It’s so Fluffy I Wanna Die

For those of you who have ever uttered that phrase in your life, or have felt the overwhelming desire to chuck that fuzzy little hamster as hard as you can against the wall, this article is for you. As it turns out, you’re not alone!

>> Why do we want to squeeze cute things? <<

After reading that if you want to test out just how aggressive you feel when looking at something cute, check out this article:

>> 27 chow-chow puppies who are too fluffy for their own good <<



This Is Water

>> David Foster Wallace, In His Own Words <<

Among the usual crowd of soaring commencement speeches, David Foster Wallace’s address to the Kenyon College class of 2005 stands out in its grim insistence in examining reality as it is.  It’s a somewhat dense read – as much of his work tends to be – but, ultimately, rewarding.

This address reminds me a lot of the NY Times article I posted a month or so ago about the secret to success (awareness).  Foster Wallace similarly says that the key to living triumphantly is constantly being aware of the world outside the context of you.  He draws on a cute allegory where two young fish are swimming down a river.  An older fish – going in the opposite direction – nods at them and says, “Morning, boys.  How’s the water?”  The two parties pass.  Down the river, the young fish look at themselves and ask, “What the hell is water?”

So much of what we do and where we are has been determined for us.  The point of Foster Wallace’s address is not to encourage grads to anarchy and to oppose convention, just because it seems like an imposition.  He argues that the world does not – as we sometimes like to think – exist just to hinder us.  It is just the state we’re in by default, just as fish exist in water.  The point is not to escape the water, but to realize that it exists and to reconfigure your understanding of your life around this necessary constraint.  Awareness is the stepping stone to living decisively!

– Sandra

The Naming Game

>> Why Girls Make Up Names for the Guys They Date <<

The author poses that girls nickname guys in order to distance themselves to curtail future emotional trauma when said guys (inevitably) transition out of their lives.  It’s a conveniently philosophical argument, but I’m not really buying it.  I know that I’ve employed nicknames, because names like “John” and “Matt”  are so generic that it’s easy to confuse them with the 10 other Johns and Matts we collectively know.

This brings us to the next article, which argues why nicknames given to girls by guys tend to be more offensive.  Guys nickname to dispel confusion.  No one’s going to forget “Puke Girl” and the accompanying story he invariably included in her description.  The author also mentions the fact that guys nickname to make funny stories funnier.

>> Why ‘Hot Gym Girl’ Is a Grosser Nickname Than ‘Hot Gym Guy’ <<

But I have another proposition: guys’ nicknames for girls are more offensive, because they overwhelmingly reference appearance.  And “Duckbilled Platypus” (a girl who resembles said animal) is definitely meaner than “Laundry Boy” (guy you first met at dry cleaners).  It’s just a fact of life that men place more stock in a female’s appearance than do women in a male’s appearance.  But at the same time, women care a lot about their own appearance, too.  It’s just this cycle of women feeling insecure about how they look and men being brutal/unforgiving about that same thing.  Men’s nicknames for women are more hurtful, because they target insecurities women probably already have!  In fact, a woman might have the same nickname among men in different social circles, just because of her distinct appearance – i.e. Horse Face.  Don’t lie.  You know one.

– Sandra