P.S. A little family detail: the middle-aged sheltie Australian shepherd mix we adopted last year is an independent thinker. He often will refuse to budge when asked nicely to go somewhere. But he’s helpless when I circle around behind him: something compels him to get up and move forward. Who knew herders are hard-wired to be herded?
Readers of The New Yorker presumably find this amusing.
To an economist, this actually seems like a good idea.
Reading Proust may deliver some benefits, but it’s an investment. If it makes more sense to pay someone to do it for you, then you probably should.
English professors may object to that. But I’d point out that they’re paying their students with grades rather than cash, and that the notional difference between those is bigger than the actual difference. I’m sure most of them would gladly pay an economist to read Smith or Mill for them, although I think both of them may have been better writers than Proust.
FWIW: Yes, I have read Proust (back when they used to call it Remembrance of Things Past). It was OK, but it’s not a classic that I’d recommend. And no, I didn’t read it in the original. It is long, but not ridiculously so: lots of people have read Donaldson’s three Thomas Covenant series, and that runs to perhaps a thousand pages more (I’m just finishing it up).
This is kind of a classic cartoon. I was unable to figure out when it was originally published (and I promise I spend tens of seconds looking on the google).
I have a desk with a piece of tempered glass on the top. I cut these two out 9 years ago, and slid them under the glass. Cleaning up yesterday, I fished them out, threw them away, and downloaded these GIFs off the Zits website.
Time for navel gazing …
Now that I have two teenagers, they suffer through this behavior from me quite a bit. They can both actually identify “Kashmir”. But it’s also been a running joke that every time “More Than a Feeling” comes on they’ll be asked to name that band. They still fail that test.
As to elevator music, I get pretty conflicted when I hear stuff I like coming over the PA system in Wal-Mart.
And there’s quite a few tunes that I can remember where I was the first time I heard them (although I don’t go back as far as The Beatles):
“Revival” by The Allman Brothers Band (while delivering pizzas in the summer of 1986).
“Burning Love” by Elvis Presley (the very next song on the radio that same evening).
“Frozen Love” by Buckingham Nicks (off an old reel-to-reel tape made by someone unknown), in my new bedroom, in late November of 1980).
“Vagabond Moon” by Willie Nile (a few weeks later, same room, on the radio).
“The Wheel” by The Grateful Dead, while talking to Robin King in her backyard at a party at her mother’s house in the summer of 1981.
“Ruby Tuesday” by the Rolling Stones, not sure where I heard this first, but then I went and found Through the Past Darkly in my brother’s albums some time in June 1978.
“Shine On You Crazy Diamond” by Pink Floyd, with headphones on, after I was supposed to be in bed on a Sunday night, in early spring of 1981, in an old chair from the 60’s when furniture designs revolved around the space program. With the headphones on, in a dark room, hearing this for the first time was as close to a religious experience as music has ever gotten me.
“Life In One Day” and “No One Is To Blame” in the early summer of 1986, when I was the first one around with a CD player, and my friend MD bought that for himself to play at my apartment.
“Cocaine” by Eric Clapton, in the winter of 1977-8, in my older brother’s bedroom.
“Moon” by George Winston, in August 1985, in my bedroom in my parents new house (that never felt like my home), after friend PH left for a several month trip after graduation, and told me I had to hear this new tape he’d gotten. A year later, his twin sister PH turned me on to Paul Simon’s Graceland album at my apartment. I also heard “Keeping the Faith” by Billy Joel with her, while pulling into the parking lot at the Irish Festival in Lancaster, NY, in August 1986. And a few months after that his older sister LH sent me Suzanne Vega’s Solitude Standing, and I can remember listening to “Gypsy” in the living room of that apartment.
“Ride My See-Saw” by The Moody Blues, while delivering pizzas in 1986. I immediately went and bought a copy of an album – before returning to the pizzeria – from a friend who ran a used record store on Main Street.
“Run-Around” by Blues Traveler, in June 1997, after the vXwife returned home after spending a couple of weeks visiting her family after we came back from Europe. She also brought back Rock Spectacle by Barenaked Ladies. I listened to both for the first time in our upstairs office in New Orleans. I can still remember how brutally hot the backyard looked through the windows … because it really was brutally hot outside there in June.
“Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman, while driving down I-20/59 late one night towards Tuscaloosa, after dropping off friends at the airport in Birmingham in early 1990.
“Passionate Kisses” by Mary Chapin Carpenter, in a bar in Durango with MJU on July 8, 1992, while moving from Salt Lake City to New Orleans.
“Cliffs of Dover” by Eric Johnson, while doing laundry in our home on 39th street in Tuscaloosa in the winter of 1991.
“Mary Jane” by Danny Kirwan, from a used album I’d bought in March 1982, while banging out a paper on an old portable typewriter in my new bedroom.
“Sledgehammer” by Peter Gabriel, in the rain late one night in April 1986, with MD and a couple of others, in the parking lot of the Transitowne shopping center in Clarence, NY.
Duke, the entire album by Genesis, in my old bedroom in my parents’ house, on the radio, the night it came out, March 31, 1980.
“Ripple” by the Grateful Dead, after JS had made me a tape of the double album, in late August 1981.
“The River” by Bruce Springsteen, off the radio in my new bedroom in my parents’ house, the night it came out: October 17, 1980.
“Crush” by The Dave Matthews Band, while driving to and from the downtown post office in New Orleans, which was open late, to get some job applications in the mail in October 1998.
“A Girl Like You” by Edwyn Collins, late at night in the summer of 1995, after everyone had gone to bed, my brother turned me on to this on the old couch in his new family room. I think he still has that couch (it was from the 1970’s), but it’s got a hardwood frame that will last forever.
“Apocalypso” by Jimmy Buffett, in bed with my wife, on Late Night with David Letterman, on May 23, 1994.
“Send Me On My Way” by Rusted Root, in my office in the spring of 2001. This was one of the last songs I ever downloaded from Napster.
Bob Dylan had never penetrated my psyche (if I’d heard him at all) before an all night retrospective on Gary Storm’s Oil of Dog show on the radio out of Niagara Falls in the spring of 1981. I’ve written about this night elsewhere.
Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span, also on Gary Storm’s Oil of Dog show sometime in late 1981. He was playing music by 5 English folk-rock bands. I’m not sure what he played by Steeleye Span, but I know I liked it. He played “Crazy Man Michael” by Fairport Convention. He also played something by The Pentangle, which didn’t impress me at the time; for decades now I’ve thought some of their early stuff was amongst the best music of the last 50 years.
“With or Without You” by U2 while delivering pizzas on Chateau Terrace in Snyder, NY in early spring in 1987. Thirteen years later, I listened to the whole album while driving up I-15 through the Virgin River Canyon on my way to a campus visit at SUU.
“Mr. Jones” by Counting Crows, while riding shotgun down the Earhart expressway in New Orleans in my wife’s truck in 1994.
“Patio Lanterns” by Kim Mitchell, while painting my bedroom in my first apartment in September 1986.
“Liquid Spirit” by Gregory Porter, on NPR while driving down to St. George to teach an MBA class in 2013.
“Down the Mountain” by Robinella, off of a Putumayo CD someone had pirated on the internet in early March 2008.
“Rain” by Patty Griffin, after my wife bought me the CD as an early Father’s Day gift, so I’d have something new to listen to on the way to the hospital to visit her and the new vXgirl in 2002.
“Breakfast at Tiffany’s” by Deep Blue Something, while driving to St. George for one of my wife’s obstetrician appointments in the spring of 2002.
“Boys of Summer” by Don Henley, while delivering pizzas in the early autumn of 1986, ticked off about a girl I was giving up on because she wasn’t interested enough in me.
“I Go Swimming” by Peter Gabriel, while cleaning the wood shop while working as a janitor one evening at Williamsville East High School in 1983.
“Conversation” by Joni Mitchell, borrowed a tape from my sister-in-law to listen to while raking leaves in our front yard before before leaving for London in mid-September 1983.
“Proud Pinto” by Peter Green, while driving on U.S. 40 between Heber City and Strawberry Reservoir, on July 7 1992, while moving from Salt Lake City to New Orleans. It was around noon, and I was wondering if the stomach cramps I had were from the scallops I’d had the night before in Park City.
“Hammond Song” by The Roches, while driving through Ronkonkoma on an expressway on the way to Amagansett with two girls, after flying in from London, in August 1984.
“Book of Days” by Enya, while riding with the vXwife on a tourist bus through Stanley Park in Vancouver in late June 1994.
Elective governance would perform better if they had to post performance bonds if elected:
FYI: If you’re not familiar with a performance bond, it’s money a construction company puts into escrow that (under certain conditions) can be forfeit if they don’t follow their contract.
Instead of that, our system seems to have devolved into one where whether your successful or not, you make a heap of money after you leave office: for an example of each, see Clinton’s lucrative career after leaving office and … um … (the other) Clinton’s lucrative career after leaving office.
Here’s a Swiftian version: you can only declare war if your own kids enlist.
I wonder if I’ve actually been to more science fairs than the people who wrote the snarky post:
Teacher: Even though I am apparently judging this science fair, I know nothing about science and thus have to assume you used magic to make that kid’s toy disappear. I have to disqualify you, because you are obviously a witch.
I actually think that pretty much covers most of the science fair judges I’ve talked to. They seem to be really big on experiments involving milk, bananas, and paper towels.
This is when I figured I’d go to the bathroom (which I hate doing in movies):
Ben Grimm: Um, does anyone realize we’re 45 minutes into a 105-minute movie and we don’t even have our powers yet?
Yes, I got back before they did anything.
And I was scratching my head at this point:
Ben Grimm: And, in 2015, we are really going to keep the one female character in the group sidelined? Do you not see the problem here?
Of course, I’m not sure which is worse, diminishing a female character that’s actually in the source material, or adding one that isn’t there (as in The Hobbit disasters).
I’m not actually that familiar with the source material, but I did think during the movie that this was a pointless addition:
Dr. Tim Blake Nelson: Ben, we want you to murder people for the U.S. military.
Ben Grimm: Of course you do. Sure, why not? I just loved the storyline in the Fantastic Four comics where the Thing joined the army and started killing enemy combatants with his bare hands oh wait I didn’t because NOTHING LIKE THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED IN FANTASTIC FOUR.
Do screenwriters actually know how not to use this plot device? Just wondering.
I did not make this connection, but boy do I wish I was this sharp:
Sue Storm: So this is my scene? I just look pensively at a lot of computer monitors to find Reed?
Man in Authority: Yes.
Sue Storm: You realize that not only did I not get to go to the other dimension, but my job on the projects was making the environment suits? Making clothes? For the men?
I did catch this one, and it bugged me during the movie:
Scientist #1: Okay, no one act even slightly surprised or concerned that there is something living on this alien planet in another dimension.
Scientist #2: Hey, it’s that Doom kid! And his face looks like a bootleg action figure!
Scientist #1: Let’s take him back to Earth.
(later, back at the base)
Doom: Hey! I gotta get back to my planet!
Dr. Tim Blake Nelson: Then why’d you even walk up to the scientists in the first place?
Doom: Shut up. (Dr. Tim Blake Nelson’s head explodes)
Doom: The world is bad so I’m going to destroy it! (everybody’s heads explode, Doom goes back to Planet Zero)
Why is it that movies have to tell you how awful everything is on Earth. Is it because … they’re not? Think about it: the Fantastic Four comics were written within a couple years of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Now that sucked.
There are lots of good bits in the original that I didn’t quote. Check it out.
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