Author Topic: Ask Me Anything

Ask Me Anything
« on: January 03, 2024 »
Quote from: Socks
Am I a troll?

I don't know, are you? (Egad, am I? That's quite a long list of pathologizing behaviours.)

First determine that you're not a cat, which can happen. All cats are trolls.

Having ascertained that you're not, perhaps with the help of a mirror or a loved one whose assistance may also be required to access this video if you still get carded,

next look into your heart. Is it stunted by a lack of empathy for your fellow man and woman (a lot of guys leave them out), twisted by hatred? Answer truthfully to activate personal growth.

Endeavour to change your ways.

You're probably not a troll, but you may have anger management issues.

Ask Me Anything
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2024 »
Quote from: lovelorn
I've met someone who is perfect in every way except he watches GB News. I'm ready to have this man's babies, which I now realise may grow up to be gammons if I fail to deprogramme him. My question is, whose genes will they inherit, mine (as a tolerant progressive, I stay informed via approved party channels), or his? Please hurry with your answer: my biological clock is ticking.

[Turns on GB News, known to be triggering to those who watch it regularly.]

Many a child was conceived with Johnny Carson looking on, but might I suggest turning the telly off.

It's distracting to those of us trying to concentrate.

Though my degree wasn't in genetic counselling, I do feel qualified to point out that your progeny will inherit DNA from both of you, this being the entire point of sexual reproduction. After that it's anybody's guess what they'll turn into.

Door #666
Door #WTF
Door #3

I can hear your objection through the spoiler: "But Ignatius, these are all examples of interlopers!" I'm not going to lie to you, it could happen.

This is my newest grandnephew, his grandeur uncontested by immediate family:

His father comes from a Biden-voting family; his mother, Trump. Any 'deprogramming' was abandoned in pursuit of love, which keeps no record of wrongs unless divorce lawers are summoned. Who knows, the fruit of their loins could grow up to become Vice President to the first non-binary commander-in-chief since Nixon (that 18½ minute gap was Haldeman talking them down from announcing it to a nation unprepared for such a bombshell).

Don't ask, don't tell

Just do your best to nurture whatever nature may deliver and embrace diversity. It's the future.

"Our song"

Ask Me Anything
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2024 »

Quote from: dualist citizen
Is it OK to vote for Trump?


So you're saying I should vote for Biden?

Don't pretend you'd be doing the world a favour by voting for Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.

But it's my duty to vote for somebody.

If you feel that strongly about it, you may write my name on your ballot and support the following:

– Global cooling. My administration will exemplify composure and self-control.
– A tax on tweets.
– An end to the scourge of fixed gear (with no loophole by calling it 'fixed wheel' instead). We all know it's not "fun".
– We'll handle everything else as it comes up.

file photo of vigorous youth

Ask Me Anything
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2024 »

Quote from: Tot of Tunbridge Wells
Heavens to Betsy, am I to be drafted when I come of age?

Maybe! Or you could get ahead of this thing and train to become a spy.

Apologies if this is singularly unhelpful, but it was a damn good show.


At the Y
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2024 »
Crosspost of I'm American, ask me anything.

Quote from: fd3
Do you think you can represent usanians?

For the purposes of this thread, which is to inform and entertain, sure.

In Robert Heinlein's Have Spacesuit – Will Travel, the protagonist Kip stands on trial for not just the US of A, but all mankind. I recently watched Mr Earth, where a man is chosen at random for a similar test and passes, somehow having not killed the aliens who sit in judgement through the sheer force of his earnestness. It's a popular trope, and in the same spirit I offer myself as sacrificial American.

On my first visit to the UK in '84, my older sister, stationed at RAF Mildenhall (which primarily supports United States Air Force operations), dropped me in Cambridge. I wandered the streets, without a clue or plans for the evening. Fell into conversation with a woman who must have picked up on this. She invited me home to her family, putting me up in the spare room.

That night the family entertainment was Raiders of the Lost Ark, and me, possibly not in that order.

[M]y mother is usanian, she lives in MA and my sister in TX.  I don't know that they could be representative of usanians any more than I can give insight into the thinking of Europeans.

You didn't say where your sister lives in TX. If it's Austin, a liberal enclave and not just Lance Armstrong's playground, that's a different kettle of fish from the rest of that massive state.

I'm less familiar with Massachusetts, its only personal significance spelling bee fodder and honeymoon destination (Boston '91). (We were betrothed as infants.)

Just taking Ohio, where I'm from – a very frequent question from those I meet! – there's a big difference between the flat northwestern part of the state where I grew up, and the hilly southern area where my father did, though the sense of dislocation will likely be far less pronounced these days (and offhand I couldn't say how much topography has to do with it). Similarly, once upon a time, a New Yorker landing in the Deep South would've been as Kip amongst the Vegans.

It is absolutely impossible to pick a representative American from the 330,000,000+, but I'm sad to report the most likely candidate we have at the moment is that amalgamation of the ugly American, Donald Trump: I truly believe that we as a nation get the presidents we deserve. Also applies to Biden.

Quote from: De Sisti
In your opinion, are most white Americans racist (against African Americans)?

Most? No, not even close. Many? Yes, enough that racism is endemic. It is the original stain on We The People, starting with the ethnic cleansing that came with manifest destiny.

Quote from: cygnet
Can you use a knife and fork at the same time to eat?

God I hope the rest are this easy.


It's like that thing where some people can roll their tongue and others can't. (I can.)

In fact, I never use a knife when eating; if necessary, I use the edge of the fork. It helps that I'm vegetarian.

Did/do you have an accent?

You tell me:

"of America," is how it was supposed to end. Don't know what happened there. iMovie is definitely not my forte. Recorded into my phone at 2.00 a.m. in the kitchen, followed by a quick WTF session with the software. Incidentally, we've recently acquired audio of my wife singing "What A Wonderful World" when she was 10 years old. I'll upload it later, if she lets me.

PS. Once more, with feeling.

Quote from: Adam
It's something I've noticed about Americans - they do tend to load up both a fork and knife to shovel food into their mouths.

I actually would've said that about the British, having not observed it till moving here! IME we cut our food then lay the knife down. Searching my memory back to when I was a carnivore and lived in the homeland, I probably did use a knife when necessary, but it wasn't usually necessary, not being a big steak eater, for example.

My wife grew up in Sri Lanka and figures you folks* would call her a savage; they ate with their fingers, to properly mix the curry.

*Whenever I use the word 'folks', I'm acutely aware it's something Americans say a lot.

All will be answered. For future reference, ETA [Estimated Time of Answer] will vary based on a mysterious trigger point informed by editorial instinct, i.e., a movable deadline.

A selection of hold music follows, specially curated to give that unique flavor of Americana.

Vax Americana

For your viewing pleasure, I highly recommend DuckDuckGo to nuke the ads (unless you feel guilty depriving Google of revenue).

We'll now head west like the pioneers, then fly back east.

Damn compass, that's south.
(→ Here's some music ← from an actual satellite called Georgia.)

[Checks map] that's south again.

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Which means if you get married there, it's automatically annulled when you leave the city limits.

But it's so grey!

Quote from: Jaded
Why are cows?

There are a number of theories of why cows are. From the literature:
1. McDonald's. Clearly the result of corporate interests infiltrating academia and the think tanks that churn out food for thought.
2. De-evolution. Started as cowsaurus. Spent millennia at the apex of the food chain. Then asteroid went BOOM. The Burgess Shale provides a few tantalising clues.
3. Karma. The souls of politicians have to migrate somewhere.

Quote from: Asterix, the former Gaul.
Do you know Margret?

I only know that whoever gets named it is going to spend the rest of her life correcting people.

According to The BUMP:
There is a new pearl in your family oyster bed. Margret is a beautiful girl’s name of Greek origin. A respelling of the popular name Margaret, this option may have one less letter, but it has no less shine! Notable namesakes include Curious George writer and illustrator Margret Elizabeth Rey...

Quote from: liam_whippet
Should we call you Uncle, Sam?

By all means, if you're one of my nieces or nephews. Otherwise, user discretion advised.

Quote from: IanDG
Did Reagan and Thatcher ever "hit it off"?

They were once spotted "dogging" on the White House lawn:

Quote from: mzjo
As someone who listens to a fair amount of USanian music of the more eclectic sort I am sad to see that your selection doesn't include any bluegrass, western swing, zydeco, tex-mex, blues or jazz.

I'd answer that, but as it's not a question phrased in the form of a question, my hands are tied. Happy to play you some bluegrass though:

That's a trick clicky.

Quote from: cygnet
Before you left your home state, and/or before you left the US, did you consider that you had accent?

No. I knew this because I sounded boring to myself, whereas people from other places sounded interesting. (The British have made entire industries out of this.) Everyone is aware of the southern accent, for example, and to a lesser extent, New Englander and others. But Ohio? Even in this video specifically billed as being about our accent, note that he never got around to describing one. Because it doesn't exist.*

*It does exist. If you don't have a map handy, Michigan sits on top of Ohio. Apparently we both speak with "a wide open mouth":

So that explains all the flies I catch.

Quote from: Asterix, the former Gaul
Do you like tea?

Sorry, forgot to answer this one from before.


If yes, what type, and how do you make it?

As it happens, you can not like tea and still make it. My wife, as mentioned from Sarandīb, has tea in her DNA. I have therefore prepared innumerable cups for her. She prefers Twinings English Breakfast, which has gotten bloody expensive.

1. Boil water.
2. Put tea bag in empty cup. We have a selection, as do most civilised people:

3. Pour water over bag. Keep bag in cup.
4. Make sure to leave enough room for some milk. How much milk? Beats me. Whatever looks good. This can in fact be a slightly different amount every time.
5. Repeat as demanded.


Ask me anything
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2024 »
Quote from: Curious George
What does Chatty Cathy mean? Sounds sexist.

Well spotted.

I'm not going to say Google is your friend, 'cause it ain't (no search engine is, though perhaps DuckDuckGo comes closest). 'Chatty Cathy' was a pull-string "talking" doll originally created by Ruth and Elliot Handler and manufactured by the Mattel toy company from 1959 to 1965. So far so Wikipedia (speaking of non-friends).

Quote from: the big W
Although its mouth did not move (it was designed with lips slightly parted), the Chatty Cathy doll "spoke" one of eleven phrases at random when the "chatty ring" protruding from its upper back was pulled. The ring was attached to a string connected to a simple phonograph record inside the cavity behind the doll's abdomen… When it arrived on the market in 1960, the doll played eleven phrases, including "I love you", "I hurt myself!" and "Please take me with you".

Quote from: Planes, Trains & Automobiles
The term "Chatty Cathy" can be used to refer to a particularly talkative person. In the 1987 movie Planes, Trains & Automobiles, Steve Martin scolds John Candy, saying "It's like going on a date with a Chatty Cathy doll."

Thank god there are so many other knowledgeable sources to quote. Such a productivity boost.

The Chatty Cathy Myth
Women are not dolls ready to speak when our draw string is tug; we are people with ideas, and relevant experiences that should be shared. You don’t have to call yourself a feminist to respect women (although it would be pretty great if you did).

(Think I'll stay outside that circle though, thanks.)

Quote from: Timid Timmy
What's it like being banned so often?

Not quite Sophie's choice

It's honestly great! The first banishment is the hardest; the second is still hard; by the third time you're beginning to wonder if it's you or them (it's them); I could go on… and have done.

I'm not going to say it isn't a shock every time, though the degree of surprise is completely down to individual circumstances. My latest was downright cathartic.

Yet Another Cycling Forum, just not in a good way.

Quote from: zimmy
Can you trust yourself or should you rely on The Collective at all times?

Trust, but verify.

Quote from: Lurking Larry
Make up your mind. Is NACF a forum or what?

Or what.

Quote from: Phineas Fan
What's your proudest moment?

How can one choose in a lifetime of so many? But I'll go with this for now:


Ask Me Anything
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2024 »
Quote from: Decent Person
I'm so tongue-tied when it comes to trans issues. Afraid to put a foot wrong. Help!

The movement is chock full of charlatans and misogynists yearning to breathe free, currently given licence to beat the rest of us into submission. Nobody wants to be sent to the re-education camps for thought crimes...

Does the Transgender community have a problem with well evidenced science?
Quote from: Britme
I think trans is real and trans people exist. I think they are a product of lack of understanding of the rich tapestry of the way it's ok for people to present themselves and a confusion of that with stereotypes. I also think that they don't literally change sex and thus have no business entering spaces or positions reserved for a particular biological sex. How they choose to dress or present and who they choose to have sex with is irrelevant.

or the Socratic method.

Quote from: Constant Reader
Is Judith Butler worth reading?

Only as context for Kathleen Stock, Andrew Sullivan (blind spot & all), et al.

How about JK Rowling?

Rowling may have inspired more bookworms than any other living author, but who cares about that. A certain segment of the Harry Potter fandom does seem particularly intense, which gives pause. Then again there are probably societies devoted to Saul Bellow which would make me blanch.

Rule #1 about Herzog: You DO NOT talk about Herzog.

I haven't read her fiction, so can't pronounce upon it. I can only say it's a shame her nonfiction remains puzzingly obscure.