David Thompson
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June 09, 2015

Comments

John D

Readers who as students shared a house and cleaning duties, in theory at least, will no doubt testify to the practicality of this approach and the lofty hygiene standards that invariably resulted.

Five of us in one house. The cleaning rota lasted barely a week. It got so bad we had rats in the kitchen. Then I moved out.

David

It got so bad we had rats in the kitchen. Then I moved out.

I denounce your uppity bourgeois standards.

The cleaning rota lasted barely a week.

I imagine that’s about average. I remember my first home away from home, shared by four of us. I had such hopes for the cleaning rota, all dashed within days. It can’t have been more than a month before the struggle against squalor was lost forever, except for one doomed attempt at “spring cleaning,” which just revealed the full scale of the horror and caused widespread resignation.

I remember buying a new set of cutlery only to discover that, two days later, every suitable item had been used for hot knives and left with an unappetising and unshiftable brown residue. And I vaguely recall lots of heated arguments over bath towels and how they roamed the house at night and hid themselves under chairs and behind wardrobes without every getting dry, or indeed washed.

Tim Newman

Funny when the lefties mention communes they inexplicably overlook what was by far the most successful incarnation of the idea: the Israeli kibbutz system. For reasons of space, I assume.

Argh

'Us', 'we', 'our'. Fucking middle-class lefties and their endless presumption. Marry that with a uniformly infantile worldview and tada: relentless, whiney, boilerplate fascism.

Housesharing... a perfect microcosm of socialism and a perfect illustration of why it is a terrible, unworkable idea. The responsible, tidy, actually-give-a-fuck people (hi) are taken advantage of by the feckless and selfish.

Joan

I love how not wanting to share a squat with half a dozen lefty wankers is because of "our political apathy, our materialistic obsession with property ownership". They can't *ever* get over themselves.

Lancastrian Oik

Imagine what you and your friends could do with a crowbar, a guitar, a few sacks of lentils…

Indeed- especially if they reboot "Scrapheap Challenge".

Dr Cromarty

They see 'The Young Ones' as an instruction manual rather than a comedy. Rik - left wing posturing; Adrian - crowbar; Neil - guitar & lentils.

David

They can’t *ever* get over themselves.

What tickles is the strange idea that, were we not such terrible, unimaginative conformists, we’d all want to live as teenagers, all busily painting and strumming guitars, or, God help us, “working in the arts.”

It’s as if Ms Cosslett doesn’t realise that many of us have experienced the communal living she swoons over, at least as teenagers or students, and yet I shouldn’t think many of us, as adults, would wish to relive the dream. And relive it for the rest of our days. Call me stuffy, but I like the fact that the groceries I buy with the week ahead in mind won’t have vanished overnight, scarfed by persons unknown, and I do prefer my towels to be laundered, locatable and even mould-free.

And don’t get me started on the joys of communal toilet paper use.

RY

whose ethos was not so far removed from times when children were raised by communities, not individuals.

What happened to 'families'?

David

What happened to ‘families’?

Quite.

Dr Cromarty

I take it she's never read 'Lord Of The Flies'

R. Sherman

Imagine what you and your friends could do with a crowbar, a guitar, a few sacks of lentils…

Lentils give me gas and I don't play guitar. However, I'd be more than happy to use a crowbar to clear out any hippies who tried to occupy my spare bedroom.

Critical Eye

Sadly, Ms. Cosslett forgot to include her home address in the article. I'm sure she's got a couch that's not being used.

sk60

Yes, we are too selfish self-aware to live like hippies.

sackcloth and ashes

Communal living works in only one place, and that's a barracks.

The gungy fucker who doesn't wash himself or keep his bed-space clean soon sees the error of his waves. And as for theft, well ... unofficial justice gets applied very swiftly, and without mercy.

bilbaoboy

The Guardian is a permanent source of vital information on how not to do stuff.

I remember turning up first (out of four male mates) at a private rental in Hull. Took over the house from 4 female friends. After 30 seconds they became ex-friends.

An effing pigsty. We got it sort of clean and it stayed sort of clean for the year, but my standards (never particularly high as my current wife will attest) were never ever met, not by a long way.

Never again.

However, I'd be delighted to stop over at Ms. Cosslett's house next time I am in London (or wherever she lives). I promise not to nick more than one towel of each size.

I give good conversation for free 3 course meals and unlimited fridge access.

Jen

she of the ill-fitting hair

Snork.

Rick Bonsteel

"I’m convinced that [blah, blah, blah] has shaped me as an adult." She's being overly generous; this callow clap-trap has very little relationship with adulthood, other than "I might grow out of this." Not likely, in this case, especially in the self-congratulatory Guardian environment.

Steve E

And don’t get me started on the joys of communal toilet paper use.

Hot and cold running dysentery, oh boy!

TDK

sharing the cooking, the cleaning and the childcare was not only practical but also beneficial to the wellbeing of the members

I love the conceit that sharing works.

Cooking
I recall this was shared until someone complained about what was served. Then one or more would drop out of the group and cook solo. Eventually, nearly everyone cooked solo.

Cleaning
This was done by the person who broke first.

I recall resenting the fact I had done my bit whilst others used the plates I had cleaned. I would try to pretend I could live with it until the lazy one broke, but they never did. Faced with no plates they would get fish and chips.

I recall we couldn't get into the kitchen without knocking over one of the dozens of empty milk bottles strewn around the room. We only had to take 10 steps to the front door and the milkman would collect it. I broke.

Childcare
Didn't apply to me but I recall some girls with sprogs. They got priority in university accommodation and places in the crèche. Others got council flats and the crèche of course. Universities are very good places to find oneself in that position. Squatting is of course a different proposition.

There have been literally hundreds of commune types experiments like Jonestown, New Harmony, Oneida over the centuries. Invariably Contributors begin to resent Free-riders, resulting in either them leaving or them ejecting the free riders. You can imagine how the people who plough the fields came to view the "artists" who thought their fair contribution was to write the songs.

David

At the time I did notice that the degree to which fellow housemates were pursuing their “alternative lifestyles” and “work in the arts” was inversely proportional to their interest in buying toilet paper or keeping the fridge stocked. All of which presumably seemed trivial and, if left long enough, was done by others.

Hal

My memories are faded but what remains is a picture of a happy, lively household whose ethos was not so far removed from times when children were raised by communities, not individuals.

And then there's the Hog Farm . . .

While noting the several and ongoing quite documented successes, there is a rather telling anecdote in Saint Misbehavin The Wavy Gravy Movie. Wavy's son is interviewed in the movie, telling of what it's like to grow up with his parents---and then by extension, to also have everyone else in the rather businesslike commune also be his parents. The main comment I'm remembering is a statement of You learn to check yourself very early

Oops, so much for an actual and genuinely ongoing commune reality with Wavy Gravy's son raised by individuals, in that community . . .

Ofay Cat

When I was young I wanted to meet all thpes of people and have fun etc ... Now that I am old I have learned to avoid people as much as possibe. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them. Most suck the big one.

Ofay Cat

Regarding music as a career or profession or avocation or even as obsession ... I learned to play the saxophone on my own ... an old cheap horn as I could afford back then. I went on to play professionally for about 20 years then on to a music related career ... I never had funding of any sort and I always paid my way throught life. This was through the 60s and 70s ... I watched the whole hippie thing develop a d get stupider by the day. It is still a stupid life style for the dull witted.

Argh

Just thinking about the, as David notes, romantic and highly selective portrayal of squatters as "art students from Berlin, Portuguese musicians." Because of course everyone (once freed from square-o wage-slavery and associated false consciousness) is axiomatically exotic and creative and thoroughly agreeable (in middle-class Guardianista terms). Such a happy coincidence.

It's exactly the same, and just as mindless, as the lefty understanding of multiculturalism. (i.e. "Everyone is just like me, really! But of course they are - my worldview, assumptions and priorities, and the eerily identical ones of all my super, super chums, are the only fair and natural ones to hold!")

wtp

Somewhat OT, but definitely in the "ill fitting" category, peruse if you will the trials and travails of simply getting dressed for an interview presented by one CayleyGraph on Patterico's blog. This is just a sample. Take it all in...

It takes very little time and absolutely no money to tuck in the shirt that one already has on and to pull up the pants that one already has on.

I think you’re dramatically underestimating the time and expense it takes to acquire properly-fitting clothes. Maybe I just have an unusual body shape, but I’ve never been able to maintain a tucked-in shirt for more than an hour at a time. If I need to show somebody that I have a tucked-in shirt, I have to keep adjusting it every time I stand up or sit down.

You also seem to be fixated on the trivial kinds of personal interactions,
as if the only benchmark is “please” and “thank you”.

The reason for this fixation, of course, is because the trivial kinds of interactions are the kinds that

[1] Were mentioned in Mike Rowe’s response
[2] I believe should be overlooked by hiring managers.

I realize I didn’t make it clear that I think a person who “someone who is perpetually angry and aggrieved, ranting continually about how much they hate this job” should be weeded out during the hiring process when I said “Insubordination & deliberate rudeness will make people’s work difficult, and so it makes sense to weed out people who display these properties”, but I’m not very good at concise communication.

Yes, abusiveness should be considered — and considered strongly — when making hiring decisions, but the only test for abusiveness cited in the original post was the presence/absence of “please” and “thank you”. I think that’s a terribly inaccurate test that will give many false positives on people who are quiet or shy. Of course, I don’t have as much hiring experience as the hiring managers I’m criticizing… but since they complain that “the biggest under reported challenge in finding good help is an overwhelming lack of ‘soft skills.'”, I think it’s not unreasonable to suggest something that might ease their challenge.

http://patterico.com/2015/06/08/a-smart-response-to-a-misguided-complaint-about-work-ethics/#comment-1767835

JuliaM

"And working in the arts – I suspect the term “working” is used here loosely – is more than reason enough to squat and not bother with humdrum details like permission or paying rent. "

For shame, David! Why, without 'artists', who else would screw taxpayer money out of the government for such worthy projects as...

Well, see for yourselves:

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/news/boeing-737-jet-to-be-buried-just-outside-birmingham--all-in-the-name-of-art-10306032.html

mojo

Ah, communes. Those were the days. Getting up at the crack of noon to see that the cows weren't being fed and the harness was not being mended... Heading down to the creek to bathe... Stealing your food from the asshole grocer who refuses you any more credit...

Communists would be pathetic if they weren't so dangerous. Stupid is is always dangerous.

JuliaM

Sackcloth and ashes: "...unofficial justice gets applied very swiftly, and without mercy. "

'Who ordered the Code Red..?'

Tim Newman

I lived for one period in a house full of lads and another period in a house full of girls, plus I visited lots of others' houses. I seem to recall the lads' houses being a bit better: eventually the guys would get angry at each other and agree to sort the place out, at least for a while. But the girls used to snipe and bicker and never agree to all blitz the place for a few hours to get it sorted. My housemates weren't too bad to be fair, but I do remember guaranteeing a clean glass to drink from by using an empty jam jar. Nobody else thought to use it as a glass, but I'd seen an old farmer doing it years before.

mojo

"Hey, what's this?"
"Your stuff. Take it with you when you leave."
Leave? Hey, I pay rent!"
"Not for six months. We've been carrying you."
"Ok, ok, I'll go look for a fuckin' job. Assholes."
"Tell your story walkin', pal."
"What?"
"Which part of 'get the fuck out' was unclear?"

Spiny Norman

wtp,

I went an read that whole exchange, and that "sample" hardly touches the surface.

I think "clueless" doesn't even begin to describe young Cayley, who apparently truly believes "slacker" is the future and "professional appearance" is so trivial.

Any wagers "CayleyGraph" is a Laurie Penny Twitter follower?

Theophrastus

Ms Rhiannon Lucy Coslett is an endless source of amusement. Where else could the unemployable sprog of communards find a niche, except at The Guardian? She's almost beyond parody.

sackcloth and ashes

'Who ordered the Code Red..?'

These things don't get ordered, they just happen.

But justice is fair. The guy whose only crime was to snore particularly loudly at night? He just had someone position a few French Fancies around his person when he was asleep. He rolled over, repeatedly, and that was that.

'Imagine what you and your friends could do with a crowbar, a guitar ...'

A guitar ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqpNQ9AJYgU

Hal

Hmmm. A way to pile up resources . . .

How US students get a university degree for free in Germany

and

American students head to Germany for free college

From the latter . . .

Think about it this way: it’s a global game of collecting talent. All of these students are the trading cards, and the collectors are countries. If a country collects more talent, they'll have an influx of new ideas, new businesses and a better economy.

“If you look at Germany, the only resource we do have are human resources, actually,” says Dorothea Rueland, secretary general of the German Academic Exchange Service, or DAAD. The DAAD is in charge of Germany’s push to attract more international students.


Theophrastus

"ill-fitting hair"

It's not so much her hair, David: it's that Guardian look of smugness with certainty, even fanaticism. Compare, for example, Seamus Milne with columnists on other news outlets. Seamus looks, well, mad: as though he'd cheerfully execute us all for incorrect thought.

Horace Dunn

It's delightful that this thread has prompted so many people to share their stories of nightmare student house-shares with all the associated squabbles, infestations and mouldy bits. We all went through it and, in later life, look back at those sordid days with a degree of affection. Amongst the dirty dishes and electric fires that failed to work, we had fun and relished the freedom from responsibility. But we grew up, and got jobs and contributed to society. And if, in bourgeois middle age, we feel disinclined to give up the comforts and privacy that we enjoy, it may well be because we feel that we have earned those things over many years of unappealing and unromantic gainful employment.

Certainly we won't be encourage to return to communal living by the half-witted blatherings of stuck-up entitlement junkies like this silly Cosslett woman.

dicentra

Which is why I no longer find You Can't Take It with You to be a delightful little film as I did when I was in college.

WTP

It wouldn't surprise, Spiny. The whining (or as y'all say, winging iirc) about how difficult it is to keep ones shirttail tucked in is ... We really, really need synonyms for "pathetic". And all that about how hard it is to get a belt. Who would employ such a sad sack (had to reach back to the 40's for that one)? Reading that, I imagined a world in which every one of CG's complaints/excuses was accounted for and it looked a lot to me like the early scene in Idiocracy with the guy sitting on the toilet watching TV stuffing his pie hole. Except CG would complain about having to make the effort to stuff his own pie hole.

WTP

Oh, and just for the record since we're getting all share-y and stuff. I spent at least one semester in a 1500 SF 4 BR house with six other roommates. Everything described here sounds like my exact experience. Multiplied by 7/4. And that's not counting two roommates' cats...

pst314

I once knew some people who lived in a shared house. The stench of un-emptied, un-cleaned cat litter boxes was horrible. And then there were the piles of dog feces on the attic stairs....

Ray

I've never shared myself, but on helping a friend move out of a shared flat it was immediately obvious that such arrangements should be banned on public health grounds.

R. Sherman

I don't know why everyone's so down on communal college living. I lived with three other guys and, as I recall, our girlfriends showed up every ten days or so to give the place a once over. Also, we used paper plates to fullest extent allowed by law.

abacab

In my student house-sharing days, there was definitely a correlation between the more left-wing a housemate was, the more selfish they were, and the less they contributed to the communal well-being (making sure the gas card was topped up, actually cleaning their crockery and cutlery).

I used to have to stash a set of cutlery and crockery away so that I actually had something to eat off so that Mr. Che Shoot-Me-In-The-Head Guevara poster didn't use it and leave it in his pit for a month.

I hated communal living. Absolute proof that socialism is unworkable bunkum, cos left-wingers are personally selfish cnuts.

Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK

I once came home to find my roommate banging some guy she'd picked up at a bar on MY bed! After I got through shouting the usual, "What the f...goddammit, why...what...stop that!" one shouts at these times, she replied, "Well, I just changed my sheets and didn't want to mess them up. I didn't think you'd mind," in the tone of voice Cayleywhatsit probably uses when his mother protests his eating all the Cheezsnax.

'Twas then I swore I'd never share again...as I marched her, carrying my sheets, to the laundry....

David

Are we too selfish to live like hippies?

Note Ms Cosslett’s conceit that squatting and “communal living” are somehow the opposite of selfishness. Rather than being - as illustrated above - a license for freeloading, theft and irresponsibility. Which is to say, selfishness writ large.

It’s also interesting that Ms Cosslett’s professed hippie ideal is an “impossibly grand house” on Park Crescent in London.

You don’t often hear such people clamouring to squat a rundown terraced house in the less glamorous parts of, say, Burnley or Gainsborough, and which could actually be bought outright for five grand or less. Hardly a stretch for half a dozen people who want to pool their resources and pursue “alternative living.” But then a squat just isn’t rah unless it’s in a rather expensive part of town, preferably London, where the squatters can feel superior to the suckers paying mortgages.

abacab

"You don’t often hear such people clamouring to squat a rundown terraced house in the less glamorous parts of, say, Burnley or Gainsborough, and which could actually be bought for five grand or less."

Insufficiently Bohemian for the Vanguard of the Proletariat to have to slum it around the real working classes whose best interests they claim to represent.

It's just following the example of their prophet, after all.

sH2

“art students from Berlin, Portuguese musicians” and, naturally, “miners during the strike.”

Miners in Islington?

Connor

Note Ms Cosslett’s conceit that squatting and “communal living” are somehow the opposite of selfishness. Rather than being - as illustrated above - a license for freeloading, theft and irresponsibility. Which is to say, selfishness writ large.

The most selfish behaviour I've ever seen was when I shared a house as a student. It was an education alright.

abacab

"The most selfish behaviour I've ever seen was when I shared a house as a student. It was an education alright."

Likewise. And as I mentioned above, always the lefty students who are the most selfish.

I put this down to several things. They consider themselves "saved" (to use evangelical language) by virtue of their politics and thus Good People. So they don't need to make any effort. However, they feel obliged to *force* others to be caring and sharing to make up for their own lack of virtue on this point (which they recognise subconciously). "I don't have to be considerate cos I want to force others to be so". Just like their prophet.

David

The most selfish behaviour I’ve ever seen was when I shared a house as a student. It was an education alright.

I’d imagine your experience is fairly typical, certainly more common than not. Even above-board flat-sharing with one friend or colleague can be tricky. Without the bonds and obligations of loving partners or immediate family, the inevitable friction and aggravation can be too much and either the friendship or the flat-share has to go. And a “commune” is basically a recipe for freeloading and acrimony. But Ms Cosslett, whose fond memories are those of an undiscerning child, doesn’t seem overly interested in realism. It wouldn’t suit her purpose.

I suppose part of the problem is, you’re expected to forge a domestic, quasi-familial bond with strangers, or people with whom you wouldn’t otherwise spend so much time in such an intimate arrangement. But I wonder how many former squatters and commune enthusiasts are still in touch with their one-time housemates, the people they were expected to regard as practically family. And as Ms Cosslett would have it, raising their children.

newbie

"Rah"?

David

“Rah”?

Rah as in young and very posh. It’s a jab at the kind of people who as a matter of course go on a gap yah – sorry, gap year. The irony being that squatters are often fairly posh themselves and from comfortable backgrounds, often upper-middle-class lefties with a hankering for bohemia.

abacab

"The irony being that squatters are often fairly posh themselves and from comfortable backgrounds, often upper-middle-class lefties with a hankering for bohemia."

And with mater and pater to fall back on...

David

And with mater and pater to fall back on...

It’s a strange thing to see up close, this ostentatious slumming by people who can, and will, escape whenever the squalor becomes too dreary. I’ve encountered several groups of such people, one of them at a time, years ago, when I had to walk to work every day because I couldn’t afford the bus fare. I wasn’t terribly impressed by their “alternative lifestyle.”

abacab

"I wasn’t terribly impressed by their “alternative lifestyle.”"

But just remember, they knew what you "needed". They knew what your hopes and dreams were. They agitated for your best interests. If only you could have let the scales of false-conciousness fall from your eyes.

3....2.....1..... And you're back in the room ;)

ajf

Time to wash up a bowl of Weetabix immediately after consumption of said Weetabix: 15 secs, max.
Time to wash up a bowl of Weetabix after it's been left for a week and said Weetabix residue has turned rock hard: 5 mins, or more.
How many times does it take telling some people this for their behaviour to change? Never found out the answer to that unfortunately.
Right. Got that off my chest...

David

Right. Got that off my chest...

Someone ought to write a scientific paper on the concrete-like properties of neglected Weetabix. It may have military uses – say, as ablative hull armour.

Lancastrian Oik

Rah as in young and very posh. It’s a jab at the kind of people who as a matter of course go on a gap yah – sorry, gap year. The irony being that squatters are often fairly posh themselves and from comfortable backgrounds, often upper-middle-class lefties with a hankering for bohemia.

Nailed it. There was a very right-on, upper-middle-class Leftie girl on our undergraduate red-brick law degree course. She'd been at Roedean, and in the summer holidays whilst I went home to drive vans or do manual labour, she would swan off to join her family in Singapore. In the autumn term, she would return with a suntan and a fresh rant about the repressive regime and what a shame it was that you couldn't get any "blow" in Bugis Street which was otherwise brilliant, yah?

When we went to London to study for our post-grad qualifications, I ended up in a flatshare in Shepherd's Bush, whilst she was in a squat in Hackney. I reckon it's definitely a nostalgie de la boue thing.

Whenever I see/hear/read Laurie Penny, I am reminded of that particular person.

David

and what a shame it was that you couldn’t get any “blow” in Bugis Street which was otherwise brilliant, yah?

As Theodore Dalrymple said of Banksy:

He was privately educated, which suggests family prosperity. From an early age, however, he appears to have suffered not from nostalgie de la boue, for he had never hitherto known la boue, but from envie de la boue, a longing for the depths. This common desire results from two ideological assumptions: that somehow the poor are authentic in a way that other social strata are not; and that prosperity, at least in our society, is something to be ashamed of, the product of social injustice or exploitation.

Seems somewhat relevant.

Dr Cromarty

and that prosperity, at least in our society, is something to be ashamed of, the product of social injustice or exploitation.

He doesn't seem that ashamed of earning vast amount of cash from his stencilling etc. good on him. At least he's not panhandling like many 'artists'

R. Sherman

This common desire results from two ideological assumptions: that somehow the poor are authentic in a way that other social strata are not . . .

A "modern" take on "The Noble Savage," I guess.

Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK

One of my bf's roommates or housemates was an "artist." Had a "studio" and everything. He tacked up 31 photos of himself, naked and depressed, and called it some pretentious name in French, that roughly translated to, "Here are 31 photos of me naked and depressed. I'm artistic."

R. Sherman

@Q&J,etc.

I noted your comment above about catching roommate "violating your space." I had a similar issue. It was solved by the use of lighted bottle rockets under the offending party's bedroom door late one night while he was "entertaining" a guest.

Suffice it to say, we achieved peace in our time.

Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK

Bottle rockets!!! If only I'd thought of that....

R. Sherman

@Q&J, etc.

War is hell.

james

It's not so much her hair, David: it's that Guardian look of smugness with certainty, even fanaticism. Compare, for example, Seamus Milne with columnists on other news outlets

Among my idle but recurring thoughts is this: do I find the pictures of Guardian columnists, and their fellow travellers in other papers, irritating in their own right? Or is it because I invariably disagree with what they say and find it difficult even to respect their views?

Paul Nottingham

You don’t often hear such people clamouring to squat a rundown terraced house in the less glamorous parts of, say, Burnley or Gainsborough

I challenge you to name a glamorous part of Gainsborough, David.

Although having said that, at least it isn't Ironville or Misterton.

Paul Nottingham

Miners in Islington?

Yes, gay ones of course. Or preferably transsexual and Latino.

abacab

"I challenge you to name a glamorous part of Gainsborough, David."

"Glamorous" is a relative term.......

carbon based lifeform

specifically, an “Islington house furnished from skips”

It had to be Islington, didn't it? :-)

sackcloth and ashes

'Miners in Islington?'

Well who's going to check their NUM membership in a squat?

I can see what's happening. It's the 1980s, you're in London, you've got a blue-collar background, and you fancy a free roof over your head, a few free meals, and maybe the chance to bang Jemima the Rah Rebel. So what do you say?

----

'Well, Pet, I've been down pit since I was sixteen, like. And then that Thatcher wants to put me on street. And when we all protest they send Met Police in to beat shit out of us. I swear they was actually soldiers in coppers' uniforms. Worra mess like. Fascist brutality in the coalfields. Did I tell that our da fought in International Brigades?'

'Sorry, darling, what were they?'

'Were the lads who went to Spain to fight Franco'.

'Franco? The gardener at daddy's villa?'

'No love. General Franco, the fascist dictator of Spain'.

'Oh you poor man ...'

-----

Just like that guy in the pub who tries to claim he was in the SAS? Except in this case, the victims of the con deserved to be fooled ...

Jimmy

Time to wash up a bowl of Weetabix immediately after consumption of said Weetabix: 15 secs, max.
Time to wash up a bowl of Weetabix after it's been left for a week and said Weetabix residue has turned rock hard: 5 mins, or more...

Ah yes, that person. Further to the weetbix, steel pots of macaroni and cheese (eaten straight from the pot, of course) with the melted cheese residue left to sit for a couple of days. Makes the rock hard weetbix seem a breeze in comparison.

David Gillies

I have a lovely idea for a reality TV show. We wait until Rhiannon Lucy Coslett goes on holiday then pick the lock on her front door and install a bunch of actors dressed as skiving wasters (aka "artistic types"). Then we film her reaction when she returns. I bet it would be priceless.

antiquarian

Just by the way, Mr. T, you just got a shout-out by Conservative Mutant over on Megan McArdle's blog:

http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-06-10/paying-student-loans-is-hard-do-it-anyway-#comment-2072723190

Darleen

My hubby Eric's story ... 2-bedroom apartment off-campus with fellow student. Eric comes home one afternoon, goes to room, stretches out on bed ready to study and notices an odd beam of light shining on the wall just over his bed -- follows it to his bedroom wall where the livingroom is on the other side ... nice round hole that hadn't been there that morning.

Talks to roommate who confesses to being bored and decided to shoot his handgun a few times to liven things up.

Eric moved out within a couple of hours.

Hal

Talks to roommate who confesses to being bored and decided to shoot his handgun a few times to liven things up.

Yeah, Right.

And next you're going to tell us that the landlady was named Hudson, and that fellow's next roommate was an Afghan war veteran?

DensityDuck

"Maybe I just have an unusual body shape, but I’ve never been able to maintain a tucked-in shirt for more than an hour at a time."

translation: potbelly from a diet of chips, cheap beer, and video games, and no exercise (or physical activity, really) beyond walking from apartment to bus stop to classroom.

"the presence/absence of “please” and “thank you”...I think that’s a terribly inaccurate test that will give many false positives on people who are quiet or shy."

translation: I'm well aware of the fact that I can't do much, and I get terribly embarrassed in the presence of people who can, and since I spend most of my time on Facebook and Twitter I have very little ability to converse with another actual person so I mostly just look at my shoes and mumble until they go away.

David

Just by the way, Mr. T,

I did consider posting something on Mr Siegel’s New York Times article. It seemed a solid example of the kind of cultivated self-flattery we’ve often discussed. Basically, it’s a thin, unconvincing rationalisation of selfishness – which is then paraded as radical virtue. Mr Siegel refuses to see his own choices as an example of “reckless borrowing,” and he disregards any notion of supply and demand, despite his would-be role as Artistic Person And Bringer Of Light™ being so massively, and obviously, oversupplied. It’s hard to feel much sympathy for someone who believes that paying his debts as agreed, as millions of others do, would entail wasting his life, due to his enormously artistic “usefulness to society,” i.e., his self-imagined talent as a profound and insightful writer.

A claim somewhat undermined by the clueless, narcissistic ramble in question.

David

And speaking of the arrogance and unrealism of literary types, here’s another example. Alex Tabarrok tries to shoehorn basic economics into the mind of Ursula K Le Guin:

Does anyone doubt that it is easier to buy a niche book today than it ever has been in the entire history of the world? Indeed, does anyone doubt that it is easier to buy an Ursula K Le Guin book today than it ever has been in the entire history of the world?

Via Ace.

David

Re Mr Siegel and his self-righteous freeloading, Kevin Williamson has more:

The justifications are piled high: He comes from a modest background and finds it unfair that other people have had advantages denied him. He declares it “absurd” — making no case, only the declaration — that he could “amass crippling debt as a result, not of drug addiction or reckless borrowing and spending, but of going to college.” Never mind that his borrowing and spending was, in fact, reckless, and that an Ivy League degree or three is every much an item of conspicuous consumption and a status symbol as a Lamborghini.

To default on a loan because you do not wish to pay it back is theft, in this case theft from all of us, since the federal government is on the hook for the loans in question… We hear variations on Siegel’s argument that education is a social good, that we should be glad to have spent whatever sum we spent in order to avail ourselves of his “particular usefulness to society.” This is an example of the special-snowflake philosophy of social organisation: Yes, your feminist slam-poetry collective is very, very impressive — but even T. S. Eliot went to the office six days a week when literary life wasn’t paying the bills.

The shorter Mr Siegel would be “Fuck you, taxpayers. I’m an artist and intellectual.” But that wouldn’t present him in the all-important and very much expected Heroic Victim Light.

Tim Newman

O/T but I see our Penny has been quoted here in an article which I cannot for the life of me think WTF has to do with her. I suspect that Penny, as a darling of the type of middle class lefties that run the BBC, have her Twitter feed open 24/7 ready to gush their approval.

Theophrastus

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jun/11/british-national-bird-robin-murderous-bully

And in other news, Philip Hoare in The Guardian wants you to know that he regards Britain's 'national bird' as a murderous bully. The inventive self-hatred of the Guardianistas, with their inverted snobbery and sneering, is a wondrous thing to behold. I am only surprised the article didn't include a graphic saying 'Robins - not in my name!' and some reference to Iraq.

b moe

Communal living in my American college town has been eliminated by Progressive city planners zoning out multi-family occupation of all but expensive new student apartment buildings paid for by student loans.

the gold digger

Readers who as students shared a house and cleaning duties, in theory at least, will no doubt testify to the practicality of this approach and the lofty hygiene standards that invariably resulted

I shared a house with three guys for a summer. They weren't keen on washing the dishes and they always took the drain trap out of the sink before doing anything because otherwise, food would get caught in it.

I am so glad I left before the plumber had to be called.

Chris N

Me and Starchild Are currently living under a warlord-owned Wind Farm, indentifying and collecting each thwacked bird species before we eat it.

Rasta Dale never fixes the community tractor, and now motor oil is rationed by the warlords.

Whatever.

mojo

But we will press on relentlessly! At least until the People's truck runs out of the People's gas.

Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK

Uh oh, David, crazy Guardianista: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jun/09/politically-correct-jerry-seinfeld-comedy-marginalised-voices

David

Uh oh, David, crazy Guardianista

Ah, Lindy West, “whose work focuses on pop culture, social justice, humour and body image.”

She’s the obnoxious, overweight nag whose girth is such she struggled to squeeze into her seat on a plane and needlessly picked a fight with a male passenger, and who then found it amusing to deliberately knock him with her luggage as he tried to sleep. And who then wondered why “nobody wants to sit next to a fat person on a plane.” When not writing for the Guardian or testing the endurance of plane seats and fellow passengers, she makes videos of herself eating biscuits and junk food.

Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK

Good gad, she sounds like a LOVELY person. No wonder she don't get teh funny.

Jimmy

Oh lord, that biscuit video...

At one point she's just resting parts of herself on the tablet top.

james

She’s the obnoxious, overweight nag whose girth is such she struggled to squeeze into her seat on a plane

I followed your link, skimmed the article, and started reading the comments...

It is like a distillation of the Guardian.

It is as if someone is handing out gold stars for being wilfully stupid while affecting victimhood.

I was only going to have a couple of glasses of whiskey, but I am feeling the urge to pour an extra large one ...

Joan

Too selfish to live like hippies?

https://twitter.com/scottbix/status/612964678755569664

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