Oct 24

Spinster aunt morphs into crone

Greetings, patriarchy blamers.* It’s really good to see you all again. Probably you’re wondering what the fuck, so:

MouseI’m just gonna say it: I just don’t feel like writing about prostitution, abortion, pornography, FGM, high heels, or shitbag straight dudes anymore. IBTP has been an enormously gratifying and edumuckational endeavor, but let’s face it. Patriarchy is depressing, and I’ve been stinkeye-deep in blaming it for years. It cannot have escaped your notice that I’d started repeating myself. A lot. Like, verbatim sometimes. I’d exhausted the material. Obviously it was time to move on.

I’ll be leaving IBTP up indefinitely, and may eventually even revive it, who knows. In the meantime, because art is my life, man, I gotta write something to keep my chops up, right? And what do I do all day besides shovel manure? I encounter rural situations for which I am completely unprepared, that’s what. Creepy things, disgusting things, exasperating things, hilarious things. So my comic bucolic (bucomical?) exploits will be the focus. I give you Dreadful Acres Cottonmouth County Confidential, another life-in-the-country blog. Woot.

This one won’t be too heartwarming, though. I’m still the same old cynical spinster aunt after all (although with the fifth anniversary of my residence at Dreadful Acres comes the promotion to “Crone”). It’s just that instead of cracking on Girls Gone Wild and Boobython, now I’ll be writing about the universal unspeakable horrors of nature and the psychopaths who live out here and whatnot. Also horses and dogs. I’m building a new barn, so there will probably be pictures of that. And other casual-essay-type stuff. It sounds really bad, I know, since it is nothing but personal anecdotes about non-controversial shit, but maybe there’s a chance it might not to be too excruciatingly dull.

Of course you never know.

Come what may, there will always be room for a bit of patriarchy blaming, if you wanna hang around.

The photo, by the way, is of an adorable baby mouse I found hiding under my Gator. What’s dreadful about a cute little mouse? Well, it was confused and disoriented enough that it allowed me to pick it up and move it off the driveway into some tall grass, which meant that it was probably sick. If a sick baby mouse weren’t sad enough, a couple of hours later I saw a rat snake patrolling the area, and it appeared to be sporting a baby-mouse-sized lump. And even if that particular snake-lump wasn’t the mouse in question, the feral cat living under the horse trailer is always standing by. Natural selection is a grim business.

* If you’re not a patriarchy blamer, you really should consider becoming one, because the misogynist world order is jammin you up, guaranteed. Click here for more info than you can ever use.


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  1. Pinko Punko

    Fire ants and centipedes, oh my!

  2. The Crone of Cottonmouth County

    Hey PP. Glad you could make it.

    It’s not just the insects and arthropods. It’s the redneck fence contractors and feral hogs and UFO-quality flashing lights at 3 AM and dead rats in the cistern and lunatic handymen mowing crop circles in the pasture. It’s fucking NUTS out here, all the time. Every single day I get into some completely novel predicament that has me saying, “OK, now how do I get out of this with my limbs and/or dignity intact?” It’s even more horrible than camping.

  3. EcoMom

    While I am in shock at the passing of my favorite spinster aunt, perhaps a little ecofeminism will worm its way into your posts from Dreadful Acres. Solidarity with critters getting the short end of the stick is a hard habit to break. Onward.

  4. quixote

    Bookmarked. Wonderful to know where you are and where I can keep getting my Savage Death Country fix.

  5. EDB

    Hello from just-south-of-the-Hill-Country-and-no-not-Austin. I live in an apartment in a city, I’ve never even seen standing water, and I get mosquito mobbed every time I go outside and stand still for 10 seconds. What the fuck, indeed.

    It’s no exaggeration to say that IBTP changed my life three or four years ago after I read all the archives and stopped struggling against the truth that was spilling out of them. So, thanks a lot for making sure I know how much the world hates us (a sarcastic thank you, but a genuine one, too). The anti-oppression blog thing can really suck the life out of you, so I get why you’re taking a break. Just wanted to say thank you, because in all these years of reading, I’ve been too much of a hermit to leave a comment. I’d buy you a dozen margs if I had a driver’s license to get me up there and a job to pay for them.

    Anyway, I’m looking forward to your commentary on how great and horrible nature is. And gurl, do I hear ya on the feral cat business. Never considered myself a ‘cat person,’ whatever that is, but Nigel and I had a stray plop down a litter in our living room that we raised up and eventually adopted out. (Except, of course, for the brindle girl we couldn’t part with.) Never again, I tell myself, but I’m too soft to chase the adorable assholes back under the fence when they come yowling at night.

  6. Pinko Punko

    I hear ya. We’re 4 counties over at the edge of purported suburbia, but this doesn’t seem to matter on a few little things, like vultures spewing armadillo pieces over the lawn (but interspersed with Whataburger cups a la “hey, I put it in the back of my pickup, what the wind does with it is not my concern”), and the Goob swelling up like a balloon on account of our many flavors of mosquitoes. I think the stripey ones are the ones that welt her up like something fierce. Also, Romney lawn signs.

    Dignity is not preservable in this environment, my sole hope is sanity, though perhaps limbs might be at a premium over sanity.

  7. thebewilderness

    What a happy coincidence that as a writer you are impelled to write and as a reader I am impelled to read.

  8. Pandechion

    I am glad you are still here, even though I live in Brooklyn and mainly interact with squirrels and cockroaches these days.

  9. minervaK

    When, exactly, does Cronehood occur? Because I think I graduated at, like, fourteen.

    Sorry about the mouse. S/he has now become one with the snake, who will one day become one with the soil, which will fertilize a plant that will be eaten by another mouse. Wheel of life and shit.

    Glad you’re still gonna be banging on the old keyboard. Some days, just reading a post — of any kind — from someone — anyone — who isn’t part of the megatheocorporatocracy is all that keeps me off the ledge.

  10. pheenobarbidoll

    Hopefully IBTP will stay up, because it’s a good source for material to blast P tools with.

    My cat, Ferris Mewler, brought me a dead baby mouse once. My Mastiff, Mouse, has brought me many a chewed dove. And I live within city limits. I don’t even want to imagine what would land in my lap if I moved to the country.

  11. samwise

    great explanation, also super inlove with the foot note.

  12. marni

    Thank you for leaving IBTP up. New blog is great, of course, but we will all miss the old one.

  13. Zoe

    It is probably good that IBTP has been closed; you have proven that there is indeed a problem in the world. The issue now is what to do about it. I believe that transhumanism is what we must do about it. Nature is full of examples of species where male animals oppress/dominate the females–and in hyenas, the females oppress/dominate the males and are the ruling gender. Sociobiologists are right about many things, but the correct response is not acceptance of the unacceptable, but a call to arms–we must alter the human species. As knowledge of how brain wiring dictates behavior advances, this will be more and more possible. Example: male voles are promiscuous. After implanting more vasopressin receptors into their brains, they suddenly wanted to “cuddle” after sex and formed stable pair-bonds with their mates. Nature is a mindless process and there is nothing sancrosanct about the cards/traits it has dealt us. There is nothing unethical about changing ourselves.

  14. Ron Sullivan

    Ah, there you are.


  15. BK

    The tears are welling in my eyes!!!

  16. Lidon

    Horses and dogs are fantastic. And so is that cute little baby mouse! Completely understandable about taking a break from the P-blaming but glad you’re still here! YOU CAN NEVER GET RID OF US. So…are ellipses acceptable now?

  17. gingerest

    Oh, no, Aunt Twisty, you shouldn’t be touching sick mice, even baby ones. I hope you washed your hands well. If you don’t die of some horrible archaic rodent-related disease than I am excited, EXCITED I say, to hear Pastoral Tales from the Croney perspective.

  18. Comradde PhysioProffe

    Sounds fucken awesome to me!

  19. Shelby

    For entirely selfish reasons I will cry myself to sleep tonight.

  20. Faith

    Glad you’re writing again. I like your style.

  21. JA

    Oh hooray! Write about anything! I’m so glad you’re back.

  22. Annie in Austin

    Wherever and wherever you write, thanks for letting us know.
    The frog & snake & mosquito photos make me feel nostalgic. Some years ago Aunt Twisty kept an online album of Texas critters and searching for the identity of what was in my yard led to that collection and that led to IBTP.

  23. cardinal

    So happy to see you writing, no matter what the site. I must say that the first thing that crossed my mind was: “Personal anecdotes? Can the ellipsis be far behind?”

  24. cardinal

    I didn’t see the Lidon beat me to it! …

  25. Darragh Murphy

    “My cat, Ferris Mewler”

    Laugh of the day had. I can face anything now. Thanks, pheenobarbidoll!

  26. TwissB

    Feral cats and screaming frogs somehow lack the bite that IBTP so brilliantly delivered. Other devotees are more open-minded (and perhaps even trusting that the Essential Twisty can’t be forever held down by the demands of Artistic Freedom). Question: Will the pastoral mode inspire Young Onions to go rural as the exhilarating blamer mode once freed them to go feminist?

  27. Gertrude Strine

    A Gentleman Farmer quits patriarchy blaming full time and a Cancer Jesus quits cycling all in the same week.
    Must be some huge juju happening around that Austin/Hill Country environs.

    Best wishes for the new grumpy old lady project; I’ll read anything about animals that isn’t cute pron.

  28. The Crone of Cottonmouth County

    TwissB: Feral cats and screaming frogs somehow lack the bite that IBTP so brilliantly delivered.

    Precisely! Biting things all the time, it wears you out.I honestly don’t expect anyone to read this blog, but I thought it would be impolite not to issue the invitation, after all we’ve meant to each other over the years!

  29. procrastinatrix

    I’m sighing deep sighs of relief. I missed you, Twisty/Jill/Crone! thebewilderness said it beautifully, this reader is also grateful that you are compelled to write, and publish blogularly, about any topic whatsoever.

    Congrats on making it to cronehood!

  30. polarcontrol

    For some time now I’d been thinking that whenever Twisty Faster quits I’m so going to write her that long planned BIG thank you letter. With the level of depressingness(?) of the the P, I thought there must come a point when there’s just no energy left for blaming.. Anyway, the letter would include embarrasing ‘how IBTP changed by life’ stories and praise for the style of writing, and so many thank yous for all the laughs.
    But thank lard I don’t have to! No IBTP but Jill still around! I’m loving the Dreadful Acres already.

  31. janicen

    This is very good news. Not the sabbatical from blaming, but that you are okay. I was concerned and convinced that only serious health issues could keep you from blaming at a time when we are being told that our adherence to liberal values is a result of hormonal intoxication and that rape, well legitimate rape is rare and never results in pregnancy. Best wishes for continued good health. I’ll still drop by because I enjoy your writing.

  32. feistyfingers

    What polarcontrol said.

  33. TwissB

    @The Crone of Cottonmouth County

    Aww-ww shucks, Twisty. I suppose I really should stop sulking and join the gracious chorus of thanks to the Dear Leader of Savage Death Island.

  34. Tarr

    I kept looking for stuff about Stanley and the stink-eyed mare and roaming donkeys. This deal here sounds much more promising unless it devolves into cats and cilantro.

  35. The Crone of Cottonmouth County

    “This deal here sounds much more promising unless it devolves into cats and cilantro.”

    I’ll try to bear that in mind.

  36. M.K. Hajdin

    *stomping and clapping for a patriarchy-blaming encore*

  37. tinfoil hattie

    Hooray! I love your writing! I’m excited about following your new blog. Thanks for letting us know!

  38. tinfoil hattie

    “Every single day I get into some completely novel predicament that has me saying, ‘OK, now how do I get out of this with my limbs and/or dignity intact?'”

    The donkey falling into the pool comes to mind.

  39. DaisyDeadhead

    But… but… I wanted to hear about Rizzoli & Isles!

    We’ll still be reading, Twisty. Just in case you still wanna talk about TV.

  40. ptittle

    Twisty, so SO sad to hear you’ve had enough of IBTP! But I totally get it. I sort of took a ten year hiatus from blaming, somewhere between ’95 and ’05 because it was, you know, a post-feminist world by then, and I thought I was the only one left on Earth who was a feminist.

    I discovered IBTP late. Mostly because we had only dial-up access to the internet in this area until recently.

    But, perhaps given formentioned hiatus, my discovery was life-affirming. (Ugh. I’ve actually used the word ‘life-affirming’ without irony. I think my eye’s starting to twitch.) I’ve been working my way through the archives (thank you for keeping them up – I’m up to November 2011), slowly, as one does when savouring, and was looking forward to finally getting caught up to the rest of you…

    And I have so valued not only the posts, but also the discussion. To those who sort of dissed Mensa and intelligence tests (as I say, I’m at November 2011), do not underestimate the value of intelligence! I think that just as most intelligent people are atheists, most intelligent women are feminists, and it has been soooo good to be in the company of intelligent women/feminists!

    Almost every woman who lives here in my physical neighborhood is retired—from raising children. And every man is, well, a man. And both watch tv every night. They socialize among themselves, but never include me, because I’m “weird”. (Three times when it was really hot, I took off my tshirt when I was out kayaking — twice back when I had breasts, once since I haven’t had them — and it was, apparently, totally unacceptable. When I asked why, the woman who’d been nominated to have a word with me about it was, of course, unable to articulate a reason. Which is why Jill’s ‘Cover ‘em if you have ‘em and even if you don’t’ post had me rolling on the floor.) (Well, not actually rolling on the floor, since that would have required me to get up off the couch, and getting up off the couch is typically not on my ‘to do’ list.) (Except to go kayaking.) (And actually, not rolling on the floor so much as saying ‘Yes, YES!’ — which is, as most of you know, when you’ve spent most of your life saying ‘No’ in a hundred different variations, including, the worst, for me, ‘No you don’t understand’, very gratifying.) And if I were to be stupid enough to even suggest to anyone here, should I start talking to them again (about a year ago, I decided to consider the neighborhood a ‘Truman’s Show’—since everyone here, except me, is an artificial construct, their desires and interests manufactured by conglomerate-owned media—and so I engage only with my dog) (she comes kayaking with me) (and also doesn’t wear a tshirt), that there’s a problem with the media’s presentation of women, well, their eyes would glaze over at the phrase “the media’s presentation”… In IBTP, to use one blamer’s words, I’ve finally found the mothership!

    But/And it’s powering down!

    So. I have an idea: a new home for the blametariat. I’m not the wordsmith Jill is but, as I say, much of the value of IBTP has been, for me at least, the conversation. So. Here’s what I’m thinking. I have a website (pegtittle.com), and I often post gender issue pieces, but I’ve been a bit reserved because, well, I fear of losing sales of my critical thinking text, any legitimacy I might have in the academic philosophical community, etc, etc…

    But I don’t like it. Being reserved. (And, of course, I’m realizing I never had any legitimacy anyway. Being female and all.) So I’m thinking of starting a new blog, “Hell Yeah, I’m (still) a Feminist / I’ve found the mothership — and it’s on Savage Death Island”. I could repost some of my feminist pieces there, as discussion starters, or just write new, unreserved ones, but I’d also like the blametariat to have posting privileges. I’d rather not feel like I have to come up with something every week or whatever.

    More or less same rules. No dudes, for sure.

    Any interest? If not, I won’t bother. I don’t need to pay for another domain only to have no one come visit. But if there are a lot of you who, like me, aren’t quite done with blaming yet, well, I’ll set it up. In a heartbeat. (Well, not quite that fast. My webmaster has a day job.) (So if there’s anyone out there who knows how to get a WordPress theme up and running at a website address…) Don’t inundate Jill’s new site with your responses — email me instead: ptittle7 at gmail dot com.

    Lastly, Twisty/Jill, do I have your permission to refer to Savage Death Island in the header? I’d also like to import your list of Required Reading, adding the IBTP archives to that list (and I’d like to ask people to contribute to it, as well as to a new list, Recommended Reading). The site will perhaps make it less likely that the more enthuasiastic among us will hijack your new site with some blaming. And, I hope that you will always consider posting something at Hell Yeah, I’m (still) a Feminist!

  41. Random Anomaly

    Glad you’re still writing. I read IBTP as much for the writing style as for the blaming. Love the new blog.

  42. Chris Clarke

    Nice new digs!

  43. modrad

    Thank you immensely for IBTP, it really has been invaluable to me and so many others. I meet people who have been so positively influenced by your blog all the time (I met another one last night at Reclaim the Night!).

  44. et

    Thank you so much for IBTP. Glad to see you’re still writing.

  45. Elizabeth

    I am here for the duration and to read with old friends. I will even make an honest effort to look at your pictures, even though they are really gross and I too am a city dweller by birth. And, a northern city, which, whatever else it means, does mean smaller bugs.

  46. Noel

    Twisty/Jill/Crone –

    Your writing, insight and powerful advocacy will be sorely, sorely missed. Rest well, and enjoy your sabbatical. You’ve earned it.

  47. Katherine

    Well hell, Twisty, I’ll miss IBTP, but I’m glad that should I ever feel like a pithy and amusing description of something horrific in rural Texas, I’ll know where to come.

  48. Mandos

    D’oh! I was looking forward to writing a banniversary comment next year on my cherished referendum thread (forgot this year). Oh well.

    Here, have some frisée and an ellipsis…

  49. Embee

    So glad you’re still writing, and congrats on the promotion. I declared myself “crone” three weeks ago (I am 37) and instantly felt better, like when you change into shoes that fit (no heels). The pics are gross and stories weird. Thank you.

  50. Noshoes

    Write the phone book and I’d read it. Thanks for continuing, crone!

  51. Friend of Snakes

    1. Is it my failing vision or just the artifice of the exposure that makes me fear that the fine juvenile western diamondback in your banner photo has been separated from its head? Is it possible it’s just nosing around under some vegetation off to the right?

    2. If you’re gonna be A (The?) Crone of Cottonmouth County, wouldn’t you reckon a headless cottonmouth would be a more appropriate avatar than a headless diamondback?

    3. Mess with rodents down there, be they cutesy babies or not, risk hanta virus.

    4. If you’ve reverted to Full Native Texan now, does that mean you’re above the likes of Chardonnay Smoked Fleur de Sel?

  52. EmmATX

    Longtime reader, never commenter, and native Austinite (one of the few remaining it seems) here. I read the old blog faithfully for many years, and it was the shit. The new blog may be of more regional interest, perhaps, but it interests me, and I’ll definitely continue visiting (and most likely, never commenting). Really, you could write about your nose hair and it would be eminently readable. Blame on, Central Texans!

  53. The Crone of Cottonmouth County

    Hey Friend of Snakes! Don’t worry. The C. atrox was entirely alive when I took its picture. Its head was, as you correctly surmise, obscured by the grass. Of course you’re the snakespert, but I have to say it didn’t look very juvenile to me when I encountered it. I swear that thing was about 17 feet long!

    I agree that there is a mismatch between the banner photo and my new screen name. I have no cottonmouth photos, alas. But even if I did, they are not quite so photogenic as rattlesnakes, wouldn’t you agree? And I don’t run into them nearly as often.

    Re: Chardonnay Oak Smoked Fleur de Sel: crone or not, you’d have to pry it from my cold, dead salt cellar.

  54. Friend of Snakes

    I stand corrected. Now that I look at that beast right side up on your Flickr thingamabob, it is every bit of 17 feet long. Big for its age.

  55. josquin

    Deep gratitude and heartfelt thanks for IBTP. No words to properly express the impact your blaming has had on my understanding of so many issues. You should know that you have made a real difference in many women’s lives. Although it hurts to know it, nothing lasts forever, and so onward and upward! Farewell Twisty, hello Crone! I’ll definitely keeping coming by to read about weird animal and nature crap in the wilds of Texas.

  56. Bushfire

    So happy you’re still writing! You are a very talented writer, and as has been said upthread, a piece about your nose hair would be readable. I hope you leave IBTP on the Internet for a long time.

    Please write a book! I would recommend it to everyone I know.

  57. Fictional Queen

    Jill, IBTP changed my life and who I am forever. Thank you for being extremely awesome.
    Your new blog is so interesting and I enjoy reading anything you write. I’m so glad you are still writing.

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