Presented without comment #29

Why women don’t like appearing on TV‘ by Suzanne Moore at The Guardian.

Women, if I have to generalise, are very good at faking some things but not always the things that matter. We want to be liked and are fearful of being judged on our looks. There is a freedom in ageing, trust me, but the media needs fresh meat.

Why, though, are we so afraid of being unlovable and ignorant when every day men ooze these qualities in serious discussions? When I was editing, I would often ask women who I knew had expertise to write for me but they would need so much encouragement that often, yes, I would use a less good man simply to meet a deadline. A man who was prepared to fake it.

We say “no” when we should say “yes” because we don’t feel worth it, we don’t feel we can cover every base. This is a problem of political discourse. You can’t go on Question Time and say, “I am not really sure about the euro”, even though no one is really sure about the euro. Or “Actually, NHS funding is not my area” when you are up against politicians who have had teams briefing them. Your job, as I was told aeons ago when booked to appear on Question Time, is to “represent the average mum”, which I screwed up badly by asking that Myra Hindley be released and all drugs be legalised, while sitting next to David Trimble.

10 Things I Hate About Skyrim‘ by Tim Rogers at

Skyrim begins most of its proverbial sentences with the names of characters in its made-up dialects. The loading-screen flavor text often catches my eye. The above example is particularly fantastic. It reads:

Kodlak Whitemane is the Harbinger of the Companions. He does not give orders, [yet] his word is highly respected both inside Jorrvaskr and through all the nine Holds.

First of all—what? Second of all: okay.

“Kodlak”: a made-up first name in some made-up dialect that is trying to sound Nordic.

“Whitemane”: two familiar words to English speakers, combined into one word. We immediately have the impression of this man having a full head of white hair. Maybe he does. Or . . . maybe he’s a she? (With a name like “Kodlak”?)

“Harbinger of the Companions”: the two capitalized words in this phrase are words we may have encountered before if we’ve ever read a book or leafed through one. A “Harbinger” is something that signals something is coming. A “Companion” is a person or thing that one enjoys being with and escorts or chaperones from place to place. However, as these words are capitalized, a little switch flips in the first-timer’s brain, prompting him to expect these words, in this imaginary world, to represent foreign concepts. Maybe a “Harbinger” is what they call a “Master Elite Warrior”, and the “Companions” are a group of Really Tough Dudes who kill anyone that looks at their shoes. It could be possible that a Harbinger is what citizens of the land of Skyrim call a messenger or an oracle, and the Companions are people who like hanging out with people, though the unfamiliarity of a name like “Kodlak” coupled with a pseudo-familiar name like “Whitemane” persuades us to expect the extraordinary. So it is that writing begins to trick us.

In which I don’t try to write like a man‘ by Margaret Robertson at Lookspring.

 General internet rough-and-tumble doesn’t phase me. I’m secretly delighted that the 4th Google result for my name is ‘Margaret Robertson is full of shit’. It amuses me enough that I’ve bought, even if I haven’t quite figured out what to do with it yet. I think, on the whole, I can make my peace with being called a cunt for what I write, but I find it more daunting to be called a cunt for just having one.

History Repeats – Facebook is the new AOL‘ by Jay Baer at

People kvetch about Google and it’s online hegemony. But Google is Urkel compared to Facebook in terms of possession of data. And data = power because data = relevancy.

Imagine if when you went to Google to do a search, you saw a pop-up box that said “To search, first please enter your name; high school; relationship status; favorite movies; birthday; lists all your friends and relatives; and upload some photos of that time you were drunk and did something stupid.”

That’s essentially how Facebook works. Except we GAVE them all that information. They didn’t even have to ask.