Re: Off With Their Heads!

1

I never bother looking at the blogs of famous people who I don't already like. Life may not be too short to waste dozens of hours a week on the Internet, but it's too short to do that.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 4:18 PM
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Wow, I didn't know the Frommer of Frommer's travel guides was even still alive, much less writing his own content (apparently). I'm trying to think of other examples of people who translate their love for something into making that thing more accessible to the general public, rather than getting progressively more elitist and catering to the richest aficionados. I guess for some people Julia Child did that.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 4:29 PM
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I'm trying to think of other examples of people who translate their love for something into making that thing more accessible to the general public, rather than getting progressively more elitist and catering to the richest aficionados.

Henry Ford.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 4:31 PM
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John Bogle.

Roger Ebert.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 4:38 PM
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3: his love of antisemitism, you mean?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 4:43 PM
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5: Yes.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 4:46 PM
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2: Richard Simmons


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 4:55 PM
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Brave Arthur Frommer, defending the interests of the upper-middle class against the depredations of the upper-upper class. Please.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 4:57 PM
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It's just too bad I don't know who first put porn on teh internet.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 4:59 PM
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DARPA, I'd imagine.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 5:00 PM
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I'm becoming a fan of these people in the popularizing philosophy department.

Most philosophy comics--like that "For Beginners" series--has the aesthetic sensibility of Ranger Rick. Action Philosophers has the aesthetic sensibility of Mad Magazine.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 5:04 PM
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I used to hate Iranians, but now I know that they're all gay, so I'm not allowed to.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 5:08 PM
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FM, did you click through?

Now I have no objection to people enjoying themselves, or even splurging on a mildly expensive accommodation. But there comes a time when over-spending for transitory pleasures becomes nothing short of vulgar in a world where so many people are in need. The holiday expenditures recommended by a New York Times or a USA Today could finance operations for hundreds of children suffering from cleft palates ($250 pays for one such operation in an underdeveloped country; see The Smile Train). The monies charged for an around-the-world trip in luxury style would finance a year's college education for a young person without funds.
In a holiday season where we are supposed to pay heed to human suffering, is it right to salivate over the vulgar excesses of super-rich tourists?

Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 5:10 PM
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11: Damn, those are cool. I can't wait until PK's ready for 'em.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 5:11 PM
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They can get pretty racy. The one I have features Rousseau's mistress telling James Boswell that she'd "rather have my pussy sewn shut" than read *The Discourse on Inequality*


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 5:17 PM
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13: Sure I clicked through, but I still dislike the man. I have yet to see a Frommer's list an accommodation under a hundred bucks, hence my contempt. Never mind me though, I'm a travel snob, but I still have my opinions.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 5:52 PM
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15: Hookay! Not yet, then!


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 5:53 PM
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Not only is Frommer cool, but his travel guides are really really good. They've never led me wrong. I was surprised as anyone that they were so good. He is amazingly earnest and for lack of a better word, "square"...I think the "Frommer's Irreverent Guides" are one of the funniest titles in the publishing biz. It was like, Lonely Planet is getting our business! We need to turn out one of those "irreverent" guides too! What oh what shall we call them?


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 5:55 PM
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I quit using Lonely Planet books when I noticed I was running into the same travelers over and over again.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 6:08 PM
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For a travel snob, I haven't been abroad or looked at a travel book for ages (2004). I did use Lonely Planet as a backup (except in LA, then Footprint), but the best places to stay were always word of mouth, esp. from an Israeli.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 6:21 PM
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I quit using Lonely Planet books when I noticed I was running into the same travelers over and over again.

For a long time, they were the only English-language guides available for a great many places, and each book was largely the work of one author, so you'd have throngs of people backpacking through country X seeing certain sights, staying at certain hotels and eating at certain restaurants based on the experiences of a single person. In some cases that was fine, in other cases the guides were lame.

Lonely Planet and its ilk have changed a lot in the last few years; among other things, they pay their writers a lot less than they used to.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 6:34 PM
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I suspect that travel books are carefully targeted at market segments. I've used Frommer's, Lonely Planet and Time Out series. The former was a bit stodgy but reliable. Time Out had more on night life than I wanted. Lonely Planet overlapped a bit with TO and both of them had good write-ups on places to eat. I could sit in my room and make up a list of places to try that night and feel pretty confident that I'd have tasty food. But the Rick Steves books? Pheh. Too little info. Too much chat. My favorite tourism guides though are Michelin's Green Guides. I like the density of info and that they don't t have all the eating, sleeping, partying info that the other books have. Those things aren't (usually) what I want during the day. But I know the tastes differ and I am sure the publishers do too.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 6:54 PM
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OT, but I'm going to go play my first show with this new band, so wish me luck and groupie s3xx0rz.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 6:59 PM
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Luck. Where?


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 7:01 PM
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I find the Rick Steves books the funniest of all of them. They ostensibly are about getting off the beaten path, "Europe through the Back Door", etc.. But they sell extremely well. THey also have very little coverage of the country, recommend very few places to choose from, etc. So if someplace is mentioned in Rick Steves, it has just been firmly placed on the beaten path. He has sections that are, like, "Monsieur X. lives in his tiny house on the outskirts of the little known village of Y, where for decades he has sold wonderful local specialty Z to those travellers who happen to wander by", and I envision ten thousand American tourists materializing at his doorstep the next day, all shooting poisonous glances at the t-shirted, baseball-capped hordes ruining their authentic experience.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 7:03 PM
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At a party venue called Gold Leaf, formerly known as The Hosiery.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 7:05 PM
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26. Make sure the bad weather (where the hell is it? I want snow.) doesn't get you. Have fun and lots of groupies.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 7:09 PM
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For Ogged (from Scott Adams' comments):

Monetizing a blog is part art, part science. Traffic has little to do with it, as long as you meet minimums. I looked at some numbers for the (often reviled) John Chow blog and found he was making 14.7 cents per visitor. Even removing some of the things I wouldn't do, he was still making 8.8 cents per visitor.

And his traffic has held steady the better part of a year, while income goes up each month, now without traffic from Google. Why not turn monetizing your blog over to a different (set of) professional(s)?



Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 7:10 PM
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23
good luck and thank you for invitation


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 7:21 PM
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New band?

Details please. Is the bass player a lifeguard?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 7:36 PM
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Scott Adams made the right decision, financially. Before he had a blog I had no opinion about him as a person and I found Dilbert mildly amusing. Now I think he's a moron, and it killed whatever interest I had in the comic.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 7:47 PM
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My interest in Dilbert had died by the time Rfts convinced me that it was a horrible, reactionary attempt to co-opt disgruntlement as another management tool, but knowing that Scott Adams fell for Intelligent Design certainly adds a little spice to that stew.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 8:00 PM
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i adore SA, he is so funny
you are a moron yourself


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 8:01 PM
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Lots of people have fallen for Intelligent Design.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 8:01 PM
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35

33 to 33?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 8:02 PM
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25 is right. We went to Gimmelwald in Switzerland, supposedly some tiny herding village. It can only reached by cable car and we were asking people in the area how to get there. One Swiss person was all, "Gimmelwald, Gimmelwald- all the Americans just want to go to Gimmelwald." It was pretty nice, but not quite as described in the book because it was clear that they had started catering to the increased tourist traffic.
On the same trip we had our own "Europe through the back door" experience that was much better. We happened to share a cabin on the train from Barcelona with a goat herder and he invited us up to his farm in the mountains above Nice. That's also part of Rick Steves' advice, though- don't just do what's in his book, but keep an eye out for opportunities to do unique things.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 8:04 PM
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33 to 31
if you want, to 35 too
i am generous


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 8:04 PM
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But Ben Stein is a Nixon-stroking dolt, whereas surely a man witty enough to coin the term "cow-orker" and name himself after the author of Adventureland would be teh awesome, right?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 8:06 PM
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I'm going to imagine that SP got to spend a weekend with Grothendieck and didn't even know it.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 8:07 PM
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38: NFW did Adams actually coin the term "cow-orker".


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 8:11 PM
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surely a man witty enough to coin the term "cow-orker" and name himself after the author of Adventureland would be teh awesome, right?

You'd think so, wouldn't you?


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 8:12 PM
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Surely a man witty enough to turn bland, Cathy-style corporate comedy into a multi-million dollar empire would be teh awesome, right?

I'm just being a smartass, though. Cathy is great.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 8:16 PM
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43

Wait, is read not actually a robot?


Posted by: Gibbons | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 8:23 PM
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Re: Scott Adams.

I've been trying to define a concept I want to call "retroactive suckiness."

Retroactive suckiness occurs when something starts out cool, but later on sucks so hard it actually makes the earlier stuff suck in retrospect. This goes beyond jumping the shark, because the whole thing (TV show, comic strip, work of art) is irredeemably marred.

The later seasons of the X-files caused the earlier seasons to retroactively suck. Scott Addams' blog caused the comic strip to retroactively suck.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 8:30 PM
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most obvious example: 9/11 W

Bill Watterson is a goddamn genius.


Posted by: Lambent Cactus | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 8:36 PM
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46

45: no, he sucked the whole time.

Which, corrolary, to 44: I would argue that the fuller context only helps you realize that something sucked all along, and that if something was truly good, it would bear the burden of its creator's later failures (cf. The Simpsons).


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 8:38 PM
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46.1 obviously refers to W, not Bill Watterson, who was and remains a genius, however many truck logos his creation chooses to (illicitly, in direct contravention of his own copyright) piss on.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 8:40 PM
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Rob, as a parallel to "jumping the shark", might I suggest that it's the Windom Earle effect?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 8:42 PM
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42 gets it right, except that Cathy sucks.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 8:43 PM
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I don't think retroactive suckiness is a matter of realizing that something sucked all along.

I can't quite prove it, but I'm certain cases of selective memory can help me here.

I have not read it, but by many accounts *Huck and Tom Out West* made *The Adventures of Huck Finn* and *The Adventures of Tom Sawyer* suck retroactively.

But no one reads *Huck and Tom out West* anymore. It might as well have never happened. So the original books are saved.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 8:45 PM
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Even as a kid reading Cathy, I could tell that this Irving guy was the very picture of 'settling'.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 8:46 PM
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I had no idea those peeing truck decals were supposed to be Calvin; it's not a very good likeness.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 8:46 PM
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Bill Watterson is the most fabulous person in the world. I should get PK the big Calvin & Hobbes omnibus.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 8:47 PM
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i don't know what do you all have against him
but he is awesome funny, kind, pure heart
his strip is hilarious
just people often misunderstand him and intepret him being ID apologist, cynic, etc
when he is in fact an agnostic, a very thoughtful person, his style resembles that of for example Zoshenko
his blog is always exciting read
well, it's a matter of taste of course, but please do not blame or malign him for his success


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 8:48 PM
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Snarkout: I never really though that season 2 of Twin Peaks made season one suck, but it may be that David Lynch's ongoing brilliance simply rescued the early Twin Peaks episodes from their later suckiness.

Context and content, man...I can't figure it out.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 8:49 PM
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The later seasons of the X-files caused the earlier seasons to retroactively suck.

Only if you actually persisted in watching the later seasons. Gotta know when to move on.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 8:49 PM
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I'm trying to think up more examples of retroactive suckiness, and coming to doubt that anything I ever liked was actually cool.


Posted by: Lambent Cactus | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 8:50 PM
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My German host family (from '99) has the collected Calvin & Hobbes and the collected Reagan-era Doonesbury. They are awesomer than any American college student ever had the right to.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 8:50 PM
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The source of the image.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 8:51 PM
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53: Bad idea jeans. No one needs that kind of hero at that age.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 8:53 PM
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POINT: old-school Doonesbury was spectacular, and has not in any way been ruined by stupid, boring new-school Doonesbury.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 8:55 PM
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61: Word.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 8:55 PM
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No no, Calvin is 5. PK is 6 or 7. PK can love Calvin intimately without being tempted to do something really weird.

Caroline, who just became a big 5 year old, is the one who needs to stay away from Calvin.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 8:56 PM
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POINT(s): late period Marlon Brando, Jack Nicholson, and Robert DeNiro.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 8:56 PM
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Calvin is 6.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 8:57 PM
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I would deny this theory in the case of the X-files, but affirm it in the cases of Harry Potter and Star Wars.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 8:58 PM
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And I don't think introducing PK to C&H is necessarily a bad idea. I must have been around his age when I started reading, and I never did anything crazy as a result.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 8:59 PM
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The first two Star Wars movies remain awesome, although the ridiculous portions of them have been rendered obvious. Going back and fucking with the effects, of course, is perfectly capable of ruining them.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:01 PM
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I am googling right now to try and found a quote I read about the best way to introduce a child to Star Wars. It went something like:

Show them A New Hope and Empire, and tell them that Han is ok, and he escapes a bit later. Save Jedi and the prequels for later, when they're older and it's time to learn about disappointment.

But I can't find it.


Posted by: Lambent Cactus | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:01 PM
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I used to read the WSJ "A" column over breakfast in 4th grade. Not a Republican! By parity of reasoning, I'm not sure he'd get all the humor in C&H, but I agree that it wouldn't be harmful.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:01 PM
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My son is short, blond, and named Calvin. He still has a few years to go before he's six, however. I'm thinking of getting him a stuffed tiger....


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:03 PM
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Found it.


Posted by: Lambent Cactus | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:04 PM
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67: Well, I probably was a little bit older, and I only did one crazy thing, and it wasn't that bad. And B.W. does rather rock and was not in any way to blame.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:04 PM
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Introducing? PK already adores Calvin. I love him reading it; he just laughs and laughs.

Anyway, too late. I already ordered it. And yes, PK has a stuffed tiger. Spike, I highly recommend you get your kid one too.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:05 PM
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Introducing? PK already adores Calvin. I love him reading it; he just laughs and laughs.

I wondered if that was the case, but went with fm's interpretation instead. Mea culpa.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:07 PM
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73: why you gotta bring w-lfs-n into this?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:08 PM
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Becks-style paddies around Christmas should not be allowed to listen to any Luke Kelly songs. This has been a public service announcement concerning the care and feeding of your local maudlin Irish person. Thank you.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:10 PM
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The only down side is that he comes running about once every three minutes to show me some strip that is so hilarious he simply *must* share it.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:16 PM
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If only you found things funny, B.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:18 PM
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These humorless feminists, you know.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:20 PM
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70: Ow, my ovaries.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:23 PM
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I somehow managed to meet 3 Let's Go researchers in the space of a month in 2001. The third turned out to have been the roommate of the first. (I also ran into a Let's Go researcher in 1999.)

I haven't done much travel for a while, but I used to use a combination of Let's Go and Lonely Planet, depending on the regional coverage of the guide or a comparison of the places to stay section. I'd browse the more extensive single country guides in a bookstore to look for lesser-known places to see and then write them down or remember them, but they were generally too heavy to carry if I wanted more than one.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:27 PM
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77: Goddammit, I must be more Becks style than I thought, because the sentimental Irish music is getting to me. And to think at one point I thought I had worked though the American-into-sentimental-Irish-music phase.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:27 PM
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77: To which I would add The Dutchman:

He's mad as he can be but Margaret only sees that sometimes
Sometimes she sees her unborn children in his eyes

God, I hate that song. And I hate that I know it off by heart.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:28 PM
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Let's Go Warfighting!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:28 PM
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"His face is beginning to look like, steak tartare!"

[wow, I don't watch television very often.]


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:29 PM
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My mom gave me Let's Go: Eastern Europe for Hanukkah. It's pretty good, and not as stuffy as Frommer's or Fodor's, but there's a sort of earnest hipness about it that gets tiring after a while.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:30 PM
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Similarly, TV does not eat french food very often.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:30 PM
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Luke Kelly is the exocet missile of sentimental-at-heart irish singers.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:31 PM
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This thread has dredged up a wonderful memory: discovering my uncle's Doonesbury books when I was, hmm, maybe seven or eight, which would have made it 1975 or '76. I've just realized that it was Phred the Terrorist who taught me about postcolonial studies. And I, too, used to run into the other room every few minutes and insist that my parents read something or other that seemed impossibly funny. They must have been so proud. I've not had a memory this sharp in a long time. No doubt I've invented it from whole cloth.


Posted by: anmik | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:31 PM
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90: Guilty! Guilty! Guilty! is such an utterly great book. The Doonesbury Watergate coverage taught me a fair bit of what I know about the period.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:33 PM
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82: I edited an edition of Let's Go 2001, and I must say, I wouldn't trust them at all. They pay their editorial staff pretty decently, though.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:33 PM
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92: Uh oh.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:34 PM
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92: that was a travel guide to the year 2001? Blume, you have a time machine, don't you? It's okay, you can tell me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:35 PM
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79: Oh, C&H is funny, but the constant interruptions, not so much. Mostly of course he likes the ones where the parents' eyes are bugging out over something or other.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:35 PM
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92: no, a 2001 Let's Go for one of their countries. (Gee, can you guess which one?)

I think it was decent, but less because the research writers contributed so much useful information and more because I had recently lived in the country for a significant amount of time.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:39 PM
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no, a 2001 Let's Go for one of their countries. (Gee, can you guess which one?)

Montana?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:39 PM
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If you time travel back to 2001, you can see the original Matrix before it was retroactively ruined.


Posted by: Lambent Cactus | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:39 PM
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Darn you Tweety, check your chat window.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:41 PM
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Don't tell Sifu about the time machine. He'll sue for patent infringement.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:41 PM
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discovering my uncle's Doonesbury books

I bought a Doonesbury book -- "Check your Egos at the Door" -- in a bookshop while on holidays when I was 12 or 13. I had very little idea of what Doonesbury was and couldn't follow the daily strip in The Irish Times at all. So the book was confusing, but intriguing. I still remember its treatment of Geraldine Ferraro ("Yeah, if only she hadn't been a woman" -- "You mean you picked her on her MERITS?!") and the recording of the "We Are the World" song. Oddly, there was also a long segment about transplanting the heart of a liberal into the body of a conservative.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:41 PM
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These people would have been making Let's Go 2002. I used Let's Go 2001 for some places and was fine. They had a hotel in Riga for $6 a night (shared "bath") that no other guide had. It wasn't even marked as a hotel, unless the fact that it was the only building on its block without a freshly painted facade counts as signage.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:41 PM
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89: You say that as though there were some non-sentimental-at-heart Irish singers we should know about. Who bill themselves as "Irish singers", I mean, and not just as singers who happen to be Irish.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:42 PM
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Montana?

Stop being so fucking coastist.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:42 PM
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My 12-year younger sister told me that much of her knowledge of Watergate and Vietnam came from my old Doonesbury collections. There are worse sources.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:42 PM
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I think I got a lot of my political introduction from Doonesbury when I was a kid, too.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:44 PM
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107

Coastites, arise and destroy the subhuman midwesternese!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:45 PM
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I've actually used information from both Lonely Planet and Let's Go for Canada, but for some reason I just couldn't get myself to actually buy a guide. I told myself that it was because my trip wasn't very long. I think Let's Go tacks their Canada info onto the USA guide, kind of like the airports that tell you Canada flights leave from the domestic terminal.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:45 PM
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102: Was it Friendly Fun Frank's?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:45 PM
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I don't remember Doonesbury at all from my childhood. I think I must have missed the glory days.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:46 PM
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the US airports, that is


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:46 PM
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Coastites, arise and destroy the subhuman midwesternese! soul of the blog.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:46 PM
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I think Let's Go tacks their Canada info onto the USA guide

They don't seem to have a separate Canada one, so this must be right.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:47 PM
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108: Why should the airports discriminate against the Maple Leaf State?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:47 PM
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109: first paragraph


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:47 PM
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112: ah, mein kleiner Schinke, but in the modern era we have no need for the "soul".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:48 PM
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"Let us go to the banks of the ocean / where the something something something Zuyder Zee..."
Curse you, Invisible Adjunct!


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:49 PM
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I was amazed when I was in Spain and went to a place recommended in the travel guide that the guy collecting statistics looked at me oddly when I asked if they got a lot of American visitors. (No, of course not -- British and French and Spaniards, was his answer.) I kind of thought: It's in a mainstream guidebook, must get a lot of visitors. Maybe it was the extremely steep climb.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:50 PM
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115: Not in the 2008 guide. Interesting.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:51 PM
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118: Rough Guide?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:51 PM
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I should start a series of travel books called Smooth Guides. They would be about picking up women in various places.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:52 PM
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Teo you rule.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:52 PM
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77, 89:

Only he knows how to face the future hopefully, Surrounded by despair.

It is imagining that such a sentiment is implicit in the Irish that makes a man with a brogue so unbearably attractive. Deeply sensitive, but not going to dump it on you.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:53 PM
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120: Argh, I don't remember. I don't like trip planning, so I kind of got paralyzed and overwhelmed. The guide was a gift. I still didn't really plan my trip aside from booking the round-trip ticket and figuring out where I would stay the first night.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:53 PM
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Smooth Guides

First edition: DC.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:54 PM
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First edition: DC.

Now, to do some research.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:55 PM
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I was just guessing by the lack of Australians and Americans that it wasn't Lonely Planet or Let's Go. My impression was that Rough Guides were more popular with the British.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:56 PM
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This has been a public service announcement concerning the care and feeding of your local maudlin Irish person.

Gonerill, you reminded me: Kevin Bu/rke and Mícheál Ó Dom/hnaill used to come into the restaurant where I worked. One night after closing, I put on a mix tape of my own, which included Emmylou Harris' tear-jerking tribute to Gram Parsons. When it began, Mícheál suddenly looked stricken, said "Boulder to Birmingham?", and went off to a corner to quietly shed a tear. The very picture of your local maudlin Irish person, it was. I'm only mildly Becks-style at the moment, but hearing it again just now choked me up.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:56 PM
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Meanwhile, I'm still looking for a place to live that's not inhabited by rabbits, parrots, cockroaches, or mice.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:57 PM
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You say that as though there were some non-sentimental-at-heart Irish singers we should know about. Who bill themselves as "Irish singers", I mean, and not just as singers who happen to be Irish.

Well this is a reasonable point. But there are spitballs and then there are exocets.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:58 PM
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127: Btw, have you posted a nice subtle hint to your new blog on here that I've missed, or will that not be possible?

OT: I have written 7 of 37 holiday cards. I had no idea I knew so many people. Clearly some spring cleaning is in order.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:59 PM
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To summarize: Irishmen weep as their compatriots sleep amongst the farm animals, and the virgins write guides to love: unfogged: the baroque era.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:59 PM
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What's wrong with rabbits, parrots, and mice?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:59 PM
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117: "Let us go to the banks of the ocean / where the something something something walls rise above the Zuyder Zee..."

Long ago I used to be a young man,
And dear Margaret still remembers that for me.

Yeah, it's all kinds of awful, but it sticks with you. Sorry! Raise the rent in your head.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 9:59 PM
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131: Oh crap, I should get on the card thing. I think last year I wrote 7, never finished the rest, and didn't mail any of them. I suck.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:00 PM
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126: "Most new visitors will be expected to bitch about their virginity for a number of years. It's not required, but the locals will appreciate it if you do."


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:01 PM
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135: It helps to have a train commute. Of course, last year I sent zero cards.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:01 PM
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Foolishmortal is hired!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:02 PM
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133: what isn't?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:02 PM
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Cute and furry, interesting and pretty, cute and furry?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:03 PM
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133 to 135.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:03 PM
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What, you don't like rabbit stew?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:03 PM
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but hearing it again just now choked me up.

You're all lucky I'm not coming to the party. I'd have ye all crying and singing The Auld Triangle by the end.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:05 PM
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131: Not yet. I'm actually on a shared computer right now. And I'm clearing out the browser history when I use it. It's my computer, but a parrot killed the other one here by chewing through the power cord. So it's not that easy to stay pseudonymous and I'm not going to blog for a while.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:06 PM
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144: what the hell? I hadn't realized you spent your time camping on Madagascar?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:08 PM
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Was it an interesting and pretty parrot?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:09 PM
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Obviously! What could be more interesting or cute than watching a small animal gnaw naughtily on a power cord?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:12 PM
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143: I'm already all choked up, just thinking of what you might have sung, if only you had condescended to join us.

Me, I plan to sing "Four Green Fields" and pass the hat around.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:13 PM
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147: watching that same animal reach the exciting surprise in the middle!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:14 PM
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An interesting parrot, maybe. I'm not a fan of pet birds.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:14 PM
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No, that's not cute. It might be funny, if you're a heartless bastard, though.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:15 PM
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128: JMcQ, thanks for the link. You inspired me to put an Emmylou CD on my Christmas list.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:15 PM
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149: It's possible to kill the power before getting a shock. The bird's fine.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:16 PM
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I plan to sing "Four Green Fields" and pass the hat around

If only to annoy some possible guests.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:16 PM
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153: cuteness gone.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:16 PM
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Parrots are very loud, by the way. Very, very loud. Especially in small enclosed spaces like apartments.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:17 PM
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I have to admit that pet birds don't do a lot for me either. Loud and messy, plus, you know, blah blah wild animals in cages etc.. But I mean, they're not *cockroaches*.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:17 PM
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157: I have it on good authority Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches are adorable.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:18 PM
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158: Nope. Seen 'em. Freaky.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:19 PM
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152: You're welcome. (sniff.)


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:25 PM
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Parrots like African Greys are like having a 2 year old. Takes a lot of attention and interaction. Can be great for retirees and such who have a lot of time.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:29 PM
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Yeah, parrots are very needy and insecure. Plus the big ones live for decades. Getting a parrot is a huge commitment.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:31 PM
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Of course parrots are needy and insecure. They're social animals who are kept in isolation in tiny little places where they mostly aren't allowed to fly. Poor damn birds.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:32 PM
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Yeah, parrot ownership is really just a bad idea all around.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:34 PM
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Agreed.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:36 PM
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164: yup.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:37 PM
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Bunnies are cute, but not really rewarding as pets, imho. They mostly lollop around stupidly. Now mice, on the other hand....


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:38 PM
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Bunnies are cute, but not really rewarding as pets, imho. They mostly lollop around stupidly.

And when they die they let out the most bloodcurdling shrieks. Freakiest damn thing I've ever heard.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:39 PM
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The mice, like the cockroaches, are not pets. The bunny is in a different place and was fine - aside from the gnawing on most things it could reach - but I wouldn't want to have one.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:39 PM
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And I'm using "cockroach" to stand in for an assortment of insects I don't particularly care to track down entomologically. Or even etymologically.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:42 PM
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Norwegian Blues. Beautiful parrots.

We should have a group sing of Fairytale of New York. I can do Shane's part easily. Especially after I choke up from all the maudlin.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:42 PM
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168 is true.

Wild mice, all they do is poop and steal food. Plus, if you manage to catch sight of them, cute!!!


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:43 PM
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if you manage to catch sight of them, cute!!!

In your grocery store, not so cute.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:44 PM
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Also, hantavirus.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:44 PM
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I'm hoping that's as rare as, but more treatable than, I've heard it is.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:47 PM
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It's pretty rare (and very unlikely to be endemic to where you are). There was a big scare a few years ago, but it didn't actually involve very many cases.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:50 PM
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It's totally rare, and you're not going to damn well catch it. Teo's just hating on the cutes.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:51 PM
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Yes, it's understanding is that it is extraordinarily rare where eb is.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:51 PM
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Do your part for public health and stomp a mouse.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:52 PM
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Sorry, Teo. I was just adamantly defending mice, because I have a contractual obligation to do so.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:53 PM
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Parrots freak me out. Are they merely parroting, or do they mock us at some deeper level?

Almost nobody sings anymore, we just to listen to professionals on CDs. But when I was a kid, I was (for real) expected to sing for the company. "The Wild Colonial Boy" was my party piece, but I also included "Suil A Ruin" (the chorus in Irish, which I didn't even half understand, I was like Abba singing in English or something) and "Farewell to Nova Scotia" amongst my repertoire. At three years of age, I knew how to bring a tear to a grown man's eye, if that grown man happened to be one of my uncles. I'm all about the maudlin...


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:53 PM
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Teo's just hating on the cutes.

It's what I do.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:53 PM
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I'll grant you, gswift, that stomping 'em is a lot more humane than poisoning the poor things.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:54 PM
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Sorry, Teo. I was just adamantly defending mice, because I have a contractual obligation to do so.

No harm done.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:54 PM
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Are they merely parroting, or do they mock us at some deeper level?

They're just parroting. It's the ravens who are mocking us.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:55 PM
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Mockingbirds are pretty cool. But only if they're not pets.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:55 PM
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Not to mention the damn mockingbirds.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:55 PM
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Mockingbirds are aggressive little bastards. Kind of fun to watch them dive bomb cats though.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 10:58 PM
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You people have jinxed me. I just heard mice in the walls.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 11:00 PM
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But when I was a kid, I was (for real) expected to sing for the company.

Yeah, me too. On a weekly basis at my grandmother's. The fact that many people were raised in analogous conditions meant that the threshold for public signing was way, way lower in Ireland than, e.g., the U.S. -- something brought home to me rather forcefully my first year in grad school.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 11:00 PM
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My cat killed a mockingbird in the yard once, and couldn't go outside for weeks.


Posted by: Lambent Cactus | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 11:04 PM
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I think one reason folks like the "Irish" pubs in the US is that there you can sing in a crowd. It isn't as embarrassing. Karaoke is similar, but not as good.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 11:13 PM
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Oh man, I *love* crows and mockingbirds and jays. Such smart cocky little bastards.

When I was a kid, we took a mockingbird baby away from the cat and amazingly raised it to an adult and let it go. It hung around for quite a while.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 11:14 PM
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161-64: Y'all time these discussions so well! Just today Rory was back to talking about wanting a pet bird, having seen an 18-year-old parrot while house shopping with the ex. (|| Yay!! He bought a place!! He's moving soon!! Happy dance! |> ) We'll be sticking with the gerbil, thanks.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 11:33 PM
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Congrats on UNG's impending departure, Di!


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12-15-07 11:51 PM
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#2: Mark Cuban.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 12:02 AM
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Scott Adams' blog: objectively funny.


Posted by: Dr. Zeuss | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 12:29 AM
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Has a culture ever been so thoroughly trashed by its own acolytes as Irish/"Celtic" culture over the last decade?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDVgb4pJMdI

I once dated a thoroughly Irish woman whose family hosted and judged the annual "Danny Boy" contest every New Years. Apparently it lasted for hours, with dozens of contestants. She would spit furious curses whenever anyone started singing Irish music within earshot. A shame, as she had a wonderful voice herself. I remember her fondly, she was the greatest lover I ever had.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 1:24 AM
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Deeply sensitive, but not going to dump it on you.

It is precisely this set of contradictory desires that makes it so challenging to please a woman.

Of course, we men have our own versions.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 1:37 AM
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Excuse me, Newfie. ABBA was extremely fluent in English.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 1:50 AM
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In downscale travel news, the NYT discovers ... Queens.
http://travel.nytimes.com/2007/12/09/travel/09weekend.html

http://travel.nytimes.com/2007/12/09/travel/09weekend.html?em&ex=1197176400&en=d533c91770582551&ei=5087%0A


Posted by: Econolicious aka Anonymous D | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 1:54 AM
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The Let's Go guide for Finland, at least with regard to the Helsinki sections, objectively sucks ass. The researcher apparently managed to find only one supermarket in the entire city, and it was one of the ones without prepared food. In about two days, driven by penury, I found one in the fucking center of the city that did, and it was by far the cheapest way of nourishing myself without having recourse to a kitchen that I found.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 2:07 AM
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And when they die they let out the most bloodcurdling shrieks. Freakiest damn thing I've ever heard.

James R/dfield says that the sound of a dying bunny shrieking put him off eating them forever.

He is also very good at cribbage.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 2:11 AM
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185. They're just parroting. It's the ravens who are mocking us.

Not so fast, young Teo. Of course the ravens also mock us, and the New Caledonian crows are working on a programme to acquire nuclear capabilities by next year, according to Cheney. But parrots are pretty cool too.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 4:29 AM
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We should have a group sing of Fairytale of New York.

I'd like to hear an UnfoggeDCon group sing of "Dirty Old Town". You'd have to wait and sing it at the end of the party to get the right tone, and then you could post it for those of us who are far away. Pleeeze?


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 6:24 AM
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the New Caledonian crows are working on a programme to acquire nuclear capabilities by next year

Also, they make analogies.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 6:27 AM
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92/96: I just realized Blume and I have something in common!

Let's Go and its ilk were a much more valuable resource pre-internet. They're still pretty good for the first-time traveller (and by that I mean not "first-time visitor to a particular place", but "first time leaving home on your own"). I will still buy the Michelin Green Guides or the Baedeker Blue Guides for in-depth cultural information, but for practical information on transportation and lodging and the like, I use the internet exclusively.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 7:57 AM
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airports that tell you Canada flights leave from the domestic terminal.

This makes some small amount of sense, because all of the immigration & customs rigmarole only happens in Canadian airports. You'll clear i&c in Canada when you fly there, as you'd expect, but you clear US i&c *before* you board, when you return. Meaning, as far as the airline is concerned, it is a domestic return flight.

More amusing to me are tiny little airports in the Northeast that call themselves international because of the single teeny flight they run to Canada.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 8:31 AM
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We've a big overnight snowfall that I'm just going out to shovel. They've been much rarer around here than they used to be. That and the Steve Goodman memories triggered by the references upthread have me in a very 70s mood today.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 8:39 AM
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203: I lovelovelove him.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 8:56 AM
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Bird attack

I'd gone out for a picture of something else and got this one by reflex. Notice the beak is pointed directly at my eye.



Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 9:10 AM
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Fuck, not cribbage. Gin. He specifically pooh-poohed cribbage.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 9:18 AM
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Yesterday a friend was telling me about a colleague with an autistic son, so I sent him the Luke Kelly clip, with one line about who it was intended for. This morning:

"It's a nice song, did you listen to it?"
"Oh, no, I thought you sent it to me because the singer looks retarded."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 9:35 AM
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How has no one here mentioned the Rough Guides? In my experience, they have been quite good. I even liked the Rough Guide for Egypt, which is saying a lot. But I kind of like reading travel guides as if they were regular books, so YMMV.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 10:13 AM
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I use the Rough Guides all the time, and find them pretty reliable. The one issue with them is that different correspondents seem to have their own definitions of rough, so from place to place you can be directed only to the cheapest acceptable option, or be given some more up market choices for when you're feeling a bit flush. It's a bit of a lottery, but I get the feeling the series is moving slowly up market as the editors get older.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 10:18 AM
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I usually use Lonely Planet--Time Out is great for cities when it's available. Let's Go's recommendations are extremely hit or miss & they have a lot less of the interestion history/cultural information than almost anyone else. I haven't actually tried Rough Guides as a book, since they provided more free info on their website, but the practice of listing prices in dollars instead of local currency used to drive me nuts, as what happens when the exchange rate changes dramatically?


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 10:20 AM
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It's odd, I'm not sure if I've even cracked a travel guide. I think I honestly have no clue how you're supposed to find the cool stuff in a new place without just walking around aimlessly or knowing a local.

But mostly, I'm just at the annoying point in life where you don't want to travel with parents anymore, but none of your friends are ready to jet off to cool places and pay shitloads in airfare. Also, I find myself really down on the idea of traveling somewhere where neither I nor my travel companion knows the language. It just seems to shut off so much in the way of possibilities, it seems to prevent any decent attempt at temporary assimilation.

I'm way too young to be this ambivalent about travel.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 10:21 AM
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Also, as it vaguely relates to the original post, and certainly to 13: Smile Train and the related Operation Smile do not have the greatest reputations in the NGO world. The wikipedia page claims that OS does training of locals, but I've really only heard about them flying in, performing a number of surgeries as fast as possible, then flying out with all their equipment and minimal post-op. It's a net positive, but nothing sustainable.

Look for NGOs that concentrate on training and equipping the local doctors and medical schools. Much better leverage for your donation dollar.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 10:31 AM
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Contrariwise, I contend that Temple of Doom did not make Raiders suck. But you had better enjoy it now because who knows what 4 will do.

Also, buy the DVD's now, before they get "enhanced."


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 11:32 AM
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198:

I remember her fondly, she was the greatest lover I ever had.

May I say, I really like hearing men say things like this. Because of the fondness and respect, the implicit smile? As opposed to other ways one might remark on such things. And because, eventually, it's just honest to have these reflections and to assign them a place.

As for the commodification of the Celtic in recent times, oh gag.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 11:37 AM
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Alas, Irish music is one of the very few tried and true ways a musician can make a marginal living without a day job these days, along with cover bands and weddings. Everyone else is broke and hoping to hit the big time, and few ever do. The Decemberists are huge for alt music, but they're no better than getting by economically.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 12:02 PM
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I've been attacked a couple times by crows. So bizarre.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 12:06 PM
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You'll all think I'm just trolling if I say that I hate Irish music. Won't you?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 12:06 PM
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You shouldn't eat their eggs.

I've only been attacked by a goose and a blackbird, so far. Not together, in separate incidents.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 12:07 PM
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You'll all think I'm just trolling if I say that I hate Irish music. Won't you?

Yes.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 12:07 PM
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223: yes, but not because of the specific topic of what you say.


Posted by: Auto-banned | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 12:08 PM
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Everyone else is broke and hoping to hit the big time, and few ever do.

Was it ever thus (well, nearly ever); for visual artists as well. I blame capitalism. &c.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 12:11 PM
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223: My knowledge of Irish music is largely limited to wandering tent to tent at Irish festivals -- but based on this, I feel confident in saying there is sucky old people Irish music and the Irish music that only a troll could dislike.

Also, until you've sung Balck Velvet Band off key with a large drunken crowd, you haven't even begun to experience Irish music.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 12:15 PM
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The Decemberists are huge for alt music, but they're no better than getting by economically.

Last year you were saying they were solidly middle-class.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 12:16 PM
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If the crowd is really drunk it becomes Balck Vlvlt Barnd.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 12:17 PM
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229: Right, and these days the middle class is no better than getting by economically. It's awful.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 12:21 PM
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You got a linky, Benji? Here is in last month saying they're "getting by without day jobs."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 12:22 PM
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I did run into the only Decemberist I know yesterday, and they said that all of the members of the band have been able to live off their music for the last year or two. The financial level is sort of middle-middle class, except that musicians have a lot of various perks that middle-managers don't. (You have to like to travel.)

Ok, that was two years ago.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 12:25 PM
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And don't call me "Benji", oggiepoo.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 12:27 PM
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GET A ROOM

BE MORE SERIOUS


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 12:29 PM
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GRANDMA IS HYSTERICAL.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 12:34 PM
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Don't encourage her, parsley.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 12:35 PM
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wow, people remember things said two yrs ago in the threads
how remarkable
and who is that kim
lolita


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 12:42 PM
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GRANDMA IS HYSTERICAL.

Sexist.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 12:44 PM
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It's hard to argue with the Pogues. But what will happen when Celtic Woman or The Irish Tenors do versions of "Fairytale of New York"? Maybe I should reserve judgement till then.

Irish/Scottish trad music is one of the significant inputs into American rock and (especially) country music, so there's a sense in which if you like American music part of you likes Irish music too. And groups like the Pogues return the favor, they show some bluegrass and hence blues influences. It's just the horrible public television offshoot that's the problem. This is related to the question of whether extreme current suckiness can retroactively taint prior greatness.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 12:47 PM
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Eighty years ago travel writing was parodied in the same way it is today. Not sure if the link will work; am sure that Google Books is missing part of some of the pages.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 12:48 PM
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"hysterical" signifies running around the room waving your arms in the air:

When uncertain
When in doubt
Run in circles
Scream and shout

One does not encourage this, does one?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 12:52 PM
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There should be a distinction between "Hysterical "meaning hysterical and "Hysterical" meaning "so funny it will make you hysterical". Similar to the distinction between "nauseous" and "nauseous". In other words, the word shouldn't be used in ambiguous situations.


Posted by: Sunny Las Los | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 12:53 PM
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You mean between "nauseous" and "nauseating"?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 12:58 PM
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I thought "nauseous" meant "nauseating", not "nauseated". This is why the word is unnecessary and should be eradicated. Also "comprise".


Posted by: Sunny Las Los | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 12:59 PM
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It's just the horrible public television offshoot that's the problem

Not quite: it's also the prevalence on public and college radio stations of Celtic programming hours. And hours. And hours.

Elvis Costello eventually had something to do with The Pogues, didn't he? (He later, more recently, married a woman from Nanaimo, B.C.! I like that area of B.C.! Buncha weirdos.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 1:00 PM
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I may have been wrong 2 years ago. One of the members recently bought a house, but it turns out that the parents had to help.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 1:01 PM
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Not quite: it's also the prevalence on public and college radio stations of Celtic programming hours. And hours. And hours.

I thought "The Thistle and Shamrock" was only one hour.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 1:02 PM
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Elvis Costello eventually had something to do with The Pogues, didn't he?

Yes, he married Cait O'Riordan and took her away from the group. He can never be forgiven for that.

(He later, more recently, married a woman from Nanaimo, B.C.! I like that area of B.C.! Buncha weirdos.)

Diana Kral, I think, a jazz singer some people like, and others not.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 1:03 PM
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247: well, even if they have sizable incomes, they aren't working toward a pension and have no guarantee that those incomes will continue. In terms of wealth rather than income, it makes sense that the music/art career is always hand-to-mouth except for a few name-brand superstars.

I heard an NRP story about T-Pain in which he sounded very reasonable at the end. He said he knew he wouldn't be a star like this for more than a couple year so he was trying to do as much as possible right now so he can have some savings when he goes back to being a random guy.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 1:04 PM
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248: Yes, just an hour, but seems like so much more. I once heard Thomas Quasthoff do "Danny Boy" as an encore at a Schubert recital. Surprisingly effective.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 1:05 PM
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The first link I followed from the Wikipedia entry on Quasthoff takes special care to criticize his singing of "Danny Boy" as the worst part of the show.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 1:09 PM
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The Decemberists are not as big as we think they are. They have a niche, and most of us live in that niche. Whatever you may think of Britney, Celine, Christina, and Mariah, they make tons and tons of money. A whole different world.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 1:11 PM
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I thought "The Thistle and Shamrock" was only one hour.

There's also something I hear somewhere called "Celtic Twilight," and some other thing the name of which escapes me: ah: Celtic Eclectic. Some others. It's hard to get away from if you listen to a lot of public/college radio. Some of these programs are okay pretty good, but it's sort of a group wink and nod.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 1:12 PM
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253 - that's the exception.

I would guess that someone on mainstream radio is in a similar boat to the Decemberists. No guarantee that it won't all disappear soon. Hinder, Finger Eleven, bands like that.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 1:13 PM
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I find I can easily avoid Celtic music hours, but haven't listened to the music willingly for a long time. The strong strain of it in American folk musics, mentioned above, is fine however.

My principal Danny Boy association these days is from the "balletic" episode—there's at least one in every Coen Bros. movie— in Miller's Crossing, where Albert Finney has it on the Victrola while fighting off an army of hit men, with a magically unlimited drum of bullets and a barrel that doesn't heat up.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 1:16 PM
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256: Yes!

In second place, my own currently-forgotten ability to play it on the harmonica.

and in third place


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 1:22 PM
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252: I imagine he would do it differently in front of a microphone at the end of a jazz program. He's pretty good as a jazz singer, but the most amazing thing about the Sinatra tribute I heard him sing was the French horn player Richard Todd, in the place of trumpet in his quartet. I had no idea anyone could play French horn like that.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 1:30 PM
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Enya.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 1:38 PM
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Where? Where?!


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 1:42 PM
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No, no, that's the response to werewolf.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 1:46 PM
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You'll all think I'm just trolling if I say that I hate Irish music. Won't you?

Not really -- you come from a state with no culture of its own besides McDonald's, so it's quite understandable.

Happily, Celtic Woman and the Irish Tenors and all that nonsense passed me by altogether.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 1:51 PM
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You'll all think I'm just trolling if I say that I hate Irish music. Won't you?

No more so than when you say that you hate Canadians.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 2:16 PM
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you come from a state with no culture of its own besides McDonald's

I quite like mariachi, west coast hip hop, yer honky-tonk, yer surf music, yer hispano, yer Sly and the Family Stone, yer War, yer Hawaii Five Oh, yer Chris Isaak. Admittedly, not so nutso about the Black Flag/Quiet Riot/Agent Orange/Bad Religion/Metallica/death rock stuff, but, hey. Jane's Addiction has their moments.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 2:17 PM
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Many Canadians are okay. Very little Irish music is listenable.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 2:19 PM
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Next we discover that despite hating Irish music and Canadians, she loves Loreena McKennitt.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 2:20 PM
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yer surf music

Dick Dale is a great American.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 2:36 PM
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B's posts are all nuances of trolling. Just when you've figured she's polyamourous, she hits you with Catholic doctrine.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 2:39 PM
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Basically, everything is bad and indicative of terrible politics, unless B has done it and enjoyed it herself, in which case it's mandatory.

Fortunately she's done lots of things in her life.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 3:10 PM
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I quite like mariachi, west coast hip hop, yer honky-tonk, yer surf music, yer hispano, yer Sly and the Family Stone, yer War, yer Hawaii Five Oh, yer Chris Isaak. [etc.]

response to this list was roughly: what? what? what? what? and so on. I haven't the foggiest what binds them together: presumably nothing. Which is fine. Er, random lists are cool.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 3:58 PM
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I haven't the foggiest what binds them together

A Californian origin.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 4:04 PM
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271: Well, I guessed at that. That's a bindery? What means it? Anything? Is there something Californian?

These are just idle questions.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 4:14 PM
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Gonerill says there's no California culture, B responds with a list of Californian art thingies. Here endeth the lesson.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 4:16 PM
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Exactly.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 4:20 PM
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Obviously there's culture native to California. Hollywood, located in California, is one of the most important artistic and cultural centers in the world and has been for almost a century. Then there's all kinds of less official forms of culture. Bizarre that a sociology professor would be implying that California has no culture of its own.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 4:39 PM
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PG, perhaps it's that California is big.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 4:42 PM
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Psst, I think Gonerill was trolling me, people.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 4:47 PM
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Parsimon, what those things have in common is that they're all good music. Duh.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 4:48 PM
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Bizarre that a sociology professor would be implying that California has no culture of its own.

Then you should sign up for my senior honors seminar, Soc 431 "Fuck California, Except Maybe In-N-Out."


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 5:17 PM
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This is the first of a two-course sequence, followed by Soc 471, "On Second Thoughts, Fuck In-N-Out As Well."


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 5:20 PM
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B, it's perfectly okay for people to hate California. Then they won't be tempted to move there. Let 'em suffer in ignorance.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 5:20 PM
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Irish people do feel surly about California. If your country had been a poverty-struck peat bog hemorrhaging talent to London until a bunch of Silicon Valley firms impressed your workforce into clean rooms, you'd have a little colonizer/colonized angst going on too.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 5:46 PM
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I miss the warm California sun! I miss it SO MUCH! Wahhh.

Psst, I think Gonerill was trolling me, people.

Where would this blog be if no one was willing to rise to troll bait with an outraged lecture?


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 8:18 PM
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Admittedly, not so nutso about the Black Flag/Quiet Riot/Agent Orange/Bad Religion/Metallica/death rock stuff

Get thee behind me, Satan. How can you not like Bad Religion and Metallica?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 8:26 PM
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Bad Religion is awesome, and Metallica is the world's greatest cover band.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 8:40 PM
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Josh, you can like the hair bands for me.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 8:46 PM
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Metallica is the world's greatest cover band.

And Apocalyptica is the world's greatest Metallica cover band. (Video).


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 9:02 PM
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But what will happen when Celtic Woman or The Irish Tenors do versions of "Fairytale of New York"?

Ronan Keating (dreadful ex-lead singer of Boyzone) and somebody else did do a cover of it a couple of years ago. It was generally considered a travesty and it sank fairly quickly, especially since poor Kirsty McColl died shortly afterwards and radio stations then played the original a lot.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 12-17-07 4:21 AM
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How can you not like Bad Religion and Metallica?

I stopped enjoying Metallica about the time they outgrew their acne.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-17-07 4:33 AM
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