Wednesday, September 11, 2019

notes toward an autobiography by others

When the [yoga] class is small, the teacher gives instruction and walks around helping students make adjustments. When she came to help me as I struggled with a posture she asked me if I had any injuries. 
“Well,” I said. “I had a really difficult childhood.”

When I read this passage I had an intense feeling of deja vu. I said exactly that in answer to the yoga teacher’s question. Different yoga teacher (I’m sure), different class. 

Have you had any injuries? she asked. 

“An unhappy childhood,” I answered. 

source: Look Busy: one hundred 100-word stories by and for the easily distracted by Jane McDermott

2014. Fourteen Hills Press, San Francisco CA

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

the only reason you need rights is cuz you’re ugly

“We women . . . . !”
A skinny creature
Stands there.

— Chinchabo

“It is no accident that most suffragettes and women workers are unattractive people. Beautiful women have their privileges which they properly value more than their rights,” adds editor and translator R. H. Blyth in a note appended to the senryu. 

This isn’t an argument. It’s merely a taunt. Ha ha! You’re ugly! If you were pretty you’d be happy. 

If you want to classify the fallacy, call it ad hominem; as Wikipedia has it, “genuine discussion of the topic at hand is avoided by instead attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument.” Fits this one to a T. 

Blyth follows up by elevating “rights” over “privileges,” which basically translates to I Got Mine So Shut Up, in Blyth’s version of What Women Want.


source: Senryu: Japanese satirical verses
translated and explained by R. H. Blyth

1949. Hokuseido Press