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The Most Active Threads Since Friday

by Jeff Steele — last modified Jan 15, 2024 10:30 AM

The topics with the most engagement since my last blog post included unsolicited fertility advice, Texas sending migrants to Illinois, celebrating college admissions, and an award for Prince Harry.

The most active thread since Friday was the Gaza war thread which, like the war itself, shows no sign of ending. Because I've already discussed that thread, I'll go on to the next most active which was titled "What is it with people given childless couples unsolicited fertility advice?" and posted in the "Relationship Discussion (non-explicit)" forum. The original poster says that she is 36 and her husband is 34. They have remained child-free due to financial reasons. Others, generally people who are not even all that close to the original poster and her husband, constantly give them fertility advice such as encouraging her to freeze her eggs or not to delay motherhood. The original poster is fully cognizant of the issues involved and doesn't need other telling her about them. The original poster asks why some people are so concerned about other's fertility. I'm not sure the relationship forum is the best forum for this topic, but I am also not sure which forum would be better. So, I'll leave the thread where it is. The first several posters made at least half-hearted attempts to address the question, but ironically, they couldn't stop themselves from also offering fertility advice. In fact, the thread almost immediately became emblematic of exactly the phenomenon about which the original poster was complaining. Without knowing a single thing about the original poster beyond the sparse information contained in the original post, poster after poster presumed to be in a position to "fertilitysplain" to her. I didn't have to read very much of this thread before I concluded that the answer to the original poster's question about why people are obsessed with the fertility of others is that a huge number of them lack any ability to prevent themselves from commenting on the topic. The advice appeared to come so automatically to some posters that I doubt that they realized what they were doing. If this were not an important topic to the original poster, it would be funny. She basically asked, "why is everyone so concerned with my fertility?" and ninety percent of the responses were "you have to have children now, right now!" Probably because DCUM has such a generally affluent userbase, very few users seemed capable of understanding that someone realistically might face financial challenges. As the original poster responded with additional information, it emerged that she has had to support herself since age 18 and always worked in retail. She has not had the opportunity to go to college and has exhausted her earning power. Her husband is apparently in a similar situation. I wonder what the reaction would have been had the original poster started a thread describing her financial situation and stated an intention to have children? She probably would have been derided as a prospective wellfare queen or criticized for poor financial planning. As it was, one DCUM Marie Antoinette expressed shock that an adult works in retail. She may as well have advised the original poster to eat cake.

The next most active thread was posted in the "Political Discussion" forum. Titled, "Pritzker urges Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to stop migrant dropoffs amid winter storm: ‘I plead with you for mercy’", the original poster quoted a Chicago Sun-Times article in which Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker asked Texas Governor Greg Abbott to stop sending immigrants to Chicago and its environs during the winter storm that has hit the area. Abbott, along with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has been collecting migrants who have crossed into Texas and sending them to liberal cities. The Governors do this without any coordination with the destination cities, instead actually going out of their way to ensure the migrants are left in the most difficult circumstances possible. Generally, they are dropped off on the side of a road in the middle of the night without notice. I am not going to bother reading this thread because I've read enough threads on immigration topics to have a pretty good idea how it is going to go. With a few exceptions, posters rarely seem capable of recognizing the humanity of the migrants. Regardless of your feelings about those coming to this country, it takes a pretty cold-hearted person to believe that dropping people  off in Chicago in the middle of a snow storm without proper clothing or shelter is a good idea. Meeting the needs of these folks in the middle of the night in freezing temperatures is not something any city is prepared to do without notice. The dehumanization indicated by Abbott, DeSantis, and those who support their actions is simply depressing. The fact that those who treat others this way consider themselves "Christians" has to be among the bigger hypocrisies imaginable. As I have said when discussing other immigration-related threads, Republicans have no interest in actually solving the problem of migration. To the contrary, they are desparate to have the issue to wield against President Joe Biden. Despite Republican hopes, the economy is avoiding recession, the job market is strong, and economic indicators are looking good. Similarly, running against Democratic "wokeness" has not been successful for Republicans and, faced with the albatross of abortion rights hanging around their necks, they are determined to bring attention to immigration. For purely political reasons, Abbott, DeSantis, and their supporters are willing to put the lives of others at risk. In fact, Abbott is already arguably responsible for three deaths, including two children. He had the Texas National Guard take over a park bordering the Rio Grande River. When US Border Patrol agents were alerted that three migrants crossing the river were in distress, they were prevented from entering the park by the National Guard and were unable to provide assistance. The three drowned.

Next was a thread titled, "Celebrate your admission" and posted in the "College and University Discussion" forum. The original poster urges posters to take pride in their kids' college acceptances and to "celebrate positively". This is a little early to start a thread of this sort because many schools have not yet reached their regular decision application deadlines and regular decision results are, in many cases, months away. As such, many of those responding are still waiting to hear from schools. Nevertheless, many posters expressed happiness about early results with many posters cited multiple acceptances from which their children can choose. The thread remained surprisingly positive with none of the sniping at various schools that normally occurs in this forum. Regardless of the college to which a student was admitted, posters were quick to celebrate it and offer praise. There were repeated posts expressing happiness about the positive nature of the thread. A very wide range of schools were among those to which students have been admitted, including a number that very rarely come up in discussions. I removed a couple of posts that attempted to politicize the thread. It seems that those obsessed with Harvard University and its former President were unable to control themselves or stay within the spirit of the thread. One poster was exposed as inventing results which were not possible to have been obtained at this point. I removed that post as well. But, all in all, it is pretty remarkable that this thread could remain so positive for so long. So, good job to all involved.

The final thread that I will discuss today was posted in the "Entertainment and Pop Culture" forum. Titled, "Prince Harry to be inducted into the Hall of Fame at an awards gala at the Beverly Hilton!", the original poster is excited that Prince Harry will be inducted into the "Living Legends of Aviation hall of fame". She says that this could be "a game changer" for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and "help their image overall." This poster and her threads have been provoking a lot of attention lately. She has been posting up to three threads a day, mostly in the entertainment forum and mostly in the same format, making them recognizable. She often posts about celebrities that are already being discussed in other active threads. Because her threads frequently make outlandish claims such as the suggestion that a celebrity awards ceremony about which most people know nothing will meaningfully change opinions about the Sussexes, several posters have accused her of being a public relations agent for the celebrities. That seems doubtful to me and I see her more as simply a celebrity-obsessed poster with perhaps too much time on her hands. Such posters are not unusual in this forum, though most don't indulge their obsessions to quite this extent. I noticed that the original poster is not above the occasional sock puppeted post, though she doesn't seem to make a habit of them. I haven't read much of this thread beyond the original poster's posts, but it appears to be the normal back and forth about the Sussexes. The only thing new are questions about whether Harry deserves to be included in this particular hall of fame given that he is not known for his aviation exploits, let along for being a "living legend" in aviation. Apparently, his claim rests on being an Apache helicopter pilot who was deployed to Afghanistan. But, given the huge number of such pilots in existence, I am not sure what makes Harry particularly special. More importantly as far as this thread is concerned, the responses make it very clear that the award is unlikely to impact his reputation in the least. I locked the thread this morning after seeing that nothing new, at least nothing new that was actually on topic.

Anon says:
Jan 15, 2024 11:58 AM
Curious about the non PR poster - you think she genuinely adores celebrities? It just seems like a very strange hobby. Not to judge, of course, since I'm hugely enjoying the Bella Hadid thread.
Jeff Steele says:
Jan 15, 2024 12:02 PM
She strikes me as someone who spends most of her time reading celebrity magazines and websites and then simply reposts stories that catch her interest. But, of course, I'm just guessing.
Anon says:
Jan 15, 2024 04:31 PM
Thanks!
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