Re: Silver Lining

1

Gack! Alameida, I hope your girl is OK.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 3:57 AM
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we're home!!! yay!!!


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 4:37 AM
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Best of luck.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 4:40 AM
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Tang yuan with black sesame and roasted peanuts? Yum.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 4:43 AM
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2: Oh, good!


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 7:02 AM
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So you know what's sad? I'm really happy I'm losing weight.

In the end, this was the way I took off the considerable post-college pounds (kilos) I gained: I got viciously sick for a while. It worked. I'm not sure this is something I'd recommend, though. Or would even know how to repeat. (Is there maybe an unexplored market in bottled stomach viruses?)


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 7:10 AM
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I'm sure if you could market it in a shiny bottle and guarantee a length of illness and weight loss, there'd be women lining up around the block and ads in magazines.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 7:15 AM
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As we've said elsewhere, sanitized tapeworms.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 7:32 AM
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my brother lost (permanently) a ton of weight on the "your wife suddenly and cruelly divorces you and you spiral into major depression" diet. he looks great. I sort of remember people in the 50s selling pills with intestinal worms as a diet aid? but maybe that's urban legend.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 7:34 AM
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emerpwned.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 7:35 AM
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That's bogus! Noro (I assume) sucks...


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 7:37 AM
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I lost a chunk of weight after emergency and sort of traumatic surgery in the winter. The weight loss was a real consolation. I have hated myself for it with some consistency, which balances everything out.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 7:40 AM
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I've never understood this "silver lining" phrase. Why the fuck should I care that a cloud has a silver lining? What the hell does that even mean?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 7:44 AM
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It means the sun's behind it, Brock, and is likely to come out soon.

I know Bostonians look at the ground as they walk, but geez.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 7:45 AM
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14: In that case it's not even true that ever cloud has a silver lining. It's bullshit. And I've never looked at any goddam cloud and noticed any especially noteworthy silver.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 7:50 AM
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surely the empirical truth-value of the platitude is not really at issue, is it?


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 7:52 AM
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Maybe the original phrase isn't "every cloud has a silver lining" but something more like "you should try to look for the silver lining in every cloud"? In that case it would be less overtly fraudulent. Still doesn't match my experience though.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 7:53 AM
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'Every medical or emotional trauma dangles the possibility of correlative weight loss' really doesn't have the ring.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 7:56 AM
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In fact it originally appears to have been the moon behind the cloud, and if you have a problem with it, talk to Milton, you pedant.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 8:00 AM
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19: Thanks Tweety. And it looks like it has not one goddam thing thing to with the sun being behind it, so there.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 8:07 AM
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Sun, moon, whatever. Either works as a metaphor for something brighter and more luminous than the cloud itself. Or, even without the valuation of brightness, something *beyond* the cloud/present circumstance.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 8:08 AM
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Which is ignoring the fact that moonlight is merely reflected sunlight, Brock.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 8:13 AM
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I had always assumed, "always" being in the three minutes in which I first thought about the question this morning before posting comment 13, that it meant real fucking silver. Sort of like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I thought maybe there was some old fairy tale I'd never heard that explained this nonsense.

And 21, it's not "sun, moon, whatever"--the moonlight actually make a silvery glow behind clouds at night. So it actually makes sense. As I said, I've not noticed a lot of silver in daytime clouds. Much more gold.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 8:16 AM
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The modern implications of a clear, moonlight night make it kind of funny to take literally, though. Every cloud has a silver lining because, hey, you might be a werewolf!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 8:22 AM
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I'll I'm really trying to emphasize is how totally wrong Sifu was. And I can't believe we're even arguing about this silly phrase here in the same thread where Alameida and her daughter are dying. Sorry Alameida! Glad you're home and I hope everyone feels better soon.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 8:22 AM
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As Sifu points out, sunlight, moonlight, same difference, physically speaking. To the extent that your point is that the platitude is really only empirically sensical after dark, fine. Next up: the early bird gets the worm - really? Early according to what rubric? at what point does "late" become "early"?


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 8:23 AM
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Every silver lining has a cloud behind it, I always say.

Where was it, some John D. MacDonald novel, about that bright green flash as the sun sets? I guess that's open to interpretation, but I think it is about false hopes just before the dark sets in.

Lost 30 lbs my senior year in HS during a bout of bad flu. Made me very fuckable for some of my best years.

Sympathies to alameida and the littler one. I consume vast quantities of allergy drugs, especially since the fuckers took all the best ones away.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 8:23 AM
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right, we're assholes with too little to do. Glad you are home Alameida. Hope some catch-up sleep is forthcoming.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 8:24 AM
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There's a terrific brewpub in San Diego called Green Flash. Is that relevant? You decide!

26: also a bird in the hand is clearly worth less than two in the bush if you're a birder and not planning to eat it, or alternately if it has razor-sharp talons.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 8:25 AM
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May our boring digressions into the etymologies of cliches lull you into benign unconsciousness, alameida.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 8:26 AM
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*does* every squirrel find a nut? Is there data on this?


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 8:26 AM
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I'm not trying to debate the truth-value of the platititude. I just didn't understand literal the meaning of the phrase, and Sifu's totally incorrect it's-silver-because-the-sun's-behind-it explanation didn't help at all. But now I understand and am at peace.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 8:28 AM
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Sure the worm turns when you step on it, but what the hell good does that do? What's it going to do, digest you in its primitive alimentary canal?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 8:34 AM
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Best wishes Alameida and girl. Get well real soon.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 8:36 AM
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or alternately if it has razor-sharp talons

Unless you're wearing gloves, in which case, worth something!


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 8:39 AM
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I always thought that the silver lining was what kept all the rain water in the tank.


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 8:47 AM
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I have hated myself for it with some consistency, which balances everything out.

Why would you hate yourself for it?



Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 8:53 AM
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||

Size of Connecticut watch: over at EoTAW we learn the Citizen's Conservation Corps altered an area of the US three times the size of Connecticut, three times the size of the currently departing Antarctic ice shelf, and nine times the size of Rhode Island.

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 9:02 AM
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I have absolutely no mental familiarity with the size of Connecticut.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 9:05 AM
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Or Rhode Island, for that matter.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 9:06 AM
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39: even now, after we've been over it at such length? It would take 1.04647838 × 10^12 gallons of Beefamato to submerge it with an even depth of one foot, if that helps.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 9:08 AM
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... and with 2.49061854 × 10^15 gallons of Beefamato you could be guaranteed of covering every inch of dry land in the state.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 9:10 AM
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27: Also in Rohmer's Le Rayon Vert.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 9:11 AM
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37:I need to cite some Thomas Mann here, about the amoral ecstasy of the voluptuous embrace of consumptive disease. All of TM's protagonists are physically ill.

"Because of charity and love, man should never allow death to rule one's thoughts." ...the only italicized sentence in MM, y'all. Whatever the fuck it means.

I think Milan Kundera plays with the MM temple vision in BoL&F.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 9:11 AM
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How many Manhattans is it? That's the one true unit, you know.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 9:12 AM
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Well, it would take 1.05616354 × 10^15 fluid ounces of Beefamato to cover Manhattan to the projected height of the Freedom Tower, if that answers your question.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 9:14 AM
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The green flash is real. You can only see it when you can see the sun setting over water with certain other atmospheric conditions that I don't recall. (Go ahead, someone, and wiki it. I'm sick to death of Wikipedia.) The most reported sightings I know of are in the Keys, but there may be other places.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 9:16 AM
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47: you see it in California sometimes, hence the beachfront brewpub's brand.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 9:19 AM
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45: Manhattans and Beefamato are measured the same way. Just translate the Beefamato amounts in to 3 parts Bourbon and 1 part sweet Vermouth.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 9:22 AM
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Where was it, some John D. MacDonald novel, about that bright green flash as the sun sets?

I remember the Green Ripper, but not the flash, specifically. The green flash is a refraction phenomena.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 9:25 AM
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Beefamato is also very good with Beefeater. Garnish with a cube of stew beef on a skewer (marinade optional).


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 9:25 AM
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49: So it would take 5.2808177 × 10^14 jiggers of Bourbon or Rye, 1.76027257 × 10^14 jiggers of Sweet Vermouth, and optionally 1.76027257 × 10^14 Maraschino cherries to fully cover Manhattan in Manhattans.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 9:26 AM
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44 is Nietzschean wickedness, and the opposite of Truth. Only in the recognition of life as suffering and the consciousness of one's mortality can one become empathetic and inspirited.


Posted by: Simone Weil | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 9:27 AM
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re: 50

And also a brand of shoe. Much beloved by the shoe-gazing indie type.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 9:33 AM
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55

"A Flash of Green", 1962.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 9:33 AM
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Then there's Manhattan Beach. Should that be covered with Manhattans or with Sex on the Beach?


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 9:33 AM
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52: Now that's what I call a silver lining. Someone get me a straw.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 9:34 AM
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How many bowls of won-ton soup, Sifu? That's what I'm making for dinner tonight, and I'm already salivating.

Mmmmm. Sooooup.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 9:35 AM
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Now all I need is a one million ton olive and my martini will be complete!


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 9:37 AM
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37: Because being excited about weight loss int he wake of an upsetting surgery makes me feel gross and insipid.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 9:38 AM
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58: give me bowl dimensions and number of won-tons per bowl and I'll get right on that.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 9:40 AM
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#55. That's right. One of the non-McGee books.

How much salt would it take to rim the edge of Manhattan?


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 9:41 AM
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62: You can pay for that in salt? Who knew?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 9:49 AM
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So is liking John D MacDonald something to be ashamed of? In particular, are there women who enjoy reading him?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 9:50 AM
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65

People, people, quote, in italics, that to which you're responding. Thank you, you bastards.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 9:52 AM
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65: oh, right.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 9:54 AM
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So is liking John D MacDonald something to be ashamed of? In particular, are there women who enjoy reading him?

LB, for one.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 9:55 AM
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64: I knew several, I presume there are still women arouind who enjoy his stuff. I just googled JDM again and ran into pictures of the perpetually empty slip F-18 with the memorial plaque. Lovely.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 9:55 AM
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Apparently the CIA has come up with a comparative size estimate (mostly involving states, although DC and even The Mall* get invoked for the smallest). for every "country" in the world. Canada gets "somewhat larger than the US". Unacceptable.

*Bassas da India is about one-third the size of The Mall in Washington, DC


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 9:57 AM
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If I had a Rolls-Royce pickup, I'd probably drive a lot more.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 9:58 AM
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There is a very loud amusement park right in front of my present lodgings.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 10:04 AM
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Be amused.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 10:07 AM
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So, what states get name-checked most often by the CIA, as per the site in 69?

Rhode Island---6 mentions
Montana---6 mentions
West Virginia---8 mentions
Connecticut---10 mentions
California---14 mentions
Texas---19 mentions
Washington, DC---73 mentions

I sense a bias.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 10:12 AM
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Georgia: :slightly smaller than South Carolina

At first I thought "That can't be right."


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 10:14 AM
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The green flash is real.

There's a very charming Eric Rohmer movie about seeing it/wanting to see it called Le rayon vert.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 10:36 AM
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People, people, quote, in italics, that to which you're responding. Thank you, you bastards.

Are you talking to me? Is this more drive-by flirting disguised as micro-management?


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 10:37 AM
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Are you talking to me?

Not just you, dear.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 10:40 AM
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5: he's talking to you, too.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 10:44 AM
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75: I didn't think the movie was great, but charming is an excellent description.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 10:44 AM
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more drive-by flirting disguised as micro-management?

Those hyphens don't do your fabulous prose any favors.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 10:48 AM
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Washington, DC---73 mentions

Presumably DC is a handy size for comparisons because it's square-ish.

Citizen's Conservation Corps altered an area of the US three times the size of Connecticut

Every once in awhile I come across someone pointing out that the CCC was ineffective as a jobs program/Depression relief, based on the small number of people employed, or perhaps its puniness compared to the War, which actually stimulated us out of the Depression. But what this always makes me think is that it only goes to show how easily the gov't could make this country so much better. Everyone loves the CCC, and their stuff is always the best part of any park/wilderness - even in an urban park, they made nice little grace notes* to wooded walking trails. So why not revive the CCC? It would be a tiny part of the budget, would employ a bunch of people in doing good stuff, and would improve our beautiful places. Who cares if it fixes the economy? It would make our country a better place to live.

* That one sadly degraded; there's actually a genuine bridge (not just a decorated culvert) elsewhere in the park made from, I believe, slag. Looks like human skulls.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 10:49 AM
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Those hyphens don't do your fabulous prose any favors.

tough crowd.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 11:12 AM
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Everyone loves the CCC, and their stuff is always the best part of any park/wilderness - even in an urban park, they made nice little grace notes to wooded walking trails.

The CCC: We'll Go All Capability Brown On Your Public Park.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 11:12 AM
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81: That's the point of the post Tweety mentioned (blush, Tweety reads our blog, zomg!).


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 11:16 AM
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My pop was in the CCC -- in Washington state. He loved it -- the city kid got to hang out in the woods and take two cross-country train trips.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 11:19 AM
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I spent a few minutes yesterday looking at a blog that depicts foods available in the National University of Singapore cafeteria. If I go to Singapore I will eat so many weird and yummy things!

Every cloud has a silver lining because, hey, you might be a werewolf!

Indeed. I mean, urrrrr.


Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:00 PM
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67 - rfts, for two, although he's a sexist dink and I think the weird faux-jocular homophobia in the last of his that I brought home from the used bookstore put her off McGee and Co. for the time being.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:00 PM
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RFTS is a sexist dink? What a terrible thing to say about a fellow Unfoggetarian and mate.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:10 PM
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87: Three people from my tiny Wobegon HS became legit published authors, none of them of books I'd normally read. One wrote self-help / dream therapy, etc.; one homophobic Christian detective fiction; and one a journalist's book of reportage about Appalachia. (I did read the last of these books, and it was OK, but not something I'd normally buy).


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:14 PM
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...homophobic Christian detective fiction....

That author is hitting to several different fields, but they're not all in the same park.

I've wondered for a while whether it would be fun to write mysteries about a minister (based on the Flip-Pater) who happens to solve crimes in his small New England town, but I don't think I could bring myself to instill enough homophobia to reach the "Christian" market.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:25 PM
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It's possible, but not for you.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:27 PM
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RFTS is a sexist dink? What a terrible thing to say about a fellow Unfoggetarian and mate.

Laura Mulvey speaks for me on the tyranny of the vulpine gaze.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:31 PM
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Boy, I get too busy to read unfogged for less than one day, only to return to find that I have been cast as a male sexist dink. What a country!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:34 PM
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Dinks have feelings too. We're all God's people.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:36 PM
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I've wondered for a while whether it would be fun to write mysteries about a minister (based on the Flip-Pater) who happens to solve crimes in his small New England town, but I don't think I could bring myself to instill enough homophobia to reach the "Christian" market.

Murder She Wrote meets Father Brown mysteries meets Mitford?


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:38 PM
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A villain in the homophobic detective fiction (not the bad guy, but an enabler) is almost certainly based on the moderate mainline pastor of the church we went to.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:39 PM
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I don't think explicit homophobia is necessary, any more than it is necessary for McGee. The reader just needs to pick up on the way that something precious is threatened (the solitary, reckless, knowing man-of-action-and-melancholy-enlightenment lifestyle whose avatar is McGee, Family values in Wobegon for the target audience). Embattled but not defensive or something. Early Larry McMurtry does this too, maybe Conrad is a more high-minded precursor. It seems like a mindset written for older men, is why I asked about the gals and JDM.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:42 PM
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Murder She Wrote meets Father Brown mysteries meets Mitford?

I was thinking something more along the lines of Brother Cadfael meets those day-of-the-week rabbi mysteries meets Market Blandings.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:45 PM
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I don't think explicit homophobia is necessary, any more than it is necessary for McGee.

I agree, but this sadly breaks down whenever McGee meets any fey, predatory gay men (and they're all fey and predatory) or hard-as-nails, cruel lesbian women (and they're all hard-as-nails and cruel).


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:02 PM
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Ral/ph Mc/Inerny writes detective stories set at Notre Dame that feature (iirc) a cop and his brother who is a priest affiliated with the philosophy department. The one I read wasn't homophobic, but involved the quarterback not wanting to play against Baylor because he was Baptist.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:11 PM
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97

"... It seems like a mindset written for older men, is why I asked about the gals and JDM."

I think JDM is relatively (considering the genre) popular among women. His books reflect the culture of the time (many 40-60 years ago) they were written. Some of the old viewpoints can be jarring today. Particularly if you are too young to remember them. So the books may appeal more to older men (and women) today but I don't think they were originally written for older men (in particular).


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:12 PM
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Everyone McGee meets who is not part of his inner circle is either predator, prey, or an extra. JDM got to be a cranky old guy-- when his target is say scumbag developers as in Pale Grey, it's an agreeable persona. When he aims at those hippie kids or foreign lesbian slave-keeping heiresses, less so. If Emerson were up to managing the big words, they'd be birds of a feather, IYKWIM.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:20 PM
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In JDM's defense, I do not think that I would care as much about the environment as I do, had I not read the Travis McGee books in my very impressionable youth and assimilated the idea that being an independent-minded man of action who's a sex machine to all the chicks involves preferring a world with clean air and water.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:21 PM
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foreign lesbian slave-keeping heiresses

Indeed, these are beloved treasures who should be lauded for their contributions to society.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:25 PM
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105

Laud those contributions. Slowly. Just like that....


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:40 PM
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Will that be in the book, Flip? Cuz, it might be difficult to fit in your plotline, but it would help the sales.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:43 PM
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107

There aren't that many foreign (or domestic) lesbian slave-keeping heiresses in most New England small towns, even Northampton.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:45 PM
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108

Poetic license?


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:49 PM
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107: that's what you think! Many things happen behind closed doors in small town New England.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:51 PM
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109: Did you see "...meets H.P. Lovecraft" in 98? No. Please keep your Yog-Sothoth, your Nyarlathotep and your fevered study of the eldritch horrors of the Necronomicon to yourself, sir.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 3:01 PM
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You only need one goddamn heiress to move the plot.

"When Leila Fahrouz moved to Northampton, it created little stir. Her grandfather had become an Anglican in Cairo long before she was born, and twice a year, following the local custom, she would make an appearance at the services of the local Episcopal church. Her English was perfect -- perhaps too perfect -- and at first the severity of her expression seemed to be little more than a variation on of the fabled New England reserve.....

Suddenly Higgleston saw Leila in an entirely new light. He sat down, transfixed by shock and horror. But only he knew the truth, and this truth seemed impossible to convey ....

Inside the trunk were fifteen human skulls, artfully inlaid with precious and semiprecious stones. Upon examination each proved to be that of a young woman in her late teens or early twenties."


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 3:04 PM
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more plot notes


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 3:09 PM
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foreign lesbian slave-keeping heiresses

This is one of those cases where choosing between a hyphen and an en dash makes a big difference.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 3:12 PM
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Foreign lesbian-slave keeping-heiress.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 3:13 PM
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111: I see a young Ornella Muti.

114: Foreign, lesbian, slave-keeping heiress. Foreign, lesbian-slave-keeping heiress. Foreign lesbian-slave-keeping heiress.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 3:16 PM
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Foreign lesbian slave–keeping heiresses.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 3:17 PM
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No matter how many times you may say it, she will not appear in your bathroom mirror, Flip.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 3:18 PM
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Looks about right (NSFW, I guess).


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 3:20 PM
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"When Leila Fahrouz moved to Northampton, it created little stir. Her grandfather had become an Anglican in Cairo long before she was born, and twice a year, following the local custom, she would make an appearance at the services of the town's Episcopal church. Her English was perfect -- perhaps too perfect -- and at first the severity of her expression seemed little more than a variation on the fabled New England reserve.....


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 3:22 PM
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Flaubert, you know.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 3:23 PM
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Keeping heiresses what?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 3:25 PM
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Lesbian, apparently.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 3:26 PM
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101: I don't think they were originally written for older men (in particular).

Now that I R 1, I'll have to re-read some of the Travis McGee series to see if I still like them. When they first hit the racks in 1964 I was twenty-three and I loved them. Yeah, he had to do some bashing but he also thought his way out of lots of problems. (Also, he mentioned by name some people I was working with doing research on psychedelics so I felt some connection to JDM)


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 6:51 PM
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I picked up a couple and reread them recently. You do have to work on the willing suspension of moral disbelief not to get brought up short a fair amount; I had literally forgotten that the ending of one that I'm sure I'd read before revealed that the Texas oil baron had been killed by his illegitimate daughter who had lived with him as a housekeeper and that he'd raped while drunk; McGee maintained sympathy for the dead rapist.

But if you can get past that sort of thing, they do move fast. And I love Meyer.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 7:01 PM
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Meyer is so great.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 7:03 PM
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I have read 3 Kurt Wallander novels in the last 2 weeks. Each has disappointed me to a certain extent by becoming lurid and implausible in the last 5% of the book. But I usually forget that part anyway, and the rest is great, so it's all right.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 7:05 PM
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124

"... I had literally forgotten that the ending of one that I'm sure I'd read before revealed that the Texas oil baron had been killed by his illegitimate daughter who had lived with him as a housekeeper and that he'd raped while drunk; McGee maintained sympathy for the dead rapist."

You had a problem with that? If I recall correctly McGee maintained a certain amount of sympathy for the daughter as well and she had done worse things.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 7:38 PM
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124: IMO, it's quite possible to have sympathy for someone one detests and actively works against. No?

It's not all that different an emotion engendered when putting a rabid or totally vicious animal down; it's not the critter's fault but it's still necessary to do it.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 8:00 PM
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I would be willing to have sympathy with any number of people if I could put them down like rabid dogs. I could easily make a list of a hundred of them. I'd cry real tears as I pulled the trigger.

That's not a characteristic situation, however. It stacks the cards in favor of sympathy in an unfair, irrational, emotive way. It must be high on the official APA's Fallacies of Ethical Argumentation position paper.

Don't think that if I were feeding Karl Rove to my starving hogs that I'd be full of glee. Quite the contrary. I would be almost overcome with pity and horror, but my devotion to Kantian duty would pull me through.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 8:25 PM
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Last year I read my first three McGee books in quick succession and they all had the same plo": some girl or woman out of McGee's past gets into trouble, McGee gets her out, or at least avenges her. Are they all like that.

On a different note I cannot believe this: The truth is, the food court here has better food than 98% of US Chinese restaurants.

I just had some secondhand experience with Dutch hospitals. What do you feed a patient with chronical bowel problems, who quite literally can't digest many foods, especially proteins and such and gets sick from eating too much cheese? If you're a Dutch hospital, you feed them boiled potatoes and cordon bleu at noon, followed by brown bread and cheese and some marginal dessert with more e-numbers than actual ingredients at night. Oh, and of course only weak tea or bad coffee twice a day and no more. That'll work, especially after a heavy operation.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 04- 1-08 12:45 AM
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martin--the food court I'm talking about is downstairs and serves the staff, visitors, etc. as well as offering takeaway. the food they bring round on the trays to the patients is, predictably, no great shakes, although it's orders of magnitude better than american hospital food.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 04- 1-08 1:36 AM
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131: And besides the food court is .0001456 times the size of Connecticut.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 1-08 1:50 AM
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JDM's last novel, non-McGee, "Barrier Island", is really very good indeed.

Also, "Murder, she preached"



Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 04- 1-08 2:02 AM
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I'm glad that your daughter is better, Alameida.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04- 1-08 4:08 AM
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111: Inside the trunk were fifteen human skulls, artfully inlaid with precious and semiprecious stones
Damien Hirst did it!

When I worked in the cafeteria of a large public hospital, which was just being privatized by Sodexo, the patients who were not on restricted diets could order anything off the cafeteria menu, which was fairly diverse. And even the restricted-diet foods were prepared in the cafeteria (for the most part). Later, when I had a different, non-food service position on the same campus, I ate in the cafeteria almost every day. Even post-Sodexo, it was pretty decent, and a few of the cooks were easily up to snooty restaurant standard.

Still, I wish the cafeteria workers could have remained state employees. (The woman who had been in charge of the privatization was later hired on to do union-busting against the nurses. The stool pigeon is the coming race.)


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04- 1-08 5:33 AM
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Also, "Murder, she preached"

Alas, this format quickly puts the author on a collision course with the fundamental flaw of Murder, She Wrote: the implausibility of so many foul murders occuring in a small town (if Angela Lansbury checks in at your hotel, run!).

You can avoid this problem by having the protagonist investigate more the infractions more typical of small town New England, e.g. failing to remove metal lids from bottles in the glass recycling bin, improperly disposing of used Ni-Cad batteries, municipal employees using town-owned photocopiers for personal projects, that sort of thing.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04- 1-08 6:01 AM
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With Levantine cunning, Leila Fahrouz recruited her doomed love slaves far away from the placid New England town she lived in. In New England her tiny hog farm did not attract the unfriendly attention it would have done in the Egyptian village her family came from, and her friends raved about the gourmet hams she gave them from time to time. But she never told anyone their delectable secret -- until it came out in the trial


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 1-08 7:11 AM
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Bornholm is an island near Poland far from the rest of Denmark. If anything is remembered, Bornholm would be.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 1-08 7:13 AM
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Wrong thread.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 1-08 7:14 AM
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... or is it?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 1-08 7:23 AM
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I missed this last night. Alameida: damn, that really sucks. Hope things improve quickly...


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 04- 1-08 7:34 AM
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... or is it?

Bornholm is an island near Poland far from the rest of Denmark. If anything is remembered, Bornholm would be. That Leila Fahrouz ever set foot on Bornholm was an event of surpassingly low probability. A feeding horse, with a careful flick of its tongue, might pluck a single, marked grain out of a manger full of oats before such a coincidence occurs again. And her arrival that drizzly April afternoon at the windswept ferry dock, her stomach still churning from the rough journey from Sweden, would never have been possible if not for events almost 500 years in the past.

Amateur historians, traders in conjecture, writers of fanciful novels are sometimes prone to speculate about the incongruous dark-haired villagers of Bornholm and their obscure lineage. The last of the Vikings. Shipwrecked Spanish traders. A fleeing remnant of the Knights Templar. All these theories, and others even more imaginative, have their adherents. But the truth is both less romantic and more difficult to imagine: a single Egyptian official, a failed trader, later become trusted advisor to the Pasha, still later become villified traitor, is Ur-father to the dark-haired children of Bornholm. And Leila Fahrouz was their cousin, at a very distant remove.

[It should be apparent by now, if it wasn't already, why I will not be writing that novel I sketched the plot for.]


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04- 1-08 7:43 AM
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141: you missed the rest of the thread this morning, I think, soup. They already have!

142: [It should be apparent by now, if it wasn't already, why I will not be writing that novel I sketched the plot for.]

It must have been made apparent in one of the parts of your comment I skipped.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 1-08 7:51 AM
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143a, Sigh. So I'm a little behind. It's hard to keep up with unfogged when you're actually being productive. I should just ignore missed threads, I guess.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 04- 1-08 8:09 AM
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With Levantine cunning, Leila Fahrouz recruited her doomed love slaves far away from the placid New England town where she lived, and in New England her tiny hog farm did not attract the unfriendly attention it would have done in her ancestral Egyptian village. Her friends raved about the gourmet hams she gave them from time to time, but know one ever knew their delectable secret -- until it was revealed in the trial. To this day the holiday festivities of many Northhampton families are haunted by recollections of Leila's hams in bygone years.

Flaubert, you know.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 1-08 8:11 AM
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With Levantine cunning, Leila Fahrouz recruited her doomed love slaves far away from the placid New England town where she lived, and in New England her tiny hog farm did not attract the unfriendly attention it would have in her ancestral Egyptian village. Her friends raved about the gourmet hams she gave them from time to time, but know one ever knew their delectable secret before it was revealed in the trial. To this day the holiday festivities of many Northhampton families are haunted by memories of hams in bygone years.

Le mot just is a motherfucker.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 1-08 8:15 AM
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Fuck. "No one. Anticipation.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 1-08 8:16 AM
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145-7 is reminiscent of read's early posting habits. Maybe they really are falling in love!


Posted by: Auto-banned | Link to this comment | 04- 1-08 8:22 AM
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Flaubert had to deal with scurrilous innuendo too, but he paid no heed to the ignorant Philistine mass.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 1-08 8:40 AM
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Some families tried to reproduce the taste sensations of the past with chicken-fed ham, pork-fed ham, beef-fed ham, and other experimental fattening regimens, but nothing could quite match the real thing.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 1-08 8:53 AM
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149: The ignorant Philistine mass is the size of a beachball.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 1-08 9:23 AM
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With Levantine cunning, Leila Fahrouz recruited her doomed love slaves far away from the placid New England town where she lived, and in New England her tiny hog farm did not attract the unfriendly attention it would have in her ancestral Egyptian village. Her friends raved about the gourmet hams she gave them from time to time, but know one ever knew their delectable secret -- untill it came out in the trial. To this day the holiday festivities of many Northhampton families are haunted by memories of the hams of bygone years.

Some families even tried to reproduce the exquisite taste sensations of the past with chicken-fed ham, pork-fed ham, beef-fed ham, and other experimental regimens, but nothing ever quite matched the real thing.

I hate Flaubert, you know. A whole day on one paragraph. Motherfucker.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 1-08 9:32 AM
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Fuck. "No one". Anticipation. Flaubert would never make that kind of mistake. The motherfucker.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 1-08 9:35 AM
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One of my great achievements in high school was a story about a cannibal who craved human flesh not because of any perversion -- indeed, he was a sweet, ordinary man -- but just because it was so darn delicious he couldn't help himself. Emerson leads me to believe I may have stumbled on a universal truth.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 1-08 9:37 AM
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"Until". Goddammit.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 1-08 9:50 AM
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But this was not cannibalism, as I pointed outin my original Karl Rove thread. It's a mutual exchange between species. The great cycle of life and death.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 1-08 9:55 AM
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