A while back, I posted one of my favorite documentaries, Guys and Dolls, which follows several men and their relationships with their Real Dolls. Imagine my surprise last night, while idly tuning in to another ridiculous episode of My Strange Addiction, to see none other than Davecat and his doll Sidore, formerly known as Shi-chan (who you’ll remember as the weird kid with the “synthetic girlfriend” who lives with his parents from Guys and Dolls). He was being profiled for his strange addiction, that is, being convinced that he is in a real, viable 10 year relationship with a silicone doll.
My bottom line on Real Dolls has always been one of gratitude, essentially. Real Dolls keep a decent percentage of weird, compulsive, creepy & chauvinistic guys out of the dating pool. The men in question here aren’t just lonely, no matter what the therapist on My Strange Addiction says about Davecat. Sure, some degree of loneliness does play in to this obsession, but there is a reason why men like him gravitate to inanimate objects as a source of comfort. Real women are much too threatening, what with their independent thoughts, feelings, desires and their pesky freedom of movement. Even women that can be bought and paid for cannot ultimately conform to what men like Davecat desire, which is a “partner” whose existence is entirely bound to their own needs and wants. Sidore a.k.a. Shi-chan is a “real person” to him… a real person who can’t think, can’t speak, can’t react, can’t complain, can’t get angry, can’t have a bad day, can’t pack up all her stuff and leave him. The men in Guys and Dolls, including Davecat, ascribe personalities to their plastic companions, but these personalities are perfect… that is, perfectly conforming to their creator’s whims.
On My Strange Addiction last night, the therapist dealing with Davecat ends the show segment with some final thoughts along the lines of “you’re an adult, it’s not hurting anybody, so whatever”, which is a sentiment I agree with. However, there is a tendency to pity these men, but I would argue that they are exactly where they want to and should be. I was also interested to read the postscript to the show, which mentioned that two days after the therapist’s visit, Davecat invested in a second Real Doll.
A clip from the show is here, and Sidore’s twitter account (yep, I’m serious) is here.
If you ever wondered what the rest of Spiridon Lavellan’s blood-related family looked like.
1. Maroun Aphelior Taralindalen, nicknamed ‘Carrot’, a twin and an uncle to the Inquisitor 2. Sidor Aphelior Taralindalen, nicknamed ‘Pickle’, a twin and an uncle to the Inquisitor 3. Aule Aphelior Taralindalen an Lavellan, younger sister to the twins and the mother of the Inquisitor 4. Dar’lin len’Lavellan, nicknamed ‘Darling’, a bard and an emissary to clan Lavellan, an absentee father to the Inquisitor
We braved the tour bus traffic and drove to Bend instead, home of at least seventeen breweries, one for every forty-five hundred residents. I planned a short walking tour, two miles round trip, that brought us to four different breweries. It was a mighty fine way to waste an afternoon with my family.
We started our trek at Crux Fermentation Project, opened by former Deschutes brewmaster Larry Sidor four years ago. Crux is on the cutting edge of brewing in Bend. While we were there the taps were pouring IPAs featuring new experimental hop varieties, popular session style ales, and barrel aged sour ales. The dozens of tasters at our table ran from the very light to the very dark with every shade in between.
Personally, I was drawn toward the experimental hops on offer.
Vicky Has a Secret was made with an as yet unnamed hop breed. I have a feeling this is the same hop Deschutes was using at the fruit beer fest. They were calling it Vic’s Secret and said they’ve already been sued to change the name. Unlike the fancy new hops of yesteryear, these new breeds don’t have strong flavor profiles. I didn’t taste that strong citrus you get from Citra or the melon and berry melange of Mosaic. Maybe I just need the tastemakers to tell me what it is first.
French Connection was brewed with an Alsacian hop strain and belgian yeast. I got a bit of a white grape flavor off it. Something light and fruity and perfectly paired to the intense aromas from the yeast. I’d definitely go back for another sip, but alas, it’s already off the pub’s tap list.
The Beezley was made with Enigma hops recently bred in Australia. The menu compared Enigma hops to Galaxy, but I don’t remember Galaxy tasting quite so tart. I got a lot of stone fruit in there, like a slightly sour nectarine. Of course, I can’t go back and check the officials records, Crux blows through beers so quickly all the intriguing ones I tasted Saturday are all long gone now.
My fellow drinkers, we had a table of ten in all, were most intrigued by the Fermentation Projects’ Banished series of barrel aged beers. Tough Love is universally beloved for it’s fudgy and fruit flavor. Though we all doubted anyone could drink a glass of it in the middle of summer.
The sour beers were more hit and miss. A Pinot barrel aged version of Doublecross, a strong dark Belgian ale, had my dad complaining of vinegar taint – personally I thought it was fine. Freakcake was even more divisive. It’s aged in barrels with cherries, raisins, cranberries, figs, dates, and currants and fermented with Brettanomyces. It’s mildly acidic and quite sweet. I think Veronica liked it and maybe Kathleen, but the others at the table were suspicious.
That’s the best part of these tasting tours though, the conversations the beer can start. I think we had the most fun at Crux, not only because it was the first stop on the trail, but because the brewery offered such a diverse range of options. I think every beer on the menu has its adherents and its detractors. And that’s the way it should be. Not every beer needs to satisfy every customer.
Lumelangemine an Taralindalen, her name. The looms in front of her
know the touch of her mother, her grandmother, and the generations
before them. But Maroun always had eyes for war and never for the
finger-dancer whose steps had woven the fabric that clung to his
skin. Lindalan would never do war, her claw feet just hurt. Sen and
Alassena with their bows and pikes and healthy feet, elder sisters,
would ride to death and damnation, and Death would feast with elder
sisters in his halls and they would offer the marrow of their bones
to him, so Death would be sated and show his favour to the fighting
Helai. So that the spears would be sharp and the hearts on fire.