Fire Miriam Datskovsky, worst sex columnist... EVER

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Bwog Links to Us...

The university system as we know it totally collapses.

Seriously, though, the Bwog posted an item about us around 10 PM. At this time, there are 48 comments, which is a lot. We feel as though we need to clarify some stuff:

1) We do not know Miriam. She may be a saint in real life, but that doesn't matter. We attack the persona she creates in her articles and the content of those articles. We don't do ad hominem attacks. This is an ad hominem attack:
"Captain Subtext has an ugly face and is stupid."
Note that we have never said anything like it. Miriam has a right to write her column. We have a right to make fun of it, and perhaps offer some of our own opinions on her topics. People on Bwog have a right to say FM (Fire Miriam) is mean. Ok, so once in awhile we might accidentally call her an idiot. But we're only talking about her column. We don't hate anyone. FM is all about the love.

2) It's not fair to call this site a "hatchet job." If anyone actually read through this site (and we don't blame you if you don't. It's way too long.), you would actually see that we try to be fair and give credit where credit is due. We think Miriam is a bad writer. Our goal is to prove it, using only the content of her articles and our razor sharp wits. We don't want to cut down Miriam. If we see other bad sex advice, we'll cut that down too. This isn't really about Miriam. It's about sex. Fire Miriam is just a cute name that people could remember. She's also the only person for whom we have access to her archives, so we naturally focus on her.

3) We have nothing to do with Chris Kulawik. I don't know how half of the comments ended up about him. We only have time for one genre of critique, and it's sex.

4) Somebody commented "Why do you care so much?" on an earlier post. We feel strongly about sex and sex advice. We might be overly thorough in our critiques but it's only because we care. By and large, we feel that American attitudes towards sex are unhealthy, and Miriam, at the very best, does nothing to improve or change those attitudes. Sure, she writes about a lot of things, but that doesn't make her a good sex columnist. Maybe it's not her fault. Maybe it's the Ivy League.

5) It seems that there is a specific commenter who is not happy with the way that we or the Bwog have not acknowledged the existence of people who support Miriam. We would like to point out that this site has acknowledged a post by and even linked to said post in an earlier writing. So, we clearly do acknowledge that there are people out there who (for one reason or another) do like Miriam's column. We aren't sure why, but you have a right to your opinion.

In the spirit of open and honest discussion, we have done some further research (read: cursory searches on The Google) and here are two articles which praise Miriam's efforts - The Vagina Dialogues and The Gothamist. As far as we can tell these are the only two "legitimate" sources which have written about Miriam. There are some blogs which have posted some nice things about her, but it seems that they are from personal friends or people she met while interviewing (i.e. Lusty Lady) for "The Vagina Dialogues." The Gothamist, as some of you may know, is a blog as well, but given its reputation we are willing to concede it as a source more reputable than FM. (Though we challenge anyone to be as thorough as we are in the actual reading of Miriam's columns.)

To get the discussion started, we would like to point out that the New York Magazine article does not explicitly say that Miriam is a good writer. In fact, while it acknowledges Miriam's intelligence, it quickly states that "sex columns aren't always about about great sex or great writing." FM is fully willing to concede this point. Miriam may well be intelligent but her knowledge about sex and her writing definitely put "Sexplorations" in the category of sex columns that are not about great sex or great writing.

6) Is this a groundswell of support? Maybe, maybe not. But if we were Miriam, we might say something like this:

Many of my friends have told me that they think Miriam is a terrible writer. My guy friends agree she doesn't know anything about men. One girl I know even called her "an affront to sexually active adults." Does this mean a lot of people hate her column? How could we ever know for sure? Does it always have to be so awkward? What does it all mean, really? Why do people write blogs like this? Do they have too much time on their hands?

Of course we do. Heck, we don't know for sure that anyone but us hates her writing. Maybe we are the only people who hate it so vehemently. But I doubt it. This blog started because some people thought that Miriam and the Spectator were doing a disservice to the Columbia community, and that we needed to at least try to provide some sort of counterpoint. We obviously couldn't write it in the Spec, so we started a blog. We just want people to have a few laughs and maybe look at the sex advice they get in a different way. Is that so bad?

-MM + CS


  • "which have wrote about Miriam"

    that's some pretty good writing yourself

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:35 AM  

  • It's a blog! We post quickly and do our best to proofread. Miriam has two weeks between articles and writes for a newspaper. I think there are different standards, though we have taken steps to fix the mistake you pointed out. Thanks. Visit often.

    By Blogger Captain Subtext, at 8:54 AM  

  • Holy shit, this is so much more entertaining than the sex column (or anti-sex column, where spanking = bdsm and your "hotter" friends turn into cock-blocking enemies the minute some guy you drunkenly chat-up loses interest).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:17 AM  

  • I have never read Miriam's columns. I just discovered your blog today. It is amazing and sharp-witted, leaving me almost wishing that Miriam wrote more frequently so that you could dissect her horrible columns more often. And also, way to try to break down gender stereotypes and sexual myths as you plod along. I'm addicted.

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