Monday, September 25, 2006

another content-free post

Do I need to read Harry Potter now, you guys? Also, Randy:
Where the reading of novels prevails as a habit, it occasions in time the entire destruction of the powers of the mind."
-Samuel Taylor Coleridge
I knew I'd have occasion to use that.

And while I'm here, what the hell, let's have some funny animals. YouTube is still the tits. No need to thank me. It's what I do.

Firstly, these cats have something to say to you. For one of them, that something is "Deedle deedle deedle."

For another, it's "Oh Long Johnson."


Imagine the mama is Bjork, and the baby is P.J. Harvey.

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Friday, September 22, 2006

animal-licking, egregious sexism, and good music

An anecdote: This week, my senile English professor informed our class that in Thomas More's Utopia, a prospective bride was supposed to present herself to the prospective groom, completely naked, before the marriage, so that the groom could examine her for physical defects and call off the marriage if any such defects were found. My professor then spent a couple of minutes talking about how great an idea this was. Of course, he did so in just the way you'd expect from an old white dude obsessed with making sure his 17 year old female students know that he rides motorcycles. Which is to say, he was laughing when he said it, so as to establish it as a joke and thus incapable of giving offense, but he was actually dead serious. Not to mention desperately hoping to come off as "cool" to his class full of teenagers. The actual passage from Utopia, by the way?
Before marriage some grave matron presents the bride naked, whether she is a virgin or a widow, to the bridegroom; and after that some grave man presents the bridegroom naked to the bride.
I guess he got so excited about the first half of that sentence that he just plum missed the last half. By the way, the section of Utopia this comes from is called "Of Their Slaves, and of Their Marriages." Now that's a good joke.

On a completely different, and much happier, note: go and listen to Margot & the Nuclear So and So's right now. It's a band named after a character from a Wes Anderson film, so the name isn't quite as stupid as it sounds. After you've listened, ask me to send you the whole album. Or get it yourself from emusic. (The two best songs aren't on their MySpace page.) They're playing November 25th at the Troubadour. Who's with me?

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Monday, September 18, 2006

your rhetorical history lesson for today

Courtesy of Norton:
In Renaissance England, certain syntactic forms or patterns of words known as "figures" (also called "schemes") were shaped and repeated in order to confer beauty or heighten expressive power. Figures were usually known by their Greek and Latin names, though in an Elizabethan rhetorical manual, The Arte of English Poesie, George Puttenham made a valiant if short-lived attempt to give them English equivalents, such as "Hyperbole, or the Overreacher" and "Ironia, or the Dry Mock."
Please, folks! Call me "The Dry Mock" henceforth.

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Sunday, September 17, 2006

why doesn't anyone tell me these things?

So apparently I've been locked up in my house reading Blake while Southern California burns. What can I say, I do not own a fiddle.

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Friday, September 15, 2006

personality crisis

On my lunch hour today, I bought Uggs (not that color though, double ugh) and got my nose pierced. Let's go bowling tonight, okay?

Friday, September 08, 2006

Samuel Johnson

Have y'all heard of this guy?
Much of my time has sunk into nothing, and left no trace by which it can be distinguished; and of this I now only know, that it was once in my power, and might once have been improved.
How much of that do you think a good tattoo artist could fit across the back of my neck?

It is, however, not necessary, that a man should forbear to write, till he has discovered some truth unknown before; he may be sufficiently useful, by only diversifying the surface of knowledge, and luring the mind by a new appearance to a second view of those beauties which it had passed over inattentively before.
Now that's even better than the catshit anodyne.

To write is, indeed, no unpleasing employment, when one sentiment readily produces another, and both ideas and expressions present themselves at the first summons; but such happiness, the greatest genius does not always obtain; and common writers know it only to such a degree, as to credit its possibility. Composition is, for the most part, an effort of slow diligence and steady perseverance, to which the mind is dragged by necessity or resolution, and from which the attention is every moment starting to more delightful amusements.
XOXO, Sammy.

All joy or sorrow for the happiness or calamities of others is produced by an act of the imagination, that realizes the event however fictitious, or approximates it however remote, by placing us, for a time, in the condition of him whose fortunes we contemplate; so that we feel, while the deception lasts, whatever emotions would be excited by the same good or evil happening to ourselves.
. . .
We are all prompted by the same motives, all deceived by the same fallacies, all animated by hope, obstructed by danger, entangled by desire, and seduced by pleasure.

And yet:
Mrs. Knowles: "Still, Doctor, I cannot help thinking it a hardship that more indulgence is allowed to men than women. It gives a superiority to men, to which I do not see how they are entitled." Johnson: "It is plain, Madam, one or the other must have the superiority. As Shakespeare says, 'If two men ride on a horse, one must ride behind.'"
Boswell: Life

Saaay, Mr. Johnson, isn't that a quote from Much Ado About Nothing? And isn't it Dogberry's line — Dogberry, who earlier in this very scene utters the phrase "Comparisons are odorous" and later in this very scene utters the phrase "It shall be suffigance"? And don't you, in fact, happen to know a little something about Shakespeare yourself? I say, Mr. Johnson, you had better check yourself before you wreck yourself. Irony really won't be in fashion until the early 21st century.

This picture makes me happy.

Monday, September 04, 2006

school is stupid

But YouTube is the tits. For your viewing pleasure: the finest kitten-falling-asleep videos in all the land.

You're welcome.