The litterbox is full.

Because life can’t be all despair over the country or the weather or one’s lack of preparedness for the upcoming holiday, I devoted a small bit of time today to absorbing Art in the form of a short story that evidently has half of men’s-rights Twitter running around with their hair on fire and their butts extremely hurt.

It’s called “Cat Person.” Go ahead and read it; it’s pretty good. Not to spoil, but it tells the story of a doomed kinda-relationship that’s mostly carried on via electronic devices. It doesn’t end well, and features an explicit – for the New Yorker – sex scene that should ring true to anyone who’s ever had bad sex, which I assume = pretty much everyone. It also touches on a number of ripped-from-the-headline themes. Which explains the butthurt.

The reaction to the story has its own Twitter account. Don’t look before you read the story. And if you read it, be sure to read the Q&A with the author, too.

Man, pop culture lighting up over a piece of fiction that isn’t “Gone Girl” or “50 Shades”? This is a banner day. And it’s only Monday.

And Mario Batali is the first sexual harasser of the week to go down in flames. I don’t watch cooking shows, but I know who he is – the ponytail guy who has a house in northern Michigan and hung a lot with Jim Harrison before he died. I am, how you say, not surprised. Isn’t this sort of the culture of commercial kitchens? An old boyfriend of mine used to be a server in a white-tablecloth place, and told stories that curled my hair, one involving a chef throwing knives across the kitchen at some waiter who’d displeased him. Sex shenanigans would seem to be an improvement.

And tomorrow (today if you read this Tuesday) is Roy Moore’s fate. That’ll be a fun one to bat around. Or maybe consider emigration/suicide over.

What am I talking about? He’s going to win.

It’s snowing where I am. May it cover all of our sins.

Posted at 8:58 pm in Current events, Media |
 

47 responses to “The litterbox is full.”

  1. Joe Kobiela said on December 11, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    I don’t know about Moore, I posted late on Fridays post but Fox had him down by 10 points others have him with a slight lead, he could win then resign, and the Governor could appoint the replacement. Emigration? doubtful I’m still waiting for all the people that were going to leave if Trump won to leave, does anyone know of anyone that did leave the country? Not mocking, not making fun, not trying to start a fight, just wondering.
    Pilot Joe

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  2. Bitter Scribe said on December 11, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    I don’t understand why some guys are getting so het up over “Cat Person.” IMO, neither of the protagonists comes off very well. The girl character is a likable but callow 20-year-old with bad judgment. If the story had been written by a man, probably none of the men’s-rights crowd would have blinked.

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  3. alex said on December 11, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    Cat Person reminds me of all kinds of dreadful first dates I had. Glad I’m old and invisible and don’t have much libido anymore.

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  4. brian stouder said on December 11, 2017 at 11:43 pm

    Well, I really must be “an old guy”.

    I can honestly say I was one a Republican; voted for Ronald Wilson Reagan 4 times (including the primaries) which was 4 more times than fat-assed, addle-brained Oxy-Rush (for one example of our present-day Know-Nothing media-moron/lip-flappers) ever voted for him (all that ‘Ronaldas Maximas’ horse shit aside), as he (Uncle Rush) confessed he never voted at all, before a few years ago.

    Back in the day, LBJ indicated that his Great Society/Civil Rights advances had lost the southern Democratic voting base for the next generation – and I cannot help but wonder whether 50 years of nominal ‘Republican’ domination of that region will now splinter and fall.

    I mean, really….

    If you’re a bible-thumper and/or a moralistic scold – you’d have to be delusional or otherwise mentally impaired to wave the flag and rally around a (literally) un-reconstructed (pining for the old days of ‘family values’ amidst slavery and treason) racist child molester, and pathological liar, like Roy Moore.

    Surely – Moore is a bridge too far – for any truly “main-stream” party, no?

    By way of saying, I think the United States will survive all this – but the Republican Party looks like it’s about to smash into a tree

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  5. Sherri said on December 12, 2017 at 1:08 am

    You don’t understand the South, Brian. Sure, Moore is a child-molester, but at least he’s not a liberal. God can use him; look how He’s using Trump to bring about Armageddon and The Second Coming!

    (I only wish I were exaggerating.)

    The idea that Moore would resign after winning and let the governor appoint someone is ludicrous. Moore had to be kicked out of office twice as Alabama Chief Justice for refusing to follow Federal law, first over the Ten Commandments monument and then over same sex marriage.

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  6. beb said on December 12, 2017 at 1:38 am

    I’m still trying to figure out why Pilot Joe thinks that if Roy Moore wins he might resign so that the governor could appoint another as senator. Moore already ran against the man who had been appointed by the governor to replace Sessions. he could have dropped out of the race at any time and have the party appoint a replacement. Moore won’t quit because he’s already shown that he’s more important any any mere Constitution. Moore is a dangerous man because he’s someone who tends so say out loud the parts that other Republicans all say silently.

    [edit — What Sherri said…]

    There’s been some interesting coverage about the polls that either have Moore up by ten or Jones up by ten. Apparently it all depends on whether you conducted a robopoll or interviewed people in person.

    According to “Kitchen Confidential” those walk-in refrigerators weren’t as clean as advertised, if you know what I mean. But there needs to be a line between what the owner/executive chef treats his staff and how the waitstaff and line cooks act towards each other.

    Men’s Rights Activists are a subset of Republicans; they exist in a perpetual state of outrage so I’m not surprised that they’re outraged about some story. If it wasn’t Cat Person it would be something else.

    For the drinkers out there: have you ever heard of a beer that takes three years to produce and costs $1 an ounce? It’s supposed to taste like coffee, maple syrup and chocholate but ll I could taste was very black coffee, but then I don’t drink coffee.

    We were going to go to IKEA today for the heck of it but the freeway was jammed, so we came home. The local news tonight mentioned that someone was shooting at cars so the police had closed the road. There are too damn many crazy people.

    Nancy, the show is going to have be more than a couple inches deep to cover all our sins…

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  7. Dexter said on December 12, 2017 at 3:48 am

    Since I worked nights then, I never watched “Happy Days” and was confused when “going off the deep end” was replaced by “jumping the shark” in that day’s lexicon. Finally I figured it out. And now “Me Too” has garnered Time’s cover prize, and are so emboldened that a group of Trump’s victims, every one 100% credible, has called for Trump to resign. So this is my question on Moore-Jones eve: has “Me Too” jumped the shark,stretched out their cause to get one more final thrust of the movement before, like everything, the organization fades away?
    I watch L.O.D. and Rachel and Brian Williams most nights for a little while, and it seems the take-Trump-down cases are going so slowly, there is no feeling of impending political and/or courts ramifications getting Trump gone, so yeah, I hope this “Me Too” ploy brings us an orange on a platter…but really…can it happen? Trump is recorded , victims come forward, everyone or most believe Trump has done all these unwanted maneuvers against women…but nothing happens and he gets elected, so there it is. At least we know. And polls from Alabama? 2 have Dougie Jones winning, one has a tie.

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  8. ROGirl said on December 12, 2017 at 4:52 am

    I read the story last night. It made me think about the creepy older men (in their 30s) in Ann Arbor who would hang around campus. They seem to have dropped out and never left, still involved in activities that brought them in contact with students.

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  9. Deborah said on December 12, 2017 at 5:53 am

    I think Moore will win, unfortunately. I thought that pretty much from the beginning. I had a few moments where I thought he might go down with a thud, but it’s not gonna happen.

    I’m back in Chicago, suffering from jet lag and time zone confusion. I keep calculating what time it is in London. I wasn’t there long enough to get acclimated to their time and now I find it difficult to string words together.

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  10. alex said on December 12, 2017 at 6:35 am

    Thank God for Google.

    I was about to go wading into the right-wing fever swamps to figure out where the fuck Pilot Joe heard Roy Moore would resign upon winning and let the governor appoint his successor. Near as I can figure, it’s a colossal misreading of this story about a pie-in-the-sky ploy to have Luther Strange resign from the Senate seat so that the governor could appoint someone else and cancel the special election for now.

    Joe, maybe you can tell us how many Republicans (including Rush Limbaugh) made good on their threats to move to Canada when Obama was president. (Provided, of course, that you can comprehend the story I linked here.)

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  11. Icarus said on December 12, 2017 at 7:11 am

    Unfortunately weather conditions in Alabama favor Roy Moore: dipping into the teens

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  12. alex said on December 12, 2017 at 7:23 am

    However it’s a great day for Roy Moore to go shopping at TJ Maxx: junior dresses are half off.

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  13. adrianne said on December 12, 2017 at 7:53 am

    Call me a cock-eyed optimist, but I don’t think Moore will win today. There’s some shit that not even Alabamians can eat.

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  14. Suzanne said on December 12, 2017 at 8:30 am

    Interview with an Alabama guy on NPR this morning. He’s holding his nose & voting for Moore because it’s either you vote for the unproven perversion (Moore) or the known supporter of murderous abortion. Even though this guy says he’s a feminist (we should treat women like queens, he says) he can’t and won’t vote for anyone that supports abortion (apparently no matter how disgusting and crazy he is).
    So, how do you reason with someone like that? You can’t. You just can’t.

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  15. Peter said on December 12, 2017 at 9:04 am

    I’m sorry if this was mentioned yesterday, but did anyone see the interview of Roy Moore by a 12 year old girl? That was set up by his campaign? Yumpin’ Yiminee, they should have gone full bore and have the girl do the interview in her Girl Scout uniform.

    And how about last night when Moore’s lovely wife told the rally that they aren’t anti-semites – why, “one of our attorneees is a Joooooo”. Oh, what I wouldn’t have given to have Sasha Baron Cohen go on stage at that moment….

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  16. bb in DE said on December 12, 2017 at 9:06 am

    Hi Nancy, and hello to all the patrons of the NN.c beer garden,

    Long time listener, first time caller here. Pilot Joe, go ahead and start your count.

    The woman I’d been dating several years works as a teacher in the DoDDS school system, meaning she teaches the kids of service members stationed at bases around the world. She moved back stateside to be closer to her ailing parents, and good thing too: they both passed during the 3 years she lived in NY. She started hinting that she’d like to move back overseas last year but since she didn’t want to give me a relationship ultimatum, we mostly talked about it in the abstract. I thought the country had learned it’s lesson after 8 years of W. and Dick but the day after the 2016 election, when it was clear that the US had not only (re)hit rock bottom but was about to spend the next 4 years digging, I asked her, “What exactly would it take for you to get reassigned somewhere interesting–Europe, say–and for me to go with you?” The answers, in order, were: put her paperwork in, receive and accept a job offer, we get married, and then we move. Our plane landed in Germany August 9 and we intend to be here at least until 2021.

    So unless someone else chimes in while my comment serves its time in Nancy’s new-guy moderation holding cell, I’ll take my place atop your list, Joe. I’m please to be here (in all 3 ways that sentence can be read).

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  17. Jolene said on December 12, 2017 at 9:07 am

    The idea of choosing senators based on their views on abortion is further evidence of the flawed thinking of the right, as senators have pretty much nothing to do with the legality of abortion. The laws governing abortion are a product of state laws and court rulings.

    I suppose you could say that members of Congress play a role through judicial appointments and funding decisions, but that’s a small part of what senators do and what senators do plays a small role in how many abortions occur at any given stage of pregnancy.

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  18. alex said on December 12, 2017 at 9:12 am

    Not equals but queens. Because feminists love condescension, doncha know.

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  19. 4dbirds said on December 12, 2017 at 9:22 am

    Moore will win.

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  20. Suzanne said on December 12, 2017 at 9:42 am

    Yeah, Alex, that is exactly what I thought when the guy said it.

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  21. Dorothy said on December 12, 2017 at 10:04 am

    I’m still trying to figure out what genius thought it would be a good idea for Roy Moore to sit down with a 12 year old girl for an interview yesterday. And I went home early yesterday, put on MSNBC at 4 PM and saw Nicole Wallace’s panel talking about this Senate election. They played a clip of some guy (maybe in his 60’s or 70’s?) saying “Forty years ago some 14 year old Alabama girls WERE getting married sometimes! Hell I know lots of mamas who would have been proud if their 14 year old was dating the local district attorney!” The first panelist (a guy, sorry I forgot his name) looked like he’d just been force fed a pile of steaming dog shit and said “Hold on, I’m trying to suppress the aneurysm that just grew in my head!” He said “Forty years ago it was NINETEEN SEVENTY SEVEN! Fourteen year old girls were NOT getting married in Alabama then!!”

    I’m like Adrianne and am an optimist. But I was like that about the presidential election and look what happened there?!

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  22. Jeff Borden said on December 12, 2017 at 10:12 am

    I think Roy Moore will win because that’s what ‘Murica has become since November 2016. Enough of our fellow citizens voted for a failed businessman turned reality TV star with more skeletons in his closet than a half-dozen cemeteries. . .a shallow, deeply ignorant predator, a serial adulterer, a cheat and a con man and a grifter. . .to put the most mendacious president in history into the Oval Office. There’s still no buyer’s remorse among the vast majority of those who voted for the Orange King. After all, he hates the same people they hate.

    When George W. Bush and his administration were busy ratfucking the country and the world, I figured it would take a generation or three to overcome all the damage done. With this *president and this Congress, I wonder if we will EVER repair the damage.

    Hell, go ahead and seat Roy Moore. How much worse is he than the other Republicans in Congress, licking their chops at the idea of consigning millions of Americans to poverty, sickness and despair. How is Roy Moore worse than Paul Ryan, poised as he is to attack Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid?

    Coozledad is correct. The Republican Party is an abomination. A pederast fits right in.

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  23. Diane said on December 12, 2017 at 10:37 am

    I think Moore will win. Never overestimate Alabama.
    I am also probably turning into a wacky conspiracy theorist but I think the Fox poll is fake news designed to scare those voters who want Moore to win but are sentient enough to be embarrassed about it and want to be able to say they didn’t vote into going out and voting. I also think Mrs Moore’s speech last night was pure dog whistle meant to encourage his base.

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  24. Suzanne said on December 12, 2017 at 10:50 am

    I read about Mrs Moore explaining that they are not anti-Semitic because their lawyer is a Jew. I have any number of relatives and other local contacts who would see absolutely nothing wrong with that statement.
    So I don’t overestimate Alabama either at this point. Especially now that Trump has gotten things stirred up in the Middle East. The Apocalypse is near, surely, so you don’t want the Lord to return and discover you’ve voted for a Democrat, even if you thought the GOP guy is a sick nutjob making it reasonable to do so. But Moore loves Jesus and if the rapture is on the Amazon Prime plan for quick delivery, sending a perverted lunatic to the Senate doesn’t matter as long as he’s on God’s side.

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  25. nancy said on December 12, 2017 at 11:04 am

    I had to take a break for a webinar, so please scroll up to BBinDE’s comment, which was in moderation for an hour. It’s worth the read.

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  26. Sherri said on December 12, 2017 at 11:20 am

    Alabama’s state motto ought to be “at least Mississippi is worse.”

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  27. alex said on December 12, 2017 at 11:21 am

    Welcome, BBinDE!

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  28. Mark P said on December 12, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    Sherri, Alabama’s unofficial name is “Heart of Dixie.” If Moore wins, they can change it to “Alabama, The Pederast State”.

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  29. Jakash said on December 12, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    Interesting article, Alex @ 10. However:

    “‘The good news, then, is that a Trump victory in November will distress his critics less severely and more briefly than they imagine,’ Alter wrote.”

    Hmmm… that’s not been my experience.

    Peter @ 15. If I was unfamiliar with the cast of SNL and saw the actual video of Mrs. Moore gleefully, gotchally mentioning her attorney presented as the “cold open,” I’d have thought, “Oh, that’s just *way* over the top, and too mean of a caricature.”

    I’ve thought all along that Roy Moore will win because he’s a Republican in Alabama.

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  30. susan said on December 12, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    Well, Randy Rainbow helps us get through this shit.

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  31. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 12, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Diane @ #23 – that was my thought, too. A ginned-up poll to motivate the base.

    At least when he rode to town on horseback to vote he had his shirt on.

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  32. Charlotte said on December 12, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    Had a convo last week with a writer friend who was also part of the Jim Harrison orbit — we’re all grateful the big guy shuffled off before this wave hit, because he was a very grabby old man for the past few years. And his last several books are going to be a stain on his legacy — all that masturbatory writing about 14 year old girls. Ugh. I loved the old coot, and admire the poetry, and some of the early work, but the latter day Cult-of-Harrison that these guys built was always problematic. Only met Batali the once, and let’s just say, the guy never comported himself in Livingston like a married man — on the other hand, he’s whip smart, terrific company, and not only a good cook but built a pretty impressive business empire. I enjoyed being around him that weekend, even if he did either proposition me or vaguely suggest a threesome with my then-swain — a proposal I fended off by pretending to be too innocent to understand (and then going home). Bourdain has also been in town a bunch, and was never as sexually skeevy as Batali (or at least wasn’t picking up girls in the local bar). But all those guys who thought Jim was someone to emulate — if you call them on his actual behavior, especially his appalling treatment of his wonderful wife (who we all adored), they get that same look in their eyes that little boys do when you tell them Westerns are made up.

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  33. Joe Kobiela said on December 12, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    bb in DE,
    Welcome, your #1 my Niece and her family are in Germany also both serving in the Army they requested the posting and love it there.
    Pilot Joe

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  34. Scout said on December 12, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    In case anyone wants to see what’s being said on Twitter about Cat Person. https://twitter.com/search?q=cat%20person%20new%20yorker&src=tyah

    I was so uncomfortable reading it, a big clue to its realness. I’m glad I’m old and married and don’t have to go through the agony of dating.

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  35. Suzanne said on December 12, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    I finally watched the video of Moore’s wife’s statement about their Jewish friends. Honestly, if I didn’t know better, I would have thought it was a comedy sketch.

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  36. nancy said on December 12, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    The great Jan Hooks, may she rest in peace, did fantastic things with southern female characters on SNL. She’d have killed doing that one.

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  37. Jakash said on December 12, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    Thanks for that link @ 34, Scout. Via it, I saw this, analyzing “the uproar” about the story. Pretty good, I think:

    https://www.vox.com/culture/2017/12/12/16762062/cat-person-explained-new-yorker-kristen-roupenian-short-story

    Gotta say, it seems likely that I’d have missed the whole phenomenon if it weren’t for NN’s post…

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  38. Deborah said on December 12, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    When I read the Cat Person story, I was reminded of Madame Bovary, not in plot so much, but in its use of realism and the universalizing of the experience. Also the seeming ambiguousness of who the hero is. In the Cat Person the last word in the story is the definitive tell (spoiler: the hero isn’t Robert).

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  39. Deborah said on December 12, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    It was either Suzanne or Susan who recommended the book Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, I thoroughly enjoyed it, read most of it on the flight to London and finished it late nights when I couldn’t sleep because of the time change. I went to Portobello market with some of Uncle J’s friends who joined us in London (I call them his entourage because they often travel with him), they were into antiques which I’m not so much so I wandered into a used bookstore looking for a book to read on the flight back and found one by a woman named Rooney. I remembered the Lillian Boxfish book was by someone named Rooney and I thought it might be the same person so I bought the book for 4 pounds (don’t know how to type the British pound sign on my computer?). It turns out to be a different Rooney, the Boxfish book is by Kathleen Rooney and this book I got is by Sally Rooney called Conversations With Friends, it’s good too, takes place in Ireland.

    A long way of saying, thanks for the Boxfish recommendation.

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  40. Jolene said on December 12, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    I finally watched the video of Moore’s wife’s statement about their Jewish friends. Honestly, if I didn’t know better, I would have thought it was a comedy sketch.

    Marc Ambinder, who writes about national security, said on Twitter that he’d never before heard “Jew” pronounced in three syllables.

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  41. susan said on December 12, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    Jew or Not Jew?

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  42. Dexter said on December 12, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    Moore is in good hands, by gawd, they have a Jewish lawyer on their team…someone for him to celebrate Hanukkah with –no worry…he has all the Jews he can possibly want there in the all-Hebrew media pool! Wow, those Moores, they know how to spellbind the public, eh?
    And what a stroke of genius , being interviewed by a bright 12 year old. Brilliant. “The Constitution, that’s the ticket…” Yeah, boy…the old judge knows how to say the right things to 12 year olds…12, then two years of what is called grooming, then , well, 14. You know what they mean…I mean , 14? Marryin’ Sam, you getcher ass in her and marry these two.

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  43. Sherri said on December 12, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    This is a couple of days old, but I’m just now getting to it because I’m trying to spend less time on the Internet. Rebecca Traister, on how it’s not about sex, it’s about discrimination.

    https://www.thecut.com/2017/12/rebecca-traister-this-moment-isnt-just-about-sex.html

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  44. Jolene said on December 12, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    Anthony Bourdain has a few things to say about the #MeToo movement (or moment?). The woman he refers to in this piece is Asia Argento, an actress who is one of Harvey Weinstein’s accusers.

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  45. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 12, 2017 at 7:47 pm

    Robert has a drinking problem, too.

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  46. Deggjr said on December 12, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    “We even got our own Shyster.”

    Still, that comment is in second place (as Dexter noted), “Look at Judge Roy Moore’s self-control around a 12 year old”.

    The 14 year olds are fair game in Alabama.

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  47. Jolene said on December 12, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    Robert has a drinking problem, too.

    What makes you say so?

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