Don't fall down in the street, please.
If you do, make sure you crawl back to the gutter.
Issue 57: here's an equivocator that could swear in both the scales against either scale
Sunday, December 31, 2006
Saturday, December 30, 2006
The sign says it all!
Indeed it does.
"Haze" has to be the worst code word for smog I've ever heard. "Inversion" is just about as bad, but as it doesn't sound pleasant like "haze" and therefore I will deride the usage of "haze" more than "inversion." I give pause to think of the chemical stew that abides in the air at this point. This stew comes from one major source now: the beloved automobile.
Thanks to Catinlap for the excellent photo.
Please move now or just stop driving so damn much.
(I'm doing penance for renting that fucking truck.)
Aspens in winter #4
Sunday, December 24, 2006
TheOrris and his truck.
Merry Xmas! I couldn't aks for more!
"He sees you when your sleeping! He knows when you are on the can!"
(Bonus candy to anyone who gets my obscure reference.)
Cliche Christmas card photo
Friday, December 22, 2006
Promises made does not mean that promises will be kept! or Patience pays off!
I rent a car most Christmases since I have no car and visiting family and friends on non-existent holiday transport is impossible. I suppose I should write more about my experiment in refusing to own a car in a car-based culture (and I have occasionally, I suppose) but it seems insufferable to keep doing it. Suffice it to say, I like my choice generally (although it makes dating awkward). Whenever I fill out one of those carbon footprint calculators, my score comes up teensy.
But back to why I am sitting her writing: the kind car rental agents offered me a truck for triple the rate of the car. How nice of them! They are also now pressing the collision damage insurance, which is a load of bollocks in that my credit card covers it all (trust me I've checked several times) with no deductable and no shenanigans.
They are also quite good about pressuring clients to upgrade because of the nasty weather. Oh well: this is how these guys make money, I suppose. Does everything having to do with cars, however, have to be extra sleazy?
A rather dizzying older woman comes in seeking a car. She has no reservation but "needs a car." They are booked up solid. No cars are available. They are closed on Sundays, as well. After she leaves, the gang of agents guffaw at her idiocy.
Now they are offering me hot chocolate and holiday cookies. I refuse, politely, and continue to type. I sense this is because the officemates have started some banter about clueless customers that I assume they engage in when no customers are present. This, of course, is standard office practice, but they momentarily forgot I was present.
Now they are discussing video games. Apparently 2 like the Wii and 2 hate it: "The point of video games is that you don't have to move around."
The guy who offered me hot chocolate and holiday cookies seems to be the boss and he tells one of the men that they need to work on close outs or something like that.
It has grown quiet in the office save for the nervous whistle of one of the agents and the crack of sunflower seeds. I amused suddenly about how much this is like the office. There seems to be a lot of pointless staring at computers and flirtatious telephone conversations with women on the other end of the line.
More customers come in.
It has been 15 minutes.
"You are brave coming up from Arizona to drive in this weather," the representative jokes.
"I know!" The woman has huge rings on wrinkled fingers. She is with a guy who must be her son. He says things like "she needs a small car."
Apparently there have been many accidents this morning and a lot of insurance reservations. There really is not very much snow on the roads. It must have just been bad this morning. The usual topic of discussion in these circumstances is that people forget how to drive in snow. No doubt that is the case, but I'm not going to belabor it here.
Apparently they have lost the keys to a car that was to go out to the women with rings. They are willing to offer her an upgrade to a truck. Funny. For me it was triple the rate. The woman refuses. She doesn't want a large truck. Ah her initial rate is much higher. They ask for patience from the customer. The customer seems most accommodating, but that is because they have offered to bring the car to her.
21 minute ago I sat in this chair. I completed the contract 23 minutes ago.
"Everything is slower because of the weather!" the boss says to someone on the phone. That is a very adept assessment.
It is snowing lightly. My leg is falling asleep.
The representative is dancing around the insurance issue. The woman with the rings is surprisingly adept at seeing through his shenanigans: "But you already insure these cars."
"Yes," he admits "but what about rock dings!" It is an exclamation rather than a question.
My guy is getting nervous, I think, he looks out the blinds.
This rep is a hard sell. He is trying to scare the woman now about how complicated things are making claims out of state. Now he is boldly lying that they don't push the collision damage. The guy the ring woman is with is in cahoots with the rental car guy. She folds. Score another 75 buckaroos to the company. I'm sure they have some sort of competition going on selling the insurance. No one would work so hard to sell it otherwise.
My bet was 30. It is now 35 minutes.
Wait a minute: something's afoot!
Hah. So the truck that was going to cost me 3 times as much as I was going to pay for the car was given to me. They called it a free upgrade. Patience pays off: you see. Well that and typing away in their waiting room. Apparently the 35 minute wait was even too much for them because suddenly there was a "glitch" with the car.
So now I am tooling around in a Ford F150 with four-wheel drive. So much for my carbon footprint being tiny.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
The Life of Rome's First Emperor
Robert Graves (see I, Claudius) used such stories to portray Livia as power-hungry and manipulative. Everitt, however, dismisses such a portrayal of Livia and uses it more to show that Augustus simply wanted to see for himself the status of his would-be son and determine if he could be rehabilitated. To Everrit, Augustus was engaging in the very thing that got him on the throne in the first place: political sleight of hand and manipulation. Given that Posthumous was killed right after the Emperor's death one could either determine (ala Graves) that Livia and Tiberius had the kid killed simply to clear any possibility of his ascension to imperium. Everitt, however, takes the position that as always, Augustus was scheming himself and knew that his unfortunate progeny was unfit to rule and thus assured Tiberius ascension to the purple.
Everitt does engage in some pretty knowledgeable explication of Roman life and the political scene at the dawn of the millennium, but he seems to make use of speculative narrative to explain away the actions of people whom we have very little historical knowledge. Granted that his conclusions make sense given Augustus' proclivities to control political situations, but like Greenblatt's Will in the World, it often stretches the blend of historical fact and authorial interpretation to the point that the historian's bias, if not sifted out by the careful reader, is presented as historical fact. I must respect Everitt, however, in that unlike Greenblatt he readily admits (quite often) that he is engaging in speculation. Greenblatt does indeed do that too, but oftentimes his own thesis overwhelms the sparse factual evidence.
In all, however, I think I would prefer to read a biography like Will in the World or Augustus rather than some dry events-only text.
Monday, December 11, 2006
Action on the mountain!
Saturday, December 09, 2006
I'll up here. You are down there.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Wilhelm Action Tree!
This year for the Wilhelm Annual Xtreme Xmas Xxtravaganza X-Tree we decided to put the many many many action figures we all have collected to good decorative use. Look closely and you will spy Wilhelm Wookie too. He's up at the top by Jesus and the Rancor. You can make out many of Jesus's pals in the tree throughout including the boxing rabbi, Amish, and Alien.
And yeah, its a live tree. My carbon foot print is small as it is so I don't need your guff. Actually I do feel badly about it, but it was a farmed tree, grown for this purpose. It had its time to absorb our excess carbon. My housemates, however, have never had a live tree before last year and I felt badly for them, so agreed to get a real cut tree. It is nice to be a little primeval, however, and bring the pagan green inside. Our tree, however, is thoroughly religious, in that Jesus, a rabbi, the Amish, Santa, and a skeleton, represent their religions making this a DIVERSETREE.
You know it is the last day of classes when...
- You nearly walk out the door with your shirt on inside-out
- You then actually check to make sure you are wearing pants.
- You wake up in the middle of the night in a sweat having dreamed that you forgot to go to a class for the entire semester and now it is the last day.
- You feel that email is a tool of the devil put on earth to enslave us and destroy our will to live.
- You realize that your supply of clothes is surprisingly resilient despite lack-of-laundry doing.
- You only think in terms of numbered lists.
Friday, December 01, 2006
Speaking of holiday cheer...
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Sign of the times
It was interesting, therefore, to hear the following monologue outside my office today:
"Buy Nothing Christmas?! Rise Above It?! What does that mean? ! Are they boycotting Christmas or something?!"
Ultimately this person proves the Buy Nothing Group's parsimonious point: Christmas has been converted wholesale into a commercial holiday where it is not just connoted with buying goods, but is denoted by egregious spending, excluding any other trifling religious significance of a person who called for disciples to give up all their goods and follow him. For the above commentator Christmas is only about buying things. To not buy things means that Christmas itself is being boycotted. Christ himself is not being celebrated. God is being denied. You are, in fact, an evil atheist if won't buy anything at Christmas time.
I guess they don't show the Charlie Brown Christmas Special any more, eh?
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
I love you, you love me
"San Francisco - The corporate owners of the popular children's television character Barney the Purple Dinosaur have agreed to withdraw their baseless legal threats against a website publisher who parodied the character and to compensate him for fees expended in defending himself." (EFF: Breaking News)Yay! Yay! Let's all sing now! Yay!
Monday, November 27, 2006
Local First Utah
Jennifer Napier-Pierce has a interview with Local First Utah's Gavin Noyes, executive director in episode #65 of her podcast Inside Utah. In a related topic, Napier-Pierce also talks to Christi Paulson on the idea of "slow food."
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Three things learned over Thanksgiving Holiday
- Don't wash your cell phone and expect it to work again.
- There is a cool indicator just inside the battery compartment of a cell phone that indicates that the device has been immersed in liquid (see #1).
- It is still necessary to write down phone numbers despite having a cell phone (see #1).
("Arrogance", Cesare Ripa)
Friday, November 24, 2006
Tales of Jr. High
See I got her to say it again. I am so laughing my ass off right now.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Eleven and one!
We watched the game at Murphy's (a step down in bars) on Main Street in good old down town muthafuckin SLC.
(I swear too much.)
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
D-News Drives Hard in the Lane with an Easy Pronoun Antecedent Play, Shoots under the Basket, and Misses!
"AND FINALLY: A perhaps-telling quote from Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, on injuries: 'Last year, we had so many injuries I think guys prayed they're going to get hurt. That's what happens. The more you play that way the more you get hurt.' (deseretnews.com | Jazz feeling love from national media)So the Jazz players were praying that they would get hurt or players from other teams were praying that the Jazz players get hurt? What way are they playing? Religiously, complete with prayers? Why, pray tell, is this a telling quotation? (Quote is a verb not at noun, god damn you.)
Thanks once again, crack Deseret News sports editing team for making things crystal clear.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Best song ever (November 2006 edition)
This wrinkle in time, can't give it no creditGo find the song somewhere. I'm begging you. Go find it. Seriously.
I thought about my space and I really got me down
(got me down)
I got me so down, I got me a headache
My heart is crammed in my cranium
And it still knows how to pound
I was counting the rings
And I fell into a sleep
I peeked to see if you were way back when
I was counting the trees
Until a day when there was one
I'd hoped beneath, asleep is where that you had been
(Frank Black, "Headache".)
Monday, November 20, 2006
Yay! Utah Jazz now represent bringing in high-level nuclear waste into Utah. Yay! Go team! Nuclearize us all!
At least the Jazz won again.
(By the way, EnergySolutions Arena qualifies as the fucking stupidest name ever in support one of the most heinously 1984-esque industries ever.)
This must be the most surreal moment in television history. What the hell is up with Steve Allen and the piano?
Wasn't Augustus Gloop Sucked up the Tube by this Point in the Movie?
All that time in Disneyland for Extremely Wealthy Hicks and the only good picture I get was this one. Yeesh. I was really looking forward to taking pictures of Nashville too. Sherman Alexie called the resort hotel we were all staying at "a perfect analogy of America." Next time that you see that your convention is at Opryland, beware: high prices, long lines, recycled air, and shattered dreams.
Friday, November 17, 2006
Inside of the dome
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Defect in the thermal shell
It is Logan's Run.
Let me run.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Another week and more travel. I caught these 3 in the Detroit airport last Sunday, I think. I assume he must have been traveling from the Middle East. His girl was absorbed in her People magazine and tried to get him to look at it. He ignored her. Her mother (or perhaps his) looked nervous the entire time. Perhaps all is not well in the relationship.
I fly out again tomorrow morning. Perhaps another relationship tableaux will be in the offing as I travel to the heart of the Middle South.
No, Queequeg! Don't do it!
"On November 14th, 1851 Herman Melville published Moby Dick, the classic tale of Captain Ahab's whale hunt." (OUPblog: This Day in History: Moby Dick is Published)
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
"I will destroy you!"
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Anywhosits since I don't write about my professional existence here, I feel I am breaching some confidence: even if it is with myself. I suppose Dr. Write might think my unwillingness to blog about my professional existence here as somehow unwholesome--or at least too compartmentalized. I prefer, however, to keep the job and all it entails mostly in its little cage in the attic--or is it the other way round? Anyway the professional commitments allow me to travel a lot so that, naturally, intrudes upon my personal life.
A guy right next to me just swilled a Tanqueray and something. Pre-flight jitters?
The best thing about this trip was a poetry slam last night led by local poet (and poetic impresario) Jeff Kass. I am not much on poetry slams as I think they are cliquish and generally ripe with the disaffected who feel they have a right to whine in quasi-poetry about anything and everything, but these kids were generally interesting to listen to--even the kid who had a poem about getting caught beating off--simply because he explained he wanted to get up in front of a crowd and recite about the most uncomfortable thing he could think of.
Now next to me is a teenager with a gold card trying to order a bloody mary and a beer. "Do you have some ID to show me?" the bartender asks. She is jaded and has a spider tattoo on her arm. The teenager runs off.
After the poetry event my professional friends and I headed off to an Ethiopian restaurant where we ate communally. Ethiopian food is more like Inidan than I expected.
So here I sit, working on my second New Castle, and now I think I've sort of become a barfly. A blogging barfly with my stuff strewn around the bar. It seems uncomfortable even for an airport. Security makes me come to the airport early, so I have a while to wait.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
blue light special
I'm out of here for a couple of days. My Microtel, however, supposedly has wireless access, so expect an update from Ann Arbor. Maybe. If I feel like it. If I see anything interesting. Yeah, I can hear you now: "Some blue light special this is!"
Aren't they all that way? I mean you get over to the flashing podium in Big K and it turns out the blue light special is tighty whiteys.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Adventures in voting
- Walk past the polling station with its American flag posted in a planter to another set of doors thinking they would not have put the voting booths in the Catholic church's sanctuary.
- Enter those doors, look around and realize you have the wrong place.
- Turn around and spot several people leaving the other doors you passed up and realize your mistake.
- Walk back to the flag, look around and note the "Vote hear!" sign on the wall by the other doors.
- Enter the doors, spot more signs that lead past the sanctuary to a set of stairs leading to the church's basement.
- Follow the signs down, turn left at the bottom of the stairs and spot the election judges processing fellow citizens to conduct their suffrage.
- Wait patiently for a few people to be signed in.
- State your name clearly and somewhat loudly so the geriatric poll worker hears you.
- Wait for her to find your name.
- Sign your name upside down opposite your name.
- Take a yellow card and step to the next poll worker who takes your card and says "I will clear out a voting card for you."
- Wait while the poll worker takes a device that looks like a calculator, slides the electronic voting card and punches a few numbers.
- Take the card from the election worker who indicates you the short line of voters directly across the hall.
- Think about taking pictures while waiting politely in line with your cell phone but decide against it.
- Wait for 2 minutes for a electronic polling station to clear and then saunter over to the machine.
- Insert your card into the machine and here it click.
- Watch as the card ejects and the screen reads "card cleared."
- Insert the card in twice more with each time having the card eject and the screen read the same.
- Walk back to the poll worker who gave you the card, avoiding the guy who eagerly wants to take the card away from you (that's his job) and state in a clear loud voice "It says the card is cleared."
- Listen to the poll worker say "oh my" as if it has never happened before.
- Watch the worker re-insert his card into the calculator-like device and ask you what number was on the yellow card you handed him.
- State "Which one? The precinct number or the number one?
- Listen to him state "the number one" and then take the card back from him eying the blue card with Utah's state seal and a microchip doohickey in a familiar brass contact plate cover goob.
- Return to the same Diebold polling station and reinsert the card.
- Conclude the voting by carefully reviewing your selections and then pressing the "Print Ballot" virtual button.
- Review the printed ballot scrolling through the right-hand side of the voting device to ensure all your votes are correct.
- Complete voting by selecting the appropriate screen item and remove the voting card from the device.
- Turn in the card to the previously mentioned eager poll worker.
- Eye the "I voted stickers."
- Don't request one and leave the polling place.
- Walk home thinking of various ways the system might be compromised or scandolously corrupt politicians might coerce the system if they actually gave you some sort of receipt for voting.
- Wonder if those "I voted!" sticker could be used by scandalously corrupt politicians in trade for booze for dipsomaniacs who are getting election-day DTs.
Monday, November 06, 2006
Four and O
Want to take bets on when the Jazz don't make it over 100?
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Happy valley tour?
Friday, November 03, 2006
Ode fragment for Swamp Crotch AZ
As young as they are
And proceeded to wipe
The floor of poor Phoenix
As old as they are
Nash Nash the gnashing
of the Teeth
One O eight.
Down fifteen at one point
And then back to win
What do you know?
We'll leave it at that.
"Hatch Toy Only Available to High Powered Lobbyists"
Best political advertisement ever. Ever.
(I am absolutely not kidding. It is brilliant.)
Thursday, November 02, 2006
I think it is because of the new ball
OK that was two things, but since it is repetition it can count as one. I don't recall the last time the Jazz broke a hundred (although I'm sure they did it some time last year) but they haven't done it with such ease and adept play since 2 B.S.M. (Before Stockton-to-Malone). Boozer took it to the basket with authority. Miles held a solid outside. Williams showed he can lead a team. Fisher saved their asses when the team began a classic Jazz out-of-control spin in the 4th and brought them back to the afore-mentioned 107 freaking points. The only disappointment was Kirilenko, but his contribution really wasn't needed anyway because Yao was about as about as big a cry baby flat foot as Ostertag ever was last night.
See this is what you get when you let your players play rather than trying to coach them to death. This is also what you get when you pull things together and listen to your coach (something I saw Fisher doing intently which is so very different from how the last minute Jazz huddles of recent years have been.) They certainly weren't the dead, flat-footed Jazz of last season. Sloan even looked like he cared again. (And I am more than willing to give the guy a big break since his wife died the summer before last season.) Now that Sloan is remarried he seems like he is back into it. Maybe he is willing to accept change.
Crazy first-game-inspired prediction: Jazz make the second round of the play offs.
Monday, October 30, 2006
Do you like my hat?
Is that really a fortune? Come on, fortunes are supposed to tell you something about the future, right, not some inane statement about personality traits.
Wow, I guess I just proved that fortune wrong.
Into the night
Friday, October 27, 2006
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Pinot noir/Cabernet sauvignon
19th Century British Novelists
George Elliott/Anthony Trollope
20th Century British Novelists
D.H. Lawrence/Iris Murdoch
20th Century Poets
T.S. Elliot/Theodore Roethke
Distillations of philosophies
"Be all you can be"/"Know thyself"
F. Scott Fitzgerald/Dorothy Parker
70's Album Rockers
Ronald Reagan/Jimmy Carter
Stravinsky Musical Compositions
Rite of Spring /L'Histoire du Soldat
20th Century Minimalist Composers
Phillip Glass/Steve Reich
Nixon in China/Girl from the Golden West
Henry VIII/Cosimo D'Medici
Andrei Kirilinko/Devon Williams
Phil Jackson/Don Nelson
9th & 9th/21st 11th
SLC Coffee Houses
Roasting Company/That one in the Avenues
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Sunday, October 22, 2006
A non-blogger and Dr. Write
Assertively Unhip & The Biker
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Your grandpa's Chevy!
In case of Emergency, Malibu!
Boy this rental car really does make me feel like I'm cruising down the Coastal Highway. Ah the plush plastic interior.
Why do you think GM put the emergency flasher button so close to the name plate? Note how the 80s-computerific lettering leans into the wind.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
My mountain home
It is twenty-seven-freaking-degrees outside my people. Twenty-seven-freaking-degrees.
Man it is great.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
See what happens when you don't teach literature in school?
A bearded and hollow-cheeked Agasi Vartanyan finished what he said was his 50th day without food, climbing out of plastic cube on the banks of the Neva River outside of St Petersburg - and promptly berating reporters.Soon they will find his cage seemingly empty, and bury him straw and all. Everyone has forgotten the hunger artist. They will replace him with a leopard which "furnished almost to the bursting point with all that it needed, seemed to carry freedom around with it too; somewhere in his jaws it seemed to lurk; and the joy of life streamed with such ardent passion from his throat that for the onlookers it was not easy to stand the shock of it" (Kafka, "A Hunger Artist"). They will stand it and never want to move away.
"I feel offended because my efforts did not attract much attention,' the 46-year-old said. 'Only local media wrote about it." (IOL: Skinny man claims new world record)
(Spotted on BoingBoing.)
Saturday, October 14, 2006
This shit is all gone.
How the fuck did I end up with "My Lady's House Plants" anyway? I remember the 70s crap and Return of the Native is a spare copy (sadly that paper back was a remnant of high school) and 2001 is another double copy. There are some religious texts that I have no idea why I have hung on to and some pretty stupid yard sale grabs being thrown out. My sadest desertion, however, has to be the operation manual for Stephen Wolfram's Mathematica. It was given to me by some very good friends back in the day and I recall have quite a time actually enjoying mathematics for once in my life playing with the program. (It is at the very bottom of the stack on the right.)
Sundee morning update: Just about done with the whole library. The outcast pile has grown considerably.
Amusing things you find while organizing your library or your host at 19
So am I intellectually skeptical of the rather awkwardly seated discussion, or just pining for the cute blonde girl I had a crush on who has the book we were discussing so elaborately displayed on her desk? (Note: I was not in the second class, but you Utah alumni will recognize OSH in all its 80's glory!)
I think I still have that shirt, by the way. My hair was 20 years before its time too.
Schoedinger and Sartre sittin' on shelf, K.I.S.S.I.N.G.....
I've also diligently been entering the books into the librarything goobersmack.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
"Dance my moneky! Dance!"
I doubt that Snowbird was intending for people to think the organ grinder had hired a little person to do the dancing.
Friday, October 06, 2006
New The Decemberists (The Crane Wife): 5 listens so far (And a rather status quo website and album design, save the cool stickers I picked up at Orion's 4 weeks ago, and man what a life it must be in The Decemberists Inc. right now).
Is a review in order?
- Are they antiwar?
- What is the influence of Yes on The Decemberists? Why does Beck eschew album rock influences?
- Will there be a remix?
For some reason I'm listening to Wilco Summerteeth at the moment. Perhaps it is a pallet cleanser.
[The land of lost notes] Note 37: Pick
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Instructions for voters
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
As leaves to trees
But even the leaves
Have time to grow
Flush against hot
And then yellow
And then die
Crinkled on hard
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
You said our love was like a bus on route
But the bus driver suffered a heart attack
And now we're careening out of control
About to slam into a Geo Metro
Driven by Death himself--black clad,
Chalky white grin from ear to ear
(If he had ears beneath that itchy
Cool cowl) but death has no ears to hear
The screams of helpless passengers
Or eyes to see that he is driving
Straight into the out-of-control city
Bus of our love
Your analogy made me sad
Because I'd paid full fare
But you got on with your
I brace myself for impact
But you’ve already popped
The emergency escape hatch
And bailed, shoulder rolling
I knew we should
Have just taken a cab.
Monday, October 02, 2006
Best chorus of the past summer
over and over and over and over and over
like a monkey with a miniature cymbal
the joy of repetition really is in you
under and under and under and under and under
the smell of repetition really is on you
and when i feel this way i really am with you
(Hotchip, "Over and Over")
Super cool. You should hear the song.
Lager Lager Lager Shouting Mega White Thing Mega Mega White Thing
Did Trainspotting really come out 10 years ago?
Did I really just nod off in front of my computer?
Shouting Shouting Shouting
Mega Mega White Thing
Come on Come on Come on
Sunday, October 01, 2006
On King Darius and the Art of the Boast
This indeed my capability: that my body is strong. As a fighter of battles I am a good fighter of battles. When ever with my judgment in a place I determine whether I behold or do not behold an enemy, both with understanding and with judgment, then I think prior to panic, when I see an enemy as when I do not see one.And such boasts have a long history in human (particularly male) behavior in which one attempts to intimidate through words either one's friends or one's enemies. I am thinking, in particular, of the great boast that Twain recorded in Life on the Mississippi where the braggart goes on and on about how good he is and, particularly, what a good boaster he is. This brag, of course, is highly relevant to modern-day rap in that many times the rapper goes on and on about what skills he or she has at rapping.
I am skilled both in hands and in feet. As a horseman, I am a good horseman. As a bowman, I am a good bowman, both on foot and on horseback. As a spearman, I am a good spearman, both on foot and on horseback.
These skills that Ahuramazda set down upon me, and which I am strong enough to bear, by the will of Ahuramazda, what was done by me, with these skills I did, which Ahuramazda set down upon me.
O man, vigorously make you known of what sort I am, and of what sort my skillfulnesses, and of what sort my superiority. Let not that seem false to you, which has been heard by your ears. Listen to what is said to you.
O man, let that not be made to seem false to you, which has been done by me. That do you behold, which has been inscribed. Let not the laws be disobeyed by you. Let not anyone be untrained in obedience. [The last line is unintelligible]" (Achaemenid Royal Inscriptions: DNb)
Now aside from the rhetorical aspects of the brag(boast) to indimidate others, I am also interested in when such bragging is condoned and not condoned. Ultimately everyone expects a basketball or football player to boast about his skills both on the court or field as a sort of rhetorical intimidation or distraction tactic. If that player, however, boasts out of the playing context they are considered "big headed" or so completely self-centered that they become the brunt of jokes (witness Karl Malone in parody on Comedy Central for example.) Out of their playing context, athletes are expected to be humble and self-effacing and great champions of team effort. (Now ultimately this can be a racial issue in that often times white players are seen as humble, but athletes of color are seen as self-centered and uppity. I will not, however, be engaging in a discussion of the racist aspects of humility today. I think, nevertheless it is important to considered social values and how they play out between the races.) Larry Bird and Michael Jordan are good examples of this pairing: both were stars on the court and didn't seem to lack attitude about their work while on the court. Nevertheless, when they came off the court they adopted the humble hero motif and declaimed team effort and rarely boasted about their copious skills on the court.
Similarly, one is expected to brag(boast) on a vitae but at the same time showing a sure amount of defference in a job interview. These indicate, of course, an amount of social control on individuals to keep them from breaking out a socially prescribed role. Not all people, in other words, get to be king, and only the king can brag with impunity.
Ultimately this does seem to be the case today, but leaders are expected to be humble (to an extent.) I think, however, that not much really has changed. Darius, for example, is being humble in that he indicates that all of this is thanks to Ahuramazda, much like a modern-day political leader ascribes things to God and asks for God's blessings (acting like some sort of Pontifex Maximus of official republican pan-theism.) Nevertheless, Darius makes sure that you know it is his skill that has made him great (thanks to Ahuramazda). Skill proves Darius. In other words he can kick your ass from here to next week (if he has to). Why can he do this? He has the skills, man. Thanks Ahuramazda! (Praise Jesus! for our modern context.) Darius, like the Jesus-prasing athlete, singer, film-maker, actor, artists, politician whatever is favored by a god and has a right to brag about it. See it is a weird sort of humility that is being displayed in this bragging.
So bragging is really about being humble when you pair it up with a feint at a deity? Hmm. Humility is about social conformity? Hmm.
Saturday, September 30, 2006
Grazing ruling a blow to fat cats
"'It'll be interesting to see what happens if there is no longer state money,' he said. 'I can't see these ranchers spending their own money, but I've been wrong before.' "Of course they won't spend their own money; they like to use collective land (that is, BLM/Forest Service land for uber uber uber cheap fees) and collective money (that is, state tax dollars) as if it is all their own and only theirs. Funny how these conservative folks love welfare when it is about their own welfare, isn't it?
I also enjoyed the specious "these wilderness people only want to protect their precious hiking trails from the unsightly presence of cows" argument some where in the piece. Do you think they really believe that argument?
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Sunday, September 24, 2006
You can have your free speech as long as you stand in a place where no one can hear you
"The suit was filed after the city and Mayor Russ Wall relegated UARC members to a city-created 'free speech zone' during the city's 'Taylorsville Dayzz' celebration last July. Activists said they were handing out pamphlets and talking to patrons about animal cruelty in the food industry when they were told by city officials they must stand in the 'free speech zone' near a parking lot and away from the events and crowd traffic."And now Taylorsville has to dole out $15K for their strident desire that no one be upset at their interestingly spelled craptastic kitsch festival. Why didn't they just go for "Taylorzzville" too? That would violate all bounds of free speech, I should think.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
To the tough kid with that drawn look
Not enough pussy
And a nagging at his mind
That he is not and never will be
So he slumps there,
Holding his breath every
Once in a while
To see what it is
To imagine the blackness
He'd stare up at without
Knowing or maybe knowing
Until his eyes rot
In their sockets
At least it would be quiet
No heart pounding because
Of too many cigarettes
No bratty kid wailing in
As the bus pulls up he
Scratches out his cigarette
On the concrete and sticks
The unconsumed portion
In his front pocket
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Belt buckle art
My artist friend Kali makes belt buckles and whatnot. This one is 8 penny nails and a washer. It turned out great.
Saturday, September 09, 2006
I don't think I will take my camera as that seems too intrusive.
I've purchased both white and red wines for the occasion. I suppose getting a chardonay and a cabernet sauvignon is a bit pedestrian, but I've come to like them again. One review called the cab "uninteresting." We'll see.
Update: the dinner was very good and the wine was interesting. One dog is rambunctious and the other dog sedate. The bamboo floor stretches through the entire living room hall etc. No 30 dollar lemon pie, but an elaborate chocalote thing that has some fancy frenchy name.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Omelet for the masses
A buffet of lines
Ham frying on the grill
Monday, September 04, 2006
Why don't we sing this song all together: potatos
|Totalitarians really love motley metaphors, macerated in trope, hyperbole, and the mundane:|
1) super man
But of course Lenin was dead when the film was made.
Filleted by chef Stalin and served to the people: Zharkoye for the starving.
Long ago the sun had set: his brain ruptured in what would be the death throes of his revolution's sunrise.
I told you they love the remixed mix-up metaphor, so why shouldn't I?
And the masses, they eat it all up.
They lick their plates clean:
Love equals mindless devotion as the buried tuber loves the sun.
Or are they eaten? Flesh picked from their bones by the Party?
Maybe I don't understand because I'm not a totalitarian matre d' or a dirt farmer or a canibalistic star sending out rays to be thoughtlessly absorbed and converted, eventually, historically, emphatically to vodka or maybe it is because I am not a potato?
Sunday, September 03, 2006
Insert comment here
Saturday, September 02, 2006
Three musical groups I thought about this morning but this morning was not for thinking
2) Sigur Ros
3) Detroit Cobras
I'm not sure how they fit into a omelet-enhanced morning of a lingering headache, but they do:
1) The sun is caught on the louver blinds like in a film noir.
2) The hot pepper from the south forty was particularly hot.
3) A picture of an old girlfriend is nestled underneath the wires by my computer.
Those are the links in numeric order.
And now it is this, out of the somewhere between me and the text splayed on the screen:
"This fair child of mine should sum my old account."
And then they drove me to an Albertson's outside of Boise
And took me into a back room.
And they said the wanted to balance my checkbook;
and they said they wanted to organize my receipts
and itemize my expenses
and that I had the key
to a saftey deposit box,
with treasury bonds and the key
to another safety deposit box
where I'd stashed away
the only pewter pocket watch
that ever belonged to
Joseph Smith's Great-Great Uncle's
Brother-in-law. (Fiery Furnaces, Bitter Tea, "Oh Sweet Woods.")
And now Bjork comes on the stereo.
I'm going to go lie down before I go out and think of Iceland.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Hip! Hip! Hooray! for Expensive Things!
Nearly two dozen very expensive homes were threatened by the fire which came within a few yards of some structures. But all homes were saved and there were no injuries as of early afternoon. (deseretnews.com | Firefighters continue to battle blaze)*Expensive parking garage for Capitol Hill a good thing! Hooray!
Most Utahns want a new state Capitol parking garage, which is now under construction despite an effort to put it on hold at least temporarily. (deseretnews.com | 54% want parking garage)Expensive mines don't have to clean up after themselves! Horray! (That would be just too expensive!)**
A reclamation project of Pacific Mine in American Fork Canyon may have just made cleanup operations*** across the country a whole lot easier. (deseretnews.com | Loophole eases mine cleanup)Expensive gondola boondogles deserve protection from freedom of speech! Hooray!
Ogden Mayor Matthew Godfrey has asked two groups of residents to stop distributing and to remove lawn signs about a proposal to build a gondola and mountain resort in the city. (deseretnews.com | Mayor wants 'divisive" gondola signs gone)*Theorris Boonasty does not favor anyone's house burning down, save, perhaps, David Byrne who is just asking for it with his seminal Talking Heads song "Burning Down the House." T. Boonasty was amused, however, that the D-News fetishized the value the homes in question with such a prominent sentence. Can we say it in unison with a hyper-trilled R? VERRRRRRRRRRRRY EXPENSIVE.
**How many dummy "environmental corporations" are now going to be created by erstwhile mining companies in order to never have to clean up their Love Canals?
***Translated from the Des-Newsese: "sorta-maybe-kinda-cleanup."
Monday, August 21, 2006
Excellent back-to-school idea
"A new environmental center at the University of Idaho is aimed at giving the more than 12,000 students returning to campus this week new ideas on how to keep from being too much of a burden on planet Earth.
The student-run University of Idaho Sustainability Center, now hiring its five-person staff, is the result of lobbying by students last year for an $85,000 share of school fees and tuition. "
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Friday, August 11, 2006
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Fox News has the story (oy.) (I found this on The Deseret Spectacle, by the way.)
Thanks to Golden puppy, webgo, Goldenboy7, and interrobong from flickr.com for the images used above.
Monday, August 07, 2006
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Muddy Creek: Happy Couple
Monday, July 31, 2006
Sunday, July 30, 2006
Sugarloaf and Pine Grove
I can't remember this plant's name. It is something like jackass flower (I'm not kidding.) My old girlfriend Mary told me what it was.