Re: A Fierce Enthusiast

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Question. Was "Jerry" slang for German back then or is that a WWII thing?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 8-14 6:34 PM
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My favorite, because it reveals that Harding was more of a badass than collective memory suggests:

Feb. 16, 1917

Frankly, I have all along recognized your intense partisanship and sympathy for and devotion to Germany, and have respected it because you are you, and most of the cutting things said I have been able to pass by. . . . But I can and will do my duty accordingly to my best conscience and understanding and then take the consequences. I do not know now whether I shall vote for war. I may not be called upon to so vote. When I do vote for it, I shall do so with such conviction that I shall enlist to fight as I vote. Perhaps the assertion of American rights will lead, as you suggest, to our ultimate subjugation. Very well, if the kaiser can conquer the world, I'll swear my allegiance to him. He will deserve it. Meanwhile, we may test popular government of a polyglot people. We are testing it now, without war. I wonder if it will stand the strain.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 07- 8-14 6:40 PM
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I wonder if it will stand the strain as well as Jerry did the other night. Huh? Huh?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 8-14 6:42 PM
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Whoa, those aren't exactly Joycean, but pretty clear. In places, they're not quite not!


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 07- 8-14 6:46 PM
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Man now I'm bummed my high school changed its name to not be named after him.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07- 8-14 6:57 PM
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I think it makes me a bad person that I find the "Jerry" language creepy and off-putting, not that he was writing to me. (And it's not a misandrist thing, I don't think, since Mrs. Pouterson is just as bad, just not as major a player in the quotes.) But much of this is completely endearing.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07- 8-14 7:05 PM
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MORE LIKE WARREN B. HARDENING, AMIRITE!


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 07- 8-14 7:06 PM
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Thorn I'm not sure you're the very last person on earth who should feel obligated to find Warren G. Harding's nickname for his penis endearing, but you could probably made a pretty strong claim.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 8-14 7:12 PM
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I think Kaiser Wilhelm has her beat.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 8-14 7:14 PM
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Wow, the jerking off! "I was jerking off to you in this bathrobe. Then Florence heard me and was all 'hm? what is it?" and I was embarrassed."


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07- 8-14 7:19 PM
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"My penis is reading over my shoulder right now and he says I should mention he'd like you to suck him off." Warren!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07- 8-14 7:21 PM
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I am still grappling with the implication that Ogged has lifetime stats of his presidential jokes somewhere.


Posted by: conflated | Link to this comment | 07- 8-14 7:59 PM
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I also think I might be Team Florence, though I don't know enough about her to really be sure. And was it as scandalous as it looks to me to see him addressing things to Mrs. Carrie Phillips while her husband was alive? My grandmothers would certainly not have approved, though they also probably wouldn't have approved of presidential affairs either.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07- 8-14 7:59 PM
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Does Harding mention any pre-uncunting comes stats?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07- 8-14 8:18 PM
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Seriously, I'd wear the outfit Florence has in the sidebar there, though to be fair I think they chose the most ridiculous Carrie collar they could find for the pic up top. Even people who don't have a thing about necks like I do would find that one uncomfortable-looking, right?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07- 8-14 8:19 PM
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She sounds like a horrible person. Of course he was too, although it doesn't come across as much in these letters, so I guess they deserved each other.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 8-14 8:27 PM
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16: #TeamFlorence!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07- 8-14 8:28 PM
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Also, I once saw Dean's biography of Harding in my neighborhood bookstore. My first thought was "Surely it's not that John Dean," but then I looked at the author bio and, sure enough.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 8-14 8:30 PM
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17: + Henderson


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 8-14 8:33 PM
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Speaking of Florence, shouldn't it be time for a hipster revival of that name?


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07- 8-14 10:20 PM
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I know a 5yo named Florence, so revival may already be starting.


Posted by: conflated | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 12:17 AM
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Question. Was "Jerry" slang for German back then or is that a WWII thing?

A quick search of the Biggles books reveals that "Jerry" does not appear in them. The Germans are the Boche or the Hun. I think that in one of the later books (set during WW2) a German is being bonhomous and trying to get a bit of camaraderie going and says something like "you know, we're pretty similar, you call us Jerries and we call you Tommies" and Biggles says pretty sharply that, no, he calls you Huns.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 12:51 AM
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Plus I think I'd like to know what the Warren Harding joke is.

At least this revelation will make it much easier for me to stop confusing him with Warren Hastings.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 1:01 AM
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22. If Johns gave that anecdote to Biggles he stole it. It was originally attributed to Douglas Bader.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 1:37 AM
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20 - lots of little Florences in the UK.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 1:45 AM
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Yeah, it's definitely undergoing a (Florence and the Machines inspired?) revival, if it ever went away. One of my friend's infant is a Flo.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 2:09 AM
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There's a thing in the Groan today predicting an explosion of Katnisses and Khaleesis. I have lived too long.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 2:32 AM
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24: or alternatively I may be misattributing it.

27: the article notes that Lorna is a fictional name that became used in real life - apparently entered English from "Lorna Doone" - but not that the same is true, I think, of "Wendy" which wasn't really used until "Peter Pan". Also I think "Juliet" which wasn't used much in England before the play.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 2:49 AM
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28,. I've heard that about Wendy, but I've also come across the theory that it's a short form of Gwendolyn, which isn't so outlandish given that Peter Pan is approximately contemporary with The Importance of Being Earnest. Juliet probably wasn't common in England before Shakespeare, but Giulietta was doubtless common enough in Italy before da Porto, so the modern analogy would be more like the wave of Heidis who are younger than me and older than you.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 3:34 AM
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27: I don't even know of any Katnisses, but my girls will probably grow up with a cousin Khaleesi, as they and her older half-sister have mutually claimed each other as cousins. (They're my brother's long-time-girlfriend's brother's children.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 3:56 AM
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28/29: chris y has it basically right. Wendy as a full given name predates Peter Pan and can be a nickname for Gwendolyn (although it's not a very common one compared to Gwen). I am told frequently upon introducing myself that Walt Disney invented the name Wendy for the movie, which is doubly mangled but not worth correcting.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 4:33 AM
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30: Khaleesi isn't even a name in the series, it's a title.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 4:41 AM
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I don't think "Flotsam" and "Wheems" were popular names before the movie.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 5:01 AM
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So's Prince. And Duke.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 5:02 AM
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32 You should meet her younger brother, "Stallion Who Mounts The World."


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 5:06 AM
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22: So maybe it's a US/UK difference in addition to time varying.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 5:43 AM
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32: I like this take from my beloved Baby Name Wizard blog. If there were 146 girls with the name in the US in 2012, I'm sure there are thousands more now, as it hits a lot of trends. (I have no connection to the people who named the baby I mentioned, nor to the mom I presume named older half-sister El/lie.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 6:17 AM
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I glimpsed the former home of the author of the Biggles books during my recent visit to Blighty. What I want to know is, where is the statue of Flashman?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 6:23 AM
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I am kind of sad that our children will only get to read Presidential sexts and see Presidential sex tapes, and won't get actual letters.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 6:33 AM
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will just volunteered to chair the Nosflow for President campaign!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 6:36 AM
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I am kind of sad that our children will only get to read Presidential sexts and see Presidential sex tapes, and won't get actual letters.

On the other hand, we did get the Nixon tapes.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 6:49 AM
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What I want to know is, where is the statue of Flashman?

Orange post title?

This place would probably be a good place to look. http://www.gandamacklodge.co.uk/rooms.htm


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 7:56 AM
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That looks fun. I wonder what a full Pashtun breakfast would look like, and why they don't offer it.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 7:58 AM
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You have to like a hotel that offers both a full English breakfast and body armour for hire.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 8:01 AM
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Probably a prerequisite for getting any bookings.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 8:08 AM
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Were I an Afghan who had read the books, I'd be tempted to torch the place. "You think this is picturesque? Fuck you, picturesque."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 8:12 AM
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31: It amazes me to find out that my old half-baked theory that "Wendy" in "Born to Run" is a Peter Pan reference, is apparently correct.

Over Bruce's bed was a poster of Peter Pan leading Wendy out the window. The detail is suggestive: "Wendy let me in, I wanna be your friend/ I want to guard your dreams and visions."

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/music_box/2009/09/tramps_like_us.html


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 8:25 AM
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Were I an Afghan who had read the books, I'd be tempted to torch the place. "You think this is picturesque? Fuck you, picturesque."

Well, contra that (adopts Flashman voice) the charmin' young Yusufzai gel I was seeing a few years back read a couple of the Flashman books on my recommendation (given partly because I was curious about how she'd react to them) and rather enjoyed them.
She was a Far Pavilions fan and I read it on her recommendation; also Gone With The Wind, which I disliked intensely, see archives.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 9:13 AM
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I would draw a sharp distinction between enjoying the books (which I did, myself, a great deal, and I could perfectly well see an Afghan/Indian/Native American/name your nationality victimized by colonialism here doing the same), and thinking that Flashman fantasy camp in Afghanistan is a bit grotesque. I mean, wanting to stay at a place called Gandamack Lodge sounds like the prospective customers would be thinking "Good old Flash Harry! That must have been the life!" rather than thinking that the character is a monster, and someone reacting to the books like that seems to me to be missing the point.

And, you know, black humor and all that, I can see finding it amusing and not being a terrible person. I just also think I'd be thinking wistfully about arson if I were a local.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 9:22 AM
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I guess Flashman is kind of a Tony Montana figure. There are millions who would want to stay at a Scarface-themed resort. But there must be few people who would read entire Flashman novels and love the protagonist and aspire to be like him.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 9:26 AM
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49: that's a fair point. There was something a bit icky about it which I couldn't put my finger on, but which you have enunciated.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 9:28 AM
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Also, my threshold for thinking wistfully about arson may be a little low.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 9:29 AM
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47: This suggests eventually I'll hear a further mangling: that Bruce Springsteen invented the name for the song. Excellent! I'm often misunderstood when I introduce myself. To clarify, I say Wendy, like the burger place. It peeves me a little that referencing Peter Pan often doesn't help a confused listener.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 9:32 AM
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52: It's low, but I wouldn't necessarily say it's too low.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 9:37 AM
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53: oh, your name is S'ydnew?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 9:39 AM
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42.last I see they're well-stocked to serve the old school three Martini-Henry lunch.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 9:45 AM
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56. Hi, did you get the job?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 9:54 AM
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55: Yeah, I shorten it for simplicity. It was terrible filling out Scantrons as a kid. (I'm amused that Sydnew kind of scans like Sydney.) The most common misheard introduction process is Mindy, then Mandy or Windy, then my actual name.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 10:08 AM
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57. They called me back that same day and asked me to travel there for an on-campus interview (it's down South). I booked my ticket yesterday, it's for the end of the month. I'll be asked to give a presentation, probably something involving library instruction. Thanks for asking and I could definitely use some advice.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 11:36 AM
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an on-campus interview (it's down South).

You want to be sure to sympathize warmly with everyone about how hard it must be living surrounded by all of those rednecks, and ask about how they insulate themselves from the locals.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 12:31 PM
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Confederate flag. They seem to really like that down there.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 12:38 PM
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(it's down South)...I'll be asked to give a presentation, probably something involving library instruction.

"IME you can't just throw a match willy nilly on a pile of Harry Potter and Origin of Species and expect to get good results. A good kerosene soak around the edges is essential for a proper sustained burn."


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 12:41 PM
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Harry Potter and Origin of Species being, admittedly, not universally accepted as canon.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 12:45 PM
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Although it is the best explanation I've seen for Dumbledore's beard.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 12:47 PM
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64 - Dumbledore grew up in a different time, when the wizarding world disapproved of homosexuality and even being a "confirmed bachelor" carried a stigma.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 1:04 PM
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Harry Potter and Origin of Species

Transfiguration takes a really long time in that one.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 1:16 PM
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59: Polish up your small talk. College football is almost always a good and relatively safe topic in the South. Weather, local things to do for fun. Be sure you have some at least kind of interesting stories about yourself. If you don't have hobbies or they're niche hobbies that might seem off-putting, find things that will substitute. (Reading is a good one, because it gives them logical follow-up questions.) It's mostly about whether they think they'll like working with you than your brilliance.

At work, we have candidates do short interviews with about seven people during the course of the day, from boss to peons (me). The couple things that really put me off are folks who have no idea about the big picture of what they're applying for (think of the R1 vs SLAC thing for an example) or ones who tell stories about how other people are stupid or difficult (usually in response to asking about how they'd go about solving a specific problem).


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 1:38 PM
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Legislatures in the South:

"I won't get into the debate about climate change but I'll simply point out that I think in academia we all agree that the temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here. Nobody will dispute that. Yet there are no coal mines on Mars. There's no factories on Mars that I'm aware of."


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 2:43 PM
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Mars is essentially in the same orbit... Mars is somewhat the same distance from the Sun, which is very important. We have seen pictures where there are canals, we believe, and water. If there is water, that means there is oxygen. If oxygen, that means we can breathe.


Posted by: Dan Quayle | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 2:53 PM
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The canals on Mars are to connect factories.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 3:07 PM
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67.1: might be best to filter out all the stories that start "This one time, when I was in Tangiers looking for obscure Oriental drugs..."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07- 9-14 3:32 PM
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68, 69: Jesus, Dan Quayle. This ignorance-as-an-identity shtick has been going on too long.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 07-10-14 5:43 AM
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67 Thanks ydnew!

And this is a progressive institution and one I'd be proud to for.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07-10-14 6:59 AM
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proud to for s/b proud to work for.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07-10-14 7:00 AM
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74 comments and no one has made a joke about OP.last and Brazil?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 07-10-14 9:02 AM
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