Paste: It's What's For Dinner

If you don't follow Tam at View from the Porch — aka Books Bikes Boomsticks — you are missing out. Tam's funny, whimsical, and a reliable reporter of infuriating Nanny-statism.

Tam also has a knack for a one-liner. Recently a commenter at the site objected to Tam linking and discussing a post here. The commenter apparently has a low opinion of me as a consequence of this post and my moderation of its comments; in response to a post about rude and socially maladjusted things people say to adoptive parents, commenter "justthisguy" saw fit to start articulating odd, off-key and frankly disturbing theories about non-kin adoptive parents being potential abusers. Inasmuch as this is my living room, I grew tired and somewhat creeped out by him, adjudged him a troll or a nutter, and moderated him as I saw fit.

Over at Tam's, this exchange ensued:

justthisguy: Tam, why do you continue to link to Shithat, or Popehead, or Ken, or whatever he calls himself? That creature seems to have no class and no honesty, which figures, seeing that he is both a californian and a lawyer.

I recall making a thoughtful, honest, polite comment on his blog, and seeing him delete what I wrote, replacing what I wrote with the words, "I eat paste."

I believe my comment was about the in-advisability of non-kin adoptions, in general. I do wish his non-kin adopted kids well, and hope that he will refrain from abusing them, seeing that stepfathers and adoptive fathers are statistically more likely to abuse their kids than are natural fathers.

Tam: How did it taste?

Boom, as they say.

By the way, I can't help but notice that bizarre accusations of sexual abuse of minors are a recurring theme that the mentally ill use to attack bloggers.

Last 5 posts by Ken White


  1. ZK says

    Make an amusing and interesting post, and what do you get? Thoughtful comments on the substance of your thoughts? Commentary about the linked blogs, about adoption, or statistics? At least accolades for your funny paste-related jokes? Spam from the glue-stick industry?

    Nope. Instead we all jump on your one-letter pronoun error. Sometimes I love the internet.

  2. says

    Apocryphally, when Ayn Rand heard that a reviewer had mistaken her writings for those of a man, she nearly decorated her cupcakes, so I'm in good, if nutty, company.

  3. Grifter says

    "I do … hope that he will refrain from abusing them, seeing that stepfathers and adoptive fathers are statistically more likely to abuse their kids than are natural fathers."

    W. T. F.

  4. i love a good tale of ass-hattery says

    thank you ken for sending me off to read about another nutter. i am fascinated, and, yes, savagely entertained. Reading (and somehow witnessing from a safe distance) the mental breakdown of so many seemingly intelligent people with the resources to help themselves, well, its a great way to spend a rainy afternoon, punctuated with buttered popcorn…

  5. says

    Tam and her roommate blogger Roberta are really great reads. I visit both every day. And I haven't even taken the restraining order personally…

  6. says

    I have to say, Ken, that as much as I may disagree with the political views of many of the people you link to, they're at least intelligent, make their points reasonably, back them up with evidence, and are willing to both listen to AND actually debate those with opposing ideas.

    As one of the few progressives who regularly comments here, I genuinely appreciate this.

    And as "i love a good tale…" etc. said, the schadenfreude and snark around here is simply superb. Keep up the good work.

  7. Doug says

    that comment was insulting to me, for obvious reasons. i am sure there is a circle of hell for that commenter somewhere.

  8. says

    By the way, I can't help but notice that bizarre accusations of sexual abuse of minors are a recurring theme that the mentally ill use to attack bloggers. Except for sex work bloggers; the mentally ill attack us with accusations of being "pimps".

  9. somebody says

    I just wasted my entire morning reading about Deb Frisch. The internet is a sad, hilarious place.

  10. says

    As a well-adjusted non-kin adoptee, I can say that I'm glad the only comment that guy can get through is "I eat paste." Keep up the good work!

  11. TomB says

    Imagine my compete shock when, looking at his blog profile it says:

    "I am a grumpy old bachelor, and I eat paste"

    (er, I might have added a bit)

    Someone like that not married? NO!

  12. Davey says

    …claims of sexual abuse of minors…
    That's been true since the early days of the 'net. "So & So is a pedophile" is as much a cliche as the comparison to Nazis. The latter got codified in Godwin's Law, but the former is just as tired. Perhaps it's time for Popehat's law – "If you blog or otherwise expose idiots, you will be called a pedophile".

  13. Kelly says

    I am going to bang my head on the wall now.

    As a non-kin adopted child, I find that idiot's insinuations insulting and childish. Of everything I've read today, including a creepy article about a website teaching little girls how to be 'modest' by having their grandfather's check their skirt lengths… this guy wins the prize for creepiest asshat of the day. His douche canoe is off to the left if he'd like to claim it. It provides direct service to the Land of the Asshats, which is a lovely island resort location far enough away as to provide the sane of the world a buffer from their idiocy.

    I also am finishing up a degree in anthropology and I know very well, and have argued many times against, the idea that adopted children will always be treated differently than biological children. It is only when those who are close-minded and follow the patriarchal mindset that any such thing occurs. Thankfully, we live in a world where this is becoming less of an issue everyday. [Disclaimer: My opinion is based upon reading many, many scientific journal articles on this and related subjects and living almost 34 years as a well-adjusted adoptee with wonderful, loving parents and extended family to actually have a fact-based opinion and not just be a blowhard like "justthisguy".]

  14. says

    ^ The fellow is one of the very small number I have asked to depart from my comments, on the grounds that being non-neurotypical is not actually an excuse for being floridly bigoted.

  15. TomB says

    on the grounds that being non-neurotypical is not actually an excuse for being floridly bigoted

    Heh. Excellent. ;-)

    However my admiration is tempered by the fact that he most likely had no clue of what you were saying.

  16. GeekChick says

    When I was growing up, I wished I had been adopted. My parents were never reticent about informing me that I was a mistake and that they never would have gotten married if my mom hadn't gotten knocked up. The idea of having parents who had chosen me to be part of the family seemed idyllic.

  17. says

    "I really really really want to have sex with paste."

    I have an ex-boyfriend with whom I could set you up, if you're that interested. :D

  18. Kelly says

    @ GeekChick

    The idea of having parents who had chosen me to be part of the family seemed idyllic.

    That is something people often overlook. Most adopted kids get told 'we chose YOU' which is awesome for self-esteem in a kid.

    Granted, my ex-husband tried the 'we only got married because of you' on my oldest ONE time before he was set straight. Note: He got a pass for the aforementioned douche canoe about the same time. Only, I called it a 'divorce'.

    @ShelbyC Thank you for making me laugh aloud. I laughed so much my teenager looked at me and muttered 'She is either reading comments at Popehat or the newest Bloggess post' as she hurried out of the room.

  19. AlphaCentauri says

    You have to wonder, who gets hung up on that type of statistic?

    Some pedophiles think it's okay to abuse children as long as they aren't your own, because that would be incest. It's messed up, but it makes sense in their denial system.

    When someone starts accusing other people of things with no apparent basis in fact, you wonder if it is a case of psychological projection:

  20. Romeo Sid Vicious says

    I guess this asshat missed the fact that the study he is likely attempting to cite didn't differentiate between the adopted/step and birth children. So if a dad who had two kids, one step and one of his own, abused his own but not the step-child it was still counted as step-parent abuse. The study was completely flawed from start to finish.

  21. perlhaqr says

    Yeah, "justthisguy" hasn't exactly painted himself in glory in pretty much any other context I've seen him in, either at Tam's, Bobbi's, or, as mentioned above, LabRat's places.

  22. Xenocles says

    Well hell, I hope you refrain from abusing your kids too. It just ever occurred to me that you would. I thought paste was non-toxic these days, but apparently not if that's what it does to your brain.

  23. Pete says

    In 1966, so many babies were available for adoption that prospective parents browsed aisles of bassinets filled with newborns. My parents always explained that I made their decision easy, because I chose them (grabbing my father's tie). It was a choice I will never regret.

  24. Analee says

    If his logic was correct, my mother would have abused my older half-brother and my older half-sisters because LOLZ NOT HER BIO KIDS. However, his logic is clearly garbage, and my mom was as awesome a stepmother as she could have been under the circumstances.

    And by "under the circumstances," I mean "Dad got married to her almost a year after his first wife passed away and basically did it wrong." Then again, my dad actually DID eat paste (back in the '40s and '50s when it WAS toxic), so that could explain a few things…

  25. says

    I don't think common school paste was ever toxic. It used to be like weat flower and water or any other starch. I think that was the whole point of using it in schools. it was chalk cheap and chalk safe.

  26. Laura K says

    Oh Tam, one. word. How awesome, and how awesome is the eating paste thing to begin with…

  27. Abby says

    Even if there is some statistic out there that says as much, and even if it were reliable (which I sincerely doubt), I don't think this guy understands how statistics work. Or, you know, basic logic.

    IF adoptive fathers are more likely to be abusive than non-adoptive fathers, that does NOT mean that by adopting a child, you become more likely to be abusive. Just, no, that is not how logic works.

    @Analee – I can't think of a sensitive way to put this, but anecdotal evidence does not in any way disprove statistical evidence. That is, if your personal experiences do not reflect an observed trend, that does not mean the trend is not there. But don't get me wrong; I am still totally skeptical about that so-called statistic and would need to see some solid studies subject to sufficient peer review before buying it.

    On an unrelated note: Ken, I would appreciate it if you would not use "mentally ill" or similar terms to describe people who think or do things that don't actually make any kind of sense. I am mentally ill, and while I understand your meaning and realize you mean no offense, it will never not be a touchy subject for me (and, no doubt, many others like me).

    IMO, "crazy" or "nutter" or "weirdo" or "whackjob" or similar terms are fine, because "crazy" is not a diagnosis, nor does it describe any diagnoses. Likewise, "insane" doesn't bother me because it is a legal term, not a medical one.

  28. GeekChick says

    Paste is in fact quite ancient and has always been non-toxic. It is made by mixing a vegetable starch (wheat, rice, potato, etc) with water and then cooking the mixture until it reaches the consistency we all know and love, obviously some more than others.

  29. Analee says

    @Abby Oh, no need to be sensitive. I completely get what you're saying. I'm just adding to the number of commentors on here who have shared stories of step-parents and/or adoptive parents who defied that so-called "trend" with what I observed growing up. In fact, I've seen no studies that prove what justthisguy said is true, so until I do, I'm going with "It's bullshit and I'm going to provide further evidence that it's bullshit until it's proved otherwise." :D

    @Everyone who said paste isn't toxic: Well, it may not be toxic, but eating it still can't be good for you, I would imagine.

  30. GeekChick says

    The guy who died from eating the paste was a special case. That was a case of the dose makes the poison. The ingredient which killed him was alum which is used in baking and pickling, and in library pastes to prevent mold from growing in the paste. You can also die from eating too much salt, too much water, and many other things which are not normally considered toxic.

  31. John says

    If paste wasn't made for eating, then why did they flavor it with wintergreen? Huh? Huh?

  32. says

    I love how this has turned into a serious discussion on the nutritional value of paste. :D

    Oh, internets, you so crazy!

  33. says

    Even if we stipulate to the existence of such a statistical trend, that doesn't actually tell us all that much; there may well be subsets, such as a small number of abusers who are trying to disguise themselves, and a large number of non-abusers. In which case the solution would be to look for markers of likely abusers.

    The inference from "1% of X" to "most X" is really unsupportable.

  34. Sarahw says

    So let it be pasted, there are two Sarahw's commenting here. Time to get an avatar I guess.

  35. Abby says

    @Analee That is honestly a relief.

    @Seebs Yup. I didn't want to get into why such a statistic is meaningless on its own, not to mention devoid of practical application; it seems clear that this guy has no understanding of anything he was apparently ranting about. Also it's tedious, but if anyone wants to point out everything wrong with his assumptions, I shall applaud you.

    In other news, paste! More interesting than I thought.

  36. says

    My favorite thing about the entire episode is the guy's obvious righteous outrage at being treated so rudely by a man who he had just essentially accused of not loving his children and possibly abusing them. What kind of person thinks that they can insinuate that a man abuses his kids and doesn't love them without that guy retaliating a little bit? He is just OUTRAGED about the whole thing, and I don't think that he even for a second can see it from any other point of view than his own.

    I honestly don't care how "polite" you think you were being, justthisguy – if you accused me of abusing my daughter in a public forum I'd have done worse to you than modify your comment to say that you eat paste.