Re: There's an Atlas Shrugged movie?

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This fan-driven site is brought to you by The Atlasphere, the social networking and dating site for admirers of Ayn Rand's novels.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-13-11 10:05 PM
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(I just thought that needed emphasizing.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-13-11 10:07 PM
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2: I got the email about the movie because at some point I joined that Atlasphere site, hoping for blogging fodder, but never really followed through. Er, until now. Kind of.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-13-11 10:09 PM
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I heard it reported on a bookselling discussion list that there was an Anthem movie, part of an intended three-part series. I didn't look further, and am not really inclined to investigate this further, because I'd like to let it fall immediately into obscurity.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-13-11 10:24 PM
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This is pretty old news. Not that there is anything wrong with that.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-13-11 10:24 PM
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Your mother is pretty o—oh, nevermind.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-13-11 10:26 PM
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5 -> OP


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-13-11 10:26 PM
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6: No, no, do go on.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-13-11 10:33 PM
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It makes sense that this is only part 1, since parts 2-29 will probably be taken up by John Galt's speech.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04-13-11 10:41 PM
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I've clearly been spending too much time on Facebook recently, since my first reaction to 9 was wanting to "like" it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-13-11 11:09 PM
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Since this is not Facebook, of course, I'll say instead that 9 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-13-11 11:12 PM
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I have had the reaction described in 10 to many Unfogged comments.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 12:06 AM
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A libertarian sent me a dating message. Or, at least her profile prominently indicates says Atlas Shrugged is a must read. I am considering replying. It seems to both be an 'out' if i am not attracted to her (and pictures are ambiguous). Or, it could be an opportunity to have hate sex, which I have never had.


Posted by: Al Gore | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 12:27 AM
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Let's hope she's a high quality woman, lucky 13.


Posted by: Yenta | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 12:57 AM
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I'm sure Ben would be happy to replace the timestamps with Facebook "Like" buttons.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 5:08 AM
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Here is a sensible article on schools, testing, teacher evaluation, and professional development.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 5:15 AM
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15:   /@
          \    \
    ___>     \
   (__O)         \
(____@)         \
(____@)             \
      (__o)_              \
                     \               \


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 5:40 AM
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Or 👍

(Possibly, if you have the right wingdings loaded and or on the "right" browser and OS...which I do not and am not.)

Or if we were really debased:
b^.^d


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 5:51 AM
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16

Rather long and not skeptical enough.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 6:53 AM
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Finally! A movie where I get to see Dagny Taggart confronting the unions! I can finally die happy.

"Torn up trying to hate on this"? How, for God's sake?


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 7:46 AM
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I don't know quite how to explain it, but I have to confess a certain not-quite-ironic appreciation for aspects of Atlas Shrugged. I think a mindless blockbuster film might be the perfect way to adapt it.

I mean, sure, Taggart and Rearden and the rest are sociopathic and unrealistic, but that no more so than James Bond, Batman, Wolverine, and any number of other comic book superheroes we root for on the big screen with parts of our brains switched off.

So yeah, I'm gonna go watch the hell out of it.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 11:38 AM
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13: That, my friend, is playing with fire. Because what if you like the rest of her? This has happened to me. Oh, you're so cool, we're awesome friends, we laugh and laugh and laugh, and you are genuinely compassionate and care about others and...what do you mean there's this book I have to read? What book? What...why?

And then your brain explodes.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 12:16 PM
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"And then your brain explodes."

I'm still not sure if that is good or bad.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 1:08 PM
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23 was me.


Posted by: Al Gore | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 1:08 PM
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So you're saying that your sexual urges take precedence over the social need to shun and shame libertarians? Pure selfishness.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 1:11 PM
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25: He's a randy-an.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 1:13 PM
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A Lysistrata type strategy seems unlikely to work on Objectivists/Libertarians, since so few of them are getting laid anyway.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 1:36 PM
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21: That's like going to see Triumph of the Will during World War 2 because you just like sports movies. There are some things more important than seeing a movie, and not giving aid and comfort to the enemy is one of them.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 1:58 PM
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Walt is shrill gets it right.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 2:03 PM
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28, 29: No, actually, Walt is wrong. Triumph of the Will isn't a sports movie.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 2:14 PM
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Will is shrill right wrong banned.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 2:22 PM
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Oops, you're right. Olympia is the sports movie.

I'm glad that despite the fact that I broke the analogy ban that Will is the one being banned.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 2:24 PM
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Olympia is pretty good, for a Nazi cultural product.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 2:44 PM
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Triumph of the Will like Birth of a Nation is a classic movie that can only be enjoyed by a very small subset of filmgoers. I think you have to be both really interested in cinematic history and art, and an actual Nazi, to genuinely enjoy sitting through Triumph of the Will.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 2:49 PM
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Friends of mine set me up* with a guy who lists Atlas Shrugged and Fountainhead on Facebook as his favorite books. One lunch before I knew this, one dinner after I discovered it but before I was certain he wasn't just being ironic. Never came up in conversation, but let's be realistic -- a genuinely committed Randian is just not going to be a pleasant person to spend time with. To his credit, of the guys post-divorce who didn't make it past a second date, he is the only one who doesn't continue to stalk** me...

* Technically, they discussed/plotted setting me up with him but, unaware of this, he asked me out of his own accord having quickly recognized my intrinsic awesomeness.

** I am exaggerating here. But only a little.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 2:51 PM
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25+26 is a thing of beauty. I've started watching a bit of Fussball, and it reminded me of some of the great Mesut Özil setups I've seen.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 3:10 PM
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And really, people, it's perfectly possible to have Atlas Shrugged / The Fountainhead as facebook-favorite books and still be a good person. It's probably not a good sign, but it strikes me as being about as bad as someone listing the Bible/Koran/&c. I don't just assume they're going to be stoning shellfish-eaters.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 3:13 PM
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Well, you can still be a good person so long as you're a bit of an idiot. If you were fumbling around for "favorite book? Um, book, book... The Fountainhead sounds respectable!" that's no worse than not being particularly literate and hanging around with a bad crowd. If you really mean it, though, and you're over 21, it's kind of a problem.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 3:20 PM
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21: Wait for it to be released on DVD, then pirate. Escapism plus clean conscience. Arrrr!


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 3:24 PM
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And really, people, it's perfectly possible to have Atlas Shrugged / The Fountainhead as facebook-favorite books and still be a good person

Sure, thus a second date.

If you really mean it, though, and you're over 21, it's kind of a problem.

Yes, and thus no third date.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 3:27 PM
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What I'm saying is that there are different ways to feel that these were your favorite books--even while "really meaning it"--and not all of them imply evil.

Just coming up with something off the top of my head, you could be an artist/writer, totally buy into her philosophy of aesthetics, and feel that it's part of what you do as a creator. Now, Rand's theory is crazy, but having a bad philosophy of art isn't either unusual or disqualifying for practicing artists, no? So it would seem to be petty and foolish to disqualify someone for this.

Look, I agree that if someone holds a repellant moral & political philosophy, and their life is genuinely committed to imposing that on the world, that's a dealbreaker. But I think holy texts are a good analogy here may be worth considering in a similar context--we typically recognize that there are all sorts of ways one could feel oneself to have been powerfully influenced by them, and we typically don't assume that a wicked influence is the only possible one, even if statistically, it's quite likely.

This just reminds me too much of the French Republican insistence that the state's interpretation of the Islamic veil as embodying and furthering patriarchy is the only possible one, and who cares what the individuals in question say.

And with that I ban myself!


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 3:42 PM
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I am seriously confused by 17. Why are some of the fingernails @'s and some of them O's? Does that person have bruised middle and ring fingers?


Posted by: Epoch | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 3:43 PM
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The thing is, the Bible is a complex and contradictory book with many possible interpretations, and long standing elaborate methods for interpreting and adapting to new situations. Ditto for the Koran, especially if you include hadith and other supporting material.

Atlas Shrugged is none of these things. It is very simple, applies directly to current situations, and if you take it heart, you will wind up doing things like asking your child to sue you for emancipation so you don't have to pay her child support.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 3:50 PM
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41: This seems to get into the realm of things that are possible in theory, but unlikely in practice. If the situation came up for real, it would be easy to react to it then.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 3:52 PM
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It's really offensive to compare the Bible and Koran (know jackshit) to Rand.

What other books are dealbreakers? Genet? Celine? BG&E? Charlotte's Web? Bell Jar? Anarchist's Cookbook?
Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960? Kinsey Report? Jane's Fighting Ships? The Savage God?

I'm in brutal competition with Shearer for troll post recs.
Score the above.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 3:57 PM
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41: I don't think we are actually disagreeing. But there are certain texts that, when listed as a favorite, signal and are intended to signal a particular philosophy. If someone says their favorite book is Dianetics, it's not crazy to suspect the person likely buys into Scientology. And while such a person might be utterly lovely, it seems like a pretty safe bet that this person would not be a good match for someone like me.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 3:57 PM
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Ebert says it's boring. "Much of the excitement centers on the tensile strength of steel." (via oud and smearcase.)


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 4:03 PM
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What other books are dealbreakers?

Mein Kampf, The Giving Tree and Everybody Poops.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 4:05 PM
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As far as "books as dealbreaker" go, I somewhat perversely tend to interpret "I don't really read books" as a bad sign while simultaneous being the sort of person who does not really read books. (To be fair, I suppose I do read the first halves of books. So, technically I am more a person who doesn't really finish books...)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 4:06 PM
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46: right, your approach seems completely sensible. I'm talking about some other comments here. Dianetics does seem a good comparison.

45: that was awesome.

43-44: well, no; it's not just a theoretical possibility. Her books sold a gazillion copies, and not just to sociopaths; I've met many, many people who felt themselves to be strongly influenced by Rand, and plenty of them were decent people.

As for the idea that because Rand's views are so straightforward that there's only one way to take it--look, fiction doesn't work that way, people don't work that way. Again, bottom line: I've met many people who didn't turn out that way.

Yes, it's a signal, and not a great one; but we're none of us perfect.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 4:07 PM
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(To be fair, I suppose I do read the first halves of books. So, technically I am more a person who doesn't really finish books...)

A professor of mine, coming across a group of us then-1st-year PhD students reading a book he'd assigned us, airily reminded us that "only peasants read books cover to cover."


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 4:16 PM
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What other books are dealbreakers?

Anything by Dan Brown, Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Glen Beck, et al., Forrest Gump
by Winston Groom, anything with "Chicken Soup" in the title, anything title in the "Left Behind" series, Finnegan's Wake (english phds and certain irish people excepted), The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (or any sequel or derivative, The Bible Code, What to Expect When You're Expecting.




Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 4:16 PM
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What to Expect When You're Expecting

Not dating someone just because she's pregnant is just rude.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 4:18 PM
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There are probably more.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 4:19 PM
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It's a terrible bok, Stanley.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 4:20 PM
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Now you're just being choy.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 4:21 PM
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32: Whoops.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 4:21 PM
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Well, i might also seriously consider that they found it funny, in which case i should know that person.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 4:21 PM
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58 TO 55?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 4:32 PM
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I just had a date with someone who told me his favorite books are If on a winter's night and A Sun Also Rises, which, come on. (If he had added a Kundera book that really might have been the end.)

This wasn't really a dealbreaker for me, I was just looking for reasons. As it happened, there were plenty of others.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 4:38 PM
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60: Can't abide someone who doesn't know the difference between definite and indefinite articles, eh?


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 4:42 PM
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It's a terrible bok, Stanley.

hilzoy, OTOH, is an awesome one.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 4:49 PM
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34: um millions of star wars fans?


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 5:12 PM
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60: Wait, what's wrong with Calvino?


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 5:13 PM
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64: He thought Hobbeso was really a tiger?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 5:15 PM
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I liked If on a winter's night a traveler (though maybe not as much as The Baron in the Trees), and I too would like to know what the problem is with it.

Maybe it's not that there's anything wrong with it in itself, but that those two books being one's favorites is what's objectionable. That seems reasonable.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 5:18 PM
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Finnegan's Wake (english phds and certain irish people excepted)

Is Finnegans Wake acceptable?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 5:19 PM
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no. although the same exceptions apply.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 5:34 PM
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Anyone who lists a favorite book in the first place is right out.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 5:37 PM
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I would probably date someone who listed Atlas Shrugged as their favorite book before someone who listed The Bible or The Koran.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 5:37 PM
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There really should be a general comedy exception.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 5:44 PM
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At this point I'm becoming increasingly sympathetic to Bob's 45.2+


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 5:45 PM
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There really should be a general comedy exception.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 5:47 PM
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I too like If on a winter's night a traveler. It drags a little in the middle, but the first half and the very end are really good.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 5:51 PM
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Timing!


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 5:52 PM
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72: Jane's Fighting Ships is pretty good.

Seriously, though, it strikes me that there's a difference between people one might like to date, and candidates for long-term partnership. You can perfectly well greatly enjoy another's company without expecting, much less demanding, that it has the potential to become long-term. Even in the long-term scenario, who wants a clone?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 5:57 PM
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If the situation came up for real, it would be easy to react to it then.

But it wouldn't come up if you'd actually used it as a dealbreaker.

Is The Sun Also Rises the one where his junk's all out of shape? I think paired with the Calvino that's fine but on its own might be a warning sign.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 5:59 PM
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Is The Sun Also Rises the one where his junk's all out of shape?

Yeah.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 6:15 PM
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I looked over the shoulder of a Kindle-reader this morning on the BART, saw some culture-war palaver, and looked it up later: Michael Medved . Odd place for it; but ATIFFD.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 6:15 PM
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79: It's a bit forward for Medved to subtitle his book "The Explosive Bestseller" etc. etc., isn't it?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 6:25 PM
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On the Medved book, a quoted review says, "A marginal purchase for general collections." This greatly amused me, until I saw that it was from a librarian, in which case it makes complete sense. I've never seen a Library Journal review on Amazon before.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 6:52 PM
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Wait, I remember reading (and mocking) that book. That's old.

Medved has written other much more recent disingenuous books.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 7:08 PM
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47:

Thanks, Ebert, for introducing to me the term "rumpy-pumpy". I imagine that my future use of this word will result in substantially more rumpy-pumpy in my life.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 7:21 PM
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78+82: It looks like its original subtitle was "Popular Culture and the War on Traditional Values" which was changed for a more recent reprinting and/or ebook version.

At this rate, before long full titles will be 100 words again, just like in 1600!


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 7:31 PM
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s/b 80+82


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 7:31 PM
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84: I don't object to the length of titles or subtitles.

"The Explosive Bestseller" etc. really is too much, even if it was a renaming. Would you date such a person, so presenting himself?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 7:44 PM
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37: It's probably not a good sign, but it strikes me as being about as bad as someone listing the Bible/Koran/&c.

Yeah, Bob and others have it right, this is a silly comparison. The latter two books have content of some worth to go with their Crazy. It's more like listing The Turner Diaries or Left Behind.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 7:48 PM
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I doubt that was Medved's choice; if it was, probably he would have gone w it from the beginning. My (limited) understanding of the publishing industry is that the title, along with the cover art and other marketing decisions, is almost always under the publisher's control.

Regardless, im sure we can find other reasons not to date Michael Medved. Perhaps starting around page 1? But that's just conjecture.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 7:49 PM
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(Also, you know, it's perhaps a tad gauche to be giving your dollar to films promoting a vile right-wing union-busting ideology at this particular moment in American history, when the full intent of that and related vile right-wing union-busting ideologies is out in the open. Just sayin'.)


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 7:52 PM
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There was a time when I thought that reading the right book in public would attract the right sort of woman. It hasn't and it won't, and before you protest, know that in recent weeks I have read on the subway, inter alia, Fawn Brodie's biography of Richard Burton, George Steiner's book about Heidegger and a couple of Adam Hall's Quiller novels (which are quite good: sort of an espionage counterpart to the "Richard Stark"/Donald E. Westlake Parker series, in terseness of style and formulaic but satisfying construction).

The point being: don't even try.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 7:55 PM
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88 to 86.

And people, there is a simple solution to the whole wanting to watch the trainwreck and yet not wanting to fund the forces of evil: steal the stupid thing. Seriously, deprive them of their rightful reward for being producers. It's almost a moral imperative, and it'll certainly be satisfying. Thank Al for the internet when you do it.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 7:56 PM
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89, meet 28, 4, and probably a few other comments.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 7:57 PM
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90: The Motorcycle Diaries worked for me once. Not that I was deliberately attempting that strategy, and admittedly she did turn out to be nuts, but still.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 7:58 PM
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93: Number of women whom I have met in bookstores: 1. Number of women who have tried to get me to join cults: 1.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 8:01 PM
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I think we need to try to divine the sort of woman Flip is looking for by reading these books. I'm a little stumped; but that's likely because I'm not the one.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 8:01 PM
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90: I can now confirm that nothing will happen between me and the Italian who approached me on the ground that I was reading Quellen des Wissens in a bar. However, she is gorgeous, so, uh, at least I'm missing out?

Once some guy on the tube El S-bahn in Berlin asked me about Deceit, Desire and the Novel, which I was only somewhat ostentatiously reading, but it didn't go anywhere.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 8:06 PM
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Flip, maybe you should just read the NYRB (paper version) on the subway. Or does everybody do that?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 8:07 PM
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I guess in English we say "on the grounds that", not "on the ground that".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 8:08 PM
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97: Ask k-sky.

Do people really read Michael Medved? Why on earth would anyone do that?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 8:09 PM
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97: I don't read the paper NYRB anymore, but even when I used to get the TLS it wasn't exactly catnip to the ladies of the subway or a number of American airports.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 8:10 PM
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It is difficult to entice the ladies of the subway from their subterranean haunts.

Have you tried actual catnip?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 8:12 PM
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Barely Legal doesn't work either. Women are a mystery.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 8:13 PM
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A mystery that surpasseth the powers of Sherlock Holmes, Batman and Encyclopedia Brown combined.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 8:17 PM
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They could probably tell that you were the sort of person who describes himself as "getting" periodicals.

Women have no time for that. They want a powerful man, a brute, someone who takes the TLS.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 8:20 PM
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OT: Did Congress recently pass a law requiring every chump with a cramped and palsied writing hand to weigh and measure poor David Foster Wallace's literary and spiritual corpus?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 8:20 PM
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A hot fundamentalist Christian came on to me when I was reading a textbook of New Testament Greek in the Greyhound station in Winnipeg. Freals. I was tempted, but she was a fundie, and we were in a Winnipeg bus station, so it went nowhere. Ultimately, so did my interest in New Testament Greek.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 8:21 PM
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104: I didn't take the TLS; I made it come to me.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 8:22 PM
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Actually, Flip, about that. I didn't know how to tell you at the time, but …


Posted by: TLS | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 8:23 PM
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You loved every minute of it. Now review Mary Beard's new book about Pompeii! Slowly.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 8:26 PM
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105: Now there's an idea! You could read DFW on the subway! Think of the fun you'll have! Grimacing at your prospective lady mate and whatnot.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 8:27 PM
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A come-hither grimace, if one can but master it, is a powerful tool.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 8:28 PM
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Actually, it is. It might be similar to the thousand-yard stare.

Might only work for men.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 8:32 PM
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110: I didn't ask out of any particular Generation X protective instinct; it's just distasteful to watch so many people act out so obviously the clash of status anxiety and terror of death.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 8:34 PM
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Also, Jonathan Franzen just seems like a punk.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 8:36 PM
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113: I don't actually know what 105 refers to.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 8:36 PM
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Reviews of The Pale King, one assumes.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 8:37 PM
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A come-hither grimace, if one can but master it, is a powerful tool.

"I... really... have...to... poop."


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 8:38 PM
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It's an odd fellow who desires others to come hither when he really has to poop.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 8:39 PM
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118: yet well worth knowing.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 8:40 PM
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The Independent Order of Odd Fellows would like a word with you, neb. Something private, they said.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 8:41 PM
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I bike past a disused Odd Fellows lodge regularlyfrequently.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 8:45 PM
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I'd rather have a root canal without drugs than suffer through a date with someone who thinks The Fountainhead is worth reading.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 8:50 PM
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116: Thanks.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 8:50 PM
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I try to read Unfogged ostentatiously in public, but my cell phone screen isn't big enough for people to read over my shoulder.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 8:52 PM
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121: on market? That's a cool building.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 8:54 PM
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Yep!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 8:55 PM
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124: You could read it aloud.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 8:56 PM
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127: I go for a thurston howell kind of a voice, at least in the locker room.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 8:57 PM
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128: It never made sense, how many suitcases of cash he brought to the island.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 9:01 PM
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I read all of Ben's comments like Fat Albert.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 9:04 PM
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I used to walk past an Odd Fellows lodge on my way to school in high school. It was hard to tell if it was in use or not.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 9:10 PM
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I try to read Unfogged ostentatiously in public, but my cell phone screen isn't big enough for people to read over my shoulder.

On the bus the other day, I got an eyeful of someone's Google search on her iPhone: "signs of bacterial vaginosis".


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 9:12 PM
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"got an eyeful" really is the right phrase to use there.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 9:14 PM
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I met someone in a bookstore once, and we had a perfectly lovely time. It helped that she had no idea at first that I was a USian. She mistook me for Northern European, of all things.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 9:17 PM
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||

I'm out of town. Posting will be light from me through Sunday.

|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 9:27 PM
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135 s/b "I'm in Wisconsin."


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 9:35 PM
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Here we are, in Delaware.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 9:43 PM
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Hey hey hey!Here we are, in Delaware.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 10:16 PM
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Shit. 137 should read "Hi. I'm in Delaware."

O well.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 10:17 PM
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Party on, Garth.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-14-11 10:21 PM
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I sort of pulled in Amsterdam, reading The Unbearable Lightness of Being [I was 18, she was a hot Israeli-American, nothing actually happened]. With English and philosophy degrees I've spent a lot of time as a student on public transport reading highbrow shit. I don't think any of them attracted much more than a second glance. I don't think I've ever chosen a book for showing off reasons, though. Who would?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 12:51 AM
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69 is right, people with a favourite book or a few favourite books are a turnoff. Nobody who's a real reader can narrow down their preferences that way.

Comparing Randian writing with things like the Bible or the Koran is justified in this context, as anybody who wants you to know they like these books does not do so for literary reasons, but because they agree with their content. At best they're harmless but deluded, at worst fanatical assholes.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 1:05 AM
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I don't think I've ever chosen a book for showing off reasons, though. Who would?

Not me. With the sort of book I usually read the only people I have any chance of pulling are fat, bespectacled (neck) bearded geeks and I can look in the mirror if I need to see those.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 1:08 AM
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I was intrigued to sit next to a guy reading Kropotkin on a train recently. He was a bloke about my own age who looked a bit crusty, so there was no charge there, just that you don't often see people immersed in "Mutual Aid" from London to Leicester these days.

Martin's first point goes to the heart of the matter, but I'm not sure about his second. The bible is an anthology and anybody who "agrees with its content" without further explanation probably hasn't actually read much of it, but is using it as a shorthand for an ideology which isn't supported by a lot of the text. There are bits of the bible I love, without "believing" a word of it. But with Rand, there's really only the ideology, take it or leave it.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 1:24 AM
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I would certainly attempt to chat up a woman who was reading "Jane's Fighting Ships" on public transport. Apart from anything else, it's immense and weighs about ten pounds, so she'd probably be toned.
(Extra points if it's the 1944 edition.)

(I apologise for the shallowness, or perhaps I should say lack of draught, of the above paragraph).


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 1:39 AM
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145: at least you'd start the relation on an even keel so to speak.

Myself I'd be more inclined to go for Jane's Armour and Artillery but that just leads to jokes about calibre, bore extensions and sustained rates of fire which is no good to anyone.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 1:47 AM
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Thanks, Ebert, for introducing to me the term "rumpy-pumpy".

You know, I'd known that word and its meaning for years now, but it was only just now that I stopped and really thought about it. Rumpy-... pumpy. Jesus. That's a pretty lewd word! It's deceptive, because it sounds so silly and carefree and harmless sounding. But really, whoa, rumps getting pumped. We're into hardcore territory here.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 1:54 AM
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But with Rand, there's really only the ideology, take it or leave it.

I'm just going to repeat myself once more and leave it at that: this is simply false, empirically speaking. Certainly she thought her philosophical edifice was a seamless web, and that anyone reading her novels would absorb the proper lessons like a selfishness enema, but empirically speaking it's just not so. Lots and lots of genuinely nice people consider AS/F their favorite book/s, for different reasons, because novels just don't work in as straightforward a way as Rand and some commenters here believe.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 1:58 AM
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My dad went through a phase of being interested in the law (not much to do at work, so spent a lot of time round the corner at the Old Bailey), and said he definitely got some funny looks reading Unlawful Sex on the train.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 2:45 AM
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I just had a date with someone who told me his favorite books are If on a winter's night and A Sun Also Rises, which, come on.

Remind me to never go on a date with jms. I've never read A Sun Also Rises, but If On A Winter's Night... was probably my favourite book for about a decade after I read it. And I'm a huge Calvino fan in general.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 4:58 AM
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re: 150

Yeah, I don't think I've actually read 'If On A Winter's Night ...' but I've definitely enjoyed other Calvino I've read. Low-browed morlock, obviously.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 5:02 AM
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I can definitely see it not appealing to some people, as it takes meta to a whole new level. But it's right up my alley.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 6:52 AM
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...people with a favourite book or a few favourite books are a turnoff. Nobody who's a real reader can narrow down their preferences that way.

I believe you are incorrect. There is nothing particularly odd about having a small number of books that one finds particularly delightful to read or which hold a special place in your heart for one reason or another. I read quite a bit and still have a few that I'll reread semi-regularly or which influenced me one way or another and so have particular importance to me. Some because they were my first introduction to a particular idea, some because I read them at noteworthy moments in my life, and some because the prose flows just so.

If my personal experience isn't enough (I read considerably less than some here), note that your criterion for "real reader" excludes AWB due to her special fondness for Tristram Shandy.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 7:46 AM
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Lots and lots of genuinely nice people consider AS/F their favorite book/s, for different reasons, because novels just don't work in as straightforward a way as Rand and some commenters here believe.

You know, this is interesting, because you sound like you're talking from personal experience. Can you spin out what a genuinely nice person who thinks of Rand's novels as her favorites is like? What you think her reasons are, what her politics outside that preference is like?

I'm talking the way I am because I've never met a thoughtful person out of their teens who valued Rand's books who didn't also have what I thought of as immoral political views -- mostly coming down to thinking that anyone who isn't rich deserves their problems for being lazy. But you sound like you know different people, and I'm curious about what they're like.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 8:08 AM
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thinking that anyone who isn't rich deserves their problems for being lazy

Related! I had the morning off yesterday and went running, returning home to turn on the TV for background noise. It was Family Feud, and the question was something like, "Name a profession that really deserves all the money it is paid" and both families totally bombed it with guesses like "doctor". (The one guess that matched a few answers was "firefighter".)

Both families had looks of deep confusion when it was revealed that the number one answer they both missed was: "teacher".


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 8:14 AM
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OT bragging: Under an hour to work this morning, for the second time ever. And that's with a slightly longer route -- there's a new construction detour.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 8:38 AM
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155: That answer is like so 20th century.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 8:49 AM
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Lots and lots of genuinely nice people consider AS/F their favorite book/s,

Am at a B&B near my daughter's college town and the outwardly genuinely nice proprietors have a nice collection of biblical apocalypse and standard-issue wingnut literature. Tried a novel, 666 and 1000 last night and we entertained ourselves at dinner with a pamphlet "The Real Hillary Clinton".


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 8:56 AM
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156: running all those lights is paying off!

(No but, woo!)


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 9:01 AM
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154: Same question, not least because, if the claims about the numbers of Rand's books sold bear much relation to the facts, then surely some of the copies must be purchased/read by people who aren't the several dozen prominent, astonishingly unpleasant people whom one tends to associate with Rand fandom (Mark Cuban, Alan Greenspan, that I/nst/ap/undit tool, the woman at the Atlantic whom everyone hates, the rest of the Bush-years parade of blog-horribles).


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 9:02 AM
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OT whine: I rode my fancy bike to work this morning because it's been like two weeks since I got to ride it and I'm not even sure I'll get a ride in this weekend.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 9:02 AM
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I could imagine someone listing Rand among favorite books because they loved them as a teenager, and don't read as much now. I bet a lot of people's "favorite books" are things they haven't read in the last 10 years.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 9:03 AM
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160: Well, it is one thing to purchase and/or read these books, and quite another to list one as your very favorite book.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 9:05 AM
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162: Only in nightmares would one be forever bound to one's teenaged favorites.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 9:05 AM
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160: the woman at the Atlantic whom everyone hates

OMG, I watched that cake video. Basically, everything she said about how much harder it was to cook in 1950 relied on the fact that she had a mixer and they didn't. So weird.

Also, whipping cream by hand? Not actually difficult -- if it takes two minutes of whipping time, that's all it takes. (Creaming butter by hand, not all that difficult if it's softened, which has been possible in a home kitchen since the invention of fire, but I'll give her that unless you're very good, a mixer is going to give you a fluffier result.) And what on earth is she using a foodprocessor for to mix her dry ingredients?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 9:10 AM
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Honestly, I'd guess that at least half of people's listed "favorites" actually means "it was my favorite as a teenager." It's like how people are basically either well-read or not by the time that they're 15.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 9:13 AM
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Can you spin out what a genuinely nice person who thinks of Rand's novels as her favorites is like?

I'll confess that the specific people I had in mind were basically all ex-Randians, who I suspect would be more likely to list AS/TF as most influential books rather than favorites.

Charles Johnson's a left-libertarian-feminist-anarchist who writes a lot of good anti-authoritarian stuff, on his blog and elsewhere; here he asks commenters to give their "origin stories" and unsurprisingly, not a few of them involve a Randroid period, or at least a period of taking her seriously. Now, I'm not saying everyone who comments there is fighting for justice rightly conceived, but plenty of them are.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 9:13 AM
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Honestly, I'd guess that at least half of people's listed "favorites" actually means "it was my favorite as a teenager." It's like how people are basically either well-read or not by the time that they're 15.

This is also an important point--in fact, it probably swamps all the rest. A huge chunk of the population just doesn't read novels once they're out of school. So when you're asking about your favorite, you kind of have to go back to your youth.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 9:15 AM
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167.3: But how many of those people would list Rand as their favorite book on a dating site? I would guess precisely zero.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 9:16 AM
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169: Well, right -- if you're an anarchist who was influenced by Rand but ended up somewhere different, you're probably not going to claim her books as your favorites without explaining that you're not buying the philosophy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 9:18 AM
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169, 170: Maybe--but maybe not, especially if your later rejection or modification of her beliefs was much harder to trace to a single author or work. Influence is complicated, and the way people tell the story of their own influences, to themselves and to others, is more complicated still. When telling a story, sometimes the origin sticks out more vividly than the destination; especially so, if the journey is still in progress.

Look, I get that Rand's philosophy is pernicious, and knowing that someone's a Randroid--as with a Scientologist, or, really, most organized religions--makes me think worse of them, at least as a rebuttable presumption. But I'm just not comfortable with the hardline Friend / Enemy Schmittianism (eg Walt in 28) on display here.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 9:27 AM
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Only in nightmares would one be forever bound to one's teenaged favorites.

I dunno, being bound to Debbie Harry wouldn't be so bad.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 9:31 AM
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||
You know what else is complicated, at least for me? Figuring out a simple way to rip these True Blood DVDs, blend a workout .mp3 playlist into the audio, and convert to 320x240 .mp4 video for viewing on my phone while on my bike-trainer. What's giving me fits is this whole anamorphic aspect ratio thing. Why can't the resolution just say what it means and mean what it says, a pixel is a pixel 100%? ARRGH.
|>


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 9:32 AM
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But I'm just not comfortable with the hardline Friend / Enemy Schmittianism (eg Walt in 28) on display here.

I think you're forcing the anti-Rand sentiment in the thread into a more black-and-white form than it really takes. Starting with the assumption that Rand's philosophy is pernicious, Walt didn't call for shunning anyone who'd ever enjoyed Rand's novels, he said that giving money and prestige to a movie bankrolled by people who do buy into the full perniciousness of Rand's philosophy is a bad thing to do.

Likewise, Di didn't say that she'd never speak to someone who said that Atlas Shrugged was their favorite book. She said that it formed part of her basis for not dating the guy a third time. He got two dates to not look like a tool, and didn't succeed.

You're right that it's a big complicated world, and people do weird things for weird reasons. But it's still a fair rule of thumb that someone who says that Rand's books are their favorite novels without qualification is either not very thoughtful about literature and politics, or has unpleasant politics.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 9:39 AM
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But I'm just not comfortable with the hardline Friend / Enemy Schmittianism (eg Walt in 28) on display here.

Welcome to the Internet, where "awesome" and "Off with their heads!" are the two biggest circles in the Venn diagram.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 9:40 AM
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Creaming butter by hand, not all that difficult if it's softened, which has been possible in a home kitchen since the invention of fire

For Christ's sake my mother had me creaming the butter by the time I was eight! These people are so fucking spoiled.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 9:43 AM
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Your mother didn't have me creaming the butter until I was much older.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 9:44 AM
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174.2 is an excellent summary of what I was trying to say. But in the interests of comity with 175, I'm prepared to call for anyone who's ever experienced one iota of pleasure from an Ayn Rand work (= 0.01 rat orgasms) should be killed, and soon.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 9:45 AM
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A lot of kids who read Rand are just looking for a little Romance, as kids are wont, and Sabatini and Costain are way out of fashion. We need more swashbuckle in science fiction (steampunk a cry for help). Or swords in RL.

Who the fuck wants to be a CEO in their college years? We live in a sick sick society.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 9:47 AM
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174: okay, you're right; I already acknowledged that Di sounded perfectly reasonable in her approach, and I was mentally conflating Walt's 28 with the anti-libertarian-Lysistrata remark Halford made in the preceding comment.

On reflection, only Rob's 43 is really an appropriate target for my ire.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 9:47 AM
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re: 176

Ditto. How else are you supposed to sneakily eat the butter/sugar mixture, before it gets made into shortbread?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 9:48 AM
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Bob, remember your steps.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 9:48 AM
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176: For Christ's sake my mother had me creaming the butter by the time I was eight!

Indeed, Newt makes meringue by hand at nine.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 9:49 AM
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180: Comity!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 9:50 AM
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183: Child abuse!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 9:54 AM
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Only in nightmares would one be forever bound to one's teenaged favorites.

So are you saying it's a bad idea to embark upon a long-term relationship with one's prom date?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 10:06 AM
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Indeed, Newt makes meringue by hand at nine.

It's not the baking per se. It's the strict adherence to a nightly baking schedule that seems odd. ("At 8:15: SNICKERDOODLES!")


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 10:16 AM
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Indeed, Newt makes meringue by hand at nine.

And how else would one make meringue? With one's feet?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 10:20 AM
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188: With an electric mixer.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 10:21 AM
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Mixer? Which we have, but it's a hassle to lug it out of the cupboard.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 10:22 AM
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Is there actually some advantage to hand-whipped meringue? (Other than that I'm sure it goes great with low hanging fruit?)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 10:22 AM
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I should get off boggling about the video, but it was so strange. At one point she poured something into the mixer from an odd little bowl shaped like a gravy boat, and commented that 'pourable bowls' weren't around in the 50s.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 10:24 AM
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190: Yes, I'm sure it's easier to reach for the whip and yell, "Beat harder, Newt! Harder!"


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 10:27 AM
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191: Nah, other than not having to get the mixer out. Our kitchen is kind of terrible, very little counter space, and no outlets where you want them. So the mixer is less useful than it might be.

(Oh, in theory whites can be overwhipped -- stiff but not dry means that if you beat them too much, they get dry. And it's easier to screw up with a mixer. But that's not a big issue.)

Also, rotary egg-beaters as an important advance over the whisk? No. They just don't save much effort at all, and don't get air into whatever you're beating with any efficiency.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 10:28 AM
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193: He thrives on it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 10:30 AM
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Ah, mixers, of course. Never used one.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 10:32 AM
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re: 192

Hahah. Wiki informs that they became fashionable at the end of the 17th century.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 10:33 AM
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OT: If this bit of skullduggery was Nancy Pelosi's idea, I want to have her baby.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 10:35 AM
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198: That's beautiful.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 10:37 AM
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And come to think, speaking of meringue, a Pavlova is a perfectly reasonable Passover dessert. Although the fruit bit of it is a little complicated this time of year -- maybe I can do something with frozen sour cherries.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 10:41 AM
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Arrowroot is kosher for Passover. Meringue shell (chocolate? Maybe.) Sour cherry pie filling with arrowroot, whipped cream on top, and while it's not exactly a pavlova, bob is my uncle.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 10:47 AM
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198: THIS IS WHAT I'VE BEEN SAYING. I fucking love that woman.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 10:52 AM
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Can you tell I have a deadline?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 10:53 AM
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199: Yep, sweet. Just think, if we had a better party and press corps we could milk it like Truman in 1948.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 10:56 AM
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She is really aiming for 2012. If the GOP cleaves in two before then, or if they time it just right, and the GOP is saddled with an uninspiring candidate (again), and Dems can take back a bunch of seats...I wonder what Obama's second term looks like then.

If I'm ever in a guerilla war, I want her as my general.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 11:01 AM
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THIS IS WHAT I'VE BEEN SAYING.

Me too, donaquixote.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 11:02 AM
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It's not weird, Apo. It's not weird at all. I would absolutely sleep with Nancy Pelosi.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 11:06 AM
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Ditto. How else are you supposed to sneakily eat the butter/sugar mixture, before it gets made into shortbread?

If there isn't an egg yolk in the mixture, why bother?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 11:08 AM
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207: Perhaps if we coordinated our efforts, we could bring this to fruition.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 11:14 AM
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208 to 209.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 11:14 AM
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Ha.

I wonder if Nancy has any hot granddaughters. Google, may I have a word with you...


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 11:21 AM
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Whoa there, cowgirl.

My grandchildren live in Texas, Arizona and New York, which is wonderful for them, but a little far for us. I have six grandchildren: Alexander Prowda, 10, and Madeleine Prowda, 8, who live in Arizona; Liam Kenneally, 9, Sean Kenneally, 7, and Ryan Kenneally, 5, who live in Texas; and Paul Michael Vos, the new baby, 5 months old, who lives in New York...

(GRAND magazine, 2007)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 11:30 AM
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198 is indeed a thing of beauty. No *that's* how the ballgame is played!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 11:30 AM
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Speaking vaguely of houses, it turns out to be not very good if your house is only roughly halfway connected to the power grid. Thanks for coming to fix that before we all died or something, Dominion Power!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 11:31 AM
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Yeah, I may have to wait a while on that one.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 11:59 AM
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She's got daughters.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 12:05 PM
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Her youngest daughter is around 40 according to wikipedia.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "pause endlessly, the go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 12:08 PM
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Oh, I've been googling. I must say though, it seems there's no substitute for the real thing.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 12:09 PM
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Perhaps the most attractive possible age for a woman.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 12:09 PM
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I hear there's something about a sexual peak? That could be fun. But alas: if I'm being shallow -- and I think we can all agree I committed to that road long ago -- her daughters all look...dowdy. Is dowdy the right word? They don't seem to have Nancy's something-in-french-that-I-don't-know-how-to-spell,-and-that-we-now-know-is-caused-by-a-brain-parasite-one-gets-from-cat-poop,-unless-one-is-nancy-pelosi.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 12:15 PM
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"She's got that je ne sais quoi."

"What does that mean?"

"I dunno."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 12:17 PM
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She has toxoplasmosis?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 12:18 PM
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Or, sorry, toxoplasmose.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 12:20 PM
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Oh man, that was the best part of the toxoplasmosis discussion -- the part of the paper where they were like, well, it appears to cause distinct personality changes by gender, and, well. France. France tests 89% positive. We think we know why they are the way they are.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 12:20 PM
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It's kind of a French thing, apparently.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 12:21 PM
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Zut! Pwné!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 12:22 PM
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221: also a joke in one of the Austin Powers movies.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 12:23 PM
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Does anyone here know how to grill octopus? I found a recipe online that involves boiling, a pressure cooker, and a grilling for 45 minutes. This can't be correct. I want to just grill the damn thing.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 12:28 PM
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I know that grilled octopus is delicious.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 12:31 PM
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I'm just gonna make it up as I go along. As usual.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 12:32 PM
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I'm always so inspired to see an amazing and hott older woman like Pelosi. Oh, thank god. I have another twenty or thirty years to try to achieve that. It took me this long to dress myself, so maybe in the next two decades I can master looking sharp and confident and driving my enemies before me.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 12:34 PM
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I don't know what I'm talking about, because I've never cooked octopus. But I've read that you want to cook it either really really fast, or really really slow -- inbetween, it turns into rubberbands. So I'd try the highest heat you can manage for just a few minutes.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 12:34 PM
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I think it's pretty common actually to include an initial tenderizing step, perhaps beating the octopus like a brute for a while.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 12:40 PM
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LB's description is apt for squid. I'm sure I've got a recipe in a cookbook at home. But home is SO FAR AWAY (two blocks).


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 12:41 PM
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This sure is a funny coincidence.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 12:42 PM
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228: So grill it. Don't listen to the fancy-pants who say there's one true way to cook. I've been much more liberated in the kitchen since I decided to treat recipes as mere opinion. The results have ranged from awesome to edible. As long as you don't douse it in poison you'll still get some nutritional value out of it, and if you fuck it up really badly you'll learn something useful.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 12:44 PM
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Huh, just met my new boss (the elected one) for the first time. Probably should have dressed better this morning.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 12:45 PM
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One can browse the LG on Amazon, and while there isn't a recipe for grilled octopus, there is one for octopus à la provencale, which instructs one to:

- soak it under running water for a long time if it has not been prepared by a fishmonger;
- beat it well to tenderize;
- blanch in court bouillon

Prior to being first browned and then braised for an hour.

I don't know if the blanching would be necessary if you're grilling it, but I can easily believe that it's a little more involved than just chucking the thing onto a fire.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 12:46 PM
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232: I really like chewy food so I've been trying to hit the rubber-band zone with my last two attempts to cook squid. Failed both times and it came out al dente. I think I've bracketed the sweet spot and ought to hit it on the next try.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 12:46 PM
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The first thing i saw upon googling was "first you catch, then you beat against rock, then you cook." So helpful. Im gonna simmer in water, olive oil, balsamic, white wine vinegar, and...liquid smoke, why not, for like 30 min, then grill? And i have squid too. So maybe i'll marinate the squid, then try the other version? Like in the middle of the grill? Feel free to take bets on whether i start a fire.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 12:46 PM
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I never cooked it myself but I've had it just very quickly seared on a hot grill pan, and it was nice. My experience with cooking squid has been as per 232. My wife happens to like it in the middle zone, but for me it has to be cooked as quickly as possible. Deep fried is good [as per the traditions of my people].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 12:48 PM
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"Its flesh is fairly delicate in flavour, but it must be beaten for a long time and then blanched before use", sez the LG.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 12:48 PM
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Feel free to take bets on whether i start a fire.

I've found it to help, when grilling.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 12:49 PM
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the fancy-pants who say there's one true way to cook

Lyle "Fancy Pants" Beerbohm did prison time because of a methamphetamine habit, so he might just know a thing or two about cooking.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 1:05 PM
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BEAT THE OCTOPUS


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 1:11 PM
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So this is pretty clearly going to end in disaster, but right now it looks like i have the cracken coming out of a pot on my stove, which is pretty cool.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 1:11 PM
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I hear the octopus has, like, eight goddamn tentacles.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 1:12 PM
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To return to the OP, McMegan gives the Atlas Shrugged movie a resounding thumbs-down -- and she admits to being "actually quite fond" of the novel. http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/04/atlas-winced/237405/


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 1:12 PM
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248: "Actually" and "quite" are doing yeomen's work there, I'd wager.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 1:14 PM
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249: I'm not sure if you think she likes it more or less than she seems to indicate. I've thought it kind of odd that she chose "Jane Galt" as her nom de internet and yet claims never to have been a Randian. On the other hand, some might think it odd that I go by "peep" and I claim not to like the candy.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 1:18 PM
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250: Yeoman's work of concealing what she likes, or thinks, about the book, for fear of the wrath of the Internet's Rand nerds and Maoists alike.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 1:23 PM
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I hear the octopus has, like, at least eight goddamn tentacles.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 1:24 PM
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re: 238

I have the original Larousse [first English translation] and I had a quick look. It basically says: bash it a bit, fry it in oil, pour over wine and cook until it's edible. The Cordon Bleu book just says it can be fried, boiled, stewed, or grilled.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 1:24 PM
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250: Candy? I thought you were just a voyeur.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 1:25 PM
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254: I knew that you would understand.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 1:27 PM
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250: But how do you feel about Peep and the Big Wide World?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 1:28 PM
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Perhaps the most attractive possible age for a woman.

And will be for about another year.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 1:31 PM
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256: Spooked by falling leaves, Squeak the mouse warns Peep that the entire sky will soon be tumbling down

Seems pretty accurate!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 1:43 PM
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Pelosi does not get credit for the budget stunt, apparently it was Steny Hoyer. Funny, I know his name, but I don't know much about him. Apparently he's good with the procedural maneuvering.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 2:18 PM
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Guys. I cannot emphasize this enough. Leave octupus grilling to the professionals.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 2:22 PM
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Did it escape, killing dozens?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 2:24 PM
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You failed by not just tossing it on a grill with a little bit of salt. That is is the one true cooking method; everything else is just bullshit for overweight gluttons.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 2:28 PM
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You have to remove the outer skin, which you think is going to be easy, but no, it's fucking modest. And then as you do so, several things happen: it will shoot across the room at least once, and then, bc of the pressure as you squeeze and try to slide the goddamn skin off, the little hard parts of the sucker thingies shoot off at random, like little ballistic missiles, and you will have to find them later. Then you wont be able to figure out how to get your grill hot enough.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 2:33 PM
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You know what else isn't very fun? Cleaning squid.

Inside each squid's body sac is a milky white fluid that, sources assure us, is not semen.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 2:34 PM
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We definately need an urple/donaquixote cook-off.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 2:37 PM
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264: goddammit, is that what that was??


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 2:37 PM
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"How to Clean Squid", a song.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 2:40 PM
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Peeps in Famous Places 2010 photo gallery; the 2009 edition.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 2:42 PM
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Not to make things worse for DQ, but -- aren't there reasons to think squid/octopus are among the animals that one ought to feel the greatest ethical qualms about eating, w.r.t. ability to suffer & intelligence?


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 2:47 PM
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Not that I'm a role model here--the only animals I eat are chordates.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 2:47 PM
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But I feel bad about it!


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 2:48 PM
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Erm, yeah, kind of. Octopodes (I'm not sure about squid) are supposed to be very intelligent -- smart-mammal level intelligent.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 2:48 PM
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But as someone who had pork for dinner last night, I'm not pointing any fingers.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 2:49 PM
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I'm not sure why intelligence, if it's below the level of intelligence that would make an octopus a matter of thematic concern for itself, plays a role here, to be honest; isn't suffering enough?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 2:50 PM
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I think the theory is that intelligence can magnify the capacity to suffer.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 2:51 PM
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I could understand that if the intelligence were of the level to involve an understanding of what's happening, but do people think octopuses (come on, it's a perfectly reasonable pluralization) have that?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 2:53 PM
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"Pass me the speech center of the brain."


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 2:55 PM
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A voluble person's speech center will be tough and flavorful, suitable for long cooking over low heat, often in moist environments, whereas the speech centers of introverts, being more tender, can be cooked quickly over high heat, or even enjoyed raw.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 2:58 PM
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The most natural way to frame things is to say that the capacity to suffer is linked to the right not to suffer, and that all this fancy stuff involving self awareness is important for a right not to be killed.

I have real problems defining any of these higher order capacities, though, and a lot of times I think the definitions reflect the rather narrow cultural priorities and preferences of Western academics. For instance, I try to not be a matter of "thematic concern for myself," and I generally find people who do such things to be assholes. If the octopus is biologically incapable of such things, that may be to its credit.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 2:58 PM
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276: You don't think octop* have some understanding of what's happening when they are killed?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 2:59 PM
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There are over 200 species of octopuses. There must be a bunch that are stupid. I choose to believe that the stupid ones are disproportionately represented among those unable to avoid capture. The smart ones evade the fisherman and slip into the vasty deep to plot their revenge.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 2:59 PM
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280: honestly, I have no idea how one could even go about forming an opinion about that.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 3:00 PM
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My special concern with octopuses is the hypothetical--what if, if they lived longer, they really would develop that level of understanding? There's certainly an age where infants aren't yet a matter of thematic concern for themselves, and octopuses only live a few years, even the psychic ones.

I'm also perhaps influenced by Peter Watts' brilliant first-contact/vampires-in-space/Chinese-room-problem novel, where vaguely octopus-like aliens feature prominently.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 3:00 PM
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WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE AN OCTOPUS?


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 3:01 PM
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I'm not sure, but I've been googling octopuses (I used the hypercorrect plural just for you, neB) in an attempt to develop an opinion and now I want a pet octopus that I can teach tricks. I would call it Aristotle, after Pugsley's pet octopus on the Addams Family.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 3:01 PM
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Oh son of a bitch, that was supposed to have been by OPINIONATED T NAGEL


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 3:02 PM
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DQ, you don't grill the octopus on its home turf. Take off the scuba suit and get a net.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 3:02 PM
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My folk morality says that smarter animals are neater and more interactive than dumb ones, thus more deserving of preservation. And then I eat them anyway, but I feel bad about it.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 3:04 PM
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264 You mean dark fluid, which is the ink and which is delicious, the reason why buying uncleaned squid (if you can find them) is better than cleaned ones. And really, even if you don't want the ink, just rinse them. Cleaning squid is easy, cooking them is easy, they're cheap and delicious. I have no idea about octopus except that most times I've had it it has been tasteless and rubbery, but a few times it has been delicious.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 3:04 PM
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(I used the hypercorrect plural just for you, neB)

I would think the hypercorrect plural would be "octopi", if we use "hypercorrect" to refer to an actually incorrect correction adopted on the basis of analogy. E.g., persons who started saying "jag-wire", extending what would have been the correct (relative to milieux, etc.) change from "fahr" to "fire".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 3:04 PM
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An octopus named Aristotle would be a fine thing.

You mean dark fluid, which is the ink and which is delicious

No, I mean a milky white fluid, which is not ink. It's actually in the hood, not the body; I misremembered. And I guess it's actually guts or something. Whatever. I definitely had to get a bunch of that crap outside the hoods of the last whole squids I bought, and it was kind of gross.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 3:07 PM
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285: I knew a guy who trained his pet octopus to snap pencils in half. His roommate (the guy, not the octopus) knocked over the tank and the octopus died. The roommate tried to clean up the spilled water with a regular household vacuum cleaner and caused a small electrical fire. It was a bad day for everyone.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 3:09 PM
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I understand it is difficult to keep an octopus as a pet, as they are consumate escape artists.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 3:09 PM
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Aristotle is appropriate because the Greeks are super good at making tasty grilled octopus.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 3:09 PM
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See around 1:25–1:35 in this video.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 3:10 PM
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if we use "hypercorrect" to refer to an actually incorrect correction adopted on the basis of analogy.

If we don't use it that way, but rather use it to mean "a form that's historically correct, but odd enough to a current ear to be distracting rather than communicative", as I meant to, then 'octopodes' is hypercorrect. My use of 'hypercorrect' may itself be incorrect, but that's how I meant it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 3:11 PM
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293: One of the pages I was looking at suggested that if you keep enough toys and live prey in their tanks, they're less likely to make a break for it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 3:13 PM
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My use of 'hypercorrect' may itself be incorrect, but that's how I meant it.

Oh, I misunderstood; I thought you meant that when in your most recent "octopi"-including comment you used "octopi", you were on that occasion using the hypercorrect plural just for me, since I had just used "octopi" somewhat testily myself. If I had understood that you were referring to your earlier use of "octopodes" (which I did appreciate!) I would have known what you meant by "hypercorrect".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 3:14 PM
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when in your most recent "octopi"-including comment you used "octopi"

I can't be dead sure, but I don't think there is such a comment -- in everyday usage (to the extent that discussions of cephalopods comes up in everyday usage), I say 'octopuses' precisely to avoid the hypercorrect (in the sense you were using it) 'octopi'.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 3:17 PM
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gaaaaaah I meant "octopuses" in every single place in which "octopi" occurs in 298.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 3:18 PM
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Sorry.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 3:19 PM
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So they escape out of boredom?
I remember seeing some video of an octopus repeatedly crawling out of one tank, across the room, and into another to eat the shellfish it contained. It would then return home.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 3:19 PM
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Not sure how toxoplamosis came into this thread, but anyway, for more fascinating information on the subject, I strongly recommend Carl Zimmer's Parasite Rex. In fact, I strongly recommend Carl Zimmer's Parasite Rex for more fascinating information on all sorts of crazy parasites that screw with animals' brains. See also this awesome/creepy video of Cordyceps from some Attenborough documentary. And if you really want to be creeped out, check out Sacculina.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 3:19 PM
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If you're interested, i can tell you what happens to that milky white fluid that is definitely not semen when you forget to drain it and get one little squiddy that is essentially sealed up and then cook it on a grill. I can also tell you what happens when you bite into that little squid unawares.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 3:23 PM
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I'm guessing that the hot milky white liquid bursts suddenly from the tube into your mouth, forcing a quick decision regarding spitting or swallowing.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 3:26 PM
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Which certainly sounds unpleasant.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 3:27 PM
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No! It solidifies, and becomes a weirdly congealed, bitter acrid flaky gel thing. Also unpleasant.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 3:28 PM
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Oh.

I guess that's interesting.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 3:30 PM
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I suspect some people consider that a delicacy, not the least bit unpleasant.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 3:34 PM
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I would not be surprised to find myself in the minority 10% there, too.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 3:36 PM
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Depending on what comment 309 is in reference to, I have on hand (so to speak) a source of a quite reasonable simulacrum which I would be glad to make available to discriminating connoisseuses.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 3:37 PM
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303: Toxoplasmosis arrived here by way of the French, as usual. Know of any more creepy parasites that affect human brains? Because those are the coolest.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 3:43 PM
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I imagine most Unfogged meetups as either complete bacchanals or really awkward middle school dances.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 3:45 PM
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I have missed all of those falling into the first category. (But apparently UnfoggeDCon I was epic. There was body armor, there were knife fights, Chopper slept with Jackmormon's feet...)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 3:47 PM
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You should've seen the one where it was just ogged, Unf, Kotsko, and me.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 3:49 PM
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You should have seen the one where it was just Emerson and me. Epic.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 3:51 PM
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You should have seen the one where it was just me. Pathepic.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 3:52 PM
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Pathé pic.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 3:53 PM
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309 to 132.


Posted by: Cryptic need | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 4:02 PM
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BTW, nosflow: an octopus who's a matter of thematic concern to herself. (Auf deutsch.)


Posted by: x.trapnel |
Link to this comment | 04-15-11 4:29 PM
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Goddamnit, I keep fucking up the hyperlinks.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 4:29 PM
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I imagine most Unfogged meetups as either complete bacchanals or really awkward middle school dances.

Why can't they be both?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 4:53 PM
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Toxoplasmosis arrived here by way of the French, as usual. Know of any more creepy parasites that affect human brains? Because those are the coolest.

Unless you count religion, not really, alas. It's a sadly understudied area. There's loads of well studied examples of animal psychology being affected by parasites, but toxoplasma gondii is the big one for humans. Which is kind of ironic, given that it's not a parasite that actually targets us.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 4:57 PM
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324

Why can't they be both?

Well, I speculated that orgies had the same awkward emotional dynamic as parties, and AWB said this fit with her experience, so I think that puts us pretty close.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 5:13 PM
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This suggests that if you're at a boring party with attractive people, you may as well suggest that it turn into an orgy; after all, the two don't differ very much at all, except in that trivial sex-having respect, and we're all too sophisticated to give that much mind.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 5:21 PM
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"Guys, bottom line: this can be awkward with orgasms, or it can be awkward without orgasms. Come on."


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 5:36 PM
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It would super awkward if you picked the former option and still didn't have an orgasm, though.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 5:41 PM
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I still feel badly for the fucksaw lady in that respect.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 5:44 PM
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327 is why I can never have sex with anyone if I'm not wearing my special underwear emblazoned with the warning that the equipment therein is made available without any warranty, even as pertains to its merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose: I would hate to be seen as one who has through his actions implicitly made representations which are then not made good on.

Which is not to say, laydeez, that you have any cause for concern whatsoever in this regard.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 5:50 PM
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They are making octopi right now on chopped


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 5:53 PM
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328: this may be a case of moving the goalposts ex, uh, post, but the sex educators involved claim that the demonstration was intended to demonstrate (counter to a film that had apparently just been shown) both G-spot orgasms and female ejaculation, and while the latter did not occur, the former did.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 5:56 PM
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331: Ah. Well, that's good, then.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 6:08 PM
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I so want octopus right now. Although I can't really complain, as I was in Spain the week before last and ate about ten pounds of pulpo a la gallega.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 6:21 PM
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This is sort of a food thread now, right? So it's ok if I post a bleg and then walk away from the computer for a portion of the night?

Anyway, I'll be picking up the beau from a long, wearying plane ride right around dinner time.* There's a very good chance he won't be remotely interested in food, what with it feeling like 4 am or something his time, but I'm going to be hungry myself as this is post-work for me. So anyway, I'm looking to make something interesting (aka, I'm still in the "wanting to impress" mode), portable, and edible in the car whilst driving (it's a long drive home). Suggestions? (I promise to give full credit to any people I steal ideas from!)

*In a bit less than two weeks. Why yes, I am obsessing!


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 6:23 PM
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Empanadas are good car food, and not that hard. But if you're coming from work, I think nice takeout is going to be logistically easier.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 7:03 PM
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The requirement that it be edible in the car makes it sound like some sort of wrap would be good.

Maybe this? If you put it in a pita or wrap you'd need something to absorb any sauce so it won't drip.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 7:07 PM
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I'm still in the "wanting to impress" mode

I, for one, would be hugely impressed if you prepped and grilled an octopus in the car on the way home.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 7:08 PM
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Nice takeout isn't an option given the city I'm coming from (Fairfield, CA seems to be a food wasteland); I have an afternoon work function that I have to attend there, so I do have the morning to myself. Empanadas are an excellent idea! Hmm.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 7:10 PM
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Tamales. Be sure to casually let drop that you did all the nixtamalization, etc., yourself.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 7:10 PM
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I should refresh before I take forever to comment. Wraps, also excellent!

I, for one, would be hugely impressed if you prepped and grilled an octopus in the car on the way home.

I might have to make him drive for that.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 7:12 PM
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Quiche, tortilla (spanish), paejon, bindaetdok - all finger foods that can be eaten at room temperature.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 7:12 PM
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339: And grew the corn myself?

341: Ooh...thanks! A thick fritatta might work, too.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 7:13 PM
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Holy crap, the unfogged server just prevented me from double posting. Is that a new feature?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 7:13 PM
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I might have to make him drive for that.

So very worth it.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 7:14 PM
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Also.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 7:21 PM
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339: And grew the corn myself?

Come on, that's ridiculous.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 7:26 PM
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I endorse the quiche, spanish tortilla suggestions. Remainders available for noshing later in the evening or the next morning if desired. The empanada I might worry would be too .. heavy? For someone for whom it's the equivalent of 4 a.m.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 7:28 PM
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I think reheating your empanadas or whatever on the engine on the way to the airport and then retrieving them from under the hood after you toss his bags in the trunk might be a nice touch.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 7:34 PM
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I second 348, but I think it requires that you wear daisy dukes, and it might be a bit cold for that.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 7:40 PM
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wear daisy dukes

You should do that! Wouldn't be as surprising as pulling a grilled octopus from under the hood, but probably appreciated more.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 8:16 PM
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Alternatively, if you got a car lighter adapter and a FryDaddy, you could prep the squid ahead of time and make calamari rings on the drive home.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 8:20 PM
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This blog is good on the topic of cephalopod intelligence. Apparently some octopuses are capable of hand-eye coordination, which is apparently surprising because their nervous systems work very differently from ours. Just in case that plays into the decision on whether to eat them. For a different take, see North 2005.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 8:48 PM
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Yay, paren! Happy anticipation of reunion.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-15-11 9:48 PM
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Apparently some octopuses are capable of hand-eye coordination, which is apparently surprising because their nervous systems work very differently from ours

Also, no hands.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 3:46 AM
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It's true that octopodes are highly intelligent, but they're also evil tempered little buggers whose default attitude I've seen compared to a riled up German Shepherd. So you can comfort yourself while eating them that they'd return the favour in a heartbeat if the boot was on the other tentacle.

Also, I haven't turned up any method of cooking them on Google that doesn't involve boiling them for quite a while first to tenderise them. Maybe it just has to be done.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 3:59 AM
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they're also evil tempered little buggers

And cannibals.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 4:38 AM
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||

BTW, what does the Mineshaft think about this, which everybody seems to be amused by? Me, I think so what.

|>


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 5:14 AM
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357. The use of "Charles deLint" stopped me cold.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 6:21 AM
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357: Amusing, and bad. Not Eye of Argon bad or DeviantArt-writing bad, though; more in the way of a failed experiment.

I can see what they're going for, I think: they're trying to make the narrator's mental disorder (of some sort) manifest in the deficiency of his descriptions. An incredibly difficult maneuver to pull off -- though Mark Haddon made it look deceptively simple in the curious incident of the dog in the night-time -- and they'll need a lot more practice runs to get it working right.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 6:55 AM
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Well, he's further along with his novel than this guy is.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 7:00 AM
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And I don't know what "Uncle Charles, Mr. de Lint" is doing there either.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 7:01 AM
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360: Gotta love people who are basically like: "So I'm writing this novel? And I don't have a story or anything yet? And coming up with names is hard? So please do the work for me, Internet, thanks!"


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 7:03 AM
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I KNow this sounds judgmental dq, but having been recently defeated by hot dogs and hamburgers, you decided, "On to the ocutpus!"?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 7:14 AM
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and they'll need a lot more practice runs to get it working right.

Too bad the author won't get any more of those.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 7:29 AM
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364: As in... NMM to the author?


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 7:38 AM
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Well, i thought i had been defeated more by the fire than the food. Also, it turns out there are these vents on the bottom that you're supposed to open to let air through? That was a useful discovery. So i was feeling...optimistic. The pork chops and veggies came out nicely though!

And thanks to chris for telling they're evil little brutes. I was starting to feel a little bit badly, like id just eaten Ariel's best friend (or, more accurately, the parts of her best friend that were still edible), but now i can pretend i ate an undersea brownshirt or something. No foul!


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 8:06 AM
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I assume the Mineshaft has already mocked James Franco's work, and I missed it?


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 8:23 AM
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Gotta love people who are basically like: "So I'm writing this novel? And I don't have a story or anything yet? And coming up with names is hard? So please do the work for me, Internet, thanks!"

Well, the common alternatives are making your friends and family read your attempts at writing, which is awkward, and going to new writer's workshops, which are often scams. Why not ask the internet?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 8:41 AM
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The octopus is the evil witch who tries to steal Ariel's voice, dq. You are a brave freedom-fighter!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 8:43 AM
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I can't tell if DS is just pretending not know who the real author of the page is, or if he really doesn't know.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 8:51 AM
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I really don't know. Is it a page from something well-known that we're supposed to be able to spot?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 8:58 AM
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I had to Google it.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 9:01 AM
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It's kind of like this.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 9:04 AM
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Huh. And I've actually read it, although when it came out so that's over a decade ago. Wouldn't ever have spotted that passage.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 9:05 AM
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(The best part of which is the comment "Had Cartier-Bresson had the technology we do now he would have probably taken a completely different shot, especially knowing the audience he was shooting for.")


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 9:07 AM
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I'm not sure I would have recognized a randomly chosen page from the book (or rather, the part of the book I've actually read), but I think the first page is more distinct in my memory than the rest, so I recognized it pretty quickly.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 9:44 AM
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DS's comments are basically why I couldn't get into that goddamn book -- the thought of 1,000 more pages of that...it just felt like homework. I imagine at some point it kicks in, or something, but fuck, you know? One day I'll have nothing to do for a week and I'll read it. It's just sitting there on my bookshelf, waiting.

Also, Di, for some reason, the phrase "underwater freedom fighter" made me think of one of those iconic Che shirts, except with Ariel's face. And then I thought, that's not quite right, Ariel is kind of a pussy about the whole thing. And then I thought of this dude a friend of mine met in SF because she'd always see him wearing various shirts -- various shirts -- that said "Adrian is Rad," and when she finally asked him who Adrian was, he was like, um, me. Want to buy a shirt?

So now I think it might be funny to get those Che shirts with your own face on them, and wear them around. I...I kind of want to do this.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 9:51 AM
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377: I kind of do, too. Except when I remember how self-conscious I am of my own image.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 10:11 AM
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Had I a pet octopus, I would call him or her Tentacles (pronounced "TENT-uh-cleez").


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 10:23 AM
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From way back in the mists of time now, but you know what they had in the 1950s? Electric (stand) mixers.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 10:27 AM
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re: 375

Heheh.*

* although I sometimes have emperor's new clothes moments myself with other famous/admired photographer's work [not H C-B].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 10:28 AM
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re: 381

That should be "photographers'", oh the shame.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 10:30 AM
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367: A good friend of mine just got her MFA from Warren Wilson and was in the same writing program with James Franco. She never said anything to about his writing, but did say that he was "extremely distracting". Apparently, he's attractive.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 10:31 AM
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383: You mean until he speaks? Or you read the things he writes? I have trouble seeing past the smug belief in his own genius combined with a total lack of awareness. He is beautiful in the face, although I've heard it said that he has "birthing hips," which, honestly, is kind of a devastating description.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 10:38 AM
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birthing hips," which, honestly, is kind of a devastating description.

Applied to a dude, maybe.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 10:46 AM
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385: Well, yeah. I thought that part was clear.

Laydeez.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 10:48 AM
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I've heard it said that he has "birthing hips,"

If the writing thing doesn't pan out, he could always try MMA fighting under the monicker "Pelvis Wrestly".


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 10:48 AM
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I very, very much want to see an out MMA fighter with the monicker Pelvis Wrestly. I mean, I don't think things would go well for him. But still. Still.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 11:04 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions and well-wishes! I'm guessing there will be no Daisy Dukes, but there will be either empanadas or quiche.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 11:17 AM
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Speaking of questionable taste, for the first time in my life there is an album, that I remember listening to a CD copy of, that isn't available either on Amazon, Ebay, Half.com, or GEMM. Are there any other places to search?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 11:21 AM
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re: 390

Ebay, but open the search up outside the US? I've done that a few times for records I've really wanted. Out of curiosity, what's the album?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 11:23 AM
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eBay sells music? I had no idea.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 11:51 AM
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"White Latining", the last solo album by percussion guy David Earle Johnson. I know nothing about him but my dad found that album in a bargain bin once and now it's lost.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 12:21 PM
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That is, I actually want the album. Not as a present for my dad, he doesn't exactly mourn its loss.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 12:22 PM
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Per the very first Google result for "White Latining", there are 3 copies available on Amazon.co.uk.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 12:29 PM
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That's not my first Google result. Also, I swear, those used to appear in US Amazon searches, but now they don't.

Anyway, thanks.

But is there anywhere else to search, for future reference?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 12:34 PM
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People with weird collections on Usenet?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 12:38 PM
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Amoeba?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 12:38 PM
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Oh shit it's a quote from that. You know, I've never read Infinite Jest? And that doesn't make me want to.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 12:48 PM
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The middle 900 pages are way better than the beginning and the end.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 12:50 PM
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400: I'll second that.


Posted by: Mark Foley | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 12:51 PM
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||

Google does not reveal many people offering, by way of explanation for their having inappropriately touched another person whom formerly they only ogled, the phrase "what's good for a gander is good for a goose".

|>


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 12:55 PM
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402: I don't find that strange, somehow.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 1:45 PM
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This world is not my home.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 1:46 PM
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401: I don't think we're on the same page.


Posted by: Barney Frank | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 1:50 PM
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I'm just passin through.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 1:51 PM
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380: From way back in the mists of time now, but you know what they had in the 1950s? Electric (stand) mixers.

I did not see the cake video nor read the post (much less comments), but I assume Jimmy's point was made repeatedly and vociferously to Ms. Confusion. In my early childhood (so late '50s) my impression was that they were more of a standard middle class home appliance than they are today. Was that really one of her points?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 2:01 PM
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"On to the ocutpus!"?

Mouseover text?

The combination of the punctuation and the typo are cracking me up.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 3:14 PM
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407: As I understand it, this is one of those multistep internet weirdnesses. In some context, Brad deLong (I think that was who it was) commented that technological change between 1900 and 1950 in the kitchen was incomparably greater than 1950 to today -- that he was cooking in a basically unchanged since 1950 kitchen, and that it wasn't that different, but if you went back to 1900, you were cooking over actual fire and didn't have a refrigerator and so on. McM disagreed, claiming that the tech change since 1950 had been huge, and relied on blenders and electric mixers as innovations. Confusion reigned supreme, and somehow she ended up making the video (which slides back and forth between talking about her own grandmother, circa 1950, and her grandmother's grandmother).

I'm not claiming this is completely accurate, but it's a rough outline of the thing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 3:40 PM
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Wasn't deLong, it was Krugman.

Like so:

1953 kitchens did not have electric drip coffee brewers, stand mixers, blenders, food processors, or crock pots.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 3:43 PM
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||
I suppose this isn't all that surprising, but sweet jesus, police really freak the fuck out as soon as anarchists get involved with something. I've never seen so many police here--Bismarckplatz was turned into a cop-car parking lot, literally, intentionally leaving no space for else--and all for a 4 float/sound-truck dance through a predefined route on the streets. [Google translate.] In the time I've been here, I've seen much bigger protests (against school fees, for example), and any given Saturday night on quasi-frat-row feels a lot more dangerous (based on, uh, going there once) than this protest did--not to mention the quasi-riot of each game of last summer's World Cup--but the police presence today was just another level entirely compared to those situations. (And the anarchists even have an after-party all set up, so it's not like they're going to run back into the Altstadt and Burn Shit Down, christ.) Ick.

And yeah, I'm sure this isn't news to anyone who's ever actually been a radical activist, but I've gotten my anarchism from books, ok?
|>


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 3:48 PM
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Goddamn tags. It's the man, keeping me down, and italicized.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 3:49 PM
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McM disagreed, claiming that the tech change since 1950 had been huge, and relied on blenders and electric mixers as innovations. Confusion reigned supreme, and somehow she ended up making the video (which slides back and forth between talking about her own grandmother, circa 1950, and her grandmother's grandmother).

Without ever having actually been informed about the matter at hand!

"I disagree with you. Let me substantiate my disagreement by repeating it."


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 3:51 PM
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408: I would prefer not.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 4:27 PM
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399: You know, I've never read Infinite Jest? And that doesn't make me want to.

As I mentioned when I finished Broom of the System--well after x.trapnel did--my experience is that short are pieces his strength. I've not read IJ but I'm going to guess that it has some decent vignettes but does not hold together overall.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 4:46 PM
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410: Arrgh. The blender.

In the 30's, L. Hamilton, Chester Beach and Fred Osius, produced Poplawski's invention under the brand name Hamilton Beach Company. Fred Osius improved the appliance, making another kind of blender. He approached Fred Waring, a popular musician who financed and promoted the "Miracle Mixer", released in 1933. However the appliance had some problems to be solved about the seal of the jar and the knife axis, so Fred Waring redesigned the appliance and released his own blender in 1937

I realize there's no point in carrying on like this, but I honestly don't understand the woman. I'm not sure I could conduct any conversation with her without nodding vaguely, going, "Uh, huh," and immediately dismissing whatever she'd just said.

She should run for President.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 5:50 PM
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408: I would prefer not.

But . . . it plays amusingly off of, "release the kraken" (I realized when I was trying to figure out why I found it funny.

Anyway, I wasn't trying to mock and, if it helps, nobody ever uses my suggestions for mouseover lines.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 6:22 PM
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The typo is amusing. As are donaquixote's cooking adventures.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 6:28 PM
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For quite some time I thought the whole mouseover thing didn't work with my browser, no doubt due to something I'd done wrong, but I now discover that it just takes forever (for values of 'forever' that are, like, 4 goddamn seconds) before it shows up. Hooray!


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 6:34 PM
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I count one second, Trapnel, but who am I to speak of such things in the first place?

Vaguely related: One tries not to be a now-now-now type of person, and one hopes one succeeds, mostly, but I do have to say that where waiting in, or on, line is concerned -- say, in a store, for the checkout line/clerk -- I've actually decided to refrain from patronizing some places. They take too freakin' long; it drives me nuts and can make me actually angry. I feel I should get over it, and just realize that a condition of doing business in X place is that the staff will ignore me for 3 minutes while they chat with one another, then say, if anything, "Yeah?" when they turn to me, and not smile or really look at me at all during the course of our transaction, in fact project a vague annoyance, because that's how this place is. Instead I've walked out a few times.

In any case: differing expectations.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 6:51 PM
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that's how this place is.

Wait. What place? I'm confused.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 6:54 PM
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414 408: I would prefer not.

415 my experience is that short are pieces his strength

Bartleby, in your scrivening order words of is up mixed.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 7:05 PM
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I count one second, Trapnel,

Playing around a bit, I come to the conclusion that mouseover behavior in [this build of] Chromium on Xubuntu Linux is just ... weird. Sometimes it pops up in about a second, sometimes more like four, sometimes as long as eight or so. Huh.

Looking around, but I don't see €5 anywhere.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 7:12 PM
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417: I wasn't trying to mock

No, you should mock harder.

422: Cognitive Jesus deficits, Fucking for the Christ lose!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 7:12 PM
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421: It's a CVS -- not sure if that's a widely-known chain, but a health-and-beauty-aids store -- near my workplace.

The staff there seems frankly to really hate their jobs, hate working there and hate the customers, which I can certainly imagine might be justified. Possibly they're paid very poorly, no benefits, etc. They seem to have a fairly rapid staff turnover, judging by the extent to which I (don't) recognize any of them month by month -- including those wearing tags saying "Manager".

I'm uncomfortable about the whole thing because the store is staffed almost exclusively by African-Americans who seem to hate the job; and the mostly African-American other customers don't seem bothered by the waits and the dispassionate interaction. They just chat with the friend they've brought along with them, or on their cell phones, while I'm just bearing with it, wondering why that other staffperson who seems to be sorting cigarettes behind the counter doesn't open a second register, since there are 8 people in line.

Different cultures operate at different paces; I'm aware of that, and am not particularly demanding, I don't think. But this particular place drives me nuts.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 7:21 PM
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You should find the CVS staffed by white people; they do a lot of meth.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 7:32 PM
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But this particular place drives me nuts.

A subtle in-store marketing strategy?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 7:41 PM
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427: I've wondered that, but the staff seem to treat the black customers exactly the same way they treat me. It seems to just bother me more. I don't usually bring a friend with me when I'm getting toothpaste and Vitamin C, so I surmise that it's a cultural difference.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 7:59 PM
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I should say further that I've been going to this store for like 7 years, and it's only become like this in the last 2 or so. I keep thinking they're a failing franchise (branch) -- their on-the-shelf stock dwindles and dwindles, such that half the time they're out of regular things -- so maybe CVS is winding it down or something.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 8:04 PM
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399, 415: IJ blew me away. (The end is notoriously incomplete -- there's some strong hypothesizing you can find on the internet about what "happens" after the end.) There are definitely some elements that are weaker than others; the critique of entertainment-as-addiction is not nearly as strong as the stories about addicts, which are revelation through and through, especially the figure of Don Gately. The family saga can get unwieldy, but I think it's artful unwieldiness. I'm not sure what neb means about the beginning -- I think that's a powerful, harrowing scene (though it doesn't do it any favors just to start it). I wish I'd read it before Infinite Summer so I could have reread it during Infinite Summer. (I did enjoy reading it in an internet-wide book group -- it might have been more of a slog on my own.)

DFW filled the book with everything he knew and everything he thought, but he balanced it out with everything he felt.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 9:09 PM
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415: DFW on The Broom of the System:

"Which I think shows some talent, but was in many ways a fuck-off enterprise. It was written very quickly, rewritten sloppily, sound editorial suggestions were met with a seventeen-page letter about literary theory that was really a not-very-interesting way... really a way for me to avoid doing hard work. [...] I was arrogant, and missed a chance to make that book better."

FWIW.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 9:11 PM
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I love IJ too. I read it when I was 19 and it meant a lot to me, and still does.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 9:13 PM
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...of course, I love big long messy things so my recommendation probably doesn't mean much. But it's certainly not hard to read or terribly demanding in the ways that, say, Gravity's Rainbow or Ada or Tristram Shandy are demanding.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 9:14 PM
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432: Nineteen, eh? I was reading Dostoevsky, Goethe*, and Anais Nin and Lawrence Durrell when I was nineteen. I hypothesize that we loved everything when we were nineteen!

I should pick up more DFW one of these days.

* Part of a full course on everything Faust, from the ur-Faust to Marlowe through to The Master and Margarita


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 9:43 PM
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When I was nineteen I was reading Pushkin, Homer, and The Dream of the Red Chamber—in the original, of course.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 9:51 PM
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Roy Edroso's review of the Atlas Shrugged movie. I enjoyed the passing riffs on the protagonists' names.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 9:54 PM
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When I was nineteen I was reading the X-Men and Swamp Thing.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 9:56 PM
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When I was nineteen I was reading the flight of birds for any hint as to how to lead my life.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 10:01 PM
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When I was nineteen I was reading Law at Cambridge but, having found the sound of Mother English more fun to game with than her sense to labor over, applied myself rather to versifying than to the pains of scholarship, and ground out quires of couplets after the fashion of the day, afroth with sex and confessions, aclang with jarring images, and string-taut with similes and lines stretched to the snapping point.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 10:03 PM
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When I was nineteen I was a soldier, and young.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 10:03 PM
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When I was nineteen I was reading anything I could get my hands on, free at last—having been turned out of my home and into as much of a scholar as I could make myself—to pursue by what means I could the lust for learning got from books which, in my parents' view, had unfit me for any useful trade, and consequently for being supported any longer by their efforts.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 10:06 PM
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When I was nineteen I was reading.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 10:06 PM
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Smoking was licit, but drinking not; I was constantly lost in a book: classics, mostly, but occasionally a work many would call dross in comparison.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 10:16 PM
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When I was nineteen I was reading the backs of cereal boxes, if that. Books are a load of crap.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 10:16 PM
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When I was nineteen I was reading the faces of those around me for any trace of empathy, anything at all, really.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 10:17 PM
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When I was nineteen I was reading for fear of what the world around me might hold.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 10:19 PM
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439, 441, 442.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 10:20 PM
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When I was nineteen I was reading my name and no one else's in the "Recent Comments" sidebar: an unbroken column.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 10:20 PM
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449

DAMMIT


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 10:20 PM
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When I was nineteen, I was reading Tsong Khapa's Essence of True Eloquence.

Sorry if I broke your stride, neb.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 10:27 PM
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Further to the link in 450, I'm astonished to hear that "The quality of Thurman's translation work has also been called into question." I read Tsong Khapa with that guy -- in translation. Is it possible that my probably nutso but very sincere paper explaining that it was all just like Heidegger was based on a ... a ... misconjecture?

You have to realize that I was also reading, let's see, well, Poe and William James at the time.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 10:37 PM
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Whom else were you reading at the time?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 10:40 PM
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The link in 450 is fascinating in all sorts of ways. That dude has had an amazing life.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 10:44 PM
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When I was seventeen, I had some very good beers.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 10:45 PM
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You should've posted that as Brian McGee.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 10:49 PM
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I don't remember what I read when I was nineteen. I guess whatever I was assigned for school.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 10:53 PM
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455 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 10:53 PM
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452: Who, me? I'm certainly conflating what I was reading from 18 to 19, in any case, maybe into 20. The middle period. There was some Gogol thrown in with the Dostoevsky. I'm getting a little tired.

I can't think of much else I was reading -- there was a course in post-WWII literature that had me reading a miscellany, from Invisible Man to Beckett's Malloy/Malone Dies.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 11:12 PM
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Well, I mean, I also read Derrida's Grammatology, and Dissemination (and was pretty clueless at the time, really, had no idea what was going on, though I think I got the preliminaries, at least Saussure) -- Barbara Johnson's introduction to Dissemination is really quite good -- and I read Rousseau in support of that.

Plus whatever else.

On the non-academic front, remained a fan of Harlan Ellison, and tried to see him speak, but he canceled at the last minute. Bastard! I had friends come in from out of town and everything!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 11:23 PM
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You were pretty interesting at nineteen, nosflow. What happened?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 11:36 PM
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neb has been a lot more cheerful and loose and free around here lately, which is great.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-16-11 11:44 PM
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452: Whom else were you reading at the time?

Obviously Heidegger.

But Emerson. Ralph Waldo. I am strongly influenced by Cavell.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-17-11 12:09 AM
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The link in 450 is fascinating in all sorts of ways. That dude has had an amazing life.

Wow, yes:

In 1967, back in the United States, Thurman resigned his monks vows of celibacy and married his second wife, German-Swedish model, Nena von Schlebrügge, who was previously briefly married to Timothy Leary. Thurman and Schlebrügge have four children, the oldest being actress Uma Thurman.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04-17-11 1:11 AM
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"Reverting to the university at forty, one immediately recaptured all the crushing melancholy of the undergraduate condition."

Rereading Anthony Powell (#10, of course), I'm struck by how experiencing certain sorts of well-crafted prose, to one who's lately binged on the cotten-candy sort, or on the workmanlike half-craftsmanship of those who are writers only by necessity, can feel like yoga: relaxing but invigorating, stretching out long-disused muscles and (however briefly) reforging the ties between mind and world.

(Not that I can even achieve 'workmanlike half-craftsmanship', of course, which is a perfectly respectable thing, and something we need rather more of.)


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04-17-11 1:20 AM
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neb has been a lot more cheerful and loose and free around here lately, which is great.

Well, it is Spring, when a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love. That's bound to show up in weblog comments.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04-17-11 1:25 AM
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When I was nineteen I was Reading.


Posted by: PRECOCIOUSLY SUCCESSFUL BERKSHIRE POLITICIAN | Link to this comment | 04-17-11 3:39 AM
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464.last: So you wouldn't characterize yourself as the "mediocre caretaker of [your] own immense talent"?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-17-11 6:06 AM
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When I was 19 I think I'd have been reading lots of articles in physics journals, Hobsbawm, Marvin Harris, and tons of roman poets in translation (because I'm a philistine).


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 04-17-11 7:15 AM
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453, 463: That dude has had an amazing life.

Some snippets from a New York Times story about the death of his grandson from his first marriage (to a DeMenil), artist Dash Snow (I'm guessing somebody here was familiar with him or his work).

He met a junkie's end but did so in a $325-a-night hotel room with an antique marble hearth.

MR. SNOW's body spent the night of July 13 in a basement refrigerator at the New York City morgue, chilled to 32 to 40 degrees. The next day, it was sent to the Andrett Funeral Home, a few blocks away.That night, friends gathered at Ms. de Menil's house, where Ms. Snow, Ms. Berreau and others drank Prosecco, the hostess's favorite wine. [What? No guidance on chilling the wine?]

There were stories, reminiscences, tears, then everyone went to eat at Lucien, a French bistro on First Street and First Avenue.

Includes multiple corrections to the article on minor points of fact.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-17-11 7:19 AM
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Nineteen isn't a precocious age for reading books for adults.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 04-17-11 7:44 AM
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470: True enough. I ask nineteen year olds to read Plato all the time. Oud and I embarked an a particularly ambitious four year reading program at that age.

Still, there is something unusual about reading difficult grown up books recreationally at that age. At 19, if left to my own devices, I would only read things like Vonnegut and Salinger and books with the word "Anarchy" in the title.

At 43 I am all about the Harry Potter.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-17-11 8:05 AM
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Huh. I would have said that 19 is the age at which my students seem to be most curious about reading adult books on their own. They don't always have great taste, but some of them do. I think at that age I was really tempted at 19 to read any book that other people described as unreadably difficult, but when I got older I heard that description and thought, "That is probably unreadable bullshit." At 19 I was still open-minded.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 04-17-11 8:21 AM
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Yeah. At 19 I was also willing to read things just because I heard they were difficult. Checked a random book by Derrida out of the library, read a huge chunk of it and then decided it didn't mean anything. That sort of thing.

That was also the age when I started reading a huge pile of quantum field theory textbooks.

Probably I haven't learned anything since. It was only a year or two later that I started reading the internet.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-17-11 8:33 AM
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I'd partly agree with AWB on this - late teens was when I was trying to read the Russian classics in translation, and Ulysses and Hesse, etc. On the other hand, what I actually loved at that age was Vonnegut and Michael Moorcock and J.G.Ballard on the one hand, and Wodehouse and the early, funny Waughs on the other. This is probably because I'm pretty much Pauly Shore in present company.

But I do think there's also a category of books which are not consciously YA, but can't really be read by anybody over 20. For some reason I can only think of Brautigan at the moment, but I know there are others, because I read them.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04-17-11 8:46 AM
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I loved the early, funny Waughs at 22 or 23.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-17-11 8:49 AM
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Yeah, I'm not saying those fall into the "unofficial YA" category. I still go back to them now. Great writer, shame about Brideshead.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04-17-11 8:53 AM
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there's also a category of books which are not consciously YA, but can't really be read by anybody over 20.

OP? When I was 19 I was just about at the height of my hunger. These days, I'm happy just to have something serious I've started.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04-17-11 9:08 AM
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But I do think there's also a category of books which are not consciously YA, but can't really be read by anybody over 20. For some reason I can only think of Brautigan at the moment, but I know there are others, because I read them.

Hunter S. Thompson. Sylvia Plath. Arguably, the great nerd laureates like Tolkien, Lovecraft, the Twilight woman, etc. Zen and the Something of Whatever. Lester Bangs.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-17-11 9:11 AM
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but can't really be read by anybody over 20

For various values of "20". Tom Robbins certainly fits. My kids have all just run through Brautigan (but then I still quite like about 1/4 of his stuff--mostly the short pieces). Time of the world and milieu certainly have an influence as well as age.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-17-11 9:47 AM
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439 was for your benefit, JP, and I expect to see some acknowledgement!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-17-11 9:48 AM
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Ah yes, I see. Nicely done, Ebenezer. I did try to identify one of the others but gave it up. One does idly wonder why "Joves and Jupiters" have become "sex and confessions"--probably some second-level joke that I am missing as well.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-17-11 10:10 AM
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This is a nicely reassuring thread. I'm too old to read books! That's what it is.

Robert Thurman is the reason this allegorical reading of Buddhist transformation in Kill Bill is so convincing.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04-17-11 10:16 AM
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just because it was difficult

Me three. Related, anyone here read Vargas Llosa's Conversation in the Cathedral? I've bounced off of it twice (unstable character names, unannounced temporal shifts, all in stream of consciousness narrative = do I sit down and outline this damn thing or do I give up?)

I went through my nineteenth century Russians phase in my mid teens, starting with W&P at age fourteen - I cried when Andrej died. By my late teens I was obsessively going through Nabokov and starting my infatuation with the nineteenth century French novelists. But the really Big Difficult thing I was doing was forcing myself to read a novel in Polish for the first time. Turns out that just because you speak a language fluently doesn't mean you know the nineteenth century literary version.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04-17-11 10:17 AM
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443 is a lipogram, 444 is Larkin, 440 is this phrase. The others are nothing in particular.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-17-11 10:18 AM
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484: Then I commend you on 441 which was the one I assumed was knock-off of something known and literary.

When I was twenty-one I was the square-root of a well-written comment.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-17-11 10:31 AM
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nosflow's comments from 435 to 448 are a thing of beauty.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04-17-11 11:20 AM
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470: Nineteen isn't a precocious age for reading books for adults.

Oh, I wasn't suggesting it was. My own list was kind of funnily overly adult (depending on who you are, obviously). I think I just wasn't reading much contemporary lit, not counting the comic books.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-17-11 11:40 AM
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a category of books which are not consciously YA, but can't really be read by anybody over 20

Oh Glass family, you're just too darned smart for your own good.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04-17-11 12:01 PM
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So you wouldn't characterize yourself as the "mediocre caretaker of [your] own immense talent"?

Well, yes, that was the original thought behind the X. Trapnel nom-de-blog, but: 1, it came to seem an unhealthy example to try living down to; and 2, it's particularly demoralizing to realize that even mediocre caretaking duties seem beyond one's reach.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04-17-11 1:00 PM
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Re the OP, Ebert's reviewed it...
http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110414/REVIEWS/110419990


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-18-11 3:01 AM
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490. Oh good. My indifference to this thing has now registered 100%. Please sir, can I forget about it?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04-18-11 3:07 AM
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Yes, but instead, you must watch HBO's Game of Thrones.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04-18-11 4:09 AM
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(Also a huge book loved by nerds, but with much better psychology, politics, and philosophy.)


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04-18-11 4:10 AM
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A whopping 9% Fresh at Rotten Tomatoes, yet 85% of the audience "liked it" (there generally is a spread on movies that get panned but this one is extreme).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-18-11 4:15 AM
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