concerns expressed in the article
Julie Robinson said on June 3, 2015 at 9:45 am
Hunh. Anyone who wanted to amputate could have talked to my dad, who lost an arm in a farm accident as a kid. Dad could have talked about the pain, having to relearn everyday tasks, being excluded from most sports teams, the girls who wouldn’t date him and the employers who wouldn’t take a chance on him. But most of all he could talk about the little kids who stared and pointed at him, sometimes loudly asking what was wrong.
Except he didn’t talk about it, to anyone, ever. Even his wife. The damage done to him was too deep.
If you want to amputate, you need to get yourself into therapy, stat.
brian stouder said on June 3, 2015 at 9:55 am
The take-away from the Columbus Dispatch article:
“However, the past two decades of accelerating and challenging change in the newspaper industry made it clear to us that maintaining a single-city, family-owned paper in this environment was untenable long-term,” he said.
By that logic, there should be no independently owned pizza joints, or ice cream parlors.
I suppose the real comparison is with locally owned gas stations, which are all-but extinct (at least hereabouts).
But whereas gasoline is gasoline is gasoline, real local news is (by definition) unique.
I think this dovetails with the earlier concern that no one is covering state houses, for example
adrianne said on June 3, 2015 at 10:03 am
Here’s the takeaway from the Columbus Dispatch being sold to New Media Group, formerly dba Gatehouse Media: Run, run for the hills. These jokers bought by old newspaper, promptly laid off me and two other news editors, plus the entire photo staff. Six months later, they laid off the entire copy desk and moved all those jobs to Austin, Texas, where harried young graduates try to write headlines and design pages for the 60-plus newspapers in the Gatehouse empire. Reporters at their newspapers have not had raises in seven years, and do not get any overtime, no matter what the cause. They are owned by a hedge fund determined to wring every last drop of profit from their newspapers before selling out – I give them two years, tops. I didn’t think a newspaper chain could be worse than Gannett. I was wrong.
Kirk said on June 3, 2015 at 10:04 am
Never thought I’d live t see the day. The place must be in an uproar. I had beers with three editors last night; none had a clue, I don’t think. That has to be really bad news.
alex said on June 3, 2015 at 10:10 am
Brian, the accelerating and challenging change in the newspaper industry is that businesses are spending their advertising dollars elsewhere, as are people who used to buy classifieds, and readership is rapidly drying up. You can hardly blame them for wanting to bail while they can still fetch a decent price for their assets. I’m amazed the Inskeeps have held onto the Journal-Gazette as long as they have; on the other hand, I’d hate to see it fall into the hands of an indifferent owner like Knight-Ridder that would drive it into the ground.
alex said on June 3, 2015 at 10:11 am
Or an owner like Adrianne describes.
Andrea said on June 3, 2015 at 10:31 am
Alex, no. He’s not a Bible thumper, oddly enough. But a big fan of Rush Limbaugh. A libertarian who earned his living his entire life working at defense contractors or public universities. He was at the University of Cincinnati. It was the first round of Bill and Hillary that sent him over the edge of reason, as I recall.
alex said on June 3, 2015 at 11:11 am
Andrea, my brother’s environmental science work at Ole Miss was under government contracts secured by Trent Lott (and dried up when Lott was shown the door by his own party, as used to happen when GOP politicians dog-whistled too indiscreetly about race–oh for the good old days). I had always assumed that people with scientific backgrounds were capable of thinking critically, but from some of the stories my brother tells me, it ain’t so.
brian stouder said on June 3, 2015 at 11:52 am
A book I’m into about ankle-deep, so far, is a history of the Republican party, called To Make Men Free
I saw the woman who wrote it on C-SPAN’s Book-TV, and she is (or at least struck me as) that rare example of a Republican with a heart.
It’s a worthwhile examination of the inherent tension between property rights and individual rights, which has – literally violently – thrown the Republican party all over the place (like Dorothy’s house when the twister comes), from the late 1850’s to today.
So far I’ve found her a bit quick to polish the turds….for example, when she extols how the Republican party of Lincoln’s time stood adamantly against the Kansas-Nebraska act (aka “popular sovereignty”, which repealed the Missouri Compromise, and allowed states to decide whether or not to allow slavery in their states), she never even mentions why, say, a voter in Illinois would be against the spread of slavery into the areas where it was not already established.
While the Slave Power was all about “property rights” being supreme, the voters in Illinois (for example) – who were all male and white – might have chiefly been concerned with having black people in their state (whether enslaved or not)…although she (so far) only focuses on the grander, more idealistic reasons that a person might have opposed slavery’s spread.
But, (so far) it’s just a quibble. Still, an interesting book
alex said on June 3, 2015 at 12:33 pm
Brian, even though slavery was illegal in Illinois it was practiced there. And for that matter, a slave owner even successfully sued another party for assisting his slaves in running away within the “free” state of Illinois, as told in this fascinating book.
beb said on June 3, 2015 at 12:59 pm
Connie link to the article about the Belle Isle Grand Prix, I think was longer than the article. The article notes that over a course of three months a large part of the island is closed off for setting up and tearing down after the race. That’s a lot of time, and the part closes off include the tip facing the city (a lovely view) the Scott Fountain and a broad swath of picnicking area facing Canada. But what I think has really ticked off people was that because of the heavy rains during the weekend lawns used for parking became heavily rutted. That was new this year. As someone who no interest in car racing I suspect this is all a giant grift that costs the city more than it gets back.
Suzanne said on June 3, 2015 at 1:10 pm
Alex, my limited experience with people of a scientific background is that their since their field is specific and not spread out among the unwashed masses, they have trouble with critical thinking because they can’t see their own flaws. In other words, they feel that since they know a lot more about chemistry or engineering than the average person, they must just be be a whole lot smarter and, thus, know more about everything! This leads them to not even look for things they don’t know because they don’t realize those things exist. I know this happens in any field to some extent, but it seems particularly strong in the math/science professions.
I’m pretty sure CSI did an episode years ago on self-amputations. It had to have been a while back since I have not watched that show for a long,long time. I had never heard of such a thing until then.
brian stouder said on June 3, 2015 at 2:31 pm
Alex – that DOES look like a good book; I’ll have to add it to the list.
There’s a new biography of Oliver P Morton (governor of Indiana during the Civil War, and a pillar of strength for President Lincoln) coming out soon, that I am also eagerly awaiting
Dexter said on June 3, 2015 at 3:03 pm
An army medic colleague of mine named Brinley found himself stuck in Monterey when all his efforts to get sent to Vietnam failed. All the other medics and I felt like we had actually dodged a bullet ( that proved to be just a hopeful feeling) by being in a beautiful spot on the ocean , working just 40 hour weeks , eating well, but Brinley had a plan. He reminded me of aviator Orr in “Catch 22”, remember? He was the man who intentionally kept crashing aircraft into the drink and practicing survival skills until he was ready to make his great escape, which never panned out for sure (or did it..we never knew) .
Brinley came from some small town where there were no prospects of any meaningful career, nor any high paying factories, warehouses, really just nothing, so he devised a long-range plan to be a disabled veteran . He wanted desperately to get to Vietnam and get shot, and he knew how badly he was going to have to be injured to get 100% disability and be set for life, never having to work, ever, at a shitty job like gasoline pump dude. (long time ago, yes…self-serve pumps were a couple years down the road).
Brinley wanted a Purple Heart, too, for VA purposes…oh, he had it all laid out in his head. He even said he was going to pay a fellow GI to shoot him if need be! And when all the rest of us got surprise orders to go to Vietnam after all, crazy Brinley was not sent. The only soldier in our company who wanted to get
to Vietnam was instead left in California. Well, it was the army after all, and there were ways to get hands on weapons, so Brinley volunteered for range duty where the basic training trainees learned to fire M-16s. He grabbed a live weapon and blasted off a couple toes. He by god wasn’t to go home from the army with no compensation whatsoever. We never saw him again, but when I think of people who intentionally hack off fingers and toes, or ram sharp sticks into their eyes, I think of Brinley.
Sherri said on June 3, 2015 at 3:06 pm
Sheryl Sandberg, thirty days after the death of her husband: https://www.facebook.com/sheryl/posts/10155617891025177:0
Basset said on June 3, 2015 at 4:15 pm
“Airbrushed?” Probably thinks the picture was shot under “klieg lights,” too.
brian stouder said on June 3, 2015 at 4:19 pm
Sherri, excellent link
ROGirl said on June 3, 2015 at 5:02 pm
Suzanne, that is my experience with engineers. For the most part, they know a lot about a very narrow field, and not much about things outside of it. They are also generally conservative politically, though there are always exceptions to the rule, and there are differences between those who become packaging engineers and those who have loftier ambitions.
Basset said on June 3, 2015 at 5:24 pm
Meanwhile, a story about this world soccer situation that’s actually interesting:
alex said on June 3, 2015 at 5:28 pm
My partner’s brother is an engineer, and he has a circle of friends who don’t just talk conservative but kookoo. One, a Russian emigree, got particularly nasty with me when I took exception to her broad and very vile characterization of Democrats. She recently quit engineering to start up her own wedding business, and much as she might actually like to have my business she’s never going to get it. These folks, I think, are in the thrall of Alex Jones.
David C. said on June 3, 2015 at 7:00 pm
Most, if not all the other engineers where I work are on the kookoo end of the spectrum too. It’s to the point where I heard one correct another that we don’t get government contracts, we get military contracts. And so it goes…
Sherri said on June 3, 2015 at 8:05 pm
Is there a Republican capable of saying anything even vaguely human about rape? http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/scott-walker-abortions-rape-incest
Jolene said on June 3, 2015 at 9:36 pm
Scott Walker is, it seems to me, incapable of saying anything sensible on any topic.
basset said on June 3, 2015 at 10:08 pm
Another non sequitur, they come in threes… but those from around Columbus might recognize the name: