Category: idiocracy

Paula’s Choice

There’s been a spate of PC stuff on MUA of late. There is some suspicion that this is a foray by said company into Social Media for the purposes of drumming up Word On The Street, Buzz, and eventually sales. Whether by company employees, or by loyal fans, or by paid social media professionals, or out of work actors. This is not a new or unusual marketeering tactic.

I’m neutral on much of this. I first bought Paula’s Choice products over a decade ago, at which time they were a godsend because it was hard to find cruelty-free fragrance-free basic bland functional skin stuff in the USA. (Being where I was at the time.) They kept costs down by being online-only, saving on storefront and staffing costs, and indeed loss of profits if selling through distributors in other shops. Their customer service was impeccable. They gave away decent-sized samples with every order, which you could choose; and they also sold sample-to-travel sizes of products; both of which allowed to you try stuff out before committing to full sizes. Otherwise I was stuck with importing stuff whenever back in Europe. And with what little I could find in drugstores, health-food stores, etc. that was appropriate to my skin. Then PC changed and got all fancy.   Continue reading

“The Whole Foods Banned Ingredient List is Wholly Flawed”

From Chemists’ Corner (2013-12-04) c/o “Beauty science news of the week,” The Beauty Brains (2013-12-15). Just looking at betaines, but that’s already an impressive start. The rest of the list: Whole Foods Market – Quality Standards: Unacceptable Ingredients to Premium Body Care (2013-09-30).

Your truly indulged herself in some previous griping regarding an earlier list: “Whole Foods and green-washing” (2011-08-23). And then there was “F-” (2013-04-02). She’s had plenty occasion to grumble about the place. But still shops there, as W(t)F sells some useful basics that would cost more and be less eco-friendly to order online from across the border. And they have some nice people working there (also some dangerous nutters, but that’s an anthology’s-worth of Whole other stories), and seem to provide a pleasant safe employment-haven for the hipper end of the social Spectrum Organics™.

Foal Hoods

Foal Hoods

the gift that keeps on giving


No further comment, and I did not comment or otherwise contribute to the discussion below. It was clearly a lost cause, insofar as the serious material content was concerned. The non-serious teeters on an uncomfortable edge, given the limitations of the principal troll here. Screenshots aren’t linked to anything, just the images. Those who recognize the format (and perhaps, indeed, pseudonyms) will know where this came from. Others should be able to figure it out for themselves from previous posts.

From a week ago: to allow some critical distance. Main reasons for posting:
1. Trollwatch
2. Observation of assorted trolling styles
3. A nice example of the limits of reasoning, that is, when confronted with human limitations / limited humans
4. Open question: what are the limits to tolerance, and to suffering fools?
5. And another one: humour’s limits?

Where do you draw the line, when dealing with someone who says things that are foolish and ignorant (who knows, the person saying them may be a troll, and not in fact an ignorant fool), but who also expresses paranoia? Convinced about conspiracy theories. Cultish. Led by blind belief (not reason, or intuition, or other forms of active thought).
Bearing in mind at the same time
(a) that these words may be by a troll, who has created an online fiction;
(b) and that this is an individual who sells her own beauty products, regularly shills, does not accept or comprehend that this is against the rules on this particular online forum, and therefore: is a troll;
Bearing these two other factors in mind: this persona’s utterances could be sincere simplicity. Genuine. Honest. And just plain stupid. Yes, a fact’s a fact: people’s brains vary, as do their levels of assorted kinds and expressions of intelligence. Some people are stupid. Some people might not be stupid, but they say stupid things from time to time. Some people say stupid things all the time. Some people say stuff when Under The Influence that they wouldn’t usually say; IQ and reactions are impeded by alcohol–on the other hand, in vino veritas. And some people, regardless of their smartness, lack emotional and / or social intelligence.
There could also be mental health and well-being issues (given the paranoia).
Whatever is going on here, or whatever combination of factors: as my granny always said, “One should not mock the afflicted.”

(All those things having been said: sometimes things are also still funny. That’s another of these things some of like to think of as and call “facts”: in this case, a fact about what makes people laugh, and why, and how, and what’s going on in and behind that reaction of laughing.)

Questions 4 and 5 and that last paragraph were basically why I didn’t comment. As my only comments would have been these, meta-comments, and thus technically “off topic” according to this discussion forum’s rules. Therefore: not to be posted there. I like rules, especially sensible ones and ones that are good for people; that help and protect and nurture and benefit them. That includes shutting people like me up when they need to be shut up: it’s good for me.

Oops, famous last words, once again, on “no comment.” Following on from that last comment on my shutting up: over and out from me.




And lo: as ever, as soon as I take screenshots, everything changes. And then I have to take screenshots all over again. The life of an archivist is not an easy one. I had a meander back, thinking to myself that this might be the sort of thread that got a bit over-excited and exciting, and might be worth following. In the squeamish surreptitious way one discreetly follows reality T.V., and hates oneself for doing so.

In this third and I hope final part: twists in the tale, blurrings of the border between fiction and reality, and then bam: the whole discussion-thread was Disappeared, some point before 11:00 a.m. Pacific Coast time. Given that I’ve been all prim and proper and discreet about not naming sources or linking to URLs, and have cropped screenshots, you may well be wondering: did she make it all up?

I wonder much the same thing myself, about much that is on the discussion forum in question. I often feel like I’ve walked into a parallel universe or a fictional world, over there.

Add to that the fact that fact is stranger than fiction. You couldn’t make this up. I couldn’t, anyway: which might answer anyone wondering if I did. Sorry, I didn’t: I’m just not that good a writer.

Life’s too short. Other better more useful stuff to do. Reconciliation to get on with and suchlike.

FFS: first world effing problems online.

On the other hand, part of truth and reconciliation is that truth part: ensuring that all stories are told, from all points of view, by all concerned. Recorded and preserved. That history be properly written, as histories: plural. Not as one single history, that is, the story of the victor. And stories may each have elements of truth, or they may all be true, even if contradictory. That’s a human fact, and very human, and marvellous. Often also a marvel.

In this case, the “true history” of the victor, the powers behind this discussion forum? Erasure. Didn’t happen.

UPDATE: famous last words again… I have censored out parts of some screenshots, further to a request to do so, as they are now the subject of moderator / administration action against the party/ies concerned. This is in deference to nice people. And I don’t mind, as the bits whited out weren’t really germane to the main argument. If anything, they were irrelevant tangents to the main points of discussion and Points To Ponder: trolling, tolerance, and the limits to them and to online discussion.

That grand finale:


news about a circle of hell

Well, it looks like BeautyBash (or, the BB board) is no more. Bloody marvellous. I found out about it when I had a look at the Praise of Folly stats, as one does from time to time. I was pleased to see that one post I quite liked was doing well, and surprised to see another one was too. Turns out this was thanks to a MUAer over on the Café board! Thanks to them, I found out the good news. Massive happiness. Especially if this ending to that kind of unpleasant bashing is a final one. Makes the world a better place.

Welcome, also, to MakeupAlley visitors who have come here ten days or so after this post first appeared, via on the Hair Board. Hello there!

So here’s what happened… What follows is in the form of screenshots with no blacking-out of names, because
(1) as far as I can tell, there’s nothing here that constitutes private information (had there been, I would have edited the images to black them out):
(2) it is 2013 and I’m assuming no-one is so stupid as to have used their real name as their online handle, or to have associated identifying information with their account, or otherwise included private details in a public place;
(3) if any of these people are actual trolls, and worse still if they turn out to be renegade beautybashers, the raw screenshots are potentially useful archived evidence…

… Anyway, back to caffeinated delights:

Screen Shot 2013-08-06 at 2.04.57 PM

RIP educational standards in the general population (these are tech-competent people, and at least one is in the sort of job that involves having at least one intern) if that sort of rapidly-considered, -researched, and -written commentary really honestly seriously looks like “a research paper.” Kudos if it doesn’t: if that’s the case, this is one of the finest bits of tongue-in-cheek I’ve seen from an American.

But whtv, either which way, overall response is LOL. And happiness because this was what led me to The Good News!!!

What happened next: Continue reading

in other online-abuse news (updated somewhat later on Monday)

(Ed. and then updated some more…  and a MORAL OF THE STORY added on Tuesday. The original version of this was <200 words’ worth of links. Sorry: I blame the pernicious influence of penis-enhancement spam. Subtle. Subliminal. Sublimated into words, given my unfortunate lack of male genitalia.)

In this case, serious trolling. (All references are to English law. But might be food for thought for other jurisdictions…)

The psychology behind this disturbing — and, it seems, escalating — phenomenon can be found in the term ‘troll’ itself, which is thought to derive from a fishing technique of slowly dragging a baited hook from a moving boat.

‘Trolls’ post inflammatory remarks on the internet (the metaphorical ‘bait’) to illicit a response from those they have abused (the metaphorical ‘fish’). They do it for the ‘LULZ’, or laughs, a variation of LOL (Laugh Out Loud).

In other words, their sociopathic behaviour is as much about manipulation and control as causing offence and distress. [...]

It is an offence under Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 punishable by up to six months in prison to send an electronic message that is ‘grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene, or menacing character’.

Even though more than 3,000 people have been prosecuted over the past two years or so, the statistics cover all forms of electronic communication, including phone calls.

In reality, there have been few prosecutions for actual internet trolling. [...]

Last Friday, at the height of the Twitter storm, Miss Caroline Criado-Perez went on the offensive herself. ‘Friendly reminder to sexist men of Twitter  . . . rogering of women online is taken as a threat by police,’ she tweeted. [...]

That was from The Daily Mail. I know: from them? You know things are getting serious if the DM is getting serious.

And Jane Austen is serious business. Continue reading

the return of the lady of shalott

ginger, shallot, and knife

ginger + shallot + knife (1)
= ???…
(It’s OK: this is only the first of a [ed. METAPHORICAL / FIGURATIVE / ANALOGICAL] sequence, the rest of which offer some solutions. Please note that this parenthetical note does not give away the plot or ruin the dramatic tension. Promise.)

Remember this?

Well, we’re back!

Back with a difference.

No more service.

Tolerance and patience have reached their limits.

[Ed. Now updated with notes indicating which parts of what follows are METAPHORICAL. The reason for this is that there have been misreadings, elsewhere; while bad reading is to blame, I must also blame my own bad writing. Even though it's in the nature of the figurative to be opaque and ambiguous, I must take my share of the fault here, as Chief Fool of my own blog.

Also, as this post is about vice. And an important first step in dealing with one's own sins is to look clearly, and to acknowledge them. I try to remember this:

He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”
(John 8:7)

The good reader will too.]

As have time and energy: hell, I have other things to do, and other ways to spend leisure time. Like what, say you? (Cheeky monkey.) Like digressing in a leisurely way, says I; which as we’ve seen previously is a crucial leisure activity. Like writing about having other things to do. At great and tedious length. See this here post? That’s over 3,500 words’ worth of digressionary idle chatter: I admit that at least half of that is mine, and I also admit that it’s a far cry from Wordsworth. Now, wouldn’t it be bloody brilliant if we all (myself included, and first and foremost) put that much time and effort and dedication into writing novels and poetry and political rants and generally Using The Pen To Benefit Humankind And For The Greater Good Of The Entire World, Universe, And Anything Else There Might Be And Mayhap Might Come To Be, Potentially, In All Eternity And In Every Dimension / Possible World / Et Caetera Ad Infinitum Et Ultra?

Hence why, if writing anything more than 500 words long, it must include at least a Moral Of The Story (or two, or more; such things usually go in multiples), if not a full-on rant for at least a paragraph. I think I’ve obeyed that rule so far; will try my best to follow it henceforth. That compromise is the best I can do. After all, retrospection is all too easy: it makes one want to punch both one’s own past-self and one’s future-self, simultaneously and at once, and irrespective/disrespectful of not disrupting the time-space continuum. And legislation cannot, in a proper good fair just system, be retroactive. That might also be for good sound space-time-continuum-preserving sci-fi reasons too.

Anyway. That’s at least one digression out the way. Onwards and upwards and back on-track:

Yes, it’s nice to be great and good and know stuff. To be Richesce personnified. And it’s nice to then do something about it and incarnate that greatest of Medieval virtues, Largesce. But remember, remember: Continue reading

some recent MUA reading (part III)

Quack, quack, quackery: see Dr Goldacre for further details

Quack, quack, quackery: see Dr Goldacre for further details

Ah, that fateful combination: MUA and MUAers. Another one: money, lack of sense, and charlatans. And another: money, ignorance (possibly combined with laziness and/or stupidity), and credulence (and, again, smart savvy charlatans).


So here’s a third one in the series of failures to (a) read, (b) reason, (c) get the point. And nth in a row of Ginger failures. I should start adding “pls read” before the “ROP++” in subject-lines.

And no, I refuse to stop thinking, speaking, and writing in blocks of less than 500 words, let alone full paragraphs or complete sentences.

Which may well, of course, mean that the pattern continues and the aforementioned “n” continues to be a very large number.

Continue reading