Functional Atheist
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May 1 Functional Atheist commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: Undercutting Remarks.
Sometimes there is no discernible 'why'. Or there are so many possible 'whys' that it can't be determined which combination of factors were the determining factors.

My guess is some combination of fear of commitment, and a laundry list of petty resentments, with the weird argument over who gets dibs on the weird haircut being a convenient thing to seize upon and express her fears and frustrations.

But who knows? Nobody. Maybe not even her.

Good luck letter writer. You sound like a nice person, a sensible person, even if your taste in haircuts is incomprehensible to me.
Apr 28 Functional Atheist commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: Bonus Reader Advice for Kids Who've Lost Parents to Fox News.
My Dad had a moderate case of Fox News syndrome.

For us, it helped when I observed to Dad that their business model relied on getting their viewers agitated. That's the Fox News "thing"--they want to get people revved up, frightened, angry, and they do it intentionally to drive viewership.

I'm not sure if he believed me wholeheartedly, but he backed off about talking about the bullshit he heard there.
Apr 26 Functional Atheist commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: Boyfriend Slow-Walking His Divorce.
This LW does not paint a very favorable portrait of anyone involved.

Especially herself.

Omitting "WHY" she is so angry about the delays in finalizing the divorce is a case in point. Is it really so they can get married, or is it something even less attractive, like she's controlling and demanding and wants this damned divorce BECAUSE SHE WANTS IT, GODDAMNIT, AND THAT'S FINAL!

Sorry for all caps, but shouting seemed a close facsimile to the shrill nightmare that is this woman's tone and attitude.
Apr 15 Functional Atheist commented on Craven German Leader Okays Prosecution of German Comedian To Placate Asshole Turkish President.
This little piece points toward a number of things Americans should be grateful for: the First Amendment; the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, imposing barriers preventing mass migration from places like Libya, Syria, and Iraq; an immigrant 'problem' that Europe would shout in glee to swap with ours.

It comes down to geography: the poor, fucked up places to our south are mostly Catholic. Infinitely preferable to poor Europe: the fucked up places to their south are largely Muslim.

Apr 8 Functional Atheist commented on Ted Cruz On the Cover of TIME.
Obviously, there's something a bit loonie going on, in Republican-land. From a too-large-group to the impossible duo of Trump and Cruz, there's some sort of strange self-immolation going on over there.

What's unfortunate, really, is that the Democratic Party has their own duo of the dubious.

Why so many people, like Elizabeth Warren, were convinced that Hillary was too formidable to beat is incomprehensible. She's always been a flawed candidate, with high negatives, and that will never change. And I'm a Hillary supporter!

The good news is that the Democrats are likely to retain the White House. The bad news is that the opposition party will be even more embittered and intractable, and the frustrating obstructionism that has characterized most of the Obama presidency will go on and on, for at least another four years.
Mar 22 Functional Atheist commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: Mated and Checkmated.
This guy is a monster.

You do not want to co-parent with a monster.

Abortion. And tell him it was a miscarriage, darn, and you are breaking up, and you never, ever want to see him again.

Then have all the locks changed, buy a gun, learn how to use it, and don't forget the double tap to his head if he decides to pay you an unexpected visit.
Feb 29 Functional Atheist commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: The Box Under the Bed.
The poor dear. An awful housekeeper, and then such an atrocious 'friend.'

My oh my, to take a stance of 'protect the sex offender's job or you aren't GGG'? Amazing. This goes beyond being unsympathetic to a friend with a genuine problem, this goes beyond being an idiot. The "friend's" stance actually puts the letter writer, and other women this housekeeper is sure to be creeping on, in actual danger. Astonishing. A friendship to end.

@70 I hope you don't perceive all devil's advocates that way.

Sure, sometimes devil's advocacy is reflexive and/or weak in the manner you describe.

But sometimes devil's advocates really do add a useful perspective to a conversation. Properly done, its an exercise in empathy, a genuine attempt to look at things through the point of view of another person, and therefore...unworthy of scorn.
Feb 24 Functional Atheist commented on Savage Love.
I'm with @16, and @27 expanded on the point nicely.

Contemplating self-medicating seems the most likely explanation. His depression is the problem. The web surfing about meth is just one of the symptoms of the real problem.

The letter writer's panicky reaction to what his boyfriend was reading, and generally glib attitude toward symptoms of a potentially major depressive event (sleeping 15 hours a day!), to me suggests that the letter writer's priorities are askew.
Feb 20 Functional Atheist commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: The Career Counselor Is In.
This kid is very naive. I suspect he'd be the first in his family to attend college, perhaps the first who would leave rural Mississippi for a big city. All of it--applying to college, the financial aid process, living away from family, urban lifestyles, 'modeling', porn--is outside his experience, and possibly outside the experience of his entire family.

He doesn't know his ass from a whole in the ground. I say that not to be cruel, but just to suggest this kid needs a great deal of help, more than Dan or this comment thread can give him. I suggest finding a mentor, perhaps a sympathetic teacher from high school--someone who has a college degree, who has lived somewhere other than rural Mississippi.

His big escape plan to get out of rural Mississippi is to do twink porn.

He's almost helpless, a prime candidate to be ruthlessly exploited.
Feb 16 Functional Atheist commented on Rachel Maddow Walks Us Through the Constitutional Crisis the Republicans Risk Creating.
The standard response to lefty cynics, the ones who voted for Nader for example, who whine about the minor differences between the two parties rendering it immaterial who wins, is: the Supreme Court.

For the true believers on both the left and the right, the Court has always had a Talisman-like quality. I mainly know lefties, so anecdotally I would think that the Republicans trying to delay the process of filling Scalia's seat for the new President are playing with political fire, and ultimately helping the Democratic nominee for President.

But is that wrong? Would the hardcore right be just as motivated, even more motivated, to get out and vote to ensure a Republican nominates the person to fill that seat?

I dunno. I wonder if Nate Silver's done some analysis on this strange hypothetical situation that is actually unfolding before us?