Web Search nikon coolpix digital cameras The Miserable Annals of the Earth: And there it is... again

Friday, February 23, 2007

And there it is... again

When you're bored, when you're tired, when you feel like you just can't go on with life any more... you just go over to Ragnell's blog, and she will once more make you realize how lucky you are that you aren't masochistic enough to read her horseshit more often, and that you never, never, NEVER have to interact with her in person:

This is annoying.

So, someone desperate comes up with a unique idea to get a date:

But really, Comic Book Conventions should be a great place to meet guys. We're talking about a virtually untapped market. In theory: for a smart, (somewhat) attractive girl, getting a date should be like shooting fish in a barrel, no? Thousands of men are gathered in one place (granted, some of them are taken; some are gay; some, undoubtedly, live in their mothers' basements) with a very small proportion of available women around. The statistics alone would lead us to believe there have got to be a few good men in this crowd.

And there it is, again. Ragnell got out of bed this morning and immediately tripped over something ELSE about unruly reality that annoys her.

This time, it's not some fanboy somewhere admiring the way Black Canary looks in fishnets, nor is it a whole bunch of movie previews for films that do not feature female protagonists, or, when they do, do not feature female protagonists acting enough like male protagonists to suit her. No, this time it's some chick she doesn't know, who has made the obnoxious and offensive observation that at a geek con, men tend to outnumber women by a very large ratio, and therefore, the discerning chick looking to hook up might do well to frequent such an event.

Me, I've been pointing this out for years -- we male geeks may be socially challenged, but some of us are damn nice people, and we could be cleaned up real well, too. We are certainly fixer-uppers at best, but, nonetheless, the woman willing to put in a spot of effort on many of us could very feasibly find the results quite rewarding. Seems fairly obvious to me, and I can see nothing to object to in this particular woman's observations as quoted by Ragnell.

Ragnell, however, can discern what we mere mortals may not, or, at least, she can take enormous offense at things that, y'know, sane and/or mature people wouldn't dream of being offended by:

Gee, thanks for perpetuating the stereotype that women only pretend to like "guy things" in order to meet guys.
One can find Ragnell frequently if not constantly singing arias of shrill hysteria about how comic books, science fiction, fantasy, and other typical 'geek' interests are not necessarily "guy things", but, apparently, she's been lying all this time, because here she is, insisting that, in fact, these are "guy things".

But wait. It gets much, much better:

I can tell you that I and my fellow real comic book fans so enjoy being hit on by guys when we're just trying to find our comics, because they think an unescorted woman can't possibly be there to actually buy the Green Lantern statue.
So, in other words, all guys at comics cons are intrusive and annoying pigs who do nothing except aggravate and exasperate Ragnell and her 'fellow real comic book fans', who, I guess, are all women, like her.

The unintentional implication of this statement, of course, is that the guys Ragnell is complaining about are NOT real comic book fans. I'm sure Ragnell didn't mean it that way, but given how she incessantly bitches at people for misreading her words, I would think she could be a little more careful in how she throws them together. But that's a crack hallucination on my part, of course. Ragnell need not make any effort whatsoever; if she is misunderstood, it is ever due to the ignorance, stupidity, and/or active malice of her audience.

We also adore being ignored in comics shops because they assume the guy who walked in after us is the comic-reading boyfriend, not to mention having such a hard time finding female-friendly superhero comics because our presence is minimized by such assumptions. Its a real fucking blast!
I cannot remember the last time I was in a comics shop -- and I imagine I have been in close to a hundred over the course of my life -- when any potential customer was ignored, unless said customer was three years old and being carried by a parent.

Beyond that, I've seen the pic Ragnell has on her profile, and while she's certainly not a young Grace Kelly, there is simply no way on this planet that any comics shop owner or anyone that owner would hire would ever ignore someone who looks like her... at least, prior to talking to her for thirty seconds.

Now, if the way she behaves on her blog is at all indicative of her social skills in real life, I must assume that nearly anyone would yearn to ignore her after getting a big hit of "Ohhhhhhh this is so ANNOYing I hate everything in this STORE oh my god don't you realize I am an empowered feminist comics fan and you should rearrange your entire reality construct to suit my insane and emotionally retarded biases RIGHT NOW", but, prior to her actually opening her mouth and attacking ANYone foolish enough to be in within five yards of her when she decides she's ANNOYED by something, I'm sure she gets plenty of attention in comics shops.

But, wait, she's still shrieking:

Sarcasm aside
I should live so long.

the last con I went to, WizardWorld Chicago 2006 and I noticed a lot of women at the panels I attended. My sister counted at one of the Writer's Workshops and concluded at least 25%. I could swear the DC panels were half and half. So, surely someone will set her straight on her misconceptions about Geekdom, right?

These are monumentally fucked up sentences. Nonetheless, they convey some basic information, sooooooo... Okay. Here's what this woman Ragnell is so pissed at actually said:

Thousands of men are gathered in one place (granted, some of them are taken; some are gay; some, undoubtedly, live in their mothers' basements) with a very small proportion of available women around
Ragnell's rebuttal? She herself noticed 'a lot of women' at the panels she attended. Somebody else she knows counted at one workshop and concluded that at least 25% of the attendees wwere women. Ragnell could swear that the DC panels were half and half, whatever the hell that means... the people sitting on the panels? The people in the audience?

Whatever we're supposed to take from this barrage of badly worded, vague, hearsay, and otherwise utterly worthless 'data', none of it in any way contradicts the equally vague assertion made by the woman Ragnell is so utterly furious with. There ARE a lot more men at geek events than women. The gender ratio may readjust somewhat at specific sub-events within the overall event depending on the nature of that sub-event -- I would even dare to say that if some con hosted a panel on Romance Comics of the Past, Present, and Future, you'd get an almost entirely female audience -- but the original statement wasn't about the makeup of the individual crowds at individual events, it simply said, men greatly outnumber women at comics cons. Which is undeniably true.

So Ragnell should shut the hell up, right? But, no, now she's got to get into what other people dared to say back to this woman:

Well, let's look at the comments:

You'll be surrounded, consistently cloaked by a nebula of men and stink that, while not leaving you alone to peruse the offerings, won't really be able to muster the courage to speak with you either. You'll be hidden in the midst of a dense thicket of confused nerds unable to ascertain just why it is you're there, but effusively (far too effusively!) happy that you are! What's more, they'll be convinced that the fact of your attendance indicates that the best way to "land" you will be to demonstrate an inappropriately plumbed and reworked body of knowledge, criticism and theory on...that's right...COMIC BOOKS!

* * *

I went to the Wizard World Chicago 2005 comic con to see what it is like and I have some bad news. There are actually some very beautiful women at these. You see, the major comic book dealers have booths, big expensive booths. At these booths they hawk their wares to customers, retailers and even distributers. They have also realized they're surrounded by loads of geeky men and capitalized upon it through the use of individuals affectionately known as "booth babes".

* * *

I predict success. A lot of comic book guys I know are decent looking, but very shy. They don't have much of an idea about how to talk to women. If you initiate the conversation and work just a little bit to get them out of their shell, you'll meet some great guys. I suggest going after the artists and writers there to get jobs or sell their work. Artists would be super easy to meet. All you have to do is ask to see their work.

* * *

I think you may be opening yourself up to a world of hurt in advertising this whole concept. This article has now appeared on the frontpage of Digg, so now I suspect the unwashed masses of geek-dom will be on the lookout for you. Hopefully you don't get inundated with propositions. I wish you luck in your search. Finding a good geeky woman is a task onto itself, so I'm sure you'll do alright.

That's as far as I got before I was overwhelmed with disgust for the outside world.

She's being hyperbolic... or she thinks she is... but what is intended to be a fliply humorous exaggeration actually displays a tragic truth about Ragnell. Things do not merely annoy her, they ENRAGE her, and when Ragnell is enraged at some stranger on the Internet who has dared to post something that Ragnell finds unacceptable, then Ragnell is also infuriated with THE ENTIRE TIME/SPACE CONTINUUM. Ragnell is one of those reasons we liberals actually like arms control laws; to slightly paraphrase Bruce Cockburn, if Ragnell had a rocket launcher, some sonofabitch would die.

For further support of this observation, we need only head down Ragnell's comment thread on this entry, where we find her responding to a male reader who has, with the utmost (and entirely unmerited) respect, advised her that perhaps she is slightly overreacting:

David -- I don't despise women who want to meet, date, and marry men.

I despise liars, and people from outside my subculture who drag their assumptions and idiocies to my world in the attempt to trick someone into a relationship, and make no mistakes -- pretending you have an interest just to meet someone you feel has no prospects is a trick, and its an insult to all the fine men who read my blog.

Again... Ragnell is not using these acidic, venomous words in reference to someone who has launched some scathing, insulting personal attack against her or one of her friends. Ragnell is talking about a fellow human being out there in the world who, completely oblivious to Ragnell's existence, posted a few opinions that are not, by any sane or rational standards of judgement, remotely confrontational, controversial, or obnoxious. This is someone Ragnell doesn't know, has never met... and who Ragnell despises. Ragnell despises this woman. Why? Because this woman is... doing something... that... I don't know... has somehow offended Ragnell... no, wait... she's talking about doing something. Speculating on it. Musing in regard to it.

But we ain't out of this particular gopher hole yet, nossir:

Bad enough she thinks all the men are troglodytes and the women are nonexistent, but everyone there insists on validating her idiocy.
Whoa now there, li'l fillie. That dawg won't hunt. In point of fact, the woman who has so infuriated Ragnell is looking for a date, and is saying it might be a good idea to seek said date at a comics con, because there are many many more men there than women, and some of those men may well be acceptable potential romantic liaisons. This is in no way saying that (a) all the men are troglodytes and/or (b) that the women are nonexistent. In fact, she is saying that at least some of the men there may be cool and fun and attractive, and her assertion that there are more men at such events than women is a positive statement that there are indeed women at these events.

But I can understand Ragnell's confusion, because, certainly, SOME woman around these parts has recently been disparaging all the guys who attend comics cons. I'm trying to remember who that was. Hmmmm... lemme think... who was it? Who could have basically said that every guy at a comics con was a creep who couldn't keep his hands off any female unfortunate enough to be in the same proximity with him...

I can tell you that I and my fellow real comic book fans so enjoy being hit on by guys when we're just trying to find our comics, because they think an unescorted woman can't possibly be there to actually buy the Green Lantern statue.
Oh, yeah. That's who.

And she's STILL bitching:

Oh thank you, Elayne, for linking this and destroying my once peaceful mood.
Yes. Of course. It's all Elayne's fault that Ragnell is entirely mental and badly, badly in need of prescription tranquilizers and/or actual anti-psychotic medication. In fact, I have no doubt that everything wrong in Ragnell's life -- and I feel instinctively that nearly everything, or, at least, many things, in Ragnell's life must be deeply, deeply wrong -- is Elayne's fault. Because, you know, nothing wrong in Ragnell's life, or in reality in general, could possibly be Ragnell's fault. She's perfect, immaculate, a gift of the Magii. It's the rest of us who are defective, in that somehow, no matter how hard we try, we can never measure up to Ragnell's demanding standards of quality behavior, which, essentially, seem to boil down to, each and every one of us being able to fit our lips to some portion of Ragnell's ass and then keep them there, 24/7/365.

Everyone else: Her picture is on her site. If anyone sees her at NYCC, please please tape a sign to her back that says something embarrassing, and take a picture for me. I have nothing to reward you with except my laughter. But you get bragging rights.
So. Some fellow human whom Ragnell does not know posts something that has absolutely nothing to do with Ragnell on the Internet, and Ragnell's response is to launch into shrill infuriated arias about something that honestly isn't even tangentially any of her business to start with, said hysterical rant which she concludes by soliciting someone, anyone, to personally assault this woman who has so vilely and egregiously offended her.

Folks, I like to make fun of psychologically disturbed, emotionally retarded, and deeply, deeply obnoxious assholes like Ragnell as much as the next person, or maybe even a little more... but what we are seeing here is genuinely dangerous behavior. Ragnell has just done something that is HUGELY inappropriate, utterly unacceptable, and might even be dangerous. I sincerely hope whoever she just asked her friends to assault sues her ass off.

Now, if anyone needs me, I'll be under my rock.
Life would be so much sweeter, and for some of us, safer, if that were true. But, alas, it isn't.

There's a picture of Ragnell on her site. If you happen to see her coming, I suggest you duck for cover. This woman is CRAZY.


At 1:58 PM , Blogger MJ Norton said...

It's one of the reasons I steer clear of there.

Ragnell appears to making the presumption that The Hey Lady isn't into comics and then proceeding furiously from there. That she's doing it with little to no information -- and even contrary to what's on the woman's "Reading" link list -- is, as you say, disturbing.

At 2:39 PM , Anonymous Always Esteemed Scott said...

Ragnell appears to making the presumption that The Hey Lady isn't into comics and then proceeding furiously from there.

Well, yeah. I don't read her blog, but it seems to me the last time Highlander went off on her it was over something similar - she's got quite the gift for (I'm being generous, and assuming no willful misreading of someone else's comments) jumping to conclusions.

At 5:38 AM , Blogger Livia said...

but, apparently, she's been lying all this time, because here she is, insisting that, in fact, these are "guy things".

Note the quotes that Ragnell put around "guy things." Hence indicating that no, she doesn't think comics are "guy things."

It's like if you said Ragnell's post is "brilliant." Clearly the use of quotes would indicate you don't think it's brilliant at all.

Also, Ragnell appears to making the presumption that The Hey Lady isn't into comics and then proceeding furiously from there.

No, if you go back and read Hey Lady's original column, it's pretty clear she's advising women to *pretend* to be into comics in order to meet guys. This is deceptive and degrading to both the men and women involved-- and not good advice.

At 9:24 AM , Blogger Highlander said...

Note the quotes that Ragnell put around "guy things." Hence indicating that no, she doesn't think comics are "guy things."

I note the quotes, and I know what Ragnell is trying to say. My point is, she's saying it very badly, and as I note at another point in the article, Ragnell expends an enormous amount of energy excoriating her commenters for deliberately misconstruing or misunderstanding what she has said. I don't necessarily think this is always deliberate. Ragnell has the capacity to write very clearly when she wants to. When she doesn't take the time or the trouble to do so, it's on her.

Which brings up another point: while it's sweet of you to come to the defense of someone you like and admire, Ragnell doesn't need it. Haven't you noticed that she's never wrong or at fault in any way? She doesn't need anyone to support her. She is entirely self sufficient.

No, if you go back and read Hey Lady's original column, it's pretty clear she's advising women to *pretend* to be into comics in order to meet guys. This is deceptive and degrading to both the men and women involved-- and not good advice.

I'd argue that it isn't 'pretty clear' at all -- the gist of Hey Lady's column to me is, "Hey, girls, you want a date, here's a place where men greatly outnumber women, and most of the guys are looking to hook up, too". That's pretty much the entirety of what she's saying.

As to what's 'good advice' or not, I suggest that's subjective, and were a number of attractive, personable women to take Hey Lady's advice, go to a con, and meet the geek of their dreams there, the best way to determine how 'good' her advice was would be to interview each member of the couple afterward. I suspect the geek in question would be overwhelmingly grateful to Hey Lady for initiating the situation.

As to things that are deceptive and degrading -- everyone is a different individual to everyone else in their life. That's not deception, it's simply how it works. When you first meet another person and you want them to like you, you present a persona that is at least to some extent a facade. That's natural and human. Is it deceptive? Yeah, welcome to the world. Is it degrading? Of course not. As the big dog himself has been known to notate, I'd rather keep company with a skunk than a person who prides themselves on being frank. Absolute honestly has its time and its place, and I'm a big believer in the truth, but very few people can handle that kind of liquor undiluted for any amount of time.

This is really more time and trouble than your comments deserve. You can cherry pick segments of Ragnell's post all you want, but if you're even remotely sane, you have to understand how utterly unreasonable, to the point of being deranged, she sounds throughout it. And that thing at the end, where she's soliciting an assault on a stranger she's taken a dislike to? You need to ask yourself how you'd feel if you read someothing like that on the Internet, and the person being talked about was your mother, sister, best friend... or you.

Or think of it this way -- would you be defending me, if I'd said "You know, that Ragnell is one uptight bitch. Hey guys -- there's a picture of her on her site. If you see her at a con, give her a little pat on the ass for me, okay?"

There is pretty much no actual difference between lightly touching someone in one area of their body as a prank, and lightly touching them on another (to put an embarrassing sign on their back). Wait, I take it back, there is a difference -- if I'd done that to Ragnell, I'd be breaking the law. What Ragnell has done to Hey Lady is probably not covered by statute... but it is every bit as offensive, potentially dangerous, and frankly, insane.

At 11:01 AM , Anonymous Mollie Krauss said...

I take it you think you're one of those 'damn nice' guys you mentioned earlier. This post is evidence to the contrary on many levels. Mainly because the spit and bile you're spewing is exactly the kind of thing you're accusing Ragnell of doing. If it's so offensive to you, don't do the same damn thing.

The difference is she has a point. Advising women to pretend to be into comics to find guys is a really dumb thing to do, both for the women who take this advice and the men they attempt to trick. It's cool to talk about nerds in a positive light, but pretending to be one of us to get us into a relationship is retarded.

At 12:37 PM , Blogger MJ Norton said...

Having looked it over again, Livia, I stand by my original point. Deception isn't being counseled -- at worst, the topic of whether or not the other women who might be taking the advice are into isn't something Hey Lady deals with.

This really only either makes Hey Lady guilty of not taking a good opportunity for evangelizing the broad range of what's available in comics (and maybe creating some more female comics fans) or is simply staying focused instead of creating a post with no single intent.

Her post, as H mentioned, is simply to indicate a high concentration of males someone might have not considered. Stepping back and looking at Hey Lady's reading list, though, there's some indication that she is into comics of some stripes.

Anyway, I'll be interested in reading the updates on Hey Lady's site.

At 1:00 PM , Blogger Highlander said...

I take it you think you're one of those 'damn nice' guys you mentioned earlier. This post is evidence to the contrary on many levels. Mainly because the spit and bile you're spewing is exactly the kind of thing you're accusing Ragnell of doing. If it's so offensive to you, don't do the same damn thing.

Anyone who thinks 'the spit and bile' I'm 'spewing' is 'exactly the kind of thing' Ragnell is doing... or, rather, that I'm accusing Ragnell of doing... is clearly in need of professional counseling, or, at the very least, remedial reading classes.

Look more carefully at our respective posts, Ms. Krauss. You'll notice a difference between the words I use and the words Ragnell uses. 'Despise' is nowhere to be found amongst mine, just for one example.

The difference is she has a point.

The differences are many; I've just pointed out one minor area of variance. Another is that I don't invite my friends to attack people I don't know (or even people I do) over something someone posted on the Internet (or, for that matter, over anything else). Grown ups don't do this. For that matter, sane people of any age don't do this.

You members of Ragnell's Winged Monkey Brigade seem to share a rather startling level of blindness towards utterly unacceptable behavior, at least, when your mistress is involved in it. Either you genuinely think Ragnell's absolutely psychotic rage at something some stranger posted that isn't about her and isn't any of her business is acceptable and sane, or you know full well it isn't, but you're just arguing because you feel like arguing.

Either way, Ragnell is wrong, you are wrong, and these are not subjective statements, they are the objective fact.

Thanks for dropping by, now do please get some help.

At 7:28 PM , Blogger Cullen Waters said...

Mollie's right. You are behaving in exactly the same fashion. What part, if any, of Ragnell's post deals with you specifically? And yet here you are, ranting about her behavior just exactly like she did.

This isn't an opinion. This is fact. Insulting those who point it out to you won't change that.

Nice title for your blog, by the way. Most apt.

At 11:05 AM , Blogger Highlander said...

One more time, for the slow learners in the audience:

Ragnell stumbles out into the world each day, eyes wide, avidly searching for things that offend her. When she finds such -- and it never takes long -- she screams about whatever it is this particular minute at the top of her lungs on her blog.

Last time I recall her doing this (I often go months between visits to her page, so forgive me if I've missed a few) she was howling about a bunch of movie trailers she'd just seen, and how there were no movies with female central characters, except for the one movie trailer she saw which did have a female central character, and in that movie, that female central character didn't behave enough like a typical male action hero to suit her.

And when I say she was screaming, she was SCREAMING. She shouldn't have to put up with this. The world shouldn't be this way. All of reality should be constantly rearranged to suit her particularly demented whims, every second of every day.

In this latest case, Ragnell is hollering bloody murder because a person she doesn't know said there were a lot of guys at a comics con, and it might be a good spot for a woman to seek a date.

What both of these things which have so offended Ragnell have in common is, they would not offend anyone who was actually an emotional adult, or remotely sane, or whose brain lived in a mental neighborhood anywhere on the same bus line with 'reasonable'.

Now, I have not done and do not do this sort of thing, on my blog or elsewhere. This entry on my blog resulted from me being bored. That being the case, I swung by a blog I really should know better than to visit (but occasionally she has links to something cool about Geoff Johns or Gail Simone, so, every couple of months, I wander back there). And there I found a deranged psychotic shrieking like a banshee about something some stranger had posted to the Internet that wasn't any of said psychotic's business, and soliciting her friends to assault this woman who had so enraged her, by pointing out that this woman has a picture of herself on her blog, and, essentially, saying "sic 'er".

In a nutshell -- Ragnell becomes offended by stuff that it is, frankly, emotionally retarded and borderline deranged to become offended by. She attacks these things with what is, as far as I can see, genuine rage and actual hatred, and if she can find someone to pin the blame for these things on, she requests that real people she knows go out and humiliate/degrade/embarrass said person, who has committed the grievous sin of Offending Ragnell.

I, on the other hand, having come across yet another example of Ragnell Behaving Like A Dangerous Psychotic, became alarmed by said dangerously psychotic behavior, and posted about it.

The difference here is so profound that apparently Ragnell's psychophants cannot detect it --

Things like the number of movies made with female action hero protagonists, or the dating tips of some chick who has discovered there are many, many more men at geek events than women, are not cause for either offense or alarm to uncrazy, emotionally well balanced people.

On the other hand, psychotic hate-laden tirades about such, especially that culminate in solicitations to bodily assault, are indeed something that nearly any of us could justifiably be alarmed about.

I'm not quite at the point where I'm going to start referring to Ragnell as the Ann Coulter/Michelle Malkin of female comics fandom, but she's getting me there.

Now, this is it. I'm tired of repeating myself, so I'm giving notice -- the next member of the Ragnell Revenge Squad who shows up here and talks about how there is no difference between Ragnell's post and mine, or who in any way defends Ragnell's post while continuing to ignore the deeply disturbing and irrefutable fact that she just specifically requested the public humiliation, degradation, and embarrassment of someone she does not know, who has not committed anything remotely like an offensive action against Ragnell or anyone else... well, I will read what you have to say when Blogger forwards it to me, but I've cluttered this comment thread up with enough of that bullshit. I will not continue to do so after this point.

At 6:06 PM , Blogger kalinara said...

Gosh, I wish I had a Revenge Squad. It sounds like fun.

At 6:56 PM , Anonymous Al Ewing said...

Oh, Highlanderpaws.

At 9:11 AM , Blogger Em the Retro Geek said...

Yeah, this is pretty much what she does.

I love how you get feminists who go around posting pictures of themselves on blogs, as if they aren't using their looks. Especially when they use a dark picture that focuses on "good" points.


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