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Old 12-24-2013, 03:11 PM
Lakai is offline
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Does Anyone Read "The Last Psychiatrist"?


It's a blog. Mostly about pop culture and psychiatry.

The author (who's anonymous) has a different take on various popular issues related to psychiatry. Different, but very thoughtful. It's changed how I think about behavioral issues.

Here are some articles:

Why homicidal manics kill:"Nobody will understand what went on in this house to drive my dad to this level of insanity"

Why movies suck: The Hunger Games Is A Sexist Fairy Tale. Sorry.

Why parents suck: Where Parents Go Wrong

Why you suck: When Was The Last Time You Got Your Ass Kicked?

Anyone else read this blog? Anyone know any other writing that's similar?
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Old 12-24-2013, 03:51 PM
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I read it occasionally. Don't read any other psychiatric blogs. He's certainly got a unique POV.
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Old 12-24-2013, 04:49 PM
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http://thelastpsychiatrist.com/2010/...e_you_got.html

I disagree with almost everything in that article, black people=grizzly bears?!
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Old 12-24-2013, 05:11 PM
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Religiously. Even when his posts are dead wrong, I still walk away with a lot to think about (or at least smirk at).

You probably know he's lately been more active on his sub-blog Partial Objects, but if not, then Merry Christmas.
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Old 12-25-2013, 09:12 AM
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You probably know he's lately been more active on his sub-blog Partial Objects, but if not, then Merry Christmas.
He's been posting stuff from pastabagel on Partial Objects. He's been working on a book of and about porn for about a year now, and his blog posts have dropped to about one every three months.

It's unfortunate because I really like his articles, but I am glad that we should have a book to read soon.
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:00 AM
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Anyone know any other writing that's similar?
I just randomly encountered a good answer to this question: Chuck Klosterman. I picked up his I Wear The Black Hat yesterday and had to interrupt my reading to confirm that is is not, in fact the author of the TLP blog (he's been doxed already as being someone else).

I'm finding I'm actually preferring Klosterman... the same wry, insightful analysis, but with a smidge more empathy, less reader-mocking, overall less evil-genius-on-rum-and-adderall.
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:33 AM
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Judging by the comments on his site, I get the impression that he's a writer whose main skill is convincing people that he's smarter than he really is. He achieves this effect in three ways:

1). Writing in a brash, arrogant style comprised almost entirely of declarative sentences.
2). Making weird, esoteric historical, political, and pop culture references and then breezing along without bothering to explain them. He probably knows it's unlikely that any one person would be able to catch all the references he throws out, and would probably have to Google a couple (which is why good writers only use them sparingly, if at all), and I suspect he only includes them so people will think "Wow, that guy must be really smart! He's referenced Zarathustra, Popeye Doyle, and Katniss Everdeen in one paragraph!**" - What he doesn't realise is that anyone can pull this trick.
3). Mixing heavy polysyllabic words like 'egalitarianism' and weirdly stilted academic phrases like 'Only a taught narcissistic psychology' in with conversational language like 'SPOILER ALERT' and 'Duh! That's the whole point!'

His essays don't really stand up to any real scrutiny. I doubt they'd survive ten minutes in GD. The whole thing reads like a beginner's introduction to social psychology written by the guys from Cracked.


** Just an example.
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Old 02-16-2014, 09:35 AM
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Yes, I have seen this blog before, and I am with Doctor_Why_Bother. There is a good deal less there than meets the eye, and what is there, behind the breathless style, is just a sort of manic contrarianism.
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Old 02-16-2014, 11:41 AM
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Judging by the comments on his site, I get the impression...
You got an impression? Based on the comments on his site? I just want to make sure I've understood this correctly.
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Old 02-16-2014, 12:45 PM
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Yeah, that's right. To be clear, I have two impressions about the blog. The first is that the author thinks he's really, really smart. I'm not saying he's stupid or anything, but it's clear he thinks he views life through a wider lens than most people. This impression, I get from his own articles and the (IMO) rather arrogant and presumptive style in which they're written. The second impression is that a lot of people have fallen for it. I get that from the comments, many of which seem to support him and relatively few of which address the (again, IMO) rather large holes in a lot of his arguments.
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Old 02-16-2014, 01:07 PM
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I read a bit on the site. Not a lot, but enough that I agree with Doctor_Why_Bother. I haven't seen any real depth or insight. I have, quite literally, read more insightful comments on YouTube. (Not many, I admit. But they have the advantage of brevity, at least.)

Is this person actually a psychiatrist?
  #12  
Old 02-16-2014, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Doctor_Why_Bother View Post
Yeah, that's right. To be clear, I have two impressions about the blog. The first is that the author thinks he's really, really smart. I'm not saying he's stupid or anything, but it's clear he thinks he views life through a wider lens than most people. This impression, I get from his own articles and the (IMO) rather arrogant and presumptive style in which they're written. The second impression is that a lot of people have fallen for it. I get that from the comments, many of which seem to support him and relatively few of which address the (again, IMO) rather large holes in a lot of his arguments.
Can you give us an example of such a large hole?
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Old 02-16-2014, 05:50 PM
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Sure. Here's the first one I came across, although there are probably better examples.

From: Hunger Games: Bad-ass body count.

Quote:
There are some earnest attempts to apply Game Theory to the Hunger Games, what is the optimal solution? But unfortunately the people who do this are bad at math. Let me try to explain. If 2 tributes are to be randomly selected from a District of, say, 1000 people, then the probability of you being killed is...... 100%. You can double check me if you want, but the math is correct. And-- and this is the point-- the math becomes correct if and only if you think it isn't.
I freely admit that I may be completely misunderstanding the argument here, but if I am it's because The Last Psychiatrist (TLP) has done a lousy job of explaining it, because what he's actually written here doesn't make sense on any level. If you live in a district of 1,000 people (and let's assume for simplicity that they're all eligible candidates for the games, half boys and half girls) then the odds that you will be selected in any given year are 1/500, and so if you're not chosen the odds of you surviving are 99.8%. If, on the other hand, you are chosen then your odds of being killed are obviously much higher, but they still can't be 100% because every Hunger Games always has (at least) one winner. I guess, though I'm not sure, that what TLP was trying to say was something like "The only way to win is not to play" (which ignores the fact that the characters have absolutely no choice in the matter, and that President Snow has no problem dealing out savage reprisals to every district for anything that even smells like insubordination), but I'm far from certain of that.

Of course, if he'd actually written that then he wouldn't have been able to work in a mention of Game Theory or slam people who've made serious attempts to break down the Games mathematically as being "bad at math".

Last edited by Doctor_Why_Bother; 02-16-2014 at 05:52 PM.
  #14  
Old 02-16-2014, 08:29 PM
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As I see it, the actual point, in service of the broader point, is this: The system recruits sustenance from its own victims by providing the illusion of agency. If President Snow randomly selected 24 names out of 12,000 from a jar, and then shot 23 of them in the head on live TV, the odds would be the same yet a lot fewer people would accept it complacently. True, everyone knows Snow is powerful enough to do that if he wants, but evidently his dominance is not so supreme that he feels comfortable provoking people to put on suicide vests because they have no other option. This is why "the math works only as long as you think it doesn't." The reason you lose is because you think you can win. Again, no, he's not saying "So don't play the game, sucker", he's demonstrating how tyrannical regimes prosper by providing the illusion of choice and setting people against each other.

As for why he chose the 'bad at math' trope, it's simply a hyperbolic literary device to talk about logic, the same way we say that people who play Powerball are 'bad at math'. The point is neither math nor anyone's badness thereat. The point is how a scheme works because its proponents convince the marks that they have a chance and a choice.
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Old 02-17-2014, 12:28 AM
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You know I think the thing that annoys me about this guy is while he has some interesting points, he makes the mistake of thinking everyone shares his pretty specific thoughts and viewpoints.

A random example:

http://thelastpsychiatrist.com/2011/...ter_for_b.html

Quote:
Do me the respect of admitting to whoever is drinking a latte next to you that if these people were black, you'd have a whole different reaction. If you even had any reaction, because most probably this video would have sunk to the bottom of the Sea Of Youtube with only one comment that said, "what's amazing about this video is that the father is actually still living there."

You want to see superb belt technique go visit a Toys-R-Us in an inner city, and I have a weird feeling that the reason wannabe gangstas never wear belts is because of negative reinforcement. Furthermore, after carefully reviewing the data coming from every black comic ever those kids are getting a beat down from their moms as well, proving my thesis that if you punch a white girl it becomes a Breaking News, punch a black kid and it's hilarious. And let me offer without further comment a phrase you will inevitably hear the first time you try and slap your black girlfriend: "don't you raise your hand to me, you fucking nigger, you ain't my daddy."
I'm not railing on the guy about race, it is just that when race comes up is when he goes off into his own private mental space and loses me.
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:17 AM
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You know I think the thing that annoys me about this guy is while he has some interesting points, he makes the mistake of thinking everyone shares his pretty specific thoughts and viewpoints.

A random example:

http://thelastpsychiatrist.com/2011/...ter_for_b.html

I'm not railing on the guy about race, it is just that when race comes up is when he goes off into his own private mental space and loses me.
I think this is a technique he uses to get you to think about your thoughts.

Elsewhere on the site someone criticized him for not providing any answers, and his reply was that you should "just say whatever comes to mind" when you read his posts. This means that you should do the thinking yourself and come up with your own answers. He's going to lead you to the water, but he's not going to force you to drink (he has a couple of article as to why nothing he says will force someone to change unless they decide to do it themselves).

When he talks about race, he tries to mimic the thought patterns of subconscious racism. If you don't agree with him, then your fine. However, if you follow along and think he has a point, then you have some personal assessments to make.

He is a psychiatrist who has experience with talk therapy. He has a pretty good understanding about how people think about certain topics. That's why he usually makes declarations about what other people are thinking. I don't think he thinks everyone shares his thoughts, but that he knows what other people are likely to think.
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:41 AM
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Just by the by I think he is a she.

"Read it again if you didn't get it the first time, it's important. I forbid you from having daughters. Or oxygen. I know, I know, I don't have any real power, but maybe someday a man will give me some."

or

"These women aren't hot, they are polished, hair and nails, new shoes, clothes, time at the gym and plenty of sleep. (Sigh, that was me-- never.) "

maybe

"Of course, he isn't asking me because he wants a date. The point he is making, the point everyone always makes when they bring this up, is that this is a strategic plan of Big Pharma's: hiring eye candy to influence prescribing."
  #18  
Old 02-17-2014, 07:48 PM
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Sure. Here's the first one I came across, although there are probably better examples.
After reading what HMS Irruncible wrote, do you still think it's a bad argument?
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:05 PM
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After reading what HMS Irruncible wrote, do you still think it's a bad argument?
If what HMS Irruncible is indeed the intended interpretation (and who can really say), it is not an argument at all, it is simply a metaphorically expressed assertion disguised as an argument. Furthermore (again if HMS Irruncible is right) the claim is actually rather trivial and, I should imagine, obvious to any reader or viewer of The Hunger Games with more than two brain cells to rub together. It is the fact that it is rapped up in paradoxes and patently false claims that makes it seem clever or insightful. You get an illusion of insight into the subject matter because you have had to work at puzzling out the meaning of its expression. As I said, less than meets the eye.

Last edited by njtt; 02-17-2014 at 08:06 PM.
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Old 02-18-2014, 12:22 PM
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After reading what HMS Irruncible wrote, do you still think it's a bad argument?
I'm still not very impressed, to be honest. Firstly, I think it's an exceptionally badly written argument. It seems almost designed to confuse. The problem is that TLP has chosen to frame a logical/moral argument about the best way to oppose totalitarianism as a mathematical argument. Mathematically, what he wrote is entirely wrong. There is no scenario in which your odds of dying in the Hunger Games are 100%. Either you get chosen, and your odds are (all things being equal on the battlefield) 1/24, or you don't get chosen at all.

His point seems to be that by playing in the Games you continue to perpetuate the story's peculiar totalitarian system and so viewing Katniss as a rebel is wrong. She's not a rebel, she's a tool of the system. His evidence for this seems to be the very existence of the Hunger Games itself. As HMS Irruncible points out, President Snow could just kill 2 kids from each District and leave it at that, but he doesn't because that would erode the hope of the residents of the 12 Districts to the point where he couldn't use it to control them. This is a point that is also made in the books and the second movie. TLP concludes that the only way to truly oppose the Games is not to play. Everything else is collusion. This, to me, ignores three points:

1). Katniss is not a rebel and never pretends to be. She's just a girl doing what she has to in order to survive and protect her family and those close to her. At the start of the story, she has absolutely no revolutionary ambitions whatsoever. She is, at most, a very reluctant hero.

2). President Snow may well not feel comfortable just killing two kids at random from each District. Killing a kid and his entire family for refusing to participate in a hated but accepted ritual after being picked, however, is quite another matter. The second movie makes it abundantly clear that he'd have no problem doing something like that. He may not have complete control, but he has enough control that refusing to participate simply isn't an option. In Panem, not playing would only succeed in incurring Snow's undivided attention, and that does have a 100% fatality rate. Again, Katniss is not supposed to be a revolutionary. All she wants is to survive and go home. She has no motivation to do what TLP seems to expect her to do and refuse to play.

3). It'd be a pretty boring story if Katniss just said "No thanks" and went home.

TLP's argument is slippery, and hard to pin down because, again, it's very, very badly expressed. Is he attacking Suzanne Collins for creating a character that isn't what he considers a true bad-ass? Or is he attacking us for viewing her as a bad-ass even though she's not in open rebellion against the system? It's hard to say. For my part, I think the former is flawed because he's misinterpreting Collins's intentions. It's very clear (at least to me) that Katniss isn't supposed to be a rebel and doesn't think of herself as one. If he means to make the latter argument, I think he's arguing on the basis of a flawed assumption. People may think Katniss is a bad-ass, but but if they do it doesn't necessarily follow that they think she's effectively opposing the system. They can think that simply because she's a brave girl trying her best to survive against the odds. There's more than one kind of bad-ass, after all.

Last edited by Doctor_Why_Bother; 02-18-2014 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 04-11-2014, 06:13 AM
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I read it.

I think both the critique and defence in this thread is not exactly on point. Yes, that example with the math and game theory was a piece of bad writing, there is no point in defending it.

But that's not the thing to get out of the blog, a piece of succinct, rational discussion. It is a ride. His (or her?) mind goes in a lot of different directions, many of them interesting. I like how he talks as if he is inside other people's heads, and I think he is extraordinarily good at it. It's not an easy thing to do.

And yeah, he talks way too much in declarative sentences. But don't take everything as a statement that should be completely defensible, it's not about that, it's about whether the declarations are interesting.
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Old 05-10-2014, 01:18 AM
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If what HMS Irruncible is indeed the intended interpretation (and who can really say), it is not an argument at all, it is simply a metaphorically expressed assertion disguised as an argument.
I think Last Psychiatrist is a misogynist, based on the initial Hunger Games review. The way he (I think it's a he) attacks feminists for not defining feminism or empowerment on his terms with lines like this :

Quote:
So either a) she has an unconsciously cynical view of women in general; or b) she has been tricked by the system about what it is to advance as a woman, i.e she's in The Matrix.
Quote:
"The standard adulation for The Hunger Games is that it has a strong female protagonist who is, and I quote, "a badass." Is she more of a badass than Alice from Resident Evil? Come the zombie apocalypse, do you go Team Katniss or Team Alice? Not who it's cooler to say you'd pick; assume you have a 5 year old daughter with one hit point left whose life depends on your selection. Because I'm arguing that it does."
It's actually hard to pin Last Psychiatrist on a position- because there's a lot of hand waving and magical thinking, and no real attempt as a systematic or coherent argument- but there seems to be a sneer at women who do not define success in their lives by how close they fall into a certain stereotyped unrealistic male-power-fantasy character models.

Apparently feminists have been delivered marching orders- they all need to start fantasizing about being Arnold Schwarzenegger in a schlock action film.
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Old 05-10-2014, 08:56 AM
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Apparently feminists have been delivered marching orders- they all need to start fantasizing about being Arnold Schwarzenegger in a schlock action film.
Alice from Resident's Evil is just one example TLP gives of how Katniss isn't heroic. I don't see how you can extrapolate from that example that TLP thinks all feminists have to be male-power-fantasy character models.

TLP gives several reasons why Katniss is not heroic.
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Old 05-10-2014, 11:52 AM
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Alice from Resident's Evil is just one example TLP gives of how Katniss isn't heroic. I don't see how you can extrapolate from that example that TLP thinks all feminists have to be male-power-fantasy character models.

TLP gives several reasons why Katniss is not heroic.

I don't think the things he says are true though- or even if they are they are not actually relevant in whether she is heroic or badass or empowering. For example he claims that she doesn't save anyone in the movie, but she clearly saved two people. Actually he writes:

"In the actual Games, Katniss is continuously saved by men-- Haymitch, Peeta, Peeta again, Thresh-- but you don't notice that she saves no one, including herself, you think she saves herself all the time. "

Well I have no idea what "in the actual games mean" it seems like she clearly saved her sister and the love interest in the movie.

It just seems like he sets up these artitrary goalposts of what it means to be feminist or heroic and then knocks down the goal posts he's created, but since the goal posts are not relevant criteria or just based on arbitrary nonsense, the whole exercise struck me as questionable.

It just seems to me like there's some unstated reason Last Psychiatrist wants to sneer at the feminists on Jezebel- and these weird magical thinking goalpost qualifiers like "in the actual games" whatever that means- or "this scene wasn't heroic because it was self defense and self defense is not heroic because I say it isn't" are just this hand-waving pretext.

The idea that always seems to run in these blog posts are people are stupid and don't know their own minds, but Last Psychiatrists knows what feminism is better than feminists (for example), because of Freudian magical thinking. (Or as he puts it, the feminists are all in the matrix)

I think he's the "last psychiatrist" because psychiatrists in real life have largely abandoned freud in favor of empirical research rather than magical thinking, but that isn't what Last Psychiatrist is about.
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Old 05-10-2014, 12:22 PM
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That bit I quoted a moment earlier, as I think about it, may be among the stupidest things I've ever read on a blog. I mean this bit:

Quote:
"The standard adulation for The Hunger Games is that it has a strong female protagonist who is, and I quote, "a badass." Is she more of a badass than Alice from Resident Evil? Come the zombie apocalypse, do you go Team Katniss or Team Alice? Not who it's cooler to say you'd pick; assume you have a 5 year old daughter with one hit point left whose life depends on your selection. Because I'm arguing that it does." "
This is my parody of it:

"People claim Kadnass is a badass, but can she transform into a 50 foot pickup truck and stomp on evil robots? If Megatron came a calling, who would you ask to defend your daughter's life, Katniss or Arcee the girl transformer from Transformers: The Movie?). Remember, your daughters life is at stake here! I don't think Katniss could defeat even a 20 foot robot, let alone Megratron!"

It's just completely irrelevant criteria disguised as thoughtful Socratic questioning.

Last edited by pallas; 05-10-2014 at 12:23 PM.
  #26  
Old 05-10-2014, 01:11 PM
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I don't think the things he says are true though- or even if they are they are not actually relevant in whether she is heroic or badass or empowering. For example he claims that she doesn't save anyone in the movie, but she clearly saved two people. Actually he writes:

"In the actual Games, Katniss is continuously saved by men-- Haymitch, Peeta, Peeta again, Thresh-- but you don't notice that she saves no one, including herself, you think she saves herself all the time. "

Well I have no idea what "in the actual games mean" it seems like she clearly saved her sister and the love interest in the movie.
Here is when TLP mentions Katniss' sister:

Quote:
The Hunger Games has this same feminist problem. Other than the initial volunteering to replace her younger sister, Katniss never makes any decisions of her own, never acts with consequence-- but her life is constructed to appear that she makes important decisions. She has free will, of course, like any five year old with terrible parents, but at every turn is prevented from acting on the world. She is protected by men-- enemies and allies alike; directed by others, blessed with lucky accidents and when things get impossible there are packages from the sky. In philosophical terms, she is continuously robbed of agency. She is deus ex machinaed all the way to the end.
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Originally Posted by pallas View Post
It just seems like he sets up these artitrary goalposts of what it means to be feminist or heroic and then knocks down the goal posts he's created, but since the goal posts are not relevant criteria or just based on arbitrary nonsense, the whole exercise struck me as questionable.

It just seems to me like there's some unstated reason Last Psychiatrist wants to sneer at the feminists on Jezebel- and these weird magical thinking goalpost qualifiers like "in the actual games" whatever that means- or "this scene wasn't heroic because it was self defense and self defense is not heroic because I say it isn't" are just this hand-waving pretext.
TLP's "goalposts" are that for most of the movie, Katniss doesn't make her own decisions. She's continuously robbed of her agency, and most of the people who admire her do not notice.

I think that stays consistent through his article, and the rest is TLP questioning the answers people give to justify why they believe Katinss is heroic.

Quote:
The idea that always seems to run in these blog posts are people are stupid and don't know their own minds, but Last Psychiatrists knows what feminism is better than feminists (for example), because of Freudian magical thinking. (Or as he puts it, the feminists are all in the matrix)
The entire blog is essentially about the defenses people use to avoid seeing the truth. There is a lot of questioning of peoples minds, and if you read any cognitive behavioral textbook you'll see that "people are stupid and don't know their own minds" is a common criticism. The goal is to make you question why you believe something.

TLP does not define feminism. He makes you question what you think feminism is.

He only criticized one definition of feminism, quoted here:

Quote:
Katniss, in this season of woman-hating, is a stunning example of feminism at its finest hour. She is compassionate, yet strong. She cares deeply about her family. While she is tempted to run away with Gale, instead of leaving her sister and mother to fend for themselves, she stays to support them.
The above is quote from another article that TLP disagrees with. Do you agree with this definition? Is this how you would define feminism?
  #27  
Old 05-10-2014, 01:15 PM
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That bit I quoted a moment earlier, as I think about it, may be among the stupidest things I've ever read on a blog. I mean this bit:



This is my parody of it:

"People claim Kadnass is a badass, but can she transform into a 50 foot pickup truck and stomp on evil robots? If Megatron came a calling, who would you ask to defend your daughter's life, Katniss or Arcee the girl transformer from Transformers: The Movie?). Remember, your daughters life is at stake here! I don't think Katniss could defeat even a 20 foot robot, let alone Megratron!"

It's just completely irrelevant criteria disguised as thoughtful Socratic questioning.
That's one reason Katniss is not a badass. Can you tell me why you think she is a badass? Under what definition of badassery or feminism do you think she qualifies?
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Old 05-10-2014, 01:59 PM
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That's one reason Katniss is not a badass. Can you tell me why you think she is a badass? Under what definition of badassery or feminism do you think she qualifies?
I'm not going to pull out a dictionary and argue what feminism should be defined as. (Nor does Last) I think if the feminist community is embracing Hunger Games, that creates a presumption that she is in fact a feminist character, and its really isn't my job to start delivering a lecture on feminism 101 starting with a dictionary definition or whatever.



On the specifics of the film:

It's been a while since I saw the film, but Katniss seeks to rescue her sister and try to stay alive and rescue the boy and the little girl.

She accomplishes two out of three, through a combination of athletic ability and forming alliances with other characters and her own intelligence.

She's both heroic, intelligent, and capable, and able to rescue people in a dystopian environment due to these traits.

She also tends to do things that are traditionally coded male, like battle in a tournament, hunt with a bow and arrow, and rescue a girl (her sister). This would appear to be a character showing that women can accomplish things traditionally that were boys work.

But really, a lot of feminists have celebrate the character, is my understanding, I don't really think I'm the one making an outrageous claim. (And btw its my reaction solely to the first film, I haven't yet seen the second)

For Last, the problem seems to be that she isn't Clint Eastwood in the Dollars Trilogy, killing a million people single hand-idly through ridiculous shooting ability. Pow pow pow, 10 guys dead. (Even though nobody could do anything like that in real life, and soldiers in the real world do in fact rely on comrades to help them in a war zone, Clint Eastwood go it alone types would quickly be dead).

So basically, "She's too realistic or cooperative or something, why can't she just be Clint Eastwood?" Seems to be his critique. It has a lot to do with male power fantasies, but not much to do with feminist.

But of course Last tends to not communicate clearly, and uses Freudian rhetorical games, (you think you think this but you are wrong) so it's hard to pin down what he's saying.

But really, Last is the one making the out there claim, that the plot of the movie didn't involve rescuing her sister and she doesn't rescue the boy, or even though she did it doesn't count somehow? That everyone is secretly deluded for unconscious reasons about that film they just saw, and are in the matrix?
  #29  
Old 05-10-2014, 02:17 PM
pallas is offline
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Sorry I misse your other post

Quote:
"TLP's "goalposts" are that for most of the movie, Katniss doesn't make her own decisions. "
Katniss decides to rescue her sister. It's just strikes me as completely illegitimate to say she has no agency. That's basic hero journey 101 stuff, the accepts the heroes journey to enter the hunger games, and he has to invent an arbitrary claim that she didn't have agency the "right" way to draw that conclusion.


Quote:
"The entire blog is essentially about the defenses people use to avoid seeing the truth."
Right, but the premise of the blog is that Last Psychiatrist can perceive the truth better than the poor deluded people of the world, and he knows people's minds better than they do.

It's not really based on trying to enter into a dialogue with people to try to understand their motives- because those people are deluded, who cares what they have to say? Last psychiatrist doesn't have to talk to anybody or even ask them what they are thinking- he's lecturing at them. About politics, feministm, morality, or whatever.

All things being equal, I don't find him plausible as a perceiver of the world. He does sometimes make very interesting points, I must admit, he does sometimes stumble on ideas worth considering. But he seems so vile a person, so clearly out of touch with other human beings, so unwilling to listen to other people rather than talk at them, that I couldn't keep reading it.


I mean, we disagree, that's cool. But if I disagreed in the way Last disagreed, I'd claim you like the blog because you see him as a father figure, because of deeply held sense of inferiority you need someone to tell you what to believe. You're in the Matrix.

Now that would be wayyyyyy dickish and unfair, but that's the sort of thing he does there! I find it vile.

Cognitive psychology really has nothing to do with the blog, I mean, literary criticism is not a science, and what Last does in that post is literary criticism, mixed with Freudian style Socratic dialogue.

Last edited by pallas; 05-10-2014 at 02:18 PM.
  #30  
Old 05-11-2014, 03:08 AM
Doctor_Why_Bother is offline
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Double post.

Last edited by Doctor_Why_Bother; 05-11-2014 at 03:13 AM.
  #31  
Old 05-11-2014, 03:11 AM
Doctor_Why_Bother is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lakai
That's one reason Katniss is not a badass. Can you tell me why you think she is a badass? Under what definition of badassery or feminism do you think she qualifies?
Personally, I think she's a bad-ass because when she was flung into a jungle with 23 people trying to kill her, she didn't just completely freak out, have a nervous breakdown, and go cry under a tree somewhere, which is what 99% of people would do. People think she's a bad-ass because they recognise that if they were in her position they wouldn't do anywhere near as well. That's all the reason you need.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pallas
All things being equal, I don't find him plausible as a perceiver of the world. He does sometimes make very interesting points, I must admit, he does sometimes stumble on ideas worth considering. But he seems so vile a person, so clearly out of touch with other human beings, so unwilling to listen to other people rather than talk at them, that I couldn't keep reading it.
Personally, I just can't get over what a bad writer the guy is.

Last edited by Doctor_Why_Bother; 05-11-2014 at 03:14 AM.
  #32  
Old 05-11-2014, 03:34 AM
Doctor_Why_Bother is offline
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Originally Posted by me
Personally, I just can't get over what a bad writer the guy is.
I should elaborate on this. The reason I think this guy is a terrible writer is not because I disagree with his ideas (although I do) it's because he seems constitutionally incapable of writing clearly. I don't say this lightly but I honestly feel that he frequently approaches 'Time Cube Guy' levels of obscurantism.

When one is writing fiction, clarity is just one of a number of concerns. One also has to think about characterisation, tone, atmosphere, prose style, and several other things. By contrast, when one is writing an essay, particularly a psychoanalytical or philosophical essay, literally the only thing that matters is clarity. It seems like every time this guy has a choice between being clear or being a smart-arse he makes the wrong choice. I think that's one reason why a lot of people find his blog to be so frustrating. That's definitely the main reason that I do.

Last edited by Doctor_Why_Bother; 05-11-2014 at 03:37 AM.
  #33  
Old 05-11-2014, 09:25 AM
Lakai is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pallas View Post
Katniss decides to rescue her sister. It's just strikes me as completely illegitimate to say she has no agency. That's basic hero journey 101 stuff, the accepts the heroes journey to enter the hunger games, and he has to invent an arbitrary claim that she didn't have agency the "right" way to draw that conclusion.
If you read my quote from the blog, you should know the complaint is that through most of the movie Katniss has no agency Not no agency, but not enough agency.

I was concerned by how little agency she had compared with the typical action hero. If it doesn't bother you, then that's fine, but you can't use that to say TLP's claims are illegitimate.

Quote:
Right, but the premise of the blog is that Last Psychiatrist can perceive the truth better than the poor deluded people of the world, and he knows people's minds better than they do.
You have the premise half right. TLP does claim to know people's minds better than they do. Isn't that the purpose of psychiatry?

As for answers/truth, TLP does not always claim to have it. Some problems are too difficult to figure out, but that doesn't mean we can't criticize those who think they have.

Quote:
It's not really based on trying to enter into a dialogue with people to try to understand their motives- because those people are deluded, who cares what they have to say? Last psychiatrist doesn't have to talk to anybody or even ask them what they are thinking- he's lecturing at them. About politics, feministm, morality, or whatever.
Why do you say there is no dialogue? The article you quoted had TLP answering a lot of criticism to his premise.

Quote:
All things being equal, I don't find him plausible as a perceiver of the world. He does sometimes make very interesting points, I must admit, he does sometimes stumble on ideas worth considering. But he seems so vile a person, so clearly out of touch with other human beings, so unwilling to listen to other people rather than talk at them, that I couldn't keep reading it.

I mean, we disagree, that's cool. But if I disagreed in the way Last disagreed, I'd claim you like the blog because you see him as a father figure, because of deeply held sense of inferiority you need someone to tell you what to believe. You're in the Matrix.

Now that would be wayyyyyy dickish and unfair, but that's the sort of thing he does there! I find it vile.

Cognitive psychology really has nothing to do with the blog, I mean, literary criticism is not a science, and what Last does in that post is literary criticism, mixed with Freudian style Socratic dialogue.
I could ask you for examples of how TLP dickishly used Freudian logic to discredit others, but to save time I'll venture an assumption that you don't like it when TLP says what someone else is thinking, or why they're thinking it.

I guess I don't mind when he does this because I don't think he's talking about everyone, and I don't think he's always talking about me. The point is for the reader to question whether he or she thinks that way. It's a limitation of the format he's using. He can't guess how every individual is thinking, but an article has to talk to everyone at once.

And most of the time I find his answers reasonable. If you have a specific example, then I can discuss it with you in more detail.
  #34  
Old 05-11-2014, 07:00 PM
Cudgel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor_Why_Bother View Post
Personally, I think she's a bad-ass because when she was flung into a jungle with 23 people trying to kill her, she didn't just completely freak out, have a nervous breakdown, and go cry under a tree somewhere, which is what 99% of people would do. People think she's a bad-ass because they recognise that if they were in her position they wouldn't do anywhere near as well. That's all the reason you need.
When the standards have been lowered, and the words revalued, we begin to treat simply not having a nervous breakdown as something to aspire to rather than it being the norm. Hence, the Last psychiatrist, psychiatrist to the Last man. In other words, a person who expects more from you than you apparently expect from yourself.

On another note, it's interesting that anybody is bothered by Doctor_Why_Bother's "criticisms." Note that none of them address the ideas of the blog in any way and focus instead on irrelevant points like writing style and "esoteric" references. Not to mention the slightly conspiratorial accusation that he's trying to come off as smarter than he is (complete with an axiomatized list!). Reminder that presumption and prejudice do not make for a good argument, which are the crux of D_W_B's points. When prodded for an example of "real scrutiny", he clumsily analyzes a metaphor in terms of its math. "It's not my fault he's a bad writer!" You don't like his writing, that's perfectly fine. But let's not pretend you've made any substantive points.

But before I'm accused of being a minion, I'll freely admit that TLP is not a blog that lends itself easily to first time visitors. Most people have a defensive reaction when they first read him. And most people stick around. It's hard to tell where exactly Alone is coming from if you haven't read anything else by him. This post (not written by me) does a good job at trying to put it all together.

Cheers.
  #35  
Old 05-11-2014, 07:55 PM
Speak to me Maddie! is offline
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Holy crap, I've been lost in this blog all day. Thanks. This is great stuff.
  #36  
Old 05-12-2014, 03:07 AM
Doctor_Why_Bother is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cudgel
When the standards have been lowered, and the words revalued, we begin to treat simply not having a nervous breakdown as something to aspire to rather than it being the norm.
But if you've been thrown into a giant death trap where you're almost certainly going to be slaughtered in a matter of hours, not having a breakdown is something to aspire to! The one revaluing the word bad-ass is TLP! He's redefined bad-ass to place all the emphasis on "agency" rather than on things like stoicism, courage under fire and other things which most ordinary people associate with bravery. How much "agency" does a soldier have? Pretty much none at all, right? Chain of command and all that. I guess TLP thinks there's no such thing as a bad-ass soldier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cudgel
Hence, the Last psychiatrist, psychiatrist to the Last man.
Christ, even the title of his blog is unclear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cudgel
In other words, a person who expects more from you than you apparently expect from yourself.
Well...I return the favour. From him, I expect coherence, cogency and straight-forward ness, such that I can understand his essays without having to rely on interlocutors on a 3rd party message board. I remain disappointed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cudgel
On another note, it's interesting that anybody is bothered by Doctor_Why_Bother's "criticisms." Note that none of them address the ideas of the blog in any way and focus instead on irrelevant points like writing style and "esoteric" references.
You've misunderstood. Those. "Criticisms" you list (which you presumably got from my post no.7) are not so much criticisms as they are tools that TLP uses to intimidate his readers into thinking he knows more than he actually does. It's an easy trick to pull. The reason most people don't do it is because most people have more respect for their audiences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cudgel
Not to mention the slightly conspiratorial accusation that he's trying to come off as smarter than he is (complete with an axiomatized list!)
It's not "conspiratorial", it's bleeding obvious! I know, because I used to pull the same shit in school when I was a teenager, writing like I knew everything and never had to justify a word. If I could go back in time and apologise to my teachers I would.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cudgel
When prodded for an example of "real scrutiny", he clumsily analyzes a metaphor in terms of its math. "It's not my fault he's a bad writer!" You don't like his writing, that's perfectly fine. But let's not pretend you've made any substantive points.
And let's not pretend that this is a rebuttal to my point, regardless of its substance, or lack thereof. And clumsily paraphrasing my opinion of his writing skills doesn't negate the validity of the observation. The guy is working in a written medium and he can't write. This is a problem for him.

As for the example that I chose, I chose it simply because it happened to be the very first one that I came across. Since then, I've also discussed the wisdom of using "agency" as a criterion for bravery, which, as I understand it, is one of the main points of his essay. Of course, I may well not be understanding it, and if I'm not that's his fault.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cudgel
But before I'm accused of being a minion, I'll freely admit that TLP is not a blog that lends itself easily to first time visitors. Most people have a defensive reaction when they first read him. And most people stick around.
You can't possibly know if most, or even a fraction, of the people who read his blog stick around. And as for the alleged defensiveness...well, it's just human nature to disagree with disagreeable people.

Last edited by Doctor_Why_Bother; 05-12-2014 at 03:11 AM.
  #37  
Old 06-27-2014, 01:51 PM
cilla is offline
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Why Bother indeed...

I am a dedicated reader of TLP ever since I stumbled across his blog god knows how, some months ago... and having read many of his recent posts, have grown tired of waiting for new ones and have begun reading from the very beginning, in 2005.

I think it's safe to assume that he is actually a psychiatrist, yes. Actually his more recent posts are much less directly related to psychiatry in their subject matter, so it's somewhat understandable that you might suspect he is just posing as one.

However I do think YOU sir are a tad judgmental, beyond your jurisdiction. And let me preface this by saying that I am not trying to sound any more smart than I am, nor do I think TLP does, either. I am actually trying to express something, through the medium of writing yes because how else do you relay a message to be understood remotely? It would basically have to be either an auditory or visual method. So I'm not leaving you a voicemail, I'm writing the message. Forgive me, overlord...

My criticism of how you are coming off is that you read one post and decided to pass all these judgments. Note the subtitle of TLP (it's relevant) -- it's German for "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent." Think about it (don't speak).

That article of his that you reviewed is just one sample, for one thing. The significance of a single standalone sample of a whole body of work or as a representation of an individual should be fairly obvious, as not heavily weighted.

Then there's the title of the blog which you also went ahead and took the liberty to criticize/complain about, as being "unclear". Maybe you should take a step back and realize first of all that you are not god, nowhere near, even. Everything is a matter of perception. That's one thing. So what may not be clear to you... you know... It's clear to me, for instance. The title "The Last Psychiatrist" never confused me one bit. I interpreted it as something along the lines of being the last true psychiatrist left to take his business seriously enough to apply logical thinking. Not literally THE ONLY LAST SOLE individual but at least one among the few remaining contrary to the nonsensical stupid masses, many of which still become psychiatrists or political figures or most anything.

Over the years his subject matter has shifted further from spot-on psychiatry, and I don't see any reason to believe that the very act of blogging in itself and for a public audience may change a person at least a little bit, in the sense that the blog is an interface which like any other adds another dimension to reality. I mean this loosely... maybe not the person is changed (whatever that would mean) but his habits or interests in blogging... I'm not the most articulate and I can't explain myself perfectly but hopefully you get my gist (or at least try and not just immediately resort to being a stuck-up asshole).

He does not claim to be a writer, anyway; he claims to be a psychiatrist. So I don't know why you've got to dog on him for that shit. He's supposed to be writing a book on porn, but plenty of people who are not "writers" write books, simply because they have something to communicate, document, transmit... And you know what? I think he's a fine writer (like wine). Plus, you've got to take into account for any typos or missed apostrophes or whatever your issue with his writing is, that he's (from what I gather) drunk most of the time, and bitter. But I think what you find wrong with his writing is more the substance, and the presentation. If he's too verbose and you don't buy it and it sounds artificial to you, fine. Perhaps you're just not used to it. I read plenty (well I used to, not crap neither) hence my ability to BASICALLY write I guess, and I thoroughly enjoy TLP's blog, obviously, I'm starting from the beginning of the archives...

But you know what the main point is that you are way too critical of something or someone you know way too little about, and you're way too sure and defensive of your ill-informed *opinion*.

Which actually goes to show that you're stupid, careless, full of your own shit. Try not hating without sufficient reason. It's so not worth the energy.

This is why I drink daily and read TLP too.

You CAN know, it is ENTIRELY POSSIBLE, don't go on making retarded declarations like you do like an ass -- whether people stick around reading his blog. First think about how little is actually IMpossible or that we can be POSITIVE is IMPOSSIBLE. That's next to nothing. Then -- THINK, it doesn't take much. Clearly you aren't a scientist or anything. There are comments on his blog. Many of them state that they are long-term readers and discuss topics he posted earlier in relation to current ones or similar scenarios -- ample indication of people "sticking around" for more.

Cudgel knows what I'm talking about...

If anyone seems disagreeable, you certainly do. Maybe you should bother with a doctor.
  #38  
Old 06-27-2014, 03:51 PM
BlackKnight is offline
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Sir! Sir! My craze-ometer is registering over four hundred milli-timecubes! Requesting back up ASAP.
  #39  
Old 06-27-2014, 04:02 PM
joyfool is offline
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Jah. That's an impressive second post after a year. Jumps right in with calling people assholes and shit. Heh.
  #40  
Old 06-27-2014, 04:09 PM
Marley23 is offline
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Warning


Quote:
Originally Posted by cilla View Post
Which actually goes to show that you're stupid, careless, full of your own shit. Try not hating without sufficient reason. It's so not worth the energy.
cilla, you're not allowed to insult other posters here. This is a warning: don't do it again.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackKnight View Post
Sir! Sir! My craze-ometer is registering over four hundred milli-timecubes! Requesting back up ASAP.
I'm not issuing a warning for this one, but you can't call another poster crazy either. Cut it out.

Last edited by Marley23; 06-27-2014 at 04:10 PM.
  #41  
Old 06-27-2014, 05:26 PM
Doctor_Why_Bother is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cilla
I am a dedicated reader of TLP
Yes, you are dedicated. The fan boy vibes are coming off you in waves. Itís pathetic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cilla
I think it's safe to assume that he is actually a psychiatrist, yes.
I donít think I ever doubted that he was a psychiatrist. He could be a lion tamer for all I care.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cilla
Actually his more recent posts are much less directly related to psychiatry in their subject matter, so it's somewhat understandable that you might suspect he is just posing as one.
I didnít suspect anything about his profession one way or the other. I donít care about his profession. When youíre wrong, youíre wrong. It doesnít matter if youíre a psychiatrist, a rocket scientist, or a trapeze artist. His being a psychiatrist doesnít give his arguments any extra weight in my mind because theyíre just so obviously wrong and/or incomprehensible, not to mention almost completely uncited.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cilla
However I do think YOU sir are a tad judgmental, beyond your jurisdiction.
My jurisdiction? Please, tell me, what is my jurisdiction? What am I allowed to comment on? Be specific.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cilla
And let me preface this by saying that I am not trying to sound any more smart than I am,
Damn right youíre not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cilla
nor do I think TLP does, either.
Well, there we differ. I think everything from his uncited declarative assertions, to his seemingly haphazard deployment of pop culture references, to his frenetic style which leaps from point to point without any semblance of real structure, to that stupid German strapline which Iíll get to in a minute, all combine to indicate that the guy is either (a) unbelievably pretentious or (b) trying to sound smarter than he really isÖwhich isnít that different from option (a), really.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cilla
I am actually trying to express something, through the medium of writing yes because how else do you relay a message to be understood remotely? It would basically have to be either an auditory or visual method. So I'm not leaving you a voicemail, I'm writing the message. Forgive me, overlord...
Jesus Christ, will you drop the persecution complex? So I didnít like your favourite little blog. Get over it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cilla
My criticism of how you are coming off is that you read one post and decided to pass all these judgments. Note the subtitle of TLP (it's relevant) -- it's German for "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent." Think about it (don't speak).
Yes. I know that. Itís Wittgenstein. Specifically, itís the last line of his first major work Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus wherein he outlined his philosophy that metaphysics was logically incomprehensible because the words that metaphysicians tend to use (ĎGodí or Ďafterlifeí for instance) donít have real-world referents. What Wittgenstein means is that if something doesnít have a tangible physical presence we canít talk about it in any meaningful way (Whereof one cannot speak) and so therefore we shouldnít even try (thereof one must be silent).1

I got all that immediately, but it proves my point! If I didnít know Wittgenstein, and if I didnít happen to already possess a smattering of German, I would have had to spend Christ knows how long Googling about, just to figure out the strapline on this guyís shitty little wordpress blog. Now, a familiarity with philosophical catchphrases might impress you, but they donít impress me. They just donít. To me, that strapline is just another sign of the contemptible pretension which makes this guyís blog such a chore to read. If heíd had it in English then maybe he could have gotten away with it, but no. He had it in German. Why did he have it in German if not to be obscurantist?

I donít like obscurantism. Sue me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cilla
That article of his that you reviewed is just one sample, for one thing. The significance of a single standalone sample of a whole body of work or as a representation of an individual should be fairly obvious, as not heavily weighted.
Yes, youíre absolutely right. As soon as Iíve divested myself of my responsibilities to my friends, family, and employer, as well as of all my not inconsiderable health problems, I will immediately undertake a rigorous Talmudic analysis of this weird little blog that Iíd never heard of until I opened this thread (and Christ, do I ever regret doing that). I will leave no stone unturned, no post unannotated, and no article of punctuation unscrutinised so that when my intellectual Odyssey is complete I will be able to stand tall and, in the sight of Gods and men, proclaim to the world that I earned the right to sayÖI don't like it.

Look, itís just a blog, all right? Someone asked the board at large for opinions on its content and mine were negative. I gave my reasons. I donít have to go through every line this guyís ever written to ensure my opinion takes his every damn keystroke into account. He already lost me. When you give up on a book after fifty pages, do you force yourself to read the remaining six hundred just so you can justify to yourself your decision to go read something else? ĎCos if you do, let me tell you, most people donít. And when most people are asked for their opinions of a book they discarded, they donít say ďIíve no right to an opinion because I didnít finish itĒ, they say ďI didnít like it because of X,Y, and Zí. Is that terribly unfair to the author? No! Itís the authorís job to retain the readerís interest. If he fails, thatís his fault.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cilla
Then there's the title of the blog which you also went ahead and took the liberty to criticize/complain about, as being "unclear". Maybe you should take a step back and realize first of all that you are not god, nowhere near, even. Everything is a matter of perception. That's one thing. So what may not be clear to you... you know... It's clear to me, for instance. The title "The Last Psychiatrist" never confused me one bit. I interpreted it as something along the lines of being the last true psychiatrist left to take his business seriously enough to apply logical thinking.
Right, well you fucking got it wrong then, didnít you? Because Cudgel who, according to you, ďknows what youíre talking aboutĒ said quite clearly that it was actually a reference to the Nietzchean concept of the ĎLast Maní (look it up).

See what I mean about the lack of clarity being a problem, yet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cilla
Not literally THE ONLY LAST SOLE individual but at least one among the few remaining contrary to the nonsensical stupid masses, many of which still become psychiatrists or political figures or most anything.
Good thing I never said that then, isnít it? If youíre going to throw a hissy-fit could you at least do it without straw-manning me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cilla
He does not claim to be a writer, anyway; he claims to be a psychiatrist. So I don't know why you've got to dog on him for that shit.
Because people asked! Lakai started this thread for general opinions about the blog. One, just one of the opinions I have about it is that it is badly written. Occasionally, itís exceptionally badly written. Hereís a question: Why have you got to dog me for that one opinion? I also took issue with the way he summarily redefined the concept of ďagencyĒ to suit his purposes in his Hunger Games article, but I notice that youíve left that objection completely alone. Why is that?

Itís really quite amusing. I criticise the guyís style and substance. Then you come along and criticise me for criticising his style and then accuse me of having no substance! What about my criticisms of his substance? Why havenít you addressed ANY of that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cilla
Which actually goes to show that you're stupid, careless, full of your own shit. Try not hating without sufficient reason. It's so not worth the energy.
Says the guy who just wrote a hysterical 1,000 word screed because some random on the internet dared to criticise his favourite blog.

Click on this link: http://xkcd.com/386/

See the guy in that cartoon? Thatís you.

Quote:
Cudgel knows what I'm talking about...
Iím glad someone does.


1. - Apologies to any philosophy majors reading. It's been nearly 20 years since I read the Tractatus. I hope I got the gist of that bit right, at least.
  #42  
Old 06-27-2014, 06:02 PM
joyfool is offline
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Doctor, that was most excellent. I applaud you.
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