Thursday, June 30, 2011

Best opening sentence to an article in a long time: The tenderness of the delicate American buttock from The Guardian

"The tenderness of the delicate American buttock is causing more environmental devastation than the country's love of gas-guzzling cars, fast food or McMansions, according to green campaigners."

Wonderful. I love the not-so-tongue-in-cheek comment here.

Here's the full article.

Where is our intelligentsia? Where is our lost generation going to alight?


If we are the lost generation, then why can't we be lost together? So who will climb out of the dregs and drugery of despair and find the place to sit and grin and collect more grinners, who have no need for affected poverty or disadvantage?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Songs I seem to always hear while drinking at bars: Fleetwood Mac's "Dream"

My most recent trips to the bar have developed an internal pattern of their own. One element of this pattern is the songs that seem to always play while I sit and drink. One of these is Fleetwood Mac's "Dream."

I suppose this is a standard jukebox playing song, but this song makes its appearance with such regularity as to suggest an orchestrated sagacity on the part of the muses, or the bartender, or the dj.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Southwest Pilot Rants on his dismal partying while mic is on; rails against "gays" "grannies" "grandes" "fags"

Here's another video featuring an oblivious person saying things which would make people cringe.

A pilot for Southwest airlines unwittingly broadcast his conversation regarding his crummy party experiences and the amount of "gays" and "fags" he encounters. I imagine this will go viral within the next couple of days. The recording is nothing extraordinary.  Southwest airlines suspended the pilot; he returned after completing diversity classes.

I realize many people will address the homophobic aspect of this recording, which is fine and understandable. But this pilot is not speaking publicly, and in no way is representing his profession or his airline.

A bigger issue I see here is the ever increasing phenomenon of having people's every actions captured and made public on the internet.

It is quickly looking as if it is better to assume you are always being watched and recorded. My what a brave new world we are living in!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Woman on Metro North is well educated: Woman gets asked to quiet down while using mobile phone; phone video captures her loudmouth reaction

women on Mta Metro north well educated

Sweet Benedict, whilst thou art young,
And knowst not yet the use of tongue,
Keep it in thrall whilst thou art free:
Imprison it or it will thee.
            --John Hoskyns

Riding the train or bus to work can be a hassle if you live in a big metropolitan area. You have to learn to put up with a lot of stuff. Sometimes sitting on gum can ruin a good day; sometimes sitting on gum can be the least of your problems. A video is going viral as I type this (only 1654 views!) of a woman who gets upset over being asked to quiet down and stop using profanity while talking on her mobile phone. Again? you say. What's new? Well this video is more entertaining--and somewhat uncomfortable to watch--for the attitude the woman takes. She decides to defend herself by claiming how "well educated she [is]." The moment anyone uses this tactic, you know they lose all credibility of whatever social standing the think they have because of their schooling.

From the youtube description: This woman was talking too loud on the train when the conductor politely asked her to keep it down and stop using profanity or to take it to the vestibule. She jumped up and started yelling about how "educated" she is, proving the exact opposite.
There was an announcement a minute later asking all passengers to please not use profanity on the train, "especially those people who went to Harvard or Yale or are from Westport."

I like the part where she asks "do you know what schools I've been to" and where she asks for her money back.

Just how well educated is she?
Here is her linkdin profile, which  is also making the rounds.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

E.A. Robinson's "The Mill": a poem capturing todays I can't find a job / life's a bitch mood

E.A. Robinson

I thought and googled: The best I can't find a job poem is e.a. robinsons's "the mill"

"Perhaps no person can be a poet, or even can enjoy poetry, without a certain unsoundness of mind" (Thomas Babington Macaulay)

I will not pretend that poetry can be accessed and sought out by all people to find some solace like music or movies or even fiction. At least not today.

But hear me out those of you who think poetry is boring or hard: Reading E.A. Robinson's better poems, you understand how poems matter. I remember reading Robinson's "The Mill" as an undergraduate. I read him along with other Modern poets. Robinson, along with many other early modernists, wrote the kind of poems that outlined modernism's entire principles of mood and subject matter. Early modernist poets like Robinson (along with Housman and Hardy to name a few), made it so that poems could contain layers of ambiguity while attending to the readers' demand to literal meaning. This is no easy task. Later poets failed to achieve this duality of meaning and discovery.

Like I mentioned in an earlier post about poetry, there is no point debating the cultural utility and viability of Poetry in our age: it simply does not register as a cultural force or art form.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Notice something new? Google launches +1 "plus one" and further joins the clutter and fray

Google's +1 plus one button screen shot
Google +1 (plus one)

Google's plus one screenshot
In its continuing effort to rival Facebook, Google launched its own version of the ubiquitous "like" button.  Google, of course, says that their +1 (pronounced "plus one") feature is better because its recommendations will contextualize information thus making them more relevant.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Oh Betty! More on Nostalgia: Betty Brosmer

In a related query to my earlier I Choose Nostalgia post, I present you this:
Betty Brosmer Skirt Backshot visit for more
I thought women could only look like this in cartoons
 Who is this iconic figure with the dazzling figure?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Vladimir Nabokov Hates Your Prose

Lolita is famous, not I
                                --Vladimir Nabokov

If you are like me (which I hope you aren't, for your sake), you cringe whenever people refer to a "Lolita" in some salacious yet totally out of place context. Language is dynamic and changes, I know. And truth is, I enjoy seeing literary references used outside of academia; I like to think that literature is still somewhat relevant and capable of penetrating our technocratic, solipsistic culture. But as a Nabokovphile, I am tasked to side with Nabokov's obtuse and often times untenable tenets about his characters and his motivations.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dropping the e in websites and techy things ending in er, like in flickr, tumblr...[someone already blogged this]

e crossed out, no e's allowed

After glimpsing a news story on yet another tech company that drops the "e" if the ending sounds like the word should end in "er" ( I say sounds like because, after all we cannot really know since some of these are made up words), I thought and googled: whats with these tech company names dropping the e?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The New Criterion and their Love of Big, Fancy Words--A Love Hate Sort of Thing

Wordle: Untitled

I thought and googled (after reading The New Criterion) : Why does the New Criterion love big fancy words?

If you read or have read enough of this publication, you will note its predilection for using big words especially in its "notes and comments section", which is basically the editorial section to voice its current grievances with culture for an already--how shall I say--heavily voiced journal.

I am not a pedant, but I do like the swift exactness that "long" words often offer the writer.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

All Google Needs is its Own Power Source to Conquer the Technocratic World--And This May Happen Soon

I thought and googled : All Google needs is its own power or energy source for it to theoretically (as opposed to practically, maybe)  be able to take over our technocratic world.

I realize articles describing and deriding Google for its hegemony are a dime a dozen. And, frankly, when the articles are older, they seem to give Google more credit than possibly due; other contenders have emerged.

I usually don't think twice when I read articles similar to this one asking if Google is too powerful.

Why don't I worry much? Well, besides the fact that I am apathetic to most things described in such articles, it is because my power has gone out it in my home more than once in the past two months. I realize

Stop Saying Zeitgeist

Stop using the word zeitgeist. If you must use it, at least don't echo the word in your article (echoing in editorial, writer speak means repeating your language).


Now excuse me while I go wallow in my weltschmerz.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

It's like Tina Fey without her glasses

I googled: It's like Tina Fey without her glasses

I'm not big on identifying and following the careers of celebrities. I am usually the person who has to describe the actor before I name him--and this doesn't really work since my descriptions rely on foggy memory. So when I happened to catch a glimpse of Tina Few without her glasses I experienced a strange double-double take. I sort of knew who she was, but didn't: something's missing...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Eliot's The Waste Land: The Most Overrated Poem in the English Language

Eliot's poetry has found its place in the embalmed world of academia and with lovers of fatuously admired poetry.
T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land is the most overrated poem in the English language.

Thankfully, since most people don't give a damn about poetry, I think fewer people will be exposed to this fraud and his poem. Actually, that last sentence is sad (no, not just because of its clumsiness): As I posted earlier, Poetry is dead, and when you read poems like The Waste Land, it's kind of easy to see why Modernism became the punching bag for blaming the demise of poetry.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Poetry is dead; poems are not

Poetry is dead; poems are not.

I googled this pithy statement after having thought of it as I lay in bed one night reading. We can all agree that Poetry is dead in our era. People don't learn to recite poems nor can most adults name a living contemporary poet. I don't feel like writing much on this by now overwrought topic. It's just enough for me to concede that Poetry in our era is dead (although this is not to say it can't be revived); but poems are not.

But, I repeat, this is not to say that poems are dead. The distinction between Poetry and poems may seem silly and intentionally arcane, but it is one that holds true in my experience, and probably yours. If you can recite lyrics to a favorite song, you are proving how poems do matter; if you can recite some pithy lines from a show or movie that hold some significance and resonate in you, you are proving how poems do matter; if you can cite some lines of prose for their beauty and clarity, you are proving how poems do matter; if you can recite a poem, then obviously you are proving how poems do matter.

Poetry no longer holds a place as an accessible, open art form in our culture. But language will always be manipulated and twisted and made ugly or beautiful to express a thought, for we are humans. This is why poems are still being written today and being read by all peoples.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

I Choose Nostalgia

I googled: I choose Nostalgia, not some hackneyed inspirational word.

I know I am late to this party, but the other day I spotted Shepard Fairey's Obama Hope poster. Like most pieces of art that experience a meteoric rise, Fairey's poster has been relegated the coffers of pop-culture.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Bad Educations by Ben Wildavsky

The Wilson Quarterly: Book Reviews: Bad Educations by Ben Wildavsky

Another one of these books scrutinizing American higher education?

Yes, and this is fine. Why? Because unlike the cottage-industry of publishing books on how God does not exist or how stupid the people who believe in God are (this is the gist for a lot of these books), at least by scrutinizing higher education we can maybe, just maybe, move into a problem-solving stage in our culture regarding all things education.

One can dream, right?

Friday, May 6, 2011

I ask Google why a left turn arrow hasn't been activated even though a new traffic signal was installed a long time ago

Here's what I googled: why hasn't the left turn arrow on Soto and Washington been activated?

Don't you hate it when busy intersections lack left turn lanes and arrows? During rush hour, watching the scramble to make a left turn before the light turns completely red sometimes makes me laugh. The tacit rule is that only two cars may turn on red; usually the third car runs a greater risk of impeding traffic.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

That's Racist Kid Screaming gif

When you want to skip over drivel with too much hate, or when you just don't want to read something related to racism, use this, the internet gif sensation.