Julian Sanchez header image 2

photos by Lara Shipley

Wow.

October 14th, 2009 · 17 Comments

Via Spencer and Lindsay Beyerstein, apparently Double-X has hired some kind of sociopath as a “friendship advice” columnist. And by “sociopath,” I mean the sort of person who thinks that it’s too much to ask that putative friends (a) not ditch another friend who mysteriously vanishes in a state of obvious distress on a night out, and (b) actually go to pick her up at the hospital when she calls to let them know she’s been roofied—which, unless there’s some fad for using incapacitating drugs as random pranks that escaped my radar, tends to be a prelude to sexual assault. Because “there are limits to friendship”.  Friendship?  Jesus, that’s the minimum I’d do for someone I barely knew in a situation like that. Hell, it’s the minimum I’d do for someone who’d taken some drugs on purpose in an attack of poor judgment. It’s what any remotely decent, adequately socialized person would do.  How on earth could you hire someone to whom this isn’t just gobsmackingly obvious to write an advice column about friendship?

Addendum: Oy.  And her follow-up:

I know many of us assume we would jump out of bed after that call. But how many of you would actually, honestly get out of bed and get dressed at 4 a.m. and drive to the hospital to keep your close friend company while she recovered?

Everyone.  No, really.  Everyone I know. I could pick a number at random from the last dozen dialed on my cell phone and I have no doubt the person would show up if it were me. They might not be cheerful about it—I might not either—but they’d do it. But I tend to favor friends who are, you know, human.

Addendum II: Ok, I can’t help myself. So in the apology, she excuses herself for not seeing the obvious “potential sexual assault” angle because she assumes that if the writer had been sexually assaulted, or had waken up in a state of drugged confusion understandably uncertain about whether she had been, surely she would have said so explicitly.  I guess because it’s inconceivable that someone might have trouble putting that down on paper. But she’s totally willing to read between the lines and infer that there’s some other side of the story her correspondent is leaving out—like, you know, maybe she does this sort of thing all the time!  Humanity FAIL.

Tags: Sociology


       

 

17 responses so far ↓

  • 1 TurkoAmericano // Oct 15, 2009 at 4:07 am

    It seems to me that Rosenfeld doubts this woman is telling the story totally honestly. Cynical and too-suspicious maybe, but sociopathic seems harsh. She states that if the woman was in a real state of distress that of course her friends should come to her aid. So the dispute is not whether someone should receive aid and compassion in a time of great difficulty, but rather whether this event can be described as a time of great difficulty. Am I wrong? It seems you can believe that Rosenfeld lacks compassion, but in order for us to determine that, we would at least have to agree on the facts of the case, wouldn’t we?

  • 2 Eric // Oct 15, 2009 at 4:09 am

    Holy crap! What a bizzare witch!

    Not only would I do that for a friend, there’s few enemies I wouldn’t do that for…

    If I were to believe that most of humanity were as cold as this “lady” it would be hard to go on.

    Truly odd.

  • 3 adina // Oct 15, 2009 at 5:35 am

    I completely agree with you that most people would help even a stranger in distress. However, after seeing all the backlash, I’m starting to feel a bit bad for the columnist. My guess is that she tries to be humorous and edgy, and that she took it too far. It just feels like we all (me included) have this impulse to gang up on her, when, who knows… maybe she’s hurting, and that’s why she has kind of an absurd view of relationships.

  • 4 Michael Yuri // Oct 15, 2009 at 8:02 am

    C’mon, Julian. Yeah, yeah, friendship is important, blah blah blah. But compared to a good night’s sleep?

    Seriously though, what’s wrong with this woman? I’ve jumped out of bed in the middle of the night to save a drunk friend $40 in cab fare (granted, that’s not something I would do on a regular basis). And I’m not a particularly selfless guy.

    And if we’re going to pop psychologize, I’d go with narcissistic personality disorder over sociopathy. She values her own comfort so highly that the annoyance of losing a little sleep outweighs the real trauma a “friend” might be going through. And she’s so self-absorbed that she is totally oblivious about how repellent she is to decent human beings.

  • 5 x. trapnel // Oct 15, 2009 at 10:46 am

    I’m morbidly curious about the juicy nuggets that must be contained in the *book* she’s written on friendship.

  • 6 Barry // Oct 15, 2009 at 10:52 am

    adina // Oct 15, 2009 at 5:35 am

    “I completely agree with you that most people would help even a stranger in distress. However, after seeing all the backlash, I’m starting to feel a bit bad for the columnist. My guess is that she tries to be humorous and edgy, and that she took it too far.”

    If she was being honest, then she deserved the sh*tstorm that she’s receiving. As do her editors.

    If she was just being ‘humorous and edgy’, then what is she complaining about? She pulls a humorless practical writing joke in a place where many people would read it, and she gets an inbox (for that account) full of nastynotes. Can’t she take a joke?

  • 7 The Limits of Friendship // Oct 15, 2009 at 11:02 am

    [...] Julian Sanchez, apparently not realizing this was a rhetorical question, responds: Everyone.  No, really.  Everyone I know. I could pick a number at random from the last dozen dialed on my cell phone and I have no doubt the person would show up if it were me. They might not be cheerful about it—I might not either—but they’d do it. But I tend to favor friends who are, you know, human. [...]

  • 8 Jon // Oct 15, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    Man, I once went to an ex-girlfriend’s apartment in the middle of night because she was feeling suicidal. I never thought she actually would kill herself, but the inconvenience I suffered was well worth it to make sure someone else didn’t come to greater harm.

  • 9 I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends « Around The Sphere // Oct 15, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    [...] Julian Sanchez: Via Spencer and Lindsay Beyerstein, apparently Double-X has hired some kind of sociopath as a “friendship advice” columnist. And by “sociopath,” I mean the sort of person who thinks that it’s too much to ask that putative friends (a) not ditch another friend who mysteriously vanishes in a state of obvious distress on a night out, and (b) actually go to pick her up at the hospital when she calls to let them know she’s been roofied—which, unless there’s some fad for using incapacitating drugs as random pranks that escaped my radar, tends to be a prelude to sexual assault. Because “there are limits to friendship”.  Friendship?  Jesus, that’s the minimum I’d do for someone I barely knew in a situation like that. Hell, it’s the minimum I’d do for someone who’d taken some drugs on purpose in an attack of poor judgment. It’s what any remotely decent, adequately socialized person would do.  How on earth could you hire someone to whom this isn’t just gobsmackingly obvious to write an advice column about friendship? [...]

  • 10 physics geek // Oct 15, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    Was there an April 1 date on that article? Because I’m having trouble believing any human could write it.

  • 11 Jennifer // Oct 16, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    I’ve never rolled out of bed at 4 a.m. to help a friend in distress, but I did once at 2:35. Even if you give Rosenfeld the benefit of the doubt — that she truly thought the letter-writer was merely exhibiting the latest in a string of bad judgments, and her alleged friends were justified in ignoring her — what to make of Rosenfeld’s comment that late-night help is only expected of husbands or boyfriends, not mere girlfriends? Lovely thought, that: “Unless someone’s having sex with you, don’t expect them to give the slightest damn about your well-being.”

  • 12 dhex // Oct 16, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    it’s entirely possible that she just has lousy friends, is a lousy friend, and doesn’t really get the whole “friendship” thing.

  • 13 Drinking Like ‘Mad Men’ // Oct 16, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    [...] is some sort of elaborate spoof rather than a smart, female-centric magazine.  Yesterday, via Julian Sanchez, I came across their insipid advice column saying it pushed the “limits of friendship” [...]

  • 14 Kevin // Oct 16, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    I’m with her, call a cab or a relative, I’m going back to sleep.

    That might be insensitive or not very friendly, but it’s hardly inhuman.

  • 15 Just Dropping By // Oct 19, 2009 at 11:07 am

    I’m with Kevin and the advice columnist on this one. I’ve never had someone call me in the middle of the night for assistance, but unless it’s my parents my respone would almost certainly be to tell them to call the police, or an ambulance, or a taxi, as appropriate.

  • 16 gravyrug // Oct 19, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    Hell, I’ve gone out after midnight for my daughter’s ex-boyfriend. Drunk ex-boyfriend. It’s just something you do for people, if you’re a person.

  • 17 sikiş // Jan 31, 2010 at 10:17 am

    thanks you
    You will have to crawl very nice,owe you gratitude..

Leave a Comment