The Desiccation of Wit

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Poo on You, Gothamist

I must say, I generally consider myself more of a New York City loyalist than someone with statewide solidarity. However, given Governor Pataki's current bout of solidarity, I think it's about time I took a firm stance behind him. (It certainly seems safe at the moment.) Furthermore, given my current case of writer's block, I feel he and I have something more in common these days than usual.

Thus, with the as-yet-unvoiced-but-fully-expected support of my Carolinian co-conspirator (who is busy analyzing Liddy Dole's stool samples as we speak), I'd like to declare this blog's desire to see the Governor make a swift passage from the hospital bed to the campaign trail. Moreover, I hereby announce our blog's first-ever military alliance and our first ever trade.

In exchange for our support in their ongoing poo-throwing contest against Gothamist, the good folks over at Subpoena This (Dimitri, acting General Manager) will give us a Blogger To Be Named Later.

And herewith, in the ongoing war to better report the latest in Pataki's Appendix v. Pataki, this super-duper-pooper-scooper scoop of our newly mutual rivals at Gothamist, courtesy of some brilliant newsreader at WNYC: "While Pataki has been making progress, no date has yet been set for his discharge."

(I saw you smirk, radio newsreader! Don't deny it!)

Friday, February 24, 2006

random is a random does

What better to do on a Friday afternoon in Februrary than put my iPod on shuffle and use it kinda like a tarot reading? Oh, great iPod, what does the future hold?

(Big money, big money; no whammies, no whammies; stop!)

1. Little Feat, "Willin'"
I've been from Tuscon to Tucumcari, Tehachapi to Tonapah. I've driven every kind of rig that's ever been made. I've driven the backroads so I wouldn't get weighed.
Maybe the best song ever written about being a long-haul trucker. Also, songs with place names are just that much cooler. Vis CCR's Lodi.

2. The Whitlams, "Royal in the Afternoon"
Won't drink. Won't smoke. Won't get home at a hundred o'clock.
About going or not going to the pub, which is the perfect subject for Friday musings.

3. Mull Historical Society, "Your Love, My Gain"
And I can take the pain and make it mine and take it in
Mopey and Scottish. Everyone needs a favorite lyrical, mopey Scot-- preferably from the Hebrides. This is not my favorite MHS song, but it is very mopey and rather Scottish. If Wilco were Scottish and played more piano and had never listend to Waylon Jennings or Chris LeDoux, they would sound like MHS.

4. The Guild League, "Time Please Gents"
Into the morning of last night, full of ourselves in the half-light: let's get arrested or smashed
More songs about pubs! But a continuation of the mournful theme, this time from Australia.

5. Van Morrison, "Domino"
You get may disgusted, start thinkin' that I'm strange.
I saw Van Morrison in concert two years ago. First of all, I and my crew were the youngest folks at the concert by about twenty years. Secondly, Van Morisson is a hobbit. A hobbit who wears cream-colored suits, sings like his throat is full of marbles, occasionally plays a brass instrument and whose sole dance move consists of imitating a bobble-head doll. All of which just makes him an even badder-ass mofo.

6. The Weakerthans, "Uncorrected Proofs"
Will your readership complain? The stories always end the same.
This is my favorite Canadian band. They are arch and overeducated-- just like us!-- and have a song about Foucault that involves a video with dancing penguins.

7. Queen, "We Are the Champions"
I consider it a challenge before the whole human race and I ain't gonna lose.
Because no other song sounds as good when sung both by the original band and by hundreds of thousands of screaming, drunk sports fans. If you don't have a single good memory to associate with this song, it's probably because you, like me, are a Cubs fan.

8. Billie Holiday, "Billie's Blues"
My man wouldn't give me no breakfast, wouldn't give me no dinner, fought about my supper and put me outdoors
A good man is hard to find and Billie is finding it harder than most. Damn, does she sound good singing about how hard it is, though. It is my suspicion that I never sound this alluring, no matter what I'm whining about.

9. Stark Effect, "Bunnyrabbits, Satan, Cheese and Milk."
I had forgotten about this song, which basically consists of the recitation of the title over Groove Armada-ish beats. Man, is this song weird. It always makes me think of the Big Bunny films.

10. Bonnie Raitt, "Love Me Like a Man"
I want a man to rock me like my backbone was his own
I'm not entirely clear on the biomechanics of this, but it's always struck me as one of the sexiest lines in pop music. Especially when delivered in a honeyed growl by Ms. Raitt over the sound of her slide guitar.

Thus, I believe it is entirely clear what the iPod gods are trying to tell me:
A good man is hard to find, no matter how far you look. So go have a drink! (It is also possible that they are endorsing either bunnyrabbits, satan, dairy products or all of the above. But this conclusion finds less broad support in the evidence.)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Platscham: It's Ubique!

Subject: Go Forth and Spread the Words

A few years ago I decided that it was high time that I should invent a word. I can't really remember whether I undertook much of a search or whether a word just came to me. In fact, in all likelihood it's quite dubious whether I actually decided that it was high time to invent a word before the new word came to me. But I received the word, and the word was good: 'ubique'. If something was unique when there was only one of it, wouldn't something be ubique if it was everywhere? Nothing is 'uniquitous', so why would anything be 'ubiquitous'. If something could have uniquity or ubiquity, then certainly the unique-ubique parallel should be instant too, no? Moreover, there were other juxtaposable formations: oblique, for instance (notwithstanding the fact that the parallel '-y' word, 'obloquy', has nothing whatsoever to to do with its -ique partner.) So why not ubique?

Well, for starters, I evidently didn't look closely at the OED definition of 'uniquity', which points one directly to 'unicity', which is defined as follows: "The theory that syphilis is caused by only one kind of venereal virus." Either that, or I was confused by the fact that the venerable lexicon was quoting an American comic strip character as its primary citation for the word, to wit: 1861 BUMSTEAD Ven. Dis. 349 "Some explanation..of what was called by its discoverer [Ricord] the ‘unicity’ of syphilis."

And as I recall it, when I got over myself and consulted a dictionary, I discovered much to my dismay that my coinage was not terribly unique at all, for 'ubique' already existed, with precisely the definition which I aspired to attribute to it. And so into my shell I retreated, and with me retreated 'ubique'. But today I discovered that the birth of ubique may, in fact, have been forestalled only by historical error, for I am unable to find any countenance whatsover on the equally venerable Internet that supports my previous supposition that I had been beaten to the 'ubique' punch. Merriam-Webster offers 'hic et ubique', the outer two-thirds of the Lennon-McCartney 'Here, There and Everywhere' troika, but 'ubique' does not stand alone.

So I give you this, the true first word in my word-coining career: Ubique, a. Not merely here or there, but everywhere.

But why stop there? In the interim -- while I thought that my coinage was not-quite-as-clever as I once, and now again, had thought -- I did not abandon my avant garde lexical pursuits. In fact, with the help of my co-bloggers -- a certain silent half-Frenchwoman and the appropriately-named Lex -- this fall marked the debut of a new entry on the Germano-Anglico-linguistic scene. (We're still waiting for you to notice, Oxford.) And while my story of the invention of 'ubique' may have seemed dubious, this one comes with a complete legislative history.

The Birth of Platscham from the Spirit of Contracts

The date: 16 November 2005
The setting: Contracts class
The medium: Simultaneous and Parallel Instant Messages
The cast: Dw, Lex, Frenchie
The Mother of Invention: An email from Vice-Dean Barry Adler, using 'less' when meaning 'fewer.'

*********

Wachy: did you read the email about the lottery?

Lex: Yes.

Wachy: is it that hard to understand the difference between less and fewer?

Lex: Apparently it is. At least for a Vice Dean.

Wachy: it's embarrassing. I'm embarrassed for him.

Wachy: is there some good polysyllablic german word, akin to schadenfreude, for when you're embarrassed with someone, rather than at them?

Lex: I know there's something similar in Dutch.

Lex: Let me google it.

Wachy: if there isn't such a word, there certainly ought to be

Wachy: i count on the germans for things like this. it's all they're good for

Note: To all our German readers: I'll apologize when you do.

Lex: So the Dutch have the mouthful: "plaatsvervangende schaamte" which means something like "place-filling shame" or being embarrassed on behalf of someone else.

Lex: I love the idea but I think the phrase is a little clunky.

Wachy: true

Lex: Maybe we should come up with something and promulgate it.

Wachy: how about just 'plaatschaamte'?

Lex: What if we Anglicize it?

Wachy: i, for one, think that everyone should have their sheets on top of their mattress

Lex: Me, too. For sanitary reasons if nothing else.

Note: This has nothing to do with 'platscham.' Or Germans. And their dirty, dirty sheets.

Wachy: 'place-shame'?

Lex: It's a good place to start.

Wachy: platshame

Lex: It still sounds very Germanic, which might give it some gravitas.

Lex: Platscham.

Lex: Less Anglicized, I know.

Wachy: we're waiting on you, mr. nyahnyah

Lex: I do not feel platscham for (towards?) Mr. Nyahnyah.

Note: Some names have been changed to protect the innocent. Mr. Nyahnyah's name is not one of those.
Lex: For him I feel only scorn.

Wachy: me too

Wachy: for this vice dean, i feel platscham

Wachy: i think you feel schadenfreude towards, because it's hostile, but platscham for, because it's empathetic

Note: Emphasis added.

Lex: Yes. Especially as it might have been a secretarial error: the origin is unclear.

Lex: That's a good argument and I buy it. Thus, we decree "platscham" shall take the preposition "for."

Wachy: amen. let word of it go forth throughout the land

Lex: And it was good.

Wachy: So be it

*********

Wachy: so alexis and I have come up with a neologism

Wachy: we need you to help us promulgate.

Wachy: its for the feeling of schadenfreude when you empathize, rather than laugh at, the other person.

Frenchie: do you mean it's?

Note: Yes, Frenchie really decided to interrupt our neologistic pursuit to correct my typo. That's why we all love her so much. Such a pedant. Engages in pedantry. And pederasty.

Wachy: "Platscham", derived from the Dutch "plaatsvervangendeschaamte" which means something like "place-filling shame" or being embarrassed on behalf of someone else.

Frenchie: is there ever going to be a question here?

Wachy: from fievel, or me?

Note: When I was 12, a girl upon whom I had a big, first-crush type crush, told me that I looked like Fievel. She never met a Jew before, I don't think, nor a mouse. Nevertheless, in this instance I am not Fievel, and Fievel is not me.

Frenchie: from you, dear.

Wachy: there's no Q

Wachy: it's a statement of fact

Wachy: one feels platscham for, for instance, the vice dean who doesn't know the difference between 'less' and 'fewer'

Wachy: whereas one feels schadenfreude towards people

Frenchie: hmm. okay

**********
Wachy: does it rhyme with "hat-scam" or "match 'em"?

Lex: I vote for a longer a. An "ah" sound in both cases, like the first a in schadenfreude. Almost "plahtschahm." And emphasis on the first syllable.

Wachy: good.
**********

Frenchie: plOtshum

Wachy: plOtshahm

Frenchie: fine. I still don't see this as my job :-)

Frenchie: eww

Frenchie: gross smile

Frenchie: he's staring at me

Note: Frenchie: Not comfortable around emoticons.

Wachy: how does one go about promulgating a neologism?

Frenchie: okay, I'll insert it in conversation. I thought you meant through the class, but frankly that takes a lot of IM explanation

Wachy: i mean in conversation. perhaps we should just use it as though it exists

Frenchie: right

Wachy: then explain it, as one typically would, when using 'big words' with 'small people'

Frenchie: you're such an ass

Wachy: thank you, dear

**********

Wachy: how does one go about promulgating a neologism?

Lex: I don't know. One has impressionable friends?

Wachy: perhaps we should just use it as though it exists, in conversation

Lex: I think that would work. There are a lot of people who aren't clear on schadenfreude. This isn't really that different. Except for the part where we took out a lot of letters.

Wachy: and added a few

Lex: Right. That part, too.

Lex: Platscham is a word that the Reality TV era desperately needs.

Wachy: absolutely. I've always thought the world needed such a word. I'm glad you're Germanic-linguistically inclined enough to have been of help

Lex: I'm not. I just once dated a Dutch speaker. But don't let that get out.

Wachy: was he a woofer?

Lex: I don't think so. But I don't quite know what you mean by that: is it a linguistic or an aesthetic judgment?

Wachy: a little of both

Wachy: i like that we've invented a word. it gives meaning to 'go forth and spread the word'

Lex: Also, I just like our word.

Lex: (What I can tell you is this: Dutch is NOT a sexy language.)

Wachy: neither is english

Lex: It's way better, though. There is less back of the throat rumble/spittle involved.

Wachy: i suppose. Also, doesn't Dutch have to be spoken at a very high volume?

Lex: Often. It has to be spoken very, very fast. It's a lot of vowels to get out.

**********

Frenchie: What about when it's a bit self-reflexive, like when you've brought a cousin to a party and you're in high school and your cousin is acting really dumb so you're embarrassed for her but you're also embarrassed for yourself.

Frenchie: we've only got meta-platscham and self-induced platscham, both of which suck.

Wachy: That's platscham, plain and simple, i think

Frenchie: I don't know.

Wachy: You can actually be in the place, also, for which you are feeling their simultaneously located shame

Frenchie: Tell her. I think it's slightly different if it reflects back on you specifically instead of you generally.

**********

Wachy: I think frenchie's example is straight platscham

Wachy: You can actually be in the place, also, for which you are feeling their simultaneously located shame

Wachy: but it's a very Heisenburgian thing

Wachy: simultaneity of locus

Lex: Yes. The question is, I think, should there be a special way to express the self-induced aspect of that platscham.

Wachy: what's the dutch equivalent of 'self'?

Lex: zelf, I think

Wachy: that was gonna be my guess

Wachy: zelfplatscham, then, with a "uh" syllable stuck in: zelf-uh-plaht-schahm

Lex: or vanzelf, which is oneself

Lex: I'm not sure I can say it.

Wachy: what, zelfplatscham?

Wachy: it's very yiddish

Lex: I'm tempted to add an "en" like syllable. "Zelfenplatscham." But that doesn't seem right.

Wachy: no, that's all wrong

Lex: I know, I know. Help.

Wachy: zelfplatscham is good

Wachy: let's go with it

Lex: Ok. You sell Frenchie on it.

Wachy: she's sold

Note: To wit:

Frenchie: well, it's you and Alexis. I love it. Ask her.

Wachy: when someone asks what it means, just say 'it's yiddish'

Wachy: but platscham stands alone, also

Lex: Always. It can stand alone.

*********

Wachy: do you think one of the 'a's in platscham should be doubled?

Lex: Plaatscham?

Wachy: or platschaam

Wachy: i like yours

Lex: Hm. Which is closer to the way you hear it in your head?

Wachy: just to highlight that it's not 'plat-sham'

Wachy: when i spread it, am i supposed to say we made it up?

Lex: Hmm. Maybe we should let that be the lagging rumor.

Lex: Most important is wide promulgation of the word itself, I think.

Wachy: i agree.

Wachy: anytime you use it, and someone gets it, and likes it, you have to say (verbatim): "go forth and spread the word."

Lex: I will. But in my head I'm going to think of it as "Go forth and spread The Word."

Lex: With caps

Wachy: that's fine

Wachy: but check this:

Wachy: i feel such platscham for him

The Bee: huh?

Wachy: it's like schadenfreude, except when you sympathize with the person instead of laughing at them

The Bee: oh. i see. yes - that is appropriate

Wachy: ms. blane and i (and frenchie, a bit) invented it the other day

The Bee: i think it fits in quite nicely here

Wachy: thank you. go forth and spread the word.

The Bee: thy will be done.


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Pitchers and Catchers (and Dogs)

You have to understand that today is the best day of the year. There was a book I had when I was a kid called 'Time Begins on Opening Day' and really, that guy was close but wrong. I know a thing or two about solstices and equinoxes but in reality the only measure of winter to me is from the last out of the World Series until the day pitchers and catchers report to spring training. It matters not one iota whether or not your team was any good last year or promises to be any good this year. Hope springs eternal in the 2nd and 3rd weeks of February, regardless of what Punxsatawney Phil or this new-fangled Staten Island groundhog says, regardless of whether you have Valentine's Day plans, regardless of whether the deserving Dalmatian or the egghead Bull Terrier wins Best in Show at the WKC.

I went to the Dog Show yesterday, I'll have you know, Lex. I had a hot Valentine's Day date with my 10-year old niece. Two years running, now, we've gone. Never in my life seen skirt-suits in wider array of impure colors and tacky patterns, more rhinestones and sparkles and feathers and plaids. Whosoever decided it was a good idea for rural farmers and midwestern housewives running around leading champion dogs on leashes to do so wearing business-casual attire ought to receive perpetual honorable mention from Blackwell and prosecuted somehow under Blackstone.

The thing is, I used to hate dogs. One summer when I was nearly pre-oedipal, a big dog owned by a gardener or hedge-trimmer or painter or something ran into the kitchen of our house and chased me around the island five or six times and I hated dogs forever. Forever lasted until I was 12 and we got a dog. My mother argues that I hated dogs because my best friend Isaac's pug, Bo, chewed the corner of one of my baseball cards.

Here are some facts that should clarify the matter:
1. My mother is one of the most prolific writers of apocrypha in the greater New York area, but knows little about baseball or baseball cards.
2. Bo was a compromise between Isaac, who wanted to name his dog after an athlete (to wit: Bo Jackson) and his mother, who wanted to give him a biblical name (to wit: Boaz).
3. The baseball card at issue was a 1985 Topps Mike Pagliarulo, and it was I who chewed the corner off of it. Look, I was hungry.


1. Dog show people are catty. The woman behind me proclaimed, in not-quite-enough of a whisper to her husband -- about this Rhodesian Ridgeback, adjudged best in breed, no less -- with utter sincerity: "That
dog lacks substance."


2. These dogs are cute, cute enough to (a) make me violate my inviolable rule about not using the word 'cute' in this blog, ever; and (b) potentially move out of New York City to the suburbs.



3. There's a breed of dog called A.S.C.O.B. Spaniel. That sounds awfully fancy and formal, until you find out that A.S.C.O.B. stands for Any Solid Color Other (than) Black. That rises to such a level of stupidity that they lose their right to have a photograph on this blog.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

not one to suffer in silence (boyfriend, please)

On this day in 1929: Al Capone shot up a bunch of people. Kudos to you, Al, a man who knows that when you want to send the very best, bullets say it better than flowers.

It's a mad, mad world out there. But in here, it's a gay, gay night on television. Illustrative dilemma: the men's short program figure skating (interspersed with très butch Alpine combined) on NBC or the Westminster Kennel Club dog show on USA?

What's a lonely gal to do but pull up a sofa, pop open a beer, toggle back and forth blindingly quickly using a right thumb overdeveloped from years of space bar/A-B button control, and set the snark to ENGAGE?

Some highlights:

"Figure skating can have some pretty frightening costumes." You said it; we didn't. (Though we would have, if you'd asked.)

Did you know there is such a thing in pairs figure skating as "the Death Spiral"? Yeah, me either. You know that move where he turns in a circle like a top and she extends herself nearly parallel to the ice as far as her little tiny body will go while he holds onto her in a way that any pediatrician would tell you could result in a shoulder dislocation? That's the Death Spiral. Be afraid, be very afraid. (And stop calling figure skater wusses. They hate it.)

On China's pairs figure skating coach: "In the end it appears that the last laugh [pregnant pause] belongs to Yao." Nothing can match Olympic character studies for gravitas. Especially if they're narrated by Bob Costas.

And the award for flaming-est blog entry by a US athelete goes to Johnny Weir, current US men's figure skating, for the following:
The next morning the papers came out and all of a sudden I was causing a stir because I told Phil Hersh he looked thin and I was wearing a chinchilla scarf that someone thought was a boa. First of all, boas are so out. Secondly, I would never wear a boa to a press conference. Read more.

(Please note that this post is intended in no way to reflect negatively on the homosexual community. The poster understands that housewives in the midwest also share in abundance the failings in taste that result in a love for televised figure skating and dog shows. But the poster doesn't have such high expectations for those housewives in the midwest. The poster just hopes that this doesn't mean gingham or culottes ever make a comeback in women's fashion.)

Monday, February 13, 2006

Clarification

Here's an important distinction to note.

Trevor Smith : Busta Rhymes :: George Rhymes : Buster Rhymes

<---Trevor --- George --->

George Rhymes: Mediocre 1980s Minnesota Viking running back and kick returner. Arrested for possession of crack in 2004. Not the sort of thing a good upstanding hip-hop provocateur such as Mr. Smith would ever involve himself in. Abstaining from the rock is part and parcel of eschewing violent braggadocio, one supposes.

Trevor Smith: Did
not reportedly fire an Uzi into the air after a locker-room confrontation with Brian Bosworth while at Oklahoma University.

I hope that clears up the confusion. I was worried for a minute there.

Happy Birthday to Yew

If horses had nine-month pregnancies, the stables would be very busy around April Fool's Day. This works from the presupposition that all horses have their birthdays on January 1. This follows in turn from the presupposition that one's birthday is celebrated on the day one is born. One can measure a horse's age by counting the number of rings in its trunk. Similarly, one can do the same for trees. Tu Bishvot is the Jewish New Year for trees, and is today. All the trees get their rings, and presents: if they're lucky, sylvan nymphs and nympheal sylphs bring them new horseshoes. Horsesocks, too, if they live in cold climes. Something was going down in the forest back on May 13.

***
Unrelatedly, it's time to present an award to one of the following trees for having said the best of the following things during the last week. The non-winning nominees are...

Mr. Nick Smallwood, for his brilliant performance in "Dinner in Koreatown Friday night":
"Liberia is the Delaware of the Third World."

Mr. Ian Samuel, for his underhanded-compliment-qua-grave-insult in "Con Law on Wednesday":
"Archibald Cox is a national hero of semi-historical proportions."

The New York Times, for the following doozy that only the Times would ever try (or could ever get away with) about one Trevor Smith* of Brooklyn:
"Considered an elder statesman in the hip-hop world, Mr. Smith largely eschews the verbal backbiting and violence-filled braggadocio embraced by so many rap musicians."

*(Significantly, Rod Smart : He Hate Me :: Trevor Smith : Busta Rhymes.)

And the winner by knockout, and undisputed (and unabashed) champion of anarchism:

Mr. David Young, for the following explanatory email of clarification to the proprietors of this blog.

Subject: I'm Not Genocidal

"hey guys it was fun talking yesterday.  i just wanted to clarify that i'm
not genocidal. but it was fun pretending i am.
have a great weekend."

Friday, February 10, 2006

Brave, Brave, Brave, Brave Sir Robinson


What a brave knight, that Edwin Arlington Robinson!
To go through life with one ear, initially.
Like Van Gogh, and the little known Edgar Allen Roe.

And not to turn tail and flee when confronted by the fearsomely subtle
Oaf-Yokel distinction.**
What's in a name?
The recognition that 'an elf's child' and 'a country bumpkin'
are not one and the same.

And to confront face on the overwhelming ebb of fun
And political correctness that swept your nation in 1921.
And to say with no fear the following upon that date
'I do not ask you to forgive the faggots'
In line nineteen-hundred-forty-eight.

We hereby dub thee:
Official Blog Poet.



**If I were patched
And scrapped in what the sorriest fisher-wife
In Orkney might give mumbling to a beggar,
I doubt if oafs and yokels would annoy me
More than I willed they should.


subtext is still text

(here there be doggerel)

The utter unpalatablity
of hay and dry hopes notwithstanding,
we all know the malleability
of myth is quite truly astounding.

So I beg you: read closer
in Robinson's opus.

You'll find that particular
expression follicular
has a function expressly pellicular.
Beneath Gwennie's surface of gloss
her poem is one about loss.

Lancelot knew for the longest of times
that she wasn't close to his kind.
But what happened in Camelot stayed
in Camelot. (She didn't ask.) And they made
an attractive pair.
But the love wasn't there.

He returned in the end
to the arms of his men,
leaving her in line seventeen hundred and two
to sigh mournfully, as well-bred young ladies do
and cry: "No two queens are alike."

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

After further review...

What's this now, 'Lex'? You say the correlation betwixt your excerpted portion of Robinson's 'Camelot' and my need for a hair dryer is as clear as mud? And poetry: irrelevant to the modern gentleman? Piffle! and Read on!, I say to you.

Were you not so busy with some curricular affair;
Were you not so embroiled in some extravaganza.
Perhaps you'd have reached the sixteen-hundred-and-eighty-first
Or seventeen-hundred-and-forty-seventh stanza.

Therein you would have found,
If of the former you were aware,
A reference to sweet Guinevere's
'Glimmering face and hair.'

And perhaps you also would've learned
(If slightly more diligent today)
That Lancelot had nothing for sustinence
Save his 'hopes dryer than hay.'

Could nothing be clearer?
Could any poet possibly strive higher?
Robinson's conjunction is brilliant:
A mere sixty-six lines separate hair from its dryer.

She was too dark for Mark, if not for Tristram

Query: "What effect do hairdryers have upon wit?"

In an effort to better understand, I visited bartleby.com, wherein lie all good things in the public domain. Intesive research made clear that the answer was somewhere in the brooding verse of Edwin Arlington Robinson.

ALL day the rain came down on Joyous Gard,
Where now there was no joy, and all that night
The rain came down. Shut in for none to find him
Where an unheeded log-fire fought the storm
With upward swords that flashed along the wall
Faint hieroglyphs of doom not his to read,
Lancelot found a refuge where at last
He might see nothing. Glad for sight of nothing,
He saw no more. Now and again he buried
A lonely thought among the coals and ashes
Outside the reaching flame and left it there,
Quite as he left outside in rainy graves
The sacrificial hundreds who had filled them.


Why this should be the sole result of a "hair dryer" search of "All Verse" is as yet not apparent. But clearly query 11 is satisfactorily answered and the question of the relevance of poetry to the modern age put to rest.

Also, for those inclined to humor that is of a more pedestrian ilk but with no lesser homoerotic possibility, I recommend Brokeback to the Future (it complements the filet of sole nicely). You'll never see Doc and Marty in quite the same light again.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

The 12 Step Path to Nowhere

When not to post to your new blog:
1. 2.10 a.m.
2. When you've just returned from some way-too-trendy bar in the East Village because it happened to be the birthday of a good friend from high school, and high school was seven and a half years ago.
3. After many glasses of champagne, a few vodka+tonic+pineapple drinks, two Ketel One & tonics, and a glass or two of Sandeman (est. 1790) Tawny Port.
4. When your head hurts. In the back. Near the corpus callosum. Unless my comprehension of cranial geography is vastly misconceived, which is altogether possible, if not likely.
5. When your head is wet and you smell like a wet dog because you've just walked from 2nd Ave and 9th Street to 8th Ave and 15th Street (Google Maps: 1.3 miles) in the pouring rain for no good reason.
6. Again, when it's 2.16 a.m.
7. Then again, there's always Leonard Cohen and Chinese leftovers from Grand Sichuan.
8. Neither of things make one dry. Happy and sated, yes, respectively, but still: one is wet.
9. Do hair dryers desiccate people?
9a. Maybe
10. Do I have a hair dryer?
10a. No.
11. What effect do hair dryers have upon wit?
11a. Now we've gotten to the essential question.
12. It's now 2.19 a.m.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Official Blog Painting


This blog has no posts. It has Mae West. It has a surrealist apartment. Put 'em together. What've you got? 'Mae West's Face Which May Be Used As A Surrealist Apartment.' This blog now has one post. And one Official Blog Painting.