desk lunch – 2015-09-03

Brought to you this week by SEPTEMBER. 

Today’s high of 97/heat index magma suggests otherwise, but: AUTUMN. I AM READY. I await the day that leggings roam the earth again.

In the midst of friendship strife, I draw from a vocabulary underpinned by decades of loving women—decades washed in heady joy and devastation alike. I have learned to say, “She broke my heart” without pause because I no longer give credence to that diminishing phrase, “just a friend.”

Rachel Vorona Cote strikes again, too close to home in this essay that explores the lukewarm vocabulary surrounding female friendship. YMMV but this was one of those essays I saved to share here because quoting/posting on twitter was too immediate, too open to commentary from those very same friends this would describe. Here, I can pretend that’s not the case!

Anyway, I have never cared about a romantic partner with anything close to the intensity of my female friends, which is just me, which makes for an isolating kind of emotional experience in the world, and this essay captures that in a really uncanny and unsettling way. ENJOY.

Compared to crabs from a cleaner reference marsh in southern NJ, Hackensack crabs were measurably more aggressive. Poking the crabs with a stimulus and recording the outcome, Reichmuth and colleagues learned that Hackensack crabs were far more likely to attack while crabs from the reference site were more likely to retreat. These Meadowlands crabs were so aggressive that they skewed population studies; they would enter a trap and then ambush and kill other crabs who entered.
Most significantly, aggression does not imbue any survival benefit.

I tweet about this with way more delight than JSTOR has ever known. I’m from this area of north Jersey, the one with the aggressive crabs due to a history of heavy metal pollution in the ecosystem, and it delights me that everything in the Jersey marshes exists with this much pointless aggression. It’s not just everyone on the turnpike, it’s not all the commuters with hours of their lives spent going back and forth from the city, it’s the land itself, destroying you, like a land fueled by actively resentful Fisher Kings. Someone should add a blue crab with a knife to the NJ state flag.

Suddenly, the phone rings. It’s Eli!! He’s outraged!! He’s yelling on his cell phone while standing on a very busy Chicago street corner and he’s wearing a really well-tailored suit!!

Needs more Julianna Margulies and Matthew Goode, back from Downton England, flirting awkwardly through internet metaphors about cheating until they realize they don’t know anything about the internet and they should make out before it’s too late, SAYS THE GHOST OF JOSH CHARLES.

It’s fine, Ewan. IT’S FINE. Got any other devastating headcanons about your characters tucked up your sleeve??

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