Thursday, March 29, 2012

Self-explanatory, I imagine.

L4: Divorcing is, if anything, too obvious. LW4's modus operandi is to forbid his wife to do things he finds distasteful, how extremely? Perhaps he might like to emulate another famous husband, well known for his accomplishments at court tennis and in the reformation of churches, who tried forbidding his wives to give him daughters, to the effect that today there are a great many fewer nuns in the world. But that is where the concept of husbands forbidding wives to do things belongs - half a millenium ago.

Then, too, W4 is almost equally a winner. Whatever one might think of her decorational capacities, she has manifested extremely poor taste in husbands. Why on earth did she not marry a Brony? That would have been just the sort of person with whom she could have lived happily ever after. But I suspect here that domestic harmony might not be most agreeabloe to W4. She certainly seems to be enjoying herself to a most thorough extent.

In the end, this is a very tough call. C4 are two people whom I definitely would not want to see united with people I liked. But equal misery is such a plus. In the end, I shall tentatively brief myself for putting the divorce on tentative hold, especially if it would come up to be heard by Mrs Justice Appleby. But I should reserve, if possible, the right to recall W4 and cross-examine her until I can safely recommend whatever course runs contrary to her true wishes.

L3: Apparently the Prudecutor has leapt to the conclusion that R3 was prosecutable. This is an entirely justifiable assumption, but a skilled cross-examiner would never have run such a risk. Letting opposing counsel wait until the final speech to the jury and then point out that there was not a scrap of evidence presented to suggest that R3 was not also a minor? Careless.

But this is one of the clearest cases in favour ofn divorce to come down the pike for a long time. LW3 is clearly settling. Her self-esteem bruised by her internal conflict over lack of prosecution (not to mention the support that was not provided by her family at the time of the (purported) rape, she has latched onto the first halfway-decent potential husband to treat herself and her elder child tolerably (Miss Austen alone gets a pass on that little twist). H3 has completely failed to shut down this line of questioning from HF3. He has also completely failed to help LW3 arrive at any better place concerning her past. It should not take a cross-examiner with the skill or motivation of even a Mizz Liz Probert to establish that H3 likes things this way. LW3's question is far too subtle for her if H3 has not arranged things just as he likes. Clear-cut case for divorce.

L1: Here we have another clear-cut case for divorce, not because C1 are bad for each other but because they make a terrible team. They have completely failed at their objective. That S1 is functional in the world only adds to the severity of their offence (rather like winning a case after one's learned leader has been sacked). And the question. How could even the Prudecutor have missed that the question is a complete mess? What on earth does LW1 mean by give up or give in? How is either such possibility different from letting S1 find his own way? This couple is a mess. And the Prudecutor's inverse snobbery is showing yet again - really, her editors ought to know better by now.

L2: Alas, LW2 is not married. Divorce is no option for her, when she would be such an excellent candidate for it, too! The key to L2 is the way in which LW2 attempts to be sneaky about clubbing the reader over the head with her accomplishments, which she has acquired in the manner of a Mary Bennet or a Lucy Steele, by trying to sneak them in to the letter where they will stand out without being set up in too obvious a way. The attempt was not a bad one. And of course she doesn't want other female applicants to be judged for their looks, not when she spent all that time acquiring accomplishments (and from the way she rattled them all off, she believes in women being pitted against each other in a way that would make Diane Chambers weep). My advice to LW2 would be to follow the plot line of the Miss Boston Barmaid pageant, only not to weaken for a cheap holiday.

Moral: "I loathe female contests with every fibre of my being."

Thursday, March 22, 2012

3/22 - And That Matters Because.....???

This will be another speed record week.

L1: The Prudecutor appears to believe that it makes a difference that LW1 is propbably not in the same tip-top condition (s)he was (if we give hir the benefit of the doubt) in when the pair married. But what would the Prudecutor reply to a LW presenting with even better physical form than at the beginning of the relationship in question? I don't even think it really matters whether LW1's perception that W1 hides her thighs when changing is true.

What is clear is that LW1 (perhaps with an assist from W1; we can't say) has done nothing to foster an atmosphere in which the couple can discuss these matters. There is middle ground between You-Look-Perfect-to-Me-at-All-Times and I'm-Gone-the-Moment-You-Don't-Match-My-Ideal. I'll go farther than most and say that it does not really matter whether LW1 meant the opening bit or threw it in as pandering. What matters is that LW1 views a temporary, expensive and likely ineffective procedure as the first solution to a problem that is not going to diminish in time. And LW1 judges W1 not on the Wife Standard but on the Potential Wife Standard. This is an easy one. Divorce at once.

L2: The Prudecutor seems to think that it matters that some government official who has some form of scientific credentials has written a book trying to stake out some middle ground, or that some polling organization has put out a poll with results that suit its confirmation bias. Meh. Both the Prudecutor and LW2 seem to think that what matters is that the big mean bad atheists are going around all over the country if not the world trampling all over the feelings of religious believers everywhere. The Prudecutor in particular, who has doubtless learned her lesson from stealth candidates for local school boards, thinks that believers ought to be sneaking into positions of authority. She obviously approves of the complete kowtowing of the educational system of the entire country to the religious beliefs of the people on that board in Texas who decide the content of textbooks for all.

What LW2 doesn't specify is exactly what in hir book counts as being "insulting" of religion. This can be quite a wide range. After all, think of all the religious organizations who are being victimized because they are not being allowed to discriminate as they like against people they think bound for somewhere other than Heaven in the afterlife. Or, worse, those who think they are victimized not only because they aren't allowed to persecute people to the full extent of their desire, but because government does not join them in the persecution they want to see. Is LW2 conflating non-acquiescence with ridicule? Or are hir co-workers genuinely bigoted, even if they are necessarily so on a far lesser scale than the reverse, and with far less power?

Another point is that LW2 uses the word seem. If the co-workers haven't been drawn out sufficiently to be firmly behind their prejudicial beliefs, assuming their beliefs to be so, then what can be done about the situation? Is LW2 capable of making a reasonable case to back up mixing science and faith? Would (s)he feel equally out of place surrounded by fundamentalist co-workers who would jump on any sign that an outsider didn't take every word of the Bible as literal truth? I could go on. But I keep coming back to the place that, while these are not situations one would want in an ideal world, the feelings of religious people in one of the ridiculously overnumbered areas in which they are in the minority come low on the priority list. I'll get around to them in time when I run the universe - but I suspect they view their cause as more important than teen suicide.

L3: LW3 seems to think it matters what to do if A, then if B, then if C when A is not necessarily near happening yet. As far as his ongoing quarrel with his adoptive mother, I'd ask why he isn't relieved to be free of such a homophobe?

The Prudeuctor seems to think that rebuilding the rotten relationship with AM3 matters. Why? Plenty of people do fine without a mother. Not that BM3 necessarily will or can replace AM3, or that she can be approached in such a spirit, but stranger things have happened.

It would have been nice to have confirmation about the rift, but I like my guess.

L4: The Prudecutor doesn't do too badly on this one. LW4 seems to think that A4 gets a say in the sale of the necklace or has to be consulted first. Why on earth?

Moral: "I can get you any numbers you like."

Thursday, March 15, 2012

3/15 - What Mrs Prudecutor Saw (Or Mainly Missed)

Without any preamble:

L4: "Months of sleuthing..." LW4 should either found a chapter of the Baker Street Irregulars or take up as an impersonator of Julia Sweeney. Were it not for the likelihood of gendered rest rooms, we'd have very little by which to guess.

L2: I've no idea where the Prudecutor came up with those nicknames, and don't want to know. As far as LW2 and S2's use of a questionable word, at least we can take it as progress of a sort that we can't just tell LW2's next child to take up golf or tennis - maybe badminton or table tennis, which would shift the stereotype to those of Asian descent. But I am depressed to think of how corporatized we've become that the main worry is really, when stripped to the bare bones, just a covered-up concern over how this will damage S2's Permanent record and render him Unemployable.

L3: "Your father wants the best for you?" Where on earth does the Prudecutor come up with that? I'll Love You When You're Like Me (or at least more what I want you to be) would be far more apt. But we have the possibility to Austensplain to F3 about money. Does LW3 agree more with Marianne Dashwood or Elinor? Remember, Marianne's idea of an income that she calls a competence is double Elinor's idea of wealth.

L1: While I feel I ought to recuse myself from the bulk of the letter, the Prudecutor completely missed LW1's question, instead going off on a rant of her own about her own view that she wishes to impose on the rest of society concerning the Nature of Marriage. Of course, she also completely misses the Bisexual Option as well, but that is standard for the Prudecutor. (In fact, now that I consider it, it would really serve the Prudecutor and many commenters right if H1 were to come out as bisexual and leave LW1 for a woman whose happiness didn't rest on his never realizing his true nature.)

I repeat the question: Is it terribly selfish of me to just enjoy my marriage for what it is and hope he never comes to the same realization I have?

Now had LW1 applied to an advisor with a bit more wisdom than the Prudecutor before writing her question, she might have been counseled to end the question after fifteen words instead of adding the Second Eleven. She would then have received an entirely different answer to what now follows: Divorce H1 at once. He deserves better.

As for how to lead into a discussion should LW1 decide to do so, as being direct and Using Her Words seems beyond LW1's capacities, I'll advise that she clarify their cheating policy on some pretext or other. That's probably a worthwhile thing for most couples to do on an infrequent but regular basis.

Trivia Question: Who was the first person to portray the wife of Dana Carvey's SNL character Lyle the Effeminate Heterosexual?

Moral: "Two thousand a year! One is my wealth! I guessed how it would end."

Thursday, March 8, 2012

3/8 - In Other Words

Being a bit put out still by Monday, this may be even faster than last week's.

Q2: How do I control and manipulate my boyfriend without being controlling and manipulative?

A2: Even Soapy Sam Ballard wouldn't need to be in top form to handle this one.

Q3: How do I get over my problem past without letting go of it?

A3: With a mashie-niblick (borrowed from Uncle Tom).

Q4: How do I balance my social gaffe against my friends' taking up residence in Denial, MS?

A4: With new friends, more carefully selected than Phyllida Erskine Brown chose her husband.

Q1: How do I cope with my posionous mother-in-law and my skeptical husband?

A1: For one thing, be thankful she's rather inefficient. This almost reminds me of the inadequate poisoning of the Crackenthorpes in 4:50 from Paddington. Only, in their case, the main goal of the poisoner was to keep old Luther Crackenthorpe alive long enough to dispose of some of his children before the capital on the interest of which Luther was living would be divided up among the survivors after Luther's death.

Next, pit them against each other. Convince MIL1 that desperate measures need to be taken and that the dose of poison needs to be a fatal one on the next opportunity (perhaps by telling her that you and H1 are moving to Australia and she'll never see him again). Then create a diversion (perhaps following the example of Death in the Clouds using the presence of a wasp, or maybe the VHS game version of Clue) and go the Prudecutor one better by swapping food without anyone seeing. H1 will die, and MIL1 will know you know her guilt.

Top it off with a touch from Titus Andronicus. Have H1 cremated. Then mix a bit of ash into something baked for a family reception, and see how MIL1 enjoys it.

Moral:  "One, I believe, is an Hugarian wine."

Thursday, March 1, 2012

This WILL Be a Speed Record

L4: Look over, not write, Prudecutor. Other than that, the choice facing LW4 is simple. Tell F4 the truth or cover up in perpetuity. This seems like a cross between a technical question and a parallel of the Unbreakable Rule that one must never tell anyone that (s)he looks fat in that outfit.

L1: The Prudecutor misses the boat. F1 has been keeping this fact a secret for years. This couple is not going to wed. If they do, however, I shall give them considerable credit. How many couples wed after the sex dries up? And some heterocentric assumption on the Prudecutor's part that F1 proposed marriage when there is not a scrap of evidence to that effect and only heterosexist and heterocentric assumptions and gender roles to back up that flimsy piece of testimony on the part of counsel for the Prudecution.

L2: Even the Timsons are more competent criminals than this. Why is it that, when in the presence of slightly questionable actions, people want to jump all over the putative perpetrator, but, when faced with obviously criminal activity, so many fall all over themselves to whitewash it, as if even seeing someone wearing a striped jumper and carrying housebreaking implements by night and a bag marked SWAG wouldn't be sufficiently convincing. And the Prudecutor is wrong. O'Brien is far too effective. Remember, she changed the destiny of a dynasty with nothing more than a bar of soap. Thomas is the incompetent one who ought to have been in this analogy.

L3: There is much one coulod say about this letter. But I shan't. Ethan and Marissa????? The only good thing about this letter is that the heterosexism of LW3 is neatly matched by that of the Prudecutor. Accordingly, I refuse to dignify such nasty minds with the lengthy response this letter would warrant otherwise.

I am too disgusted to provide a moral. And this was done in under half an hour!