7 things at 11 o’clock (6.25)

1. Darrel Dow shares a “Pre-Courtship Questionnaire” he says was “received from a church in fundy circles.” It lists 423 questions.

Part of me thinks this must be some kind of parody, but then I don’t think someone writing a parody would have the obsessive determination to just go on and on and on and on and on with the joke like this. The sheer amount of work it took to create this much of whatever-this-is suggests it’s genuine. Genuinely what I can’t fully say.

2. Gene Robinson on how, again, sometimes the biggest news is that what used to be big news is no longer big news.

3. Here’s a Greenwald article on how Big Data is creating “a groundswell of social good.” That’s Ted Greenwald, not the other one. It’s an interesting look at Rayid Ghani’s ideas for how to harness big data for collaboration and hopey change-y goodness.

4. Richard Beck writes about memory and old-time gospel hymns, including “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.”

Here’s the greatest version of that song ever recorded, a duet between Robert Mitchum and Lillian Gish. “It’s a hard world for little things.”

I’d bet the Coen brothers had that scene in mind when they decided to use Iris Dement’s terrific version of the song in True Grit.

5. “A place that’s far, so far away.” The song. The person who inspired it. (via) Rockville is in that radio deadzone between Philly and D.C., so I always wind up with this song stuck in my head when I’m driving that way on I-95.

6. Congratulations to New Civil Rights Movement founder David Badash and Caleb Eigsti.

7. “Well, I’m at home at about 12 – I’d say about 11:30, almost 12 o’clock at night. And I’m hunkered down in my bed with my husband, very pregnant, and we got a call from a dear friend of mine and producer named Jack Nitzsche. Jack Nitzsche called and said you know, Merry, are you busy? I said No, I’m in bed. he says, well, you know, There are some guys in town from England. And they need someone to come and sing a duet with them, but I can’t get anybody to do it. Could you come?”


"Prions are where it's at with those folks. Or spirochetes."

LBCF, No. 190: ‘Something happens’
"Remember Fritters, Alabama?https://www.gocomics.com/do..."

LBCF, No. 190: ‘Something happens’
"I assume you meant 'the latter "former"'?"

LBCF, No. 190: ‘Something happens’
"I don't think he would. He's already given up chance after chance of actually improving ..."

LBCF, No. 190: ‘Something happens’

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Alix

    I have a few floofy floaty ones that don’t, but I consider those an excuse to rock a cool handbag. :P

  • Wallace and Gromit – The Unacceptable Trousers!

  • aunursa

    I appreciate detailed pre-engagement and/or pre-marriage questionnaires that require the couple to discuss issues that will affect their married life.

    A pre-courtship questionnaire? No.

  • Veylon

    Remember: neither Jesus nor his disciples ever wore pants. Feel free to bring this up when the notion of Conservative Dress rears it’s ugly head. Demand to know who had the authority to impose Pagan pants on god-fearing Christians.

  • My suspicion is that it’s Orwellian for “What is your attitude toward believing us when we say X has always been the church’s beliefs regarding X?”

  • snowmentality

    To help with the “way too long” part of that, I recommend this method of hemming: http://www.daciaray.com/?p=38 It leaves the original hem in place, which matters for jeans.

  • Alix

    Dunno why you got downvoted, but I find your first sentence a little invisibling/dismissive. :/

    Please note the “little” – I realize you’re talking about your own personal experience. But, I dunno, I hear from too many largely well-meaning people that my dislike of pants is a sign of immaturity, antifeminist, whatever. But something about the phrasing … I dunno. :/ Brings all that to mind, I guess.

  • Alix

    I knew one person who would go on and on about how pants were unbiblical clothes adopted from pagans (and therefore demon-possessed) when women wore them, but if men wore anything other than pants, those clothes were, you guessed it, demon-possessed. And probably pagan too.

    He never did quite catch on to why we all thought he was full of shit.

  • Must keep this in mind. I’m terrible at sewing.

  • Lori

    What is she looking for style-wise? Plenty of the catalog companies have skirts with pockets.

  • Victor

    “Well, I’m at home at about 12 – I’d say about 11:30, almost 12 o’clock at night. And I’m hunkered down in my bed with my husband, very pregnant, and………

    END YA SAY sinner vic?

    Victor! Victor! Victor! Why don’t YA mind your own business cause YA don’t even know what’s UP or DOWN these days now. Fred is the “ONE” who said those words above and remember he’s a god just like U>S and besides, “IT” is his blog now!

    Listen Fred you’ve got to help U>S alien gods out a little now! Please don’t go around teasing Victor’s so called “ONE” per sent age retardo soul who keeps saying that this quiet “ONE” per sent age so called “Jesus” is for real now. Come on Fred, meet U>S (usual sinners) good or bad, “I” mean right or wrong, no, no, “I” mean more or less if YA get my drift NOW? Long story short Fred, YA just can’t go around and around with our triniy within your old praying chapel, “I” mean your old blogs trying to impress She Guys, no, no, “I” mean Shay Guy. Otherwise, we gods will need to create our own so called “Questionaires” and longer story short, YA know as well as “ME”, “ME” and “ME” that these pup pets, “I” mean animals, no, no, “I” mean humans will lose in the long run cause this “Jesus” at best was just a nice guy and……

    END YA SAY sinner vic?

    STOP “IT” VICTOR! Don’t be like that! BE NICE NOW! Don’t him bare ass, “I” mean embarass U>S this WAY cause YA don’t have much time left Victor. Don’t YA want a free ride in our spaceship now? If so, tell that “ONE” per sent age little retardo soul of YA’s to just mind your own business and leave Fred alone while he deals in his own ways with this “female-bodied but not female-gendered” so called problem, “I” mean con cern,,,,,no, no “I” mean “Concern” now and……

    END YA SAY AGAIN sinner vic?


    Go finger, “I” mean figure people now!? :)


  • Michael Pullmann

    I would like to subscribe to this sect’s newsletter.

  • Maybe the kids should fill out an MMPI and a PSAT exam while they’re at it. May as well be thorough.

  • Lori

    They are basically getting engaged though, so I don’t think that’s really the issue with this thing. Strictly speaking, neither is the fact that many of the questions presuppose ideas that I think are wrong and/or repulsive since the people taking it don’t feel that way.

    I think the main problem with this is that there are so many questions that have obvious “right” answers and are therefore a test of conformity rather than a prompt for meaningful discussion. Marrying someone based on their ability to say what they know TPTB want to hear isn’t much different than marrying someone after a 1st date when all you’ve seen of them is their “best foot forward” behavior. It might work out great, but the odds don’t favor it.

  • Er, the reason I phrased it that way is that I went through a stage as a child in which I refused to wear pants. I would only wear skirts and dresses. So, I know a woman who went through a stage of hating pants when she was a girl, but I’ve never known any grown woman (until you) to dislike pants. It has nothing to do with maturity level, just what I’ve seen in my life. So I figured, maybe so many men dislike pants because they squish their bits.

    And oh god the women who scream at other women for liking dresses/makeup/jewelry/the color pink — ARGH. That’s a rage button for me.

  • Alix

    Yeah. Honestly, it didn’t bother me that much, ’cause, y’know, you’re talking about your personal experience. But when you brought up the downvoting (randomly: it’d be really nice if people explained why they downvote!) … I dunno, I felt I ought to bring it up. :/ Sorry. >.<

  • I’ve known women who’ve had fast and easy labors, and women who’ve had the opposite. Personally, there’s no way I’d go through it without an epidural, but as there’s no way I’d go through it period barring divine intervention, that’s sort of a moot point.

  • Michael Cule

    Ye gods and little fishes! If you know all that about a person before you marry them what is there going to be left to find out after the ceremony?

  • Alix

    I get that, but I guess to me the timing still seems off? To my understanding, courting is essentially replacing dating*, so it’s not like these couples have gotten to know each other organically before; this is at or near the start of the relationship. That … concerns me, for reasons I can’t quite articulate.

    *I may be wrong on this. I was fortunate enough to never end up in that subculture myself, only puttering along on the fringes.

  • JustoneK

    Actual compatibility.

  • I brought up the downvoting because — and I might be seeing a pattern where there isn’t any — I seem to have someone randomly downvoting some of my comments anywhere disquis is used based on nothing in particular. People can say exactly the same things I’m saying, but I’ll get a downvote, for instance. Or I’ll get a downvote for wishing someone happy birthday. Like, every 7th (number pulled out of my ass) comment or so.

    Or maybe I’m just more annoying than other people, I dunno.

  • Not to defend that silly questionnaire, but why does there need to be anything to be found out?

  • Alix

    My sis had an eleven-minute labor. The family hadn’t even managed to all gather at the hospital before Advent of Baby.

    We were actually really relieved, ’cause we expected complications. She’s a small, narrow-hipped woman, and my nephew was pretty substantial.

    We still tease her about it, ’cause that’s how we roll.

  • Alix

    …That is really weird.

    At least I can rest easy, knowing any downvotes I get are almost certainly someone disagreeing with me or taking my comments too literally.

    …You got downvoted for wishing someone a happy birthday? Seriously? That is bizarre.

  • themunck

    My best guess that you’ve upset someone petty. You do tend to be pretty aggressive when people hold horrid viewpoints (for good reason, I suppose), or at least more willing to show your anger. So yeah, probably just some arsehole feeling hurt and being petty.
    …fun fact, my browser wanted to correct the word “arsehole”…into “hoarse”.

  • JustoneK

    From what I know (and I was given the I Kissed Dating Goodbye book ages ago, and I did read it) it replaces it for sorta-mainstream fundies who don’t want to give up their normalcy. So that courting is a lot like dating, but more structured Christianesque and less “take person and go do food/entertainment/sexinz” which has a certain appeal to me for interpersonal relationship building. I do think modern dating could stand more structure and finding somedangthing in common with prospective partners instead of roulette.

  • Lori

    It’s not so much replacing dating as it is skipping it. This questionnaire would be given very near the start of the relationship, but even then the relationship would be seen as having a predetermined ending. For this subculture the ideal is that one never dates and “courts” only the person one goes on to marry.

    The entire “courting” culture is weird and raises all sorts of red flags and I think it’s just generally a terrible idea and not at all a reasonable response to concerns about dating. That said, within that culture this questionnaire makes perfect sense.

  • Coldwater Creek is where most of my skirts are from, but now I’m looking at their catalog and not seeing skirts with pockets. Hm. Maybe it’s fashionable now to have skirts without pockets, whereas a couple years ago, almost all skirts had pockets. Otoh, Macy’s online seems to have quite a few.

  • Lori

    I think how one sees courtship in relation to dating depends on what one thinks dating is for. If the sole purpose of dating is to find The One then one is basically a replacement for the other. If one sees dating as being at least partially about getting to know oneself and other people, having new experiences and/or getting laid then they don’t have much to do with each other.

  • JustoneK

    I concur. And there should be hella more leeway for differing goals.

  • Lori

    That is probably the classic problem of dating and if I knew how to solve it I’d be hella rich.

  • Alix

    And oh god the women who scream at other women for liking dresses/makeup/jewelry/the color pink — ARGH. That’s a rage button for me.

    (Sorry, just noticed this.) Oh yeah, me too.

    What makes me just as ragey is the thing I hear a lot, that because I like those things I must really truly be female after all. Because everyone knows gender’s what you look like on the outside! GRR.

    To a surprisingly large amount of people, I don’t “count” as genderqueer unless I wear nothing but “masculine” clothes, and even then I don’t “count” to a lot of people thanks to the Ginormous Boobs of Death. Which aren’t exactly things I could help…

    (aaaaand I ranted again. XD Go me.)

  • That’s my guess too, though I do think the possibility of my being paranoid and this is actually not happening is extremely high. And I’m fine with it — this is how I am, it’s how I roll, and I’m happy with that. I grew up in a household where conflicts were never allowed to be handled or discussed, everything was hidden. There were occasional huge explosions after everything built up that everyone just pretended didn’t happen. Now, I get triggered when people are all being super duper nice over important issues, especially if someone tells me that I need to be “nicer” and not just call it like I see it.

  • Alix

    You do tend to be pretty aggressive when people hold horrid viewpoints

    Yeah, but that’s part of what makes Lliira awesome.

    More seriously, I don’t understand relentlessly downvoting someone for crap like that. If nothing else, doesn’t it get tiring?

  • Alix

    especially if someone tells me that I need to be “nicer”

    Speaking of rage buttons, that’s one of mine. In a big way.

    (I seriously could’ve written that entire comment.)

  • While this is nothing like the bullshit you need to deal with, I spent the first couple years of college being constantly told by female friends that I must really be a lesbian because I was a feminist who didn’t like makeup and had lots of male friends. “But I have a boyfriend I have great sex with regularly and, oh yeah, I’m not attracted to women at all” was not an argument that they would listen to.

    I hate gender policing so much.

  • Lori

    IME, you could know the answer to every single one of these questions and still be surprised at least once a day once you start living with someone. People are complicated and also changeable.

  • Alix

    Honestly, I always find thrift stores have a lot of neat ones.

  • Cathy W

    For that matter, I could probably even hazard a guess as to “someone’s” handle.

  • Reminds me of a story that was on FB about a first grade transgender girl winning the right to use the girls’ bathroom. One of the posters said she was fine with everything else, but took offense to the fact that her hair was dyed pink. All I could think was “really? Is being outraged at something that important to you?”

  • Don’t worry, it’s not like you can win anyway. I spent most of my schooling having people assume I was gay because I hung around members of the opposite apparent sex all the time without dating any of them.

  • Some of my favorite collaborative writing took place while my SO’s character was nearing the end of her pregnancy. The words “How could you do this to me?!” were uttered at least once.

  • Alix

    My dad decided I must be lesbian because I cut my hair. :/ There’s a very good reason why I rarely associate with him. My sister got hazed for supposedly being a lesbian because she had lots of female friends – and this had the added effect of causing her to wig out when she finally realized she was bi. (The fact that so many people still use “lesbian” as a slur or method of gender policing is, of course, also hugely problematic.)

    I hate gender policing so much.

    ME TOO. I wish we’d all just get over this shit and let each other be individuals.

  • Alix


  • JustoneK

    because without easily discrete and usually visible categories we run higher risks.

  • Alix

    I am really out of it today, and for some reason I’m not following. Can you clarify?

  • JustoneK

    everyone is afraid of something or other. we identify any potential threat to what we have via categories, and overlap or spectra make this harder to pin down.
    we can’t be individuals together until we’re all safe together, rly. and you know that’s not anytime soon.

  • Lee B.

    Crap, this is like one of those tests where you didn’t study enough.

    Uh…how about, “The shifting balance of power between the Premier of the Soviet Union and the General Secretary of the Communist Party made an already-complicated organizational structure that much harder for outsiders to understand.”

    Now if I just throw in some examples I should be able to BS my way into at least a passing grade.

  • themunck

    *Coughs and light blush* After a short chat with her…apparently nothing skirt-like.

  • Arresi

    One of my relatives threw up the entire pregnancy, and her child was born a month late. By C-section, because there was not a single sign of her going into labor.