May 23rd, 2005

flavored with age

How can science ahhhhhhhhrrr explicate "Hamlet"?

I have my alarm set to wake me up to NPR, so usually I arise to the dulcet tones of some public radio smoothie telling me about the volatile political situation in central Andorra, or Joanne Silberner* updating me about new gonorrhea treatments. This morning, though, I was jarred awake by a special editorial supporting "intelligent design" WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY.

Jesus, NPR! Don't you read Town Hall? You're supposed to be a hotbed of crazy liberals! Don't make me listen to Bill "Ahhhhr" Buckley misuse three-dollar words in an attempt to tell a joke that isn't funny! That's like being woken up by a cranky elderly relative farting in your face.

*: Please note: last night, I was unable to remember the name of one of my friends. I am frequently unable to remember the name of people I have met even on multiple occasions. I would probably forget my father's name if it wasn't the same as mine. But I remembered the name of NPR's chief medical science correspondent without even trying.
flavored with age

Three Peeves

1. Cute neologisms for "asshole", like "asshat" and "ass clown". I don't know where these came from, though given their rapid proliferation on the internet, my guess is: geeks), but they get on my nerves. At first I thought they were meant to be a less offensive sort of faux-cursing, but you know what? The operant offense in "asshole" doesn't come from "hole"; it comes from "ass". This is why the phrase "your father is digging a hole in the back yard" is less offensive than the phrase "your father can stick it up his ass sideways". We already have a perfectly serviceable ass-related term for a jerk, and that word is "asshole". "Asshat" and "ass clown" not only replace a much better, stronger, and more offensive word, they're not only trendy and cute, but they also don't make any sense. "Asshole" is effective because it compares the recipient to a small and generally offensive body part from which shit emanates. "Ass clown" is not effective because it makes no sense. What is an ass clown? A clown whose repertoire centers around his ass? A clown that comes out of someone's ass? A clown who looks like an ass? "Asshat" has similar problems. I assume its origin is in the fine threat to make someone "wear his ass for a hat" -- that's terrific, vivid and nasty-sounding. But "asshat" as an insulting term doesn't work if that's its origin, because its implication is "person who has received a brutal smackdown", while its common use is "jerk". I think it's used because it sounds like "asshole", but it's just not as effective, damn it. More to the point, these are most often used, I think, by people who think the words "hat" and "clown" are just inherently funny, but they're wrong. Only the words "robot" and "monkey" are inherently funny.

2. The claim, either personally or societally, that certain things are inevitable and nothing can be done about them, when in fact they are things that happen because they are made to happen. The most common manifestation of this is in economics, where laissez-faire wonks defend this or that heinous social consequence by saying "well, that's just the market at work, there's nothing you can do about it", when, in fact, 'the market' is not some magical preternatural thing that long predated the arrival of humanity on earth and will be here long after the sun sputters out. 'The market' is a thing, made by people, which operates according to decisions that people conceive and execute, and while one can always make the argument that one shouldn't interfere with its workings (although, of course, it doesn't run without people), one can't make the argument that one can't. The personal version of this is a variant of the statement "well, that's just the way I am, and you can't change the way people are". Although everyone's been guilty of this, myself included, it's nonsense. Of course you can change the way you are. People do it all the time. If you don't want to change the way you are, fine; but don't claim it's impossible.

3. White women especially, but anyone generally, wearing fuzzy blue Kangols. Seriously, cut that shit out.
flavored with age

What's your favorite W.A.?

Wrestling Alliance?
With Attitude?
Writer's Association?

Good to know.

If I were a guy who has to go to work after providing a banal recap of his weekend, I'd...

Tinker with a script!
Watch TV that skipped!
Telephone my girlfriend and get all relationshipped!

Play Catan 'til five!
Almost not survive!
Lose all fuckin' four games, wonder why I'm still alive!

Hang out with some friends!
Eat some Mexican!
Wonder why my sports teams never seem to goddamn win!

And how, musically put, was your weekend?
flavored with age


So I assume you've all seen the Time Magazine list of the 100 greatest films of all time, compiled by Mssrs. Schickel and Corliss. Shocking, to say the least. Controversial, to say the least. Rife for discission, to say the least. Among them:

Acquire: The Wrath of Khaaaaaan!
The Apu Trilogy (Panther Patchouli; Microwave Burrito
; and The World of the Kwik-E-Mart)
Baby, 'Faced
Berlin: Alexander Plotzed
The Bride of Franken, Al
Bury Lyndon
Camille Bournes
Citizen Khaaaaan!
City of Gosh
Closely Washed Brains
The Crimes of Madame Jessica Lange
The Dickalogue
The Discreet Stench of the Burger Joint
Drunken Masturbator II
Good Ol' Fellers
Farewell, My Khaaaan!cubine
His Girl Friday Through Sunday
It's a Gift, But Can I Get Cash Instead of Store Credit?
It's a Wonderful Knife
Kind Hearts with Coronary Bypasses
Lavrents of Moravia
The Lord of Those Things Trilogy (The Fellowship of Those Things; No, Not the Two Things, Those Other Two Things;
and Return of the Things, Come On, Seriously, You Know What I'm Talking About! The, the THINGS!)
Manchu Ryan, Candid Date
Mon domestique d'Mozambique
No Shit, Sherlock Jr.
The Purple Prose of Konigsberg
Schindler's List of Liberal Activist Judges Who Let His Daughter Be Murdered
Singin' Through My Pain
The Smart, the Dumb, and the Film Critic
Smells of a Summer Afternoon
A Streetcar Named B-31 Express
The Waffle's Tooth
Wangs of Desire
Yo, Jimbo!
Zero the Gay Blade Runner
flavored with age

Jesus is the answer!!!!1! !!!11! !!!

The critics are raving about Ryan Dobson's Be Intolerant Because Some Things Are Just Stupid!

"(Be Intolerant) is a statement that desperately needs to be proclaimed in our postmodern world in this day and age. Ryan Dobson shows just how hard the Truth is, and why each individual must embrace it nonetheless in order to live an authentic life. It reveals the major flaws of moral relativism and points to absolute truth as being the system we must embrace if we are to be free from sin and life for God in the world. I highly recommend this book to both Christians and non-Christians alike."

"While his writing might seen bigoted and pathetic to some, to others it might be exactly what they need to spur them on. Ryan does give an honest look at how true intolerance crafted through love is the correct method some times. It's an easy read and not real in depth, but sometimes that's a good thing!"

"As Dobson says in this book, Moral Relativism in part means that you tolerate everything. Well, that shows up when you write an English paper in college. And earns you a C. Trust me - I've been there. Manic tolerance means you don't have an opinion. If you were truly relativest you couldn't even walk around or function."

The critics are similarly raving about Ryan Dobson's 2 Die 4: The Dangerous Truth About Following Christ!

"In a colloquial style with all the subtlety of a two-by-four to the side of the head, Dobson, a surfer, skateboarder and motivational speaker...trumpets Christianity as the ultimate adrenaline rush. 'You and I were born for excitement and adventure...Anything else leaves us bored.' The book targets a young audience with its references to life in a rock band, The Lord of the Rings, professional wrestling and its central metaphor, skydiving. It offers writing for people who don't like to read: short sentences, sentence fragments and plenty of exclamation points. With its ragged and rugged portrait of the Christian as the world's true rebel, this brief, conspicuous book may draw teens and 20-somethings who are tired of boring religion."

"This is a good quick read...which, is great. Especially when trying to reach those in younger generations."


(ETA: I love this Amazon list, entitled "an essential college library". In addition to the standard dictionaries, thesauri, manuals of style, and study guides, and a bunch of Christian books including 2 Die 4 dealing with how to stay Christian in college, there's also...Milton Berle's Private Joke File. Now imagine you are this kid's roomate at the U of Texas, and he spends half his time haranguing you with "answers for skeptics" and lamebrained repetitions of CS Lewis and GK Chesterton apologia, and the rest of his time telling you Fozzie Bear jokes. How long before you transfer to the nearest DeVry?)