Fun-Sized Advice

On fun-sized advice

I miss the menu and searchable archive. Is there a way to bring that back or was it lost with tumblr?
At the top of the page is a little black tab with a  ≡  on it. That is a menu symbol. Click it. (You’re welcome.)

What’s the difference between modernism and postmodernism? (Just curious; not looking for an idea to use for an essay or for a thesis.)
Pick whatever field, and in some way or another, modernism can be reduced to a belief in objective knowledge, and postmodernism can be reduced to a challenging belief that knowledge is inevitably subjective.

I’m new to this. Is it okay to have sex with a married man who is in an open relationship with his wife? We are colleagues and friends.
Sure, it’s fine. As long as all three of you are down, go for it. (If you’d like to learn more about open relationships, I’d recommend you start with Tristan Taormino’s Opening Up. It’s the perfect beginners guide.)

My immediate superior emailed me several complaints about my work (some justified, some just micromanaging) in quick succession, so I called a meeting to get ahead of it. Now, how do I handle the meeting in such a way as to stay as promotable as possible?
Fix whatever’s fixable before the meeting, go in with an agenda that features you getting your shit together, and most importantly, don’t waste your immediate superior’s time.

How do you feel about the claims that Bernie would be an ineffective president because he doesn’t know how to play well with the Washington types?
He was in Congress for sixteen years and the Senate for nine. Bernie is a Washington type, and anyone who thinks he doesn’t play well with others hasn’t been paying attention.

Do you ever get sick of all these questions?
Nope. Still crazy after all these years.

Why does reading your advice feel different even though nothing has changed?
It’s called reframing. I’m good at it.

I keep deleting my questions because I know you won’t answer, and then I’ll have made myself feel exposed for nothing.
Now how do you feel?


9 thoughts on “On fun-sized advice

  1. Ah, Ye Olde Reframe. One of my favoritest toys. Thanks so much for that. I feel very supportive and now supported, and proud of myself for having used that tool for a long time. I just forgot its name.

    It’s also what my wife does. A few weeks ago a friend got on me for using Elizabeth Brown’s article which reframed the current trafficking hysteria as one very similar to the drug trafficking war. “Libertarian,” he chided? “I rather go to the liberal side.” My wife’s immediate response: “It’s not a political issue. It’s a human rights issue.” Alison Bass, who wrote Getting Screwed, has a really good one: trafficking is the new term for teen runaways.

    “Heck, the carpool thing was a reframe,” I just said, hitting the palm of my hand with my head.

  2. Cilla says:

    “… modernism can be reduced to a belief in objective knowledge, and postmodernism can be reduced to a challenging belief that knowledge is inevitably subjective.”

    Love yah for that 🙂 (Meaning: love your ability to break down complex matters to a mere sentence)

  3. Z says:

    The modernism/postmodernism distinction you set up is a helpful rule of thumb for these terms in scholarly fields, but it really doesn’t hold for the arts. Although many modernist artists and writers did claim to be getting closer to the truth of experience or even the truth of the medium itself with their practice, this was more likely to take the form of subjectivism (which is often seen to be characteristic of modernism in literature and even many parts of the visual arts) than totalising claims to objective knowledge.

  4. Damien says:

    For open relationships, “Opening Up” is a pretty good book, but IMHO the more recent “More Than Two” wipes the floor with it in terms of practicality and comprehensiveness. The accompanying website ( gives a feel for the male half of the book’s voice, which I like but can be a little logic-centric for some. I think the more balanced perspective of the book makes even the sometimes difficult subject matter easier to ingest for a broader audience.

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