Re: One doesn't quite know what to think

1

A confess a vague fondness for System of a Down.

Surely you mean "I confess."

(I do to, but not so much as to actually download, let alone purchase and album.)


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 12:11 PM
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I'm sure I haven't the foggiest notion what you're talking about, rob.

But I'm equally sure that you meant "too", and "an".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 12:14 PM
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"For when the One Great Scorer comes to mark against your name, He writes -- not that you won or lost -- but how you played the Game"


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 12:27 PM
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The guitarist from Incubus premiered a piece at Disney Hall last year. Apparently it was... okay.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 12:28 PM
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What's wrong with System of a Down? I hate off-hand judgmental sneering like that.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 12:29 PM
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That guy from Oingo Boingo has turned out some decent film scores.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 12:29 PM
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I wasn't aware it was sneering to say that one is fond of something.

They are associated with the whole nu-metal crapfest of the late 90s, but significantly better than most of the bands gathered under that umbrella.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 12:30 PM
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5: I'm not sure I knew that saying that you enjoyed a band qualified as judgmental sneering.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 12:31 PM
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Plus, I don't even see pwned.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 12:32 PM
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Wainwright mentioned in an interview years ago that he'd probably eventually end up moving from writing pop songs to composing opera, so a song cycle is fair enough. (Not sure about him as a classical vocalist, though.)


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 12:36 PM
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Rufus seems conflicted. On one hand, he often makes fun of his first album (which I loved) for being too musically brainy--I think "self-indulgent" was what he said--and so since then he's been cranking out a lot of pop music, with a few interesting twists. So then he sings Judy Garland in Carnegie Hall. Then he wants to be a "serious" composer? Does worrying a lot about self-indulgence lead to even more extraordinary self-indulgence?

At any rate, I'm fully willing to believe RW can make some interesting songs out of the sonnets. He's a talented songwriter. But why not showcase young composers who are composers? I love the idea of having more focus on new works. It's not like there aren't plenty out there.

I went to a bunch of the Wordless Music things. I enjoyed much of what I heard, but the concerts end up being broken-backed--I couldn't figure out what kind of equation or comparison was being made between the experimental works of the first half with the pop/rock bands of the second half. They'd talk about how neat it was to play with each other, and I'm glad they were gratified by the experience.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 12:36 PM
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My theory is that rock guys who move to classical just wind up repeating their old strengths and weaknesses in the new genre. When McCartney moved to classical what happened? He wrote pieces that were sentimental and derivative, just like all the other stuff he's done since the Beatles broke up. David Byrne? Arty and angular, but doesn't hold your interest. The chic from Dead Can Dance? Reverb laden and vaguely eastern European. Nice if you still have fond thoughts about all things Goth.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 12:40 PM
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Yeah, I kept wanting the two halves of the Wordless Music concerts to jam with each other, although I am aware many of the musicians involved are no the jamming sort.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 12:40 PM
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Reveb-laden classical?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 12:42 PM
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When I was hired, at 19, to write the script for a lesbian porno, the treatment showed up with incredibly vague descriptions of what was supposed to happen. All the guy knew was that there needed to be an orgy to Dead Can Dance.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 12:47 PM
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What's strange is that frequently people are tapped to do this kind of thing whom you'd never expect to have any interest in it. I don't know a lot about Wainwright, so perhaps my not having this expectation reflects only my ignorance, but it's not as if there aren't people who are more, you know, overt about their interest in composition, even if they are doing it in a more rock-y way. Like … Cheer-Accident, I guess, or even some phases of the existence of the Dirty Projectors, or Normal Love, or whatever. But then, these people/bands already have bands for which they write music.

Reveb-laden classical?

You know, like when you play in a church, or Reich's Pendulum Music.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 12:49 PM
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Ok, let's reorient the thread to be about 15.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 12:49 PM
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I believe he's been doing stuff with the sonnets for a while (and opera). Last year he teamed up with Robert Wilson of all people to stage them.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 12:50 PM
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Ah, so it really is just ignorance.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 12:51 PM
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17, 15: First question: Was the script produced and is it available?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 12:52 PM
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I heard some quite lurid gossip about RW when last he was in town. It was so lurid and the hearing of it so, like, fifth-hand, that would of course be irresponsible to repeat here.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 12:54 PM
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Robert Wilson or Rufus Wainwright?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 12:55 PM
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So this is the thread where I can ask what the fuck is up with this week's name-droppiest Modern Love, right? I don't really want an answer, I guess.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 12:55 PM
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22: Oh, heh. I meant Wainwright.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 12:58 PM
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The script was impossible to write, for a number of reasons. The first was that I had never had lesbian sex. The second was that the director's ideas were so stupid that I couldn't bring myself to write dialogue and action for it, not even as a joke.

I'm sure I've told this story before, actually. There are a number of stupid details, like that I was hired because he liked my astrological chart, and that every scene involved a lesbian couple having a really bitter screaming match about "politics" and then fucking. Some of the lesbians were dying of breast cancer, so it was a feminist film. Also, when a motorboater happens to drive by the beach where the women are dancing "to" the goddess, naked, they end up "teaching him a lesson he'll never forget."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 12:58 PM
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21: On the contrary, Stanley, it would be irreponsible not to repeat it here.

I'll help you get started -- I've heard rumors that RW is gay. OMG!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 12:59 PM
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21: One of my exes fucked him. Is that lurid?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 12:59 PM
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How did you get the job (that is, how did you become aware that there was such a job to be applied for)?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 1:00 PM
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The first was that I had never had lesbian sex.

I'm not an expert, but I don't this should have been a problem at all. My understanding of this genre is that realism is not a high priority.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 1:03 PM
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I know nothing of Wainwright's Shakespeare settings, but the program seems to make sense. Looks pretty great, actually. Also, you know who writes a really entertaining music blog? Nico Muhly, that's who.

If I may name-drop, I just did program notes for recitals at the Oregon Bach Festival by Kahane, Thomas Quasthoff and Robert Levin. They should be great concerts—Quasthoff is doing Die schöne Müllerin—so a person who's not too far away (in the Bay Area, say) should think about going.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 1:04 PM
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27: Depends which ex.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 1:05 PM
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28: Writing professor got a call, and, asked to offer the name of a good writer who might want a shot at writing a script, she gave him mine. He described it as a feminist political film. Feminism = breast cancer, political = yelling.

31: The gay one. It ended badly.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 1:07 PM
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Writing professor got a call, and, asked to offer the name of a good writer who might want a shot at writing a script

I'm no expert in the genre, but I can't imagine this is how many porn scripts get written. (Unless you're calling "porn" what most people would call an "art flick".) So there must have been some sort of unusual circumstances there.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 1:11 PM
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The gay one. It ended badly

A bad ending for the gay ex? Or RW? Or AWB?

I have a bad feeling the answer is "All of the above."


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 1:13 PM
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I figured they'd figure out the fucking part themselves, but the part I just couldn't write was people yelling at each other. I'm not really into screaming matches. When I get really mad and can no longer be calm and reasonable, I stop talking and just cry. When I wrote a play, it was of course about a really long and bitter argument in which both characters remain pretty reasonable. You'd think I'd have a better emotional imagination than I do, but I don't.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 1:13 PM
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One of my exes fucked him.

I've mentioned before that I have a very close friend who caught crabs from him.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 1:14 PM
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Sometimes I feel like I'm the only gay who hasn't fooled around with Rufus. :(


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 1:16 PM
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33: The guy was obviously totally clueless. I have no idea what he thought was going to happen.

34: Just for the ex, I think, who tried to weasel some kind of professional help out of RW, as he was a songwriter, too, and got spurned. It didn't affect me.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 1:17 PM
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10 (Not sure about him as a classical vocalist, though.)

Oh, it's complicated. On the spectrum ranging from "pop singers who discernibly have no technique" to "pop singers with solid technique" (the latter includes, oh, Cyndi Lauper and probably awful Celine Dion; the former includes lots and lots of people) Rufus Wainwright is certainly closer to the having-technique end. He sings a well-supported note for like ten seconds in the song about "my phone's on vibrate for you" etc. on Want I. It's impressive.

Stylistically...things are a bit worse. This can actually be judged without the interference of "what would he be like if he were singing classical music instead of pop" because he does, from time to time, sing classical music in public and even on recording. There's a recording of him doing the lovely tenor aria "Vainement, ma bien aimee" from Lalo's Le Roi d'Ys and it's not without his usual fey charm, but also kind of whiny and wrong. And he seems to make up some French words. You can find a clip of him doing one or two of the songs from Berlioz Les Nuits d'Ete and it's actually kind of awful.

Oh also he sings the Pearl Fishers duet with David Byrne on some album, and he comes off really well because David Byrne, genius that he is in other ways, is just excruciating.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 1:21 PM
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37: Really? Not even a make-out session? Are you sure that you're gay?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 1:22 PM
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16 but Wainwright has a very public interest in opera, is on intermission features during Met broadcasts, yammers about opera in interviews, name checks Callas in an early song, blah blah etc. And, much as I'm bugged by the cheapened way the term "operatic" is thrown around, there is certainly a grandiose and dramatic sensibility in his work, the moreso in overproduced stuff like the Want albums.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 1:26 PM
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39: but isn't his voice kind of all wrong? Or does he have a different vocal timbre he keeps hidden?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 1:27 PM
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Seriously, Bave: what's your Rufus number?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 1:28 PM
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21

(am I over-commenting? this happens to be something I have bits of knowledge about)

The idea of lurid gossip is kind of obviated by his own exhibitionist tendencies, to wit: the "gay hell" interview in the Times a few years back when he talked about crystal meth addiction and promiscuity and other Very Shocking Things.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 1:29 PM
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44: Over-commenting is greatly encouraged!

Unfogged is like a very old person that needs lots of stimulation to stay awake.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 1:32 PM
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Incidentally, Kahane's son (composer of the cycle Craigslistlieder) is part of/close to the Wainwright/Muhly crowd, so that might be part of the connection to the SF Symphony.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 1:33 PM
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Gabriel Kahane. I liked some of the Craigslistlieder.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 1:34 PM
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The idea of lurid gossip is kind of obviated by his own exhibitionist tendencies

Yeah, I was sort of joking.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 1:34 PM
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42 Yeah, it's placed weird for opera/lieder. Maybe less noticeably in French stuff than it would be in other material. I don't know whether to say this is a thing inherent to his voice or something stylistic. Presumably he could retrain if he wanted to sing classical music idiomatically. It's hard to mentally filter out the nasality and the habitual lilt and imagine this.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 1:36 PM
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47: I haven't heard it, but hey neato, it's listenable on his site.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 1:41 PM
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(Still, in response to the original posting, it is indeed hard not to be a little cynical about RW's motivations, and opera people by and large are just that. There's a big diff between being a pop singer who is also an opera queen and writing work of a calibre to be put on at the Edinburgh Festival, and plenty of people are sniffing about the fact that a flashy name will bridge that gap while composers who actually, oh let's say, know how to write an opera can't get their work done.)


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 1:46 PM
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Insufficiently jaded, on this I guess. I really liked RW's Everybody knows and I love Shakespeare's sonnets, so I'm excited.

Craigslistlieder is nice, thanks for the pointer!


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 1:54 PM
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51: Yes, this. I was trying to figure out exactly this distinction earlier, and couldn't. I am genuinely not against pop musicians taking an interest in other forms of music; it's a good thing. But when symphonies and operas start roping in a bunch of classical-curious pop musicians as headliner composers, it smacks of pandering.

I guess I don't blame RW; what's he gonna say--no? But one imagines a bunch of marketing and development people at the SF Symphony directing this movement.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 1:56 PM
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Though I hate the way RW sustains long notes. It grates on me so much that I could not listen to Want I all the way through. It was bad enough on Poses.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 1:57 PM
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I guess I don't blame RW; what's he gonna say--no?

That's one possibility. I mean, wouldn't you rather your work be discussed because of its qualities, rather than because of your name? Could you fail to know that you were getting the nod because of your name?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 1:58 PM
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With an attitude like that, neb, you'll never get famous.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 2:01 PM
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55: I just read a novel about this, called The Sorrows of Satan, which is a 1890's satire of the publishing industry in London, in which an aspiring novelist is given 5 million pounds by Satan, who says now that he's famous for being rich, he will get reviewed and feted everywhere. The guy spends the rest of his life tortured because he doesn't know whether his book is any good, or if his wife actually loves him, or anything like that. I think the argument of the book is basically that pretty much no one can say no to praise, even if it's just flattery.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 2:01 PM
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It's a tragedy.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 2:03 PM
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Not to make RW out to be a great artist, but opportunity is often pretty arbitrary.

There is a pool of qualified applicants, any one of whom will leave more or less of a personal stamp on the result; the decision is up to some committee that understands politics very well and occasionally also understands merit.

Barring outright nepotism or an offer of low work (well-paid speaking engagements, say) if the opportunity is interesting, why not take it? Film casting seems like another place where individual merits and personal fame need some balancing-- should say George Clooney have turned down Syriana?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 2:06 PM
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Whoever says he hates all kinds of flattery, and says it in earnest, is certainly not yet acquainted with all the kinds—partly with regard to the substance, partly the style.


Posted by: OPINIONATED LICHTENBERG | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 2:06 PM
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55: I believe we've already established that Rupert is a boy that can't say no.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 2:09 PM
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I probably can't talk about this without waxing tedious, or tediouser, so I'm just going to link Rufus Wainwright singing Berlioz.

53: Yeah, it just starts to look like mutual opportunism. Opera company sells a lot of seats, pop singer of considerable lyrical inventiveness but with no background in half a dozen things like orchestration gets to play around at it on international stages. This is not to say that "Prima Donna" getting produced stops some wonderful opera by someone who went to conservatory from getting done, but it's also not to say that it doesn't.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 2:09 PM
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62: And he doesn't even have the agony of being guaranteed good reviews, one difference between Rufus Wainwright and Satan's protégé in 57.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 2:10 PM
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John Collier's short stories often revolve around undeserved happiness and the inner conflicts it causes. He frequently uses suave flattering devils (literal devils who work as recruiters for a studio-system like 40s vision of hell) as characters. The stories are very funny.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 2:11 PM
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||

Google-chatting with an old friend I don't talk to much anymore who turns out to also be stuck in Europe. Asked if she is there with [boyfriend], and the gchat equivalent of palpably awkward silence ensued. I wonder if it's better to explicitly apologize for putting my foot in my mouth, or just act as if I didn't ask. (Not asking for advice, just wondering.) Thing is, I remember the days when I would have been the first person she called to vent about whatever happened. It's sad how distance erodes friendships.

|>


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 2:11 PM
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57 I keep semi-wilfully misreading it as The Sorrows of Young Satan and imagining it's about a mopey lord of the underworld who shoots himself because he can't get a date.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 2:14 PM
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That means she's on the market now, essear! And you're not stuck in the Friend Zone! Cha ching ching!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 2:15 PM
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He wanted us to love him by our own free choice, to love him just because he was lovable. But he didn't dare to have the inhibiting circuits removed, because then, if we said we didn't love him, he wouldn't have been able to stand it.
- Chworktap from Philip José Farmer's (as Kilgore Trout) Venus on the Half-Shell.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 2:45 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 3:28 PM
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25: if this was a building, you'd let the chippies work out how to dovetail those beams exactly (laydeez), rather than trying to specify everything from the drawing board. Trust the craftsmen.

Meanwhile, Craigslistlieder exists, to my amazement. I guess The Electrification of the Soviet Union is a similar idea. o tempora, o mores, o httpd.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 3:28 PM
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||

teraz, could you please email me at naniwablogger at gee-male.com? A classmate of mine is going to be in Geneva this summer and apparently is in a pickle regarding lodging - the loan of your experience might be very useful.

|>


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 3:46 PM
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A classmate of mine is going to be in Geneva this summer

Let's not get ahead of ourselves what with Iceland's Revenge.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 4:20 PM
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By the summer there'll be fast clippers crossing the Atlantic under sail, and prop-driven seaplanes flying low over the choppy waves ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 4:26 PM
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And dolphins! They're gonna train dolphins to pull the sea chariots!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 4:31 PM
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If I don't make an ass out of myself during a meeting this week, I might be spending a month in Germany this summer. Taking a boat would be so cool.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 4:33 PM
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It's the slow movement movement.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 4:42 PM
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Did you know that in the past, boats was where people fell in love? True fact. People on boats, no matter how crusty or cynical they are in the rest of life, fall in love for the very first time.

I learned this from watching movies. There were a few movies where boats was where people died of knives or sharks, but the evidence is preponderatingly on the side of love.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 4:42 PM
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How do people fall in love now that there's no boats?

Answer: They don't! Love is a sham, due to the lack of boats.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 4:44 PM
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These boat ruminations sound like a good beginning to your art-porn script.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 4:51 PM
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79: There's also a ready-made theme song.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 4:53 PM
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76 would make a great title.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 4:55 PM
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The art half of the crowd will keep cringing if she keeps saying "boats was," though.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 4:56 PM
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The hard part is that, just as I couldn't write the lesbian porno without having had lesbian sex, I can't write about boats or love because I've never been in love, which is, of course, because I've never been on a boat. I will have to hire someone with an imagination.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 4:57 PM
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Someone needs to take you sailing, AWB.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 4:59 PM
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77 and 78 are excerpts from the narration of "Titanic", before Werner Herzog was fired as director/writer.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 5:00 PM
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You've never been on a boat?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 5:07 PM
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A fishing boat, sure, but that was with my dad. Gross.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 5:08 PM
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Yep, sailing for AWB for sure. It's so calming. Dear woman, AWB, I'm serious: if you have an opportunity to go sailing, I think you'd like it.

I don't want to hear anything about biscuit conditionals, now.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 5:21 PM
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Fuck land.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 5:40 PM
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The Fucklanders are a passionate people.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 6:02 PM
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Who sometimes forget to close the blinds.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 6:03 PM
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89: Kind of. That's what I did on the day of 9/11: went sailing, for 5 or 6 hours, with just a transistor radio on board.

I wish to clarify something for those who may not know: sailing isn't the exclusive preserve of the monied. It turns out that just as you can drive a beater car, if you're a person with sailboat tendencies, a boatman, so to speak, you can have a beater boat. It costs you a few hundred bucks for slip fees, and you have to know how to do maintenance yourself (just like with a beater car).

I'm stopping in confoundment. I know that talking casually about going sailing sounds like serious privilege, but it's not necessarily.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 6:29 PM
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I wish to clarify something for those who may not know: sailing isn't the exclusive preserve of the monied.

Was someone saying it was?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 6:31 PM
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93: It's not like mentions of skiing (or any other vaguely elite activity) on this blog haven't turned into that sort of discussion. I'd like to be the first to note that sailing seems sort of like a white thing to do.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 6:37 PM
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Oh, it's definitely white, and kind of UMC-ish, at least. Not necessarily only for the super-wealthy, but not really accessible to the truly poor. So yeah, I can see how that discussion could arise here. I don't see that it has, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 6:39 PM
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Basically, it looks like parsimon is preemptively defending herself from criticism along those lines, but the only criticism so far is her own.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 6:40 PM
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Teo, so you stole my comment on preemptive strikes often being counterproductive. I shall never forgive you.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 6:42 PM
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Ahem. You SO stole my comment.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 6:43 PM
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I was mostly thinking that telling AWB that she should go sailing might sound obnoxious.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 6:49 PM
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I definitely think of sailing as the exclusive preserve of the monied. I'm sure this is because most people I know (including myself) have never been sailing, and the few people I've ever known who sailed were in fact very wealthy, and it's generally portrayed as a recreational hobby of the wealthy in pop culture. Oh, and sailboats are hella expensive, or at least so I thought. But parsimon has disabused me of those notions.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 6:49 PM
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My sister took a sailing class in college (at a UC). For whatever reason, this always amuses me.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 6:53 PM
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My freshman roommate was rich, white, kind of an ass, and he sailed. I try not to hold this fact against others who sail.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 6:56 PM
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Oh, and he was SHOCKED I had never been sailing. Did I remember to mention he was a bit of an ass? Oh, I did. Good.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 6:56 PM
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The exclusive preserve of the wealthy.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 6:58 PM
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I know a dude without a ton of money (but unquestionably of the UMC white background type persuasion) who really, really wanted to have a sailboat basically right out of high school. He bought a shitty old boat that he intended to work on himself, and to save money, lived on it.

Of course, that was loony.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 6:59 PM
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Not all yacht clubs are so snooty.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:00 PM
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106: True.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:01 PM
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I really should go to Quartzsite one of these days. Just to see it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:02 PM
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Anyway, I suspect that, as with skiing in mountainous areas, sailing is less of a super-wealthy thing in coastal areas.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:03 PM
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Who among us hasn't made passionate love on a megayacht?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:06 PM
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UMC-ish

Not all Methodists are like that.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:06 PM
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109: I don't think this is right. I think that sailing is pretty much a nonexistent thing outside of coastal areas. (Unlike skiing, which lots of (relatively well-off) people in non-mountainous areas travel to mountains to do for the occasional vacation.)

But I'm prepared to be further disabused.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:07 PM
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I think that sailing is pretty much a nonexistent thing outside of coastal areas.

That's likely, yes. Unless you're in a lake region.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:10 PM
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I think a lot of people in my generation were drawn to sailing due to the ending of The Shawshank Redemption. Then they got their crappy boats and they were like, "Oh crap, scrubbing this crappy boat with two hands all day isn't really very relaxing," esp. when one can simply watch television at one's apartment instead. The dichotomy between 1950s prison and scrubbing the deck of your boat is a false one.

And that's why there are so many abandoned boats sitting around.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:10 PM
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The dichotomy between 1950s prison and scrubbing the deck of your boat is a false one.

As the many 1950s prison boats prove.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:13 PM
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neb, when I finish scrubbing my prison boat, it's coming for you.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:16 PM
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By the summer there'll be fast clippers crossing the Atlantic under sail, and prop-driven seaplanes flying low over the choppy waves ...

The whole volcano thing is obviously a plot by ex-Soviet agencies to expand the market for their ekranoplans


Posted by: One of Many | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:17 PM
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I'm having fun googling ways to rent megayachts. Would you like to book a one-week reservation on a medierranean yacht (at only $440,000 per week) online? You can.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:19 PM
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You know what's wicked fun? Spending a week or two in an upscale boatyard in the early spring -- you know, where a bunch of gorgeous boats are dry-docked and are being prepped (by staff, workers) to go in the water for the season.

Man. My ex-before-last had an extremely modest (piece of shit, but pretty and enjoyable) wooden boat in a yard in Maine that we went to fix up, and there were these 3-masted schooners 'n' shit also in the yard. We fixer-upper people couldn't help but encounter one another: hey, wanna come over for dinner tonight? It's the big one over there.

Wow. Those are some nice fucking boats. So we had some spaghetti dinner and some beers and heard about their travels up and down the coast.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:19 PM
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I think that sailing is pretty much a nonexistent thing outside of coastal areas. (Unlike skiing, which lots of (relatively well-off) people in non-mountainous areas travel to mountains to do for the occasional vacation.)

Maybe, but are there no rich people in inland areas who go to coastal areas to sail? Maybe there aren't.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:20 PM
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some spaghetti dinner and some beers

What a buncha plebes.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:23 PM
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121: Living in a boatyard is pretty much like camping. You have to climb a ladder to enter any premises, you know. But that's what they had for dinner. I think we must have brought something to contribute, wine, I think, which tickled them pink. Also they had a lady on board! It was really pretty amazing -- the boat, I mean.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:35 PM
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Seriously, what is meant by UMC? The United Methodist Church? The Union of Masters of Ceremonies?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:36 PM
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122: I was just joshin' you, parsimon. It sounds very nice and fun and interesting.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:36 PM
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Seriously, what is meant by UMC?

Upper middle class.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:37 PM
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123, 125: In solidarity, text, I often do the same double or triple take. "Methodist? University of what now? Oh, yeah, right."


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:42 PM
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||

Hey, teo. This is maybe a dumb question, but maybe you know the answer. What's the difference between a national forest, like, say this one and a national park?

|>


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:45 PM
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124: I sense that you are not subject to boat lust, however.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:46 PM
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Cool thanks. Teo my boy you are welcome aboard my schooner whenever it pleases you (if you bring me something nice).


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:46 PM
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What's the difference between a national forest, like, say this one and a national park?

National forests are administered by the Forest Service, which is part of the Department of Agriculture. National Parks are administered by the Park Service, which is part of the Department of the Interior. The missions and management styles of the two agencies are actually quite different.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:47 PM
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Stanley, you too, only bring someone a bit less forward than your last date.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:48 PM
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Uh oh. Stanley's innocent question is going to turn into a megathread about which agencies have which public lands. Everybody watch out!


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:48 PM
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128: Actually, I think boats are great fun, and if I could afford the luxury or lived somewhere where it was more practical, I'd definitely have one, though I'm not sure which kind. (In college, some professor asked me my dream job and I said riding around on a sailboat all over the world and having someone pay me to write. I know squat about sailing and not much more about writing, though.)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:49 PM
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On which kind of land can I hunt or hook fish?
In a park or a forest, can I do as I wish?
What about fires, can I build them in each?
Or carry out logs for a house on the beach?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:51 PM
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The missions and management styles of the two agencies are actually quite different.

That's interesting. Care to elaborate a bit (but not so much as to prove fake accent correct)? It was seeing the Dept. of Agriculture sign at the above-linked one that raised my eyebrow and made me realize I didn't know the difference. If you don't, that's cool, too.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:55 PM
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My dad and a couple other people with similar kinds of jobs, I think, co-owned a boat for a while. I'm not sure where'd they fall, but yeah probably towards the upper, if not in the middle class. I have no idea where the borders are. My dad has some story of talking to people at a yacht club about something or other, and leaving thinking there was no point in talking to them ever again. I assume there was a fair amount of yachting snobbery involved.

Anyway, most of the time it was rented out to people who did lots of sailing - I think it won some races at some point - but we could use it on weekends sometimes. Eventually it got too expensive and they had to let it go. Something like a decade later there was an article, maybe in the New York Times, about people doing that kind of thing to be able to own a boat, with the implication, I thought, that these were not your usual class of boaters.

Oh, we did have a laser for a while, which we used only on lakes and otherwise kept in the garage. Small boats like that are a lot less expensive than the kind of boats I suspect people think of when they think of sailing.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:56 PM
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I should now remind you all of a fellow I knew in college, a rugby player who we all called Swissy, though he wasn't Swiss, per se. He was from some sort of Scandinavian country but had spent all his life aboard a sail boat with his parents, until it happened that he got accepted to an American college and then (obviously) decided to go there.

Nobody knew who he'd played rugby with on the boat but he had apparently done it a lot because he was very good and had also suffered many concussions. Due to the concussions he wore an inflatable helmet during games, which he had to show to the referees beforehand to demonstrate it's lack of hard parts or hidden shivs.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:57 PM
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Also: FA started a new blog? Duly noted.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:57 PM
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That should be "if not in the upper middle class."


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:57 PM
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Huh, I totally forgot that we technically owned a sailboat. It was basically a rowboat with a small attachment for a sail (such a boat has a name but I've forgotten it). It was pretty awesome. I think my favorite moment was getting stuck in the estuary of Morro Bay when the tide went out quicker than we anticipated, and my step-dad had to jump out and pull us to shore. Great fun for my seven-year-old self, but not as much fun as the canoes and kayaks, when it came down to it.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:04 PM
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Nobody knew who he'd played rugby with on the boat but he had apparently done it a lot because he was very good and had also suffered many concussions. Due to the concussions he wore an inflatable helmet during games, which he had to show to the referees beforehand to demonstrate it's lack of hard parts or hidden shivs.

An inflatable helmet? Was that to make him so ridiculous looking nobody wanted to hit him? Because if not I'm at a loss to understand why it would help.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:10 PM
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Shivs are ok in rugby, but they must be visible at all times. That means you have to cut clear through.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:12 PM
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Being on a boat is extremely fun. Sailing a boat is fun. Helping do the tasks required to sail a boat is kind of fun. Owning a boat is, from everything I can tell, one of the most punitive chores around. Especially if you don't have the ability to throw generous handfuls of money at it every month or so.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:12 PM
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Care to elaborate a bit (but not so much as to prove fake accent correct)?

Sure. The Forest Service is the older of the two, and while it's not really apparent from the way it presents itself today, historically it tended to see its mission as managing the forests for a variety of uses by a variety of users. So it had recreational sites and wilderness areas, but it also arranged for areas to be leased to timber companies for logging. Not the most coherent set of objectives, and balancing them required a lot of judgment on the part of the agency. A lot of people think they went too far in encouraging logging for a long time, although recently they seem to be trying to reinvent themselves as more concerned with conservation.

The Park Service, on the other hand, is tasked with a more limited and coherent set of objectives (although there's still some tension and balancing required): preservation of important natural and cultural sites for the use and enjoyment of the public. This has resulted in an approach more oriented toward preserving places in a way that is compatible with public visitorship.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:12 PM
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137 Is this a lost draft of the first two paragraphs of a missing tenth from Nine Stories?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:15 PM
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My uncle sails a lot and has owned a couple of boats. He's definitely UMC/SWPL/etc., but definitely not rich. One of the things he does a lot is sail rich people's boats back from the places they sail them to the places where they keep them. He has said that owning a boat is a lot like standing in a shower tearing up hundred dollar bills.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:16 PM
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144: That's more or less what I had gleaned from wikipedia and googling around, but I figured you'd offer some nuance I wasn't picking up, and you did. Thanks.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:18 PM
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141: I can't say it made him look dignified, but apparently it was marketed as a device that would reduce concussions, and he probably got fewer of them than he would otherwise have had.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:19 PM
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Smearcase, it's my life.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:21 PM
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135: National Forest Service mission is resource extraction, resource protection, and recreation. Order and emphasis has varied through time. The "resource" was originally just the trees, but has become more overall ecologically-focused in recent years (plus there are now National Grasslands managed the same way).There tend to be a lot of private in-holdings within National Forests (particularly in the east).

National Parks lose the "extraction" part and are supposed to be areas of particular historical, cultural and/or scenic interest.

[on preview ... what teo said]


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:22 PM
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146: He has said that owning a boat is a lot like standing in a shower tearing up hundred dollar bills.

Another tag line is, "A boat is a hole in the water that you pour money into."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:24 PM
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151: Yeah, I've heard that one too.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:24 PM
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You've got to mash up those bills with your feet if you want them to fit down the drain.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:24 PM
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I'd like to have the questions in 134 answered, please.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:27 PM
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OT: I have three books, all history, all bought used, that have now been rendered a bit out of date by new editions of those same books. I am unlikely to buy the new editions, but I could get them from the library. I have not read the old editions yet. All three new editions claim to have made large changes (in one case, it appears to be a whole rewrite). Should I just donate the books instead of lug them back to the states?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:28 PM
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154: I found out today that you can't kill a male turkey after noon until sometime in May in Albemarle County, VA, because that gives them more time to boink. AND you can't kill females at all right now. Does that help?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:29 PM
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I found out today that you can't kill a male turkey after noon until sometime in May in Albemarle County, VA, because that gives them more time to boink

But you can kill them before noon? How does that give them more time?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:32 PM
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154: An interview with Stanley.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:35 PM
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157: I didn't really understand either. Like the rules about when sundown is? They're weird.

Also, can't fire across a body of water, but you can do so with certain kinds of shotguns, say, when you're duck hunting. These are all second-hand, as I'm no hunter.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:35 PM
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Wait, it's law that fire can't cross a body of water?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:36 PM
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you've got to wait until the next morning, duh. because nobody thinks, "time to kill the turkey" until around lunch time, and then it's too late, turkey gets several more chances to copulate.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:36 PM
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duh, otherwise fire would start up with sailing, and we can't have that at my club.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:37 PM
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I dunno, text, sometimes when I wake up I find myself already having thought that it was time to kill the turkey.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:38 PM
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no, it's impossible. you always forget until lunch and then it's too late. that's why we've got all these turkeys sitting around.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:40 PM
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time to kill the turkey

A rejected slogan for New England's beloved Trunkin' Turkeys chain restaurants.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:40 PM
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158: I love that interview. I love hunting stories, too, hence these second-hand anecdotes. People get all riled up telling you about their exploits. It's great.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:41 PM
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Turkeys!

(That post is also relevant to the blog-pictures thread. I always include pictures with my posts, but sometimes I have difficulty finding relevant ones and have to get creative. That post is a good example.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:50 PM
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Creative, pathetic, whatever.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:51 PM
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I mean you could have used this.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:54 PM
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Admittedly the connection between post and pictures can get pretty strained.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:54 PM
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I will admit that I have been on a sailboat, with a girl I knew in elementary school. I thought it was kinda scary, but I was 9 and thought everything was pretty scary. I like the idea of going on a big ship, but little boats... I'm a plains person.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:55 PM
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169: All rights reserved! Also, I only use my my own photos.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:55 PM
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In California, it is illegal to herd or chase turkeys with a motorized vehicle. However, if turkeys happen to run out in the road in front of you, there is no way to avoid it. Fortunately, watching turkeys run helplessly in front of your car is one of the funniest sights ever.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:55 PM
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However, if turkeys happen to run out in the road in front of you, there is no way to avoid it.

You could stop the car.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:57 PM
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You stop the car, and they continue to sit in the road. You start the car, and they panic and run, but do they run away? No. They stay in front of the damn car. They will eventually duck into the underbrush, but they generally won't do it unless the car is moving. Trust me, I've had a lot of run ins with turkeys over the years.* They're quite possibly the dumbest animals I've ever seen in the wild.

*One of my best friends in high school lived about 15 miles outside of towns; routinely my trip to her house took five minutes longer than it should have because I had to stop and wait for the turkeys to get out of the road.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 9:02 PM
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wait for the turkeys to get out of the road.

Which, to be clear, meant driving forward and honking, and, on occasion, getting out of the car and running at them since in a large group they often declined to move at all, even with the prodding of a car.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 9:04 PM
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They've gotten awful confident what with the new hunting rules. And the geese won't shut up about it.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 9:15 PM
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there are wild turkeys in east hampton now, after there not being any for years and years, and they seem quite cagey. they hide in the woods if you come down the driveway.

I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned the maxim that "if it floats, fucks or flies, you should rent it." this seems to preclude marriage, but maybe that's the point.

sailing is the most fun thing ever, but I am incompetent to do anything other than pull on ropes when people tell me to, or keep the boat on a certain bearing.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 04-20-10 6:58 AM
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Sailing is indeed the most fun thing ever. I need to get back into it. When I get a big pile of money, that is.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-20-10 7:16 AM
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I can't decide if System of a Dan would be better as a band doing crunchy covers of Steely Dan songs, or smooved out remakes of System of a Down tunes.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-20-10 12:42 PM
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178, 179: Thirded. Sadly, I haven't managed to sail hardly at all since high school. But it is excellently fun.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-20-10 12:43 PM
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180: they could alternate.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-20-10 12:51 PM
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I can't decide what kind of band would be best suited to write a song with the title "Words Fail Norman Mailer Yet Again", but I'm sure there is one.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-20-10 12:52 PM
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"FM No Static At All" sung in SysDown stylee could be pretty great.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-20-10 12:54 PM
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183: In my head, it sounds like an obscure Smiths b-side..


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-20-10 12:59 PM
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Or perhaps a band called The Gory Vidals.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-20-10 2:16 PM
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Or Frog Eyes, sort of.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-20-10 2:23 PM
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Mormon Nailer could be a good name for a band.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-20-10 2:30 PM
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Mormon Nailer could be a good name for a band.

Do you know jack?

m, mormon hailer


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 04-21-10 3:21 AM
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Mormon Nailer could be a good name for a band.

Do you know jack?

m, mormon hailer


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 04-21-10 3:22 AM
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180: even better - "Steely Maiden".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-21-10 5:41 AM
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