Esther Zuckerman poses as a SWUG. My commenters are often smarter than I am. One of them, unlike me, noticed that Esther Zuckerman actually used a picture of Tina Fey to illustrate the SWUG type. The “NBC” under the photo should have been a clue. Sigh.
The term goes back a couple of years, but the SWUG concept only recently attracted major attention as the result of a lengthy think piece in the Yale Daily News by Raisa Bruner exploring the culture, the pros and cons, and all possible nuances of SWUGdom, its relationship to Feminism, SWUGdom as fate, as life-phase, as life-style, and as identity.
Yale definitely teaches young people how to play theme and variations on a concept, and Ms. Bruner’s piece caught the attention of one Justin Rocket Silverman (Now that is a millenial generation name!) who, writing in The Cut brought all this to the attention of the World Outside Yale.
Yale senior Raisa Bruner [is] kind of tired of the free-wheeling frat hookup culture that’s so compelling to younger students. The guys know this about women her age, she says, and so they don’t generally hit on senior girls. If she went to Sigma Nu, she’d watch her male classmates focus on that infinitely more fun classmate, the female freshman.
Bruner is a self-identified SWUG — a senior washed up girl. As she explained in a recent feature in the Yale Daily News, to be a SWUG is to embrace “the slow, wine-filled decline of female sexual empowerment as we live out our college glory days. Welcome to the world of the ladies who have given up on boys because they don’t so much empower as frustrate, satisfy as agitate.”
She and her fellow SWUGs are women who don’t bother dressing up for class, or even for fancy parties (though they might still attend them), don’t seek out meaningful (or even just sexual) relationships, spend weekends at their shared homes drinking in the company of other self-identified SWUGs, and feel utter apathy about their personal lives — all at the age of 21.
Gawker decided that all this SWUG stuff really amounted to just a pose and a demand for some attention.
Declaring “‘I don’t give a fuck’ at the right moment,” does not a “more complex person” make. Rather than embracing personal growth internally, there is a clamorous, exaggerated declaration that growing out of a social scene is the equivalent of being “washed-up” in the face of other’s halcyon days. Overall, SWUG-life appears to be a melodramatic desire to make an identity out of boredom and dissatisfaction with the collegiate social scene.
Esther Zuckerman (Y’ 12), at the Atlantic, tells us that she was already a SWUG as a junior two years ago.
I first heard about the term SWUG during my junior year when I was working at the Daily News. From what I can recall, it was described to me as having been coined by a group of girls in the senior class, and I hated it. Yale had been debating treatment of women on campus all year—the school was about to face a Title IX investigation—and the idea of calling any girls on campus “washed-up” was to me offensive and demeaning (the specific words I used in a heated Gchat conversation), even if some fellow women had used the label on themselves.
But I changed my mind on SWUGs as I sort of realized I was one. Looking back through my Gmail inbox today, I crossed into my senior year, when, for me and my friends, SWUG came to be a way we described an attitude that we already possessed. SWUG meant getting meatball subs on a snowy night. SWUGs watched an episode of New Girl twice in a row with a lot red wine. SWUGs baked brownies. In our version of SWUG, an idol might be Liz Lemon, to whom Jack Donaghy once said: “Big night, Lemon? Let me guess meatball sub extra, bottle of NyQuil, TiVo Top Chef, a little miss Bonnie Raitt, lights out.” My fellow would-be SWUGs and I listened to a lot of “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” We cared about our academics and our future careers, but when it came to our social lives in the confines of Yale, well, we, as seniors, couldn’t care less.
The whole SWUG business may have really been put on the map at Yale by a Daily News article by Chloe Drimal, published last September, titled: Profile of a SWUG.
You’ve all met one. They’re usually at penny shots promptly at 11 p.m. come Wednesday night, and are then found in Durfee’s around 1 p.m. the next day, buying every liquid they can get their hands on.
I was jealous of them when I was a freshman. They were on a nickname basis with the hottest guys at Yale and danced at the bar of DKE with their shirts off. But looking back on it, I realize the boys were trying to get with the freshmen, not the SWUGs. ...
She’s the girl who Kevin, the bartender at Toad’s, hugs when she stumbles in Wednesday night. She’ll dance like no one’s looking. She’s a SWUG. She doesn’t care. Tommy at Box 63 and Compadre at Amigos will both give her free shots on occasion; they are not doing this for freshman girls — only for SWUGs.
She’s the girl in the Zeta basement, before the Coach Reno era, who is biting into a can with her teeth to shotgun on a Sunday. Although she could never beat the Zeta boys in a shotgun, she can beat most ADPhi boys.
She’s the girl who knows the code to get into DKE. She knows the code for ADPhi. (If any single senior girl has the key to Zeta, she may want to seek help.) Facebook bores her. She uses Facebook to find out different football players’ birthdays and plugs them into an astrology website to test their compatibility. She is compatible with no one.
She’s the girl who promised she would never hook up with someone younger than her but now finds herself texting sophomore boys who unavoidably turn her down. She thinks this is funny. She thinks about getting a vibrator; she may already have a vibrator. It may be better than that sophomore boy.
She doesn’t need to walk home late at night and chance getting mugged by a New Haven local because she will just sleep on a couch in one of the frats. The late night crew at G-Heav knows to start making her an egg and cheese when they see her stumble through the door, and sometimes they will allow her to dance behind the counter and crack an egg herself. Again, they don’t do this for the young, hot, freshman girls — only SWUGs.
She’s the girl who tells her friends she is going to have a “friendship night.” When they ask what this means she explains she is going to make a guy want her and then turn him down. She gets drunk and wakes up next to the guy she was going to turn down. She knows this will go nowhere, as she has already plugged his birthday into the compatibility website, and their score was a two. She makes up a short lie about a meeting and asks him to leave her room and then goes back to bed. She doesn’t return his texts. She’s a SWUG.
She is the last one at every party, because hey — who is she going home with? She’s not afraid to dance on tables and knows the top floor of any frat always has the cleanest bathroom. She is wise. She is hot, whether the boys believe it or not. She doesn’t give a hoot. She’s single because she wants to be; her daddy told her there’s more fish in the sea. She is a SWUG, and SWUG life is pretty awesome.
Drimal’s glorification of the SWUG made her in a campus celebrity, profiled by the Yale Herald.
If anyone is not totally SWUGed out at this point, he can turn to some more discussions which appeared in the Oldest College Daily.
On a personal note, we had hook ups at Yale in my day, but we did not have either the term or the identical hook up culture. I think that, as I remember it, quite a lot of female seniors in those days had long since taken anticipated Susan Patton’s advice and were in long-term relationships with Yale men.
The SWUG concept reminds me of the characteristic resentment of ordinarily-groomed-and-dressed Yale girls toward male friends’ dates from outside Yale.
The girl from Smith staying over at Yale would arrive at breakfast nicely dressed, in full make-up, hair in perfect order, and her escort’s female Yale friends and neighbors would glower and make faces, regarding his date’s superior efforts at presentation as personal affronts.
Yale girls all tended to think dating outside Yale constituted both punishable treason and firm evidence of bad taste. I once took a date to a performance of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, in which my current wife was singing in the chorus, and found Karen was using every opportunity that my then girlfriend’s eyes were averted to make faces at me.
The largest US state is 66 times as populous as the smallest but it has only 18 times as many electoral votes. Wah! Boo hoo! It isn’t fair!
Some people think we ought to change everything so that votes in the electoral college come out the sane as the results of the popular vote. One way to do that would be simply to abolish history and redraw the map of the states, so that every state had approximately the same population.
It’s a spectacularly stupid idea, but it does produce an interesting new map and some very cool new states’ names.
“In an election in which Obama won the popular vote 51%-47%, a politically neutral division of the nation into 50 equal-population states would have given Romney 58% of the electoral votes and Obama 42%. Equal-population districts work against the Obama Democratic coalition.”
OK, I’m willing to live in Shenandoah and give up plenty of history to avoid another Obama.
Even the left’s favorite military reporter, Tom Ricks, has problems with the Caliban Administration removing colorful Marine General “Mad Dog” Mattis from command of Central Command.
Word on the national security street is that General James Mattis is being given the bum’s rush out of his job as commander of Central Command, and is being told to vacate his office several months earlier than planned.
Why the hurry? Pentagon insiders say that he rubbed civilian officials the wrong way—not because he went all “mad dog,” which is his public image, and the view at the White House, but rather because he pushed the civilians so hard on considering the second- and third-order consequences of military action against Iran. Some of those questions apparently were uncomfortable. Like, what do you do with Iran once the nuclear issue is resolved and it remains a foe? What do you do if Iran then develops conventional capabilities that could make it hazardous for U.S. Navy ships to operate in the Persian Gulf? He kept saying, “And then what?”
Inquiry along these lines apparently was not welcomed—at least in the CENTCOM view. The White House view, apparently, is that Mattis was too hawkish, which is not something I believe, having seen him in the field over the years. I’d call him a tough-minded realist, someone who’d rather have tea with you than shoot you, but is happy to end the conversation either way.
Presidents should feel free to boot generals anytime they want, of course—that’s our system, and one I applaud. But ousting Mattis at this time, and in this way, seems wrong for several reasons:
TIMING: If Mattis leaves in March, as now appears likely, that means there will be a new person running CENTCOM just as the confrontation season with Iran begins to heat up again.
CIVIL-MILITARY SIGNALS: The message the Obama Administration is sending, intentionally or not, is that it doesn’t like tough, smart, skeptical generals who speak candidly to their civilian superiors. In fact, that is exactly what it (and every administration) should want. Had we had more back in 2003, we might not have made the colossal mistake of invading Iraq.
SERVICE RELATIONS: The Obamites might not recognize it, but they now have dissed the two Marine generals who are culture heroes in today’s Corps: Mattis and Anthony Zinni. The Marines have long memories. I know some who are still mad at the Navy for steaming away from the Marines left on Guadalcanal. Mattis made famous in Iraq the phrase, “No better friend, no worse enemy.” The Obama White House should keep that in mind.
I shot a note off to a highly-connected former Marine infantry officer I know well, with extensive experience in CENTCOM’s area of operations and who served close alongside many of the Marine generals in these kinds of key positions. He replied that while he’s no fan of Ricks, he doesn’t think Ricks is right. Specifically,
Let me absorb this. He was already at the end of his career…so now he’s fired??!! I am dubious… He was an old timer, not the future, and had already outlived his political (but not operational) relevance.
The administration says the average command in combat is 2.7 years, and March will be 2.6 for Mattis. I LOVE the general, but he does indeed have a reputation for being relentless and obtuse when questioning a plan—but shouldn’t they all be?
There have long been rumors that eagles are not only capable of preying on lambs, but may even go so far as to take human infants when given the opportunity. Wildlife experts have consistently pooh-poohed such stories, dismissing them as folklore.
[A]n extraordinarily high percentage of the most celebrated feats of American arms in the past decade were the work of the U.S. Special Operations Command (socom) [sic, should be “USSOCOM”[ and in particular of its most secretive component, the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), which is home to the Army’s Delta Force, the Navy’s seal Team Six, and other “Tier One” units. So, too, some of the most bitter losses in recent wars have been suffered by these same forces—such as the shoot-down of a Chinook transport helicopter in Afghanistan on August 6, 2011, which killed thirty Americans, including seventeen seals. It was the greatest single-day loss of American lives during the entire war.
Since September 11 JSOC has become a finely honed man-hunting machine whose “operators” take down two thousand or more targets every year, with an 84 percent probability that they will get their man (or a close associate) each time—and usually with little resistance, so adept are they at using the element of stealth. (The Chinook disaster occurred because for once the Taliban knew the seals were coming—they were responding to a call for help from Army Rangers engaged in a firefight.) The bin Laden raid, the subject of this best-selling memoir by one of the seal “assaulters,” a forthcoming book by journalist Mark Bowden, and a soon-to-be-released movie, was unusual only in that it occurred in Pakistan and involved the highest of all “high value targets,” but the same tactics, techniques, and procedures have been employed to capture or to kill thousands of other terrorist leaders over the past decade.
This is an impressive achievement, given that socom [sic], despite a decade of rapid growth, still has only 4.3 percent of the active-duty strength of the U.S. armed forces (sixty thousand out of 1.4 million) and spends just 1.7 percent of the entire defense budget ($10.4 billion out of $613 billion—although the figure is higher if one includes the support provided by individual military services to their branch components such as the Army Special Operations Command). The role of Special Operations Forces (SOF) is expected to grow in the future. With the Army and the Marine Corps in the process of downsizing (current plans call for eliminating roughly 100,000 positions over the next few years), and the appetite for major military deployments diminishing after Iraq and Afghanistan, SOF is left, for better or worse, as the instrument of choice for presidents looking to exercise American hard power. “Send in the Marines” used to be the cry a hundred years ago because a Marine deployment was seen as an easy way to use force without a congressional declaration of war or undue international perturbations. SOF is viewed in much the same light today: a way to “do something” without getting mired in a major ground war.
Despite his solecism involving the military alphabet-soup acronym, Boot does a terrific scholarly job of tracing US Special Operations right back to Roger’s Rangers in the French and Indian War. He describes in detail the background of the book and its author, and discusses intelligently the unusual composition, modus operandi, and ethos of SOF teams.
Boot was well-prepared to write this review because he has just finished his own book on unconventional warfare from Antiquity to the present day, currently waiting for release in January.
Correction: My original illustration was a JSOC NATO ISAF shoulder patch, which I mistook for a cool, new JSOC insignia. Actually, they have shoulder patches of this sort featuring the flags of all the allied nations supplying troops in OD. The one I found was the flag of Portugal in OD. Hat tip to Skookumchuck (of YARGB) who caught it.
British taxpayers got to pick up the Herald’s College bill of 15,000 pounds for devising John Bercow, the new Speaker of the British House of Commons, brand new coat of arms.
I’d say that the heralds and pursuivants must have developed an actual animus toward the new Speaker.
They succeeded in persuading him that a ladder (alluding to his rise from humble origins) was a compliment, that four gold balls were alluding to his enthusiasm for lawn tennis (and not his Hebraic ancestry), and that those hideous Islamic scimitars are Saxon seax knives representing the county of Essex (where he went to a red brick university). Right, sure they are!
The motto “All Are Equal” between pink triangles with rainbow striping on the back of the scroll really devastatingly tops the whole thing off resulting in the most extraordinarily oxymoronic expression of the triumphant elevation of the spirit of leveling to established status in the hierarchical realm of heraldry. One can just imagine the guffaws emanating from the studio in the Herald’s College.
Thanks to commenter T.C. Carney (I have the best commenters!), we now know that Derek “Tex’ Grebner shot himself in the leg in the video I posted on July 7th, not with a pistol featuring a Glock-style trigger safety.
He was using a Kimber Pro Carry II, a premium adaptation, incorporating some of the features commonly found in customized upgrades, of the classic Colt Model 1911 chambered in .45 ACP.
Mr. Grebner experienced a “negligent discharge” (personally, I think there is a very strong association between these kind of f**kups and the mentality which emphasizes and places overreliance on pretentious jargon) while attempting to draw and fire his Kimber from “defensive retention” out of a 5.11 ThumbDrive Holster.
It was one of those “tactical,” black, kydex, ultra-macho-military klunky holsters that grips the gun, and has a button catch you have to push to release it.
The unfortunate Mr. Grebner was clearly a bit distracted, and was trying to perform a fast draw involving pushing on a holster retention button as well. It just might be that the 5.11 ThumbDrive Holster is not the optimal choice for many conventional automatic pistols, because that retention button happens to be located on the left side of the pistol right next to the safety on the Model 1911 (and many other pistols). So the hurrying Mr. Grebner apparently failed to release his Kimber from the holster, instead he clicked off the pistol’s side safety when he fumbled for the holster button.
The gun failed to release, and Mr. Grebner tells us that, as he pushed that button again, his finger “curled into the trigger guard, and [he] ripped a bullet into [his] leg.”
It must have hurt like hell, and Mr. Grebner was actually very lucky that the bullet penetrated at such an angle that it missed his femur and major blood vessels and then exited without causing a lot graver injury.
Accidents happen, of course. Mr. Grebner’s experience provides a warning to us all that guns are dangerous and we need to be alert and scrupulously careful in shooting at all times.
I personally do not like synthetic materials like kydex. I think kydex knife sheaths and holsters are both tacky and clunky, and I wouldn’t ever own one.
Tex Grebner explicitly declined to blame the holster, but obviously if you are going to try to draw fast, I’d say choosing a holster with a button release you have to push to get the gun out is a suboptimal choice. A retention button placed where it has some probability of being confused with the gun’s safety is also not a desirable feature.
The holster, of course, didn’t shoot Tex Grebner in the leg. He did it himself. Whatever problem one has getting the gun out of the holster, you still have to pay attention and be conscious of where your trigger finger is and what it’s doing. If your fast draw technique results in your finger inadvertently “curling into the trigger guard” and doing things you don’t know about, you are definitely doing something wrong, and can expect exactly this kind of thing to happen.
I would also say, that though it may be fun to develop a fast draw, who draws faster matters in general in Western movies and not in real life. In real life, it is far, far more common for anyone who ever needs to use a gun to have all the time in the world to draw carefully and take deliberate aim.
Tex Grebner, I think, deserves a lot of credit, though, for his forthrightness and considerable courage in releasing both videos, openly exposing a extremely embarrassing mishap, in the cause of making the rest of us think twice about gun safety. Best wishes to him for a quick recovery.
The Republican capture of 60-70 House seats well exceeds the most optimistic pre-election forecasts.
It was disappointing to our best possible case hopes that we did not also take control of the Senate. Clearly, a number of weak Republican candidacies combined with democrat professional organization in ultra-blue states was too much to overcome… this time.
I really wish that we had knocked off Harry Reid and Barney Frank, and the California results are truly depressing. But, we did beat ultra-leftist Russ Feingold in Wisconsin. I am very happy to see Pat Toomey replacing Arlen Specter, and Marco Rubio’s victory in Florida is extremely significant. Rubio is articulate, charismatic and a hard-core conservative. The son of ultra-libertarian Ron Paul, named after Ayn Rand, is going to the Senate as well. Delightful.
A Genius commenter informed me that Rand Paul was not really named after Ayn Rand.
I looked it up, and found that he says his first name is really Randall, and his wife changed the short version from Randy to Rand.
Here’s Rand Paul explaining.
Quick, somebody name a kid after Ayn Rand, and we’ll elect him!
These photographs are being widely distributed on the Internet, with the caprids misidentified as Bighorn sheep.
The location is actually Lake Cingino, a reservoir created by adding a dam and enlarging a small lake in the Valley of Antrona in the Italian Alps.
The animals on the dam are chamoisAlpine Ibex, Capra ibex, who apparently frequent the dam face in search of salts that accumulate on the rocks of the dam.
Maurizio Piazzai has a couple more photos of chamoisAlpine Ibex on the Lake Cingino dam here.
I had originally misidentified the animals on the dam as chamois, believing that the range of the Alpine Ibex in Italy was still limited to Gran Paradiso National Park. The absence in available photos of any full-horned rams faciliated my misidentification.
This factsheet shows that the current range of Alpine Ibex definitely includes the Valle Antrona.
Sarah Palin with husband Todd attending the Belmont Stakes
And some anonymous hatchet-wielder at Wonkette accuses Sarah Palin of surgical enhancement. That’s the left for you. Their mind is always in the gutter and they judge everyone by their own standards.
Watch Andrew Sullivan climb all over this one.
Lori Ziganto notes how the left, as usual, missed the real story while focusing on trivia and spite.
Rachel Larimore, at Slate’s Double X, asked about the primary wins [Tuesday] night, “Where is the rah-rah sisterhood?”
The overriding theme of Tuesday night’s primary coverage was that it was a big night for female politicians. But there is a noticeable dearth of rah-rah sisterhood going on (though the National Review is pretty excited).
She further noted that the only talk amongst the Left, and feminists in particular, regarding this big night for conservative women was rather nasty comments about said women and lamenting that they were conservatives. Icky businesswomen, to boot! One even asked, “Do you still cheer if the ceiling is crashed by two conservative businesswomen?” ...
[A] big part of [the story of ] last night’s primary wins was that Sarah Palin had endorsed most of the winners, indicating that she does, in fact, wield quite a bit of power and has great pull with large segments of the population. Not everyone has to like Sarah Palin, but even those who don’t, should respect her, if only for the fact that she’s changed the national debate at least twice sheerly through her own Facebook postings. She is one of the best spokespeople we have right now. She pulls no punches and talks straight.
So, what is the story circulating among the lefty blogs and now worming its way into traditional media regarding Sarah Palin today? Not the success of the candidates she endorsed, but, rather, her breasts. That’s right. The big question of the day, first promulgated by the always inane Wonkette, is whether or not Sarah Palin had breast implants. I suppose we should just be grateful that it’s not incessant investigation of her uterus again, although I’m sure Andrew “I’ve finally lost my already weak grasp on sanity” Sullivan will work that in somehow.
UPDATE and CORRECTION:
She looks pretty similar to me in this August 2008 issue cover picture
Hmmm. Commenter Funkyphd informs me that the Vogue cover picture I referred to, which is all over the web, is a Photoshop fake. Thanks to Funkyphd.
I fell for it, I expect, because I knew that there really had been a Vogue feature on Palin published about that time.
So what can we find in its place? How about this 1984 Beauty Pageant picture
and the 0:37 video of her apearance in the swimsuit competition?
The Vytis (Knight) is the national symbol of Lithuania
I’m of Lithuanian descent, and I can tell you that the Lithuanians think of themselves as a knightly nation and identify enthusiastically with their medieval warrior ancestors. In our Lithuanian parish’s elementary school, we spent every art class drawing and re-drawing the Vytis as our nuns explained to us that we descended from the knights of old and should behave just like them.
I did not know that these kind of reenactments went on in Lithuania. I would expect that this kind of thing was not permitted under the Soviets, and represents a recent development.
Here in America, the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) conducts tournaments with knights wearing armor and battling with wooden swords and heavily padded maces. The Lithuanians in the video, on the other hand, are bashing one another highly vigorously using actual metal swords. Since we don’t see anyone being divided into so many parts and losers do seem to survive, I assume the swords used are at least blunt edged. They do put up a good fight though.
Correction: I originally (following Google’s translation) translated the organization name Viduramžių Pasiuntiniai as “Medieval Courier.” Aistė Volkytė, witing from Lithuania, advised me that “emissaries” would be the more accurate translation.