ortberg

What to do when your 5'8" boyfriend insists he is 6 feet tall

Daniel Mallory Ortberg:

A: This is not a situation where you need much of a strategy beyond “acknowledging reality.” Talk to your boyfriend. “Hey, it’s clear that this hits a really deep nerve for you, but I’m not sure why you keep bringing up your height and insisting that you’re 6 feet tall. It was obvious at the doctor’s office that you felt very strongly about hearing your height spoken aloud. What’s going on?” If he wants to talk about his feelings about his height with you, that’s going to be a lot more useful to him than pretending he’s 4 inches taller for the rest of his life.

Ah, but what do to when your 5'11" president insists he is 6'3"?

Trudeau, you see, is standing taller than Trump. Which is difficult to explain when Trudeau is 6″2, and Trump claims to be 6″3. At least, that figure is according to Trump’s physical exam results which were released in January this year by the White House doctor. Other than his lack of exercise, love of junk food and obsession with Diet Coke, Trump was declared to be overall in “excellent health”.

Now, critics are suggesting Trump overestimated his height so his Body Mass Index would be conveniently classified as “overweight”, not “obese”.

White House Photo. Read the rest

Interview with Daniel Mallory Ortberg

One of my favorite writers has a new book out and was interviewed by The Cut. He talkes about his transition, gender identity, bylines, and the new context of his past work. Read the rest

Ayn Rand, penis-curser

Ayn Rand's personal life was an unmitigated disaster, fueled by personality cultists who literally, legally, changed their names in tribute to her and her fiction, whom she alternately possessively clutched to herself or expelled in purges worthy of Josef Stalin. Read the rest

Empowered female heroines work hard

A classic Mallory Ortberg humor column sets out a day in the life of an "empowered female heroine," a fictional staple on whom society (and literature) project a huge amount of aspirational demands. Read the rest

WHAT IF: Hermione made Harry and Ron do their own goddamned homework?

Anyone who's paid close attention knows that the series should really be called "Hermoine Granger and the Repeated Rescue of the Lazy, Glory-Hogging Boys," but as usual, Mallory Ortberg (previously) brings it all home with some scathing and witty fanfic: Read the rest

The only furniture you need is a single smooth stone that reminds you of your mother

Mallory Ortberg expertly skewers the weird de-cluttering dogma of Marie Kondo's bestselling Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: "It’s important to be very rich but have almost no items in your home." Read the rest

Every question in every Q&A session

Mallory Ortberg on The Toast: 10. "I used to like your work, but I don't now. Have you considered doing the things I like again?" (via Kottke) Read the rest

Ayn Rand's Harry Potter

Fanfic can take you down some peculiar roads. But in Mallory Ortberg's imagined Ayn Rand fanfic of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the the tenets of ruthless self-interest are shouted to hilarious effect. Read the rest

Ralph Wiggum: an appreciation of the only child on the Simpsons

In a beautiful essay on The Toast, Mallory Ortberg argues that while Bart, Lisa and Millhouse are kids, Ralph Wiggum is the only child on the Simpsons, full of childishness that's endearing and true. Read the rest

Fact-checking a silly movie with the help of a physicist

Mallory Ortberg interviews her little brother, a physicist, about the scientific documentary, The Core. Read the rest

Erotic fiction written by a privacy-conscious author

Mallory Ortberg (who created the excellent Squicked out alien describes human sex story) has done it again with Erotica Written By Someone With An Appropriate Sense of Privacy. Read the rest

Pre-code movies worth watching

At The Toast, Mallory Ortberg has a list of films from the 1920s and 30s — prior to the widespread adoption of the Hollywood Production Code and its morality guidelines — that are actually worth tracking down through Amazon, Netflix, and other sources.

Most of the movies made during this era have been lost, and not all of those that survived are timeless classics. Studios were still figuring out what worked in a talking picture and what didn’t, so there’s lots of problems with pacing — some movies waste several minutes on dead air in scenes that would have been cut entirely just a few years later. Serious technical issues dog the crop from 1928-1930, too; there’s one film where every time you see a character holding a piece of paper, it’s soaking wet because at the time there was no other way to keep from picking up every crackle and rustle of a dry sheet of paper with the microphones. So there are more than a few pre-Code films that have been deservedly forgotten.

That said, Ortberg offers up a nice accounting of the ones you should check out, arranged in categories such as "Worth Watching For Any Reason", "If You Want To Get Into Pre-Civil-Rights-Era Racial Dynamics", "Worth It For the Titles Alone", and "If You Want To Take A Deeply Uncomfortable Journey To Another Time" (which hits all the fun horrible things of the past not covered by the racial dynamics category). Read the rest

Squicked out alien describes human sex

Here's a nice use of science fiction's trick of describing cherished human behaviors and institutions through the ironic distance of an alien observer: Mallory Ortberg's short story Erotica Written By An Alien Pretending Not To Be Horrified By The Human Body: Read the rest

Throwing Muses - “slippershell” (free MP3)

Sound it Out # 60: Throwing Muses  - “slippershell” (free MP3)

Throwing Muses haven’t released new music in ten years, though singer/songwriter Kristin Hersh has not been idle. Hersh has various solo and collaborative musical projects, released an excellent memoir called Rat Girl in 2010, and co-founded CASH Music, a non-profit that supplies open-source tools to musicians. Read the rest

If ghosts suffered with autocorrect

High concept from the Hairpin's Mallory Ortberg: "Text-messages from a ghost:"

hey im gaunting you ok

Do you mean haunting

yeah sorry i don’t have any fingers so im poltergeisting a stick to help me text this

Who is this?

oh sorry im a ghost

So do you live inside this phone

yeah kind of

Text Messages From a Ghost

(via Making Light)

(Image: Ghost Dance Texture, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from oddsock's photostream) Read the rest

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