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04 November 2009

It's Time For A Special "What's Wrong With Metafilter" Edition of Ask LT Anything! [More:]

That's right kids - both old haidz and new, it's time for another "Ask LT Anything!"

The thread where LT answers your questions, solves your problems, and then sends you on your way with some nice milk and cookies.

Both Darkstar and MLIS politely asked for this, so this edition of Ask LT Anything is sponsored by them:

When YOU need a special break that only the internets can provide, why not use Darkstar and MLIS Search Soap? It's the finest internet scouring application ever devised by people who know stuffs about the Web. Ask for it by name!

Fire away, lurkers, mainstays and frequent fliers! It's time to ASK LT ANYTHING!!!!
Jesus CHRIST LP, how do I fit a soundtrak around Yoe's "Secret Indenity", all about Superman's artists doing fetish work. I've got "You're Super, Supergirl" and "Venus in Furs" and "Rose Tint My World" and Sun Ra's CRAAAZY Batman stuff and , of course, the Classics (Eartha Kitt and Lets Misbehave) but how else to create a feeling of 1940s Kink PLUS Superhero?
posted by The Whelk 04 November | 20:14
Why do people sometimes call me DarkStar or DorkForest? Am I not memorable enough as it is?
posted by DarkForest 04 November | 20:17
That's a mighty fine question, The Whelk. And, truth be told, you've stumped me. I'd go with something by Grace Jones or Blossom Dearie for spice, even if you can't find a tune that directly references the Kink.

Or, in a more oblique (and really super-annoying way), why not Paula Cole's Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?

Actually, scratch that. I fucking hate that song with a thermonuclear passion. Total dealbreaker.
posted by Lipstick Thespian 04 November | 20:18
I'm opening with "Unforgettable". At that point the show will be two people, a man and a woman, in 1950s dress, looking at each other.

Cause I want the fanboys to EXPLODE.

posted by The Whelk 04 November | 20:20
FarkTorrent - it's becausea you are the Nexus. The One who is Three, the crux of trinitic power. To gaze directly into DarkForest is too risk too much, too soon. So we all skirt the edges thereof and allow our minds to conjure other words.

Must go now - wings catching flame. Soon will be ash.

posted by Lipstick Thespian 04 November | 20:21
It's that or lines from the 1970s off-broadway non-smash "SUPERMAN! THE MUSICAL!"

"who knew...the strongest man ....could cry?"

Jayce Everett and Rockabilly for kink and dirty, but I wanted a 40s tone, something the Silk Spectre would enjoy.
posted by The Whelk 04 November | 20:22
The Whelkxplosion: for that, won't you need some scrim or something for clean-up?
posted by Lipstick Thespian 04 November | 20:25
SCENE: Way off-Broadway production of Superman - The Revival of the Musical!

THE WHELK paces distractedly backstage.

On a dim, shadily-lit stage, one ACTOR says these words:

"Who knew - the strongest man - could cry?"

At which point, a GAGGLE of CIGARETTE GIRL DANCERS sashays onstage and starts hi-kicking and singing in full-tilt high-register Betty Boop voices.

GAGGLE ENSEMBLE: "We DO! We DO! We know everything there is to know about You-Know-WHO!"

Backstage, THE WHELK loses it.

THE WHELK: For the love of Pete and allthat's holy, what the HELL ARE THEY DOING OUT THERE??????
posted by Lipstick Thespian 04 November | 20:29
I've got a disco version of the Wonderwoman theme.
posted by The Whelk 04 November | 20:29
Am I weird if (as a guy) I find catty/vicious books of men-suck-and-here's-how-you-dump-most-and-and-tame-the-rest advice geared towards women entertaining?
posted by Firas 04 November | 20:32
I try to time my mixes to create both commentary on the show going on and to be a seamless transition from say, Eartha Kitt to Daft Punk and you're there an hour later going "How the fuck did I get from that to that?"

When the big Rocco Gals came on stage in dull dress and "Rock Me Amedues" came on and they all broke pose and laughed? I live for that.

So I'll have Supergirl torturing Lex Luthor with cameos from Jimmy Olsen, Superman and Wonderwoman in Golden Age set. With whips. What's the right tone?
posted by The Whelk 04 November | 20:33
Billie holidays You're My Thrill turning into Venus in Furs turning into O Superman?
posted by The Whelk 04 November | 20:34
Dear Firas - no, you're not weird.

Weird is when you're babysitting and the little tyke asks you for a made-up bedtime story about how Straight America is Gonna Wake Up One Day to Deal With New Gender Light of Dawn.

And then they fall asleep right before you get to the good part about the farms, the camps and Radical Re-assignment Theory.
posted by Lipstick Thespian 04 November | 20:36
Like when Jimmy Olsen appears, with Superman whipping Lex, I want the Beatles' "Do You Want A Secret" to be BLASTING.
posted by The Whelk 04 November | 20:37
Oh man- Whelk if there's anyway you can mashup O Superman with Venus In Furs, that's EXACTLY the tone you want for this shindig.
posted by Lipstick Thespian 04 November | 20:39
exactly! but it's not 3 hours worth.

I want to cut up the openeing with

"Don't dream it's a bird! it's a plane! ....the world's in slumber......Unnnnnnnnforgetable"

And then curtain raise.
posted by The Whelk 04 November | 20:40
Any classic American Songbook Songs that seem unusually into leather and lace?
posted by The Whelk 04 November | 20:42
And yes the final song is "Superheroes" from Rocky Horror.
posted by The Whelk 04 November | 20:43
also Buble does a yuppie swing version of the spiderman theme and SHUT UP it is a good transition from the 40s stuff to more modern stuff
posted by The Whelk 04 November | 20:44
How have I managed to make my way 26 years into life, 8 years into vegetarianism, 2-4 years into eating mostly healthy things, worked in countless restaurants, and I still don't know how to eat anything other than hippy-bachelor-style food?
posted by aniola 04 November | 21:18
How have I managed to make my way 26 years into life, 8 years into vegetarianism, 2-4 years into eating mostly healthy things, worked in countless restaurants, and I still don't know how to eat anything other than hippy-bachelor-style food?
posted by aniola 04 November | 21:29
When I unload dishes from the dishwasher, they are a little wet despite going through the dry cycle. So I end up having to dry them with a dish towel. Is a hair dryer an option? The outlet is a GFCI. Any other suggestions?

posted by mlis 04 November | 21:32
How do I stop waking up in the middle of the night thinking I forgot to set my alarm or that it's broken? I never forget, and it's not broken, and then I'm awake hours too early.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 04 November | 21:33
In order:

- watching what you eat and enjoying cooking are two totally separate things. When I used to bodybuild, I'd know guys who were absolute gurus about WHAT to put into their bodies, just not HOW.

Enjoying meal preparation is something you're either into or not. Nothing to feel guilty about. Besides, there's plenty of bachelor-oriented cookbooks out there for people who don't mind the occasional try.

MLIS - how much detergent are you using? Is there a water level gauge on your machine, like for eco-minded water conservation efforts? Try that.

Whatever you do, don't use a hair dryer. That's just silly. Not even Nora Ephron would make one of her characters do that in a Meg Ryan movie.

Trianglehead: When you go to bed at night, ask Stynxno to be your witness about the alarm clock ritual. Or, failing that, make a little sign next to your alarm clock that reads, THANK YOU FOR SETTING ME TONIGHT. Put the sign on the alarm after you've set it. Nighty-night!
posted by Lipstick Thespian 04 November | 22:10
translation to the solution for me: persimmons. lots and lots of persimmons.

the alarm clock solution is AWESOME! it made me laugh *and* could actually work.
posted by aniola 04 November | 22:30
Is the Butter Paneer Masala good in New Hampshire?
posted by netbros 04 November | 22:32
Dear Netbros: if you go to Tulsi, which actually is in Kittery, ME - over the Memorial Bridge, it is beyond good. I hate to take money out the hands of us Granite Staters, but Tulsi in Kittery is easily some of the best Indian food you'll ever have.

Thanks for making me crave at 10:43 pm. You owe me, suckah.
posted by Lipstick Thespian 04 November | 22:44
This isn't helping me AT ALL.
posted by The Whelk 04 November | 22:51
How do I continue to live in Maine knowing that 53% of the people I meet hate gay people? (At least in Portland only 23% hate gay people, but sometimes I have to go visit my mom in the hinterlands....)
posted by anastasiav 04 November | 22:53
posted by The Whelk 04 November | 22:56
I'm allergic to shellfish :-(
posted by anastasiav 04 November | 22:57
posted by The Whelk 04 November | 23:03
Why can't I go to bed? Really, all I have to do is turn off the computer and brush my teeth. And it's my turn to get up with the baby tomorrow, so I really do need to go to sleep...
posted by gaspode 04 November | 23:06
posted by The Whelk 04 November | 23:10
How can I get to Michael Pollan and convince him to write a book on the incredibly interesting power grabs and politics going on in America's fisheries right now?

Also, when is our next Date Night, and what are we going to do?
posted by Miko 04 November | 23:15
posted by The Whelk 04 November | 23:21
AnastastiaV-Club:: People vote fear more often than the vote anything else. Voting booths are more akin to confessionals than we'd like to admit.

Here's what I suggest you do if you want to continue living in Maine (and I hope you do, despite today's miserly vote):

Start the first 47 Percent Club in your town. Get up some sweet gear that has a kicking logo on it around this 47-percent-who-voted-correctly idea.

Gaspode: Computer screens are made to keep you awake

Throw parties, hold meetings. Meet other people with cool ideas about how to keep Maine liberal. Form flash mobs. Find comfort in others around you who didn't shrink from the proper moral stance, even in a losing cause.

Make a t-shirt that says this: 47% of Maine is smarter than the other 53% of Maine. Wear it proudly.

Gaspode: Because you don't want to miss out! Us nerdy internet types love staying up playing computer all night. It's like an all-night cultural cafe up in here. Plus, hey, we gotta root the Phillies on, right? Go Big Pink!
posted by Lipstick Thespian 04 November | 23:27
Miko: I would suggest going through his publisher, then through his agent. Have your pitch ready.

Our next Date Night, for a real big shew, is a week from now, Thursday, Nov. 12th for Neko Case. Dinner, great rock show, etc.

posted by Lipstick Thespian 04 November | 23:34
Dear Mr. LT,
What book should I stop at nothing to hunt down, if the desired result is to learn to be a better person?
posted by notquitemaryann 04 November | 23:41

There are several. Here's what's worked for me:

1. Invisible Cities, by Italo Calvino.
2. Markings, by Dag Hammarskold.
3. Confessions of a Guilty Bystander, by Thomas Merton.
4. The poetry of William Stafford and William Bronk.
5. Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Sunryu Suzuki.

Know this, though - books won't tell you how to be a better person. If that's your desired result, you need to ask yourself what Being A Better Person means to you, and then just show up and do that. Go find people in the town you live in who agree with you on the Better Person platform and be humble in their presence.

Works every time. But the books are nice, too.
posted by Lipstick Thespian 04 November | 23:51
I agree with you that it's best learned from others, and try where I can, but my access to people is more limited than my access to books just now (among other issues). Those look like great suggestions and I look forward to hunting- thank you very, very much for them!
posted by notquitemaryann 04 November | 23:59
See now I kinda wish I was Miko.

posted by The Whelk 05 November | 00:00
And Notquitemaryanne

The Fan Man
Jonathan Strange And Mr. Norell
The Crimson Petal And The White
The French Lieutenant's Woman
The Golden Bough
The Nude
My Life By Dali
From Hell
and such
posted by The Whelk 05 November | 00:03
Yes I am the kinf od person for whom art analysis and reviews made them a better person no quater taken that kind of thing.

And for better person, I always liked Mayhew's London Laboring and London Poor.
posted by The Whelk 05 November | 00:06
Dear Mr. Thespian,
I wish to ask you so many questions but I don't know where to start. Can you help?

posted by special-k 05 November | 00:19
Should I put up a sign in our window that expresses support for our local police department? Will neighborhood bullies throw rocks at us?
posted by Gorgik 05 November | 00:37
Sleep hygiene. So, if you wake up and remain awake for a 1/2 hour you are supposed to get out of bed and do something that is not stimulating for 1 hour. That's me now. I am turning off the computer because I fear getting into this type of situation then will be up until it is time to go to work. What do I do?
posted by mlis 05 November | 02:02
Seconds the "Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell" suggestion.

great book... but then I guess you're all suprised that I like it, eh? who would have been able to pick that?? ;)
posted by jonathanstrange 05 November | 06:12
Dear LT,

Which song makes my ass look bigger when I shake it out on the dance floor - "That's Pep" or "Mr. B's Ballroom"?

What can I do to make my ass not look quite so big during that particular song? Please no general advice, I am happy with the size of my ass during normal day-to-day living.
posted by Meatbomb 05 November | 06:26
I ask you, simply, WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT?
posted by Specklet 05 November | 07:04
. . .still waiting. Just kidding. "Fiddling with camera" works but is not ideal.
posted by mlis 05 November | 07:16
Special-K: Just dive in. Water's fine. Still warm for the season.

Signs are fine, but don't do enough. Go to your local police station and see what else they need in concrete assistance. Maybe you could volunteer some time to check in with at-risk youth.

Meatbomb: Definitely the latter. There is no way anyone's ass wouldn't look fat moving to that song. If you don't want your ass looking fat while dancing to Devo, I strongly suggest launching yourself into something, like the couch or a coat rack if you're at a club. You'll get special crazy points.

MLIS: You need to read Julia Cameron's The Artists' Way. Instead of the 'net, get up and write three pages in longhand without stopping, editing, or thinking. Halfway through the second page I guarantee there will be something worth more of your time than berzerkistaning the web.

Specklet: This means you're going to let Miko and I come visit you and stay at your place, right? Right?
posted by Lipstick Thespian 05 November | 09:04
How can I coax the poorly-designed toilet paper holder in my office bathroom of choice to give me an adequate number of squares per pull?
posted by initapplette 05 November | 11:00
Dear InITappLETTE!:

You can't. They're specifically designed that way to maximize cost vs. use, and also keep people from lounging in the stalls.

Plus, your employer receives added value from the elevated heart rate and subsequent subtle humiliation you may experience from a less-than satisfactory bathroom break.

My advice is simple: treat yourself to the exact brand of toilet paper you like most and bring a roll of it with you to work. Keep it with you in your bag and use it when you go on your breaks.

Otherwise, you're stuck with the one-pull, half-a-square-to-spare cruelty.
posted by Lipstick Thespian 05 November | 11:10
Dear LT, after an hour of looking at bag porn last night I want a Tom Bihn bag really bad! How do I get rid of this unholy craving??
posted by halonine 05 November | 12:16
Dear LT: may I add something to your advice for anastasiav? Thank you.

anastasiav: here's something a friend of mine wrote after the vote tilted the wrong way:
As it turns out, there are, in fact, two Maines. There is the Maine of popular opinion stereotypes of ignorance and detachment, and there is my Maine. But these two Maines are not geographical. They are chronological. The two Maines are not separated by miles or borders, they are separated by time. And time is on our side. The sign says "The way life should be". "Should" just means that it just hasn't happened yet.

That helped me; I hope it helps you.

Next time. And next time will be soon.
posted by Elsa 05 November | 12:42
Halonine - you disappoint me. Sure Tom Bihn bags are cute, in that go-getter urban envirohip kind of way, but wouldn't you rather shop locally? You want the finest bags out there? You go here.

Finest bags on the planet, all hand-made by the Bailey family on-site; you can even see them working on the new ones while you shop.

Now, I know you're a smart gal who wants to be clued-in to what the Coolest of the Cool is.

Baileyworks is where those Tom Bihn bags would shop when THEY wanted a really world-class bag.

You'll thank me later. I like the red ones.
posted by Lipstick Thespian 05 November | 13:29
Old-timey bag porn! Thank you, Mr. LT Sir!
posted by halonine 05 November | 15:36
Whee, a special (The) Whelk Bonus Round! Gleefully adding them all to the list, except Crimson Petal which I have already devoured. Thank you!

Does it make me a bad person that I couldn't get through JS&MN the first time? I don't really know why; long and intricate is usually my recipe for happiness, but for some reason the magic wasn't working on me when I started to read it a few years ago. Probably time to give it another try.
posted by notquitemaryann 05 November | 16:30
If you're doing "no safewords", what's a good ad-hoc 'no really i mean it' safeword?
posted by Firas 05 November | 21:01
Firas: not sure what you mean here. Sex with no safewords, but where safewords are needed is pretty much rape.

Failing that, and all is consensual, maybe "that's not IT!" would suffice?
posted by Lipstick Thespian 05 November | 21:05
If I may: it seems to me that "SAFEWORD!" is a pretty good all-purpose safeword, even in a situation where no safeword has been established.
posted by Elsa 05 November | 21:16
Firas: "Do I hear your mom knocking at the door?" usually stops the action dead in its tracks.
posted by desjardins 05 November | 23:02
posted by Elsa 05 November | 23:15
i just did that to explain why i was weirded out by you calling yourself "mommy"!
posted by Firas 05 November | 23:37
Dude. I was saying "mummy."

Also, next time, unwrap me slower. I like an archaeologist with a slooooooow hand.
posted by Elsa 06 November | 00:08
posted by Specklet 06 November | 04:49
Hey LT: I finally have my set list!

Unforgettable - Nat King Cole
(Cause it's the right mood I want for the opening and its in the Watchmen movie and I like geek explosion)
Love Theme From Superman
Let's Misbehave - Eartha Kitt
(So smokey, so suggestive, so right)
You're My Thrill - Billi Holiday
(Also from the Watchmen Soundtrack, also the right mood)
It's A bird! It's a Plane! - Overture
(from the Broadway flop. Contains the swoony line "Oh Superman! You've saved me again!)
Spiderman Theme - Micheal Buble'
(I need it for a joke to work)
Teach me Tiger
(that''s the joke, omgsuchanerd)
Do You Want To Know A Secret? - Beatles
That's Really Super, Supergirl -XTC
( not_on_display , this was *such* a perfect choice)
Whip It - Devo
Superman - Ides Of March
Batman And Robin Swing - Sun Ra
(also perfect)
Superman Lover - Johnny Guitar Watson
Superman Theme - John Williams
The Supermen - David Bowie
(where it starts to get daaaark)
I Put A Spell On You - Nina Simone
Venus In Furs - Velvet Underground
O Superman - Laurie Anderson
Angel - Massive Attack
Baby's On Fire - The Venus In Furs
(this just sounds like a superhero song to me)
Loving The Alien - David Bowie
(cause he' alien, okay just go with me on this)
Superheroes - Rocky Horror
posted by The Whelk 06 November | 19:43
Lyrics challenge for old people... || A BIG OL' SHOUTING RANT!