The world does not need another blog, and you do not need to read this one. Others make similar observations, probably sooner, and almost invariably better. These are merely the musings of myself and my friends, serving no grand purpose other than a repository of ideas, and hopefully some interesting conversations about them. We hope you join us.
IRIS VANDER PLUYM
Iris Vander Pluym is the ‘nym of a godless, feminist lefty, lately eschewing the label liberal due to its unfortunate association with so many odious people — mostly conservative, corporatist, pro-war Democrats and pundits — with whom I disagree on nearly ever matter of policy (“2L4O“). I’m also a contributing columnist at The Political Junkies for Progressive Democracy, and have guest posted at Pharyngula, The Greanville Post and elsewhere. When I’m not busy mocking conservatives and other fools, I’m an artist, writer and activist living happily in New York City’s West Village.
Email me at irisvpluym at the gmail thingy d0t c0m.
DONALD B. ARDELL
I started out (professionally) as an urban planner (UNC-Chapel Hill) and evolved into a health planner and then a promoter of healthy lifestyles. (I have blundered into the right places at the right times more often than not – and I attribute my mountain of good fortune to random chance. However I realize that winds of fate constantly shift directions.) I consider myself a freethinker infidel apostate heretic convinced that the meaning of life is to make up stuff about multiple meanings of life and revise said findings, as necessary. I write books, travel about giving presentations on REAL wellness, produce articles daily, train hard for fitness and for triathlon competitions and enjoy the love of my darling wife Carol, my children and three grandchildren and many friends, including “SJ,” a distinguished blogger extraordinaire at this site. I used to promote wellness as a positive lifestyle focused on personal responsibility, exercise, nutrition, stress management and environmental sensitivity. I’ve more or less moved beyond that – now I promote reason, exuberance, athleticism and liberty or REAL wellness. One of my heroes is Robert Green Ingersoll but my list of heroes and heroines is lengthy – and many on it are still alive. All good cheer.
[As of April 2013 SJ is on indefinite hiatus from posting here. The Palace is profoundly grateful for all of his contributions, the inspiring dialogs he has sparked, and the incredible support and encouragement he has shown us. We wish him much joy.]
PALACE COMMENTING POLICY:
This is not a safe space for @$$holes.
Everyone is welcome to engage in dialog here, and thoughtful disagreement is enthusiastically encouraged. Someone misinformed or unaware of certain facts is not an @$$hole: we are all ignorant of many, many things, and discovering them is what makes life (and blogs) interesting. An @$$hole, on the other hand, is someone who becomes aware of countervailing reasoning and evidence, yet stubbornly holds onto an untenable position anyway (“No, women are not people!”). @$$holes, for example conservatives of all stripes, are willfully ignorant. If one simply does not understand something, and inquires about it in good faith, one is by definition not being an @$$hole. This is how we all learn.
The Palace reserves the right to delete, defile, and/or mercilessly mock @$$holeish comments at its sole discretion. This is a monarchy.
A HELPFUL NOTE: If you personally find the Palace offensive, stupid, boring, beneath you intellectually, insufficiently catering to your unearned privilege, or otherwise unsatisfactory in any way, please go elsewhere.
First-time commenters are moderated. (It’s the WordPress default and helps cut down on spam.) After your first comment posts, your future comments will appear instantly. Please be patient: we do try to approve first time commenters as soon as we can. Alas, sometimes life interferes.
A NOTE ABOUT CONTENT vs. LANGUAGE & FORM:
Some may find coarse and adult language offensive. We do not. The most heinous, horrific and deeply offensive ideas can quite easily be expressed in words that are perfectly civil and polite. It is the content of an idea or an argument that ultimately matters here, not its “tone” and certainly not whether someone in a fit of righteous rage drops an f-bomb or two.
So we sometimes use adult fucking language ’round here. Yep. We are in the business of mocking conservatives and other unrepentant @$$holes, and we freely deploy colorful language in order to do it. However, we try — admittedly not always successfully — to refrain from using gendered slurs, or insults that are sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, or otherwise dismissive and demeaning to marginalized, oppressed and less-privileged individuals and groups. Here in the US, we have only ever existed in a culture that is sexist, racist, homophobic, etc., and we have necessarily and automatically internalized language, behaviors and narratives that reinforce and perpetuate this ugly status quo. That is how human culture works. For those of us who aspire to be better human beings, it is a necessary and ongoing endeavor to cull such harmful memes from our repertoire as best we can when we become aware of them.
That being said, conservatives and other @$$holes are manifestly not marginalized, oppressed or less-privileged individuals and groups. They maintain control the national government of the most powerful nation on earth, have done so for decades, and show no sign of retreat. They have invaded state and local governments across the nation and are eagerly destroying everything I value from civil liberties, labor unions, the fundamental right to bodily autonomy, the air and the water, the rule of law, living wages, the country’s standing in the world, public education, the already insufficient social safety net, crops and coastlines, the wall of separation between church and state, the wall of separation between big business and government, and the lives of innocent people, including children, here and across the entire globe. (This is not a complete list of grievances. Not even close.)
Thus, we mock.
Welcome to Perry Street Palace. Make yourself at home, but please keep your muddy shoes off of my nice furniture. KTHX.
A BRIEF TOUR OF THE PALACE.
SHRINE TO PZ MYERS
The spectacular centerpiece here in our Grand Entry Hall is the Palace’s Shrine to PZ Myers, who published our little rant In Defense of Mockery as a guest post on his wildly popular blog, Pharyngula. The Palace gained Many Tens of Loyal Readers™ that day, for which PZ has our undying appreciation and affection. The Palace throws a debaucherous birthday party in his honor every March 9.
The Palace LIBRARY hosts an extensive collection of materials (grouped by subject) on various topics of interest to us called the HIT LIST. The LIBRARY also curates an ever-expanding, eclectic collection of QUOTES you can peruse for inspiration and amusement.
You must be 18+ to enter the BEDROOM.
It is clear that what animates much of social conservatism springs from some seriously unhealthy, fear-based, fucked-up views about sex and sexuality — and of course this must not go unmocked. Beyond that, the Palace holds that providing factual information about sex and sexuality is a worthy public service in its own right. (BONUS: factual information about sex and sexuality drives conservatives to apoplexy, so it’s really just full of WIN.) In the BEDROOM you will find links to a variety of reality-based, sex-positive resources and writers. If you are over 18, not at work, and so inclined, go forth and get your freak on. Because the Wingnut War on Fucking is not going to implode all by itself, people.
IRIS THE IDIOT’S KITCHEN
A brief introduction to IRIS THE IDIOT’S KITCHEN is here, but the bottom line is this: if I can make really simple and amazingly delicious food in my kitchen, you probably can, too.
There are 2.5 rules in the KITCHEN:
DELICIOUS, and SIMPLE.*
* Or to whatever extent not simple, worth the extra trouble.
Many posts are not “recipes.” They’re more like… explanations. Mangia.
It turns out that people sometimes write stuff about us…on the Internet! (I know, right?) Things like this:
“Iris Vander Pluym isn’t the most intelligent person to ever grace the internet…”
-an insightful observer.
Dooooood. You have no idea. You’ll certainly get no argument from us.
Also: we’ve apparently managed to get ourselves listed in connection with several sex offender registries. That’s right: a Google search on “Iris Vander Pluym” — a pseudonym — generates multiple hits on sex offender registries. (Yeah. WTF.)
And yet despite our most foul and vile online reputation, some brave writers insist on quoting us favorably, linking to our posts, and saying really nice things about us anyway. Huh.
Be sure to visit the Palace PRESS ROOM regularly to find out if we’ve gotten any more love, hate or yawning indifference from the denizens of the Internet, and/or somehow managed to get ourselves listed elsewhere as registered sex offenders.
It’s no secret that we like to drink around here. I often suggest wine or beer pairings in Iris the Idiot’s Kitchen posts, and it occurred to me that it would be nice to have a place to discuss wine, beers, spirits, cocktails and various and sundry beverages. If you prefer to abstain, the THE BAR will happily serve coffee and tea, as well as our personal favorite nonalcoholic beverage, New York City tap water.
THE BAR is open 24/7/365. Cheers.