So I’m reading this book called Bird by Bird by one Anne Lamott, subtitled Some Instructions on Writing and Life. Those familiar with my attempts at putting pen to screen will now be sorely tempted to enthusiastically exclaim how urgently I require not just some but truckloads of instructions in both areas. Be that as it may. (To quote James Thurber, “When I split an infinitive, it is going to damn well stay split!” And, to quote myself, when I split hairs, split they damn well shall remain.)
On page 98, in a chapter on understanding people and how to tap into our quintessential oneness with our fellow citizens so as to be able to convert them into real and recognizable characters on the page, Ms. Lamott writes the following:
But it’s even possible to have this feeling when you see–really see—a police officer, when you look right at him and you see that he’s a living breathing person who like everyone else is suffering like a son of a bitch, and you don’t see him with a transparency over him of all the images of violence and chaos and danger that cops represent. You accept him as an equal.
Violence, chaos, and danger? That’s quite a flattering lineup of cop associations. Verily, one would think Ms. Lamott is referring not to police officers but to members of Continue reading “Badged Apples”
If I wanted to marry myself and applied for a marriage license, chances are that every license-issuing magistrate on the planet would politely but firmly instruct me to take a hike. But why? More importantly, why should my request be turned down? What could possibly be wrong with entering into the sacred bonds of matrimony with the person I love, honor, and cherish above all others? How is it that, merely on account of my spouse selection, I am being denied my civil right to shed the societal stigma of singlehood and enjoy a tax break like everyone else?
Well, for starters, if only one person is involved, it ain’t marriage. Simple as that. Says who? Why, tradition, of course. Historically speaking, the concept of marriage has never been known to extend to unions with oneself.
So there I go, and there I have it. Bummer.
Gay marriage proponents argue that the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees the right to same-sex marriage, and that resorting to the ballot box in this matter amounts to an exercise in futility, since–short of the passing of an constitutional amendment–our fundamental rights are not accountable to the democratic process. The Equal Protection Clause, by definition, trumps the outcome of Continue reading “My Civil Right to Autosexual Marriage”
There’s no business like show business. Except death and taxes. If you thought the latter two were the only sure things in life, check out this latest bombshell revelation from yesterday’s Theater page in the New York Times:
The hit musicals, which often charge more during holidays, exploited demand even further last week by requiring more people to buy tickets at premium prices of $300 or higher. (Patrick Healy, New York Times, 12/1/09)
Broadway Musicals requiring (!) people to buy $300.00-plus tickets? Who would have thunk it? How is it constitutional to force the folks to fork over their hard-earned rent and grocery money at the box office? Whatever happened to property rights?
Effective immediately, I shall steer clear of the Theater District, lest I may suddenly find myself surrounded by a gang of brass-knuckled goons jumping out from behind a billboard or rappelling from a marquee and blackjacking me into blowing hundreds of dollars on show tickets.
Now, I’m no economist, but I sometimes do wonder what kind of theory of economics a person subscribes to that impels them to use a certain terminology in their reportage. Last time I checked, the United States was a free market economy. Is such a system God’s gift to mankind? Probably not quite, as evidenced by Continue reading “Thou Shalt Purchase Premium Broadway Tickets”
A well-known New York City psychologist recently recommended the following on his radio show:
Do small talk. It’s meaningless. It’s good for you.
Although I do not recall the context which prompted the chitchat prescription, its likely aim was to promote the use of conversation as a bonding tool as opposed to a mere conduit for the exchange of utilitarian intelligence or lofty intellectual constructs. Notwithstanding the fact that the determination of meaning-lessness versus its fullness resides notoriously in the eye of the beholder, on its face the notion of enjoying the company of others by way of shuttlecocking meaningless sound waves back and forth without allowing cumbersome tidings to distract from the congenial vibe seems reasonably therapeutic, especially for patients with full-blown STDD (small talk deficiency disorder).
It just so happens that yours truly’s dexterity in the small talk arena rivals that of the average milkman attempting to perform mitral valve surgery on an Dalmatian. Indeed, your’s truly couldn’t small-talk his way out of the proverbial paper bag at a wedding reception if a crazed Afghan party crasher held an AK-47 to his temple and demanded such talk; although, on account of the strength of such incentive, he might, in fact, be able to crank out an unusually eloquent succession of perhaps two or three peppy zingers along the lines of “That’s a beautiful rifle” and “How’s your goat?” prior to falling silent due to STE (small talk exhaustion), which, in this case, would most likely be followed by his falling even silenter [sic] due to Continue reading “The Small Talk Puzzle”
This blog is in the process of being set up. Kindly disregard its present appearance, its potentially limited functionality in isolated areas, as well as the impressively low number of informative entries. We are working on it; to what end exactly, we shall see. Our webmaster (right … no, left) is a bit of a technological genius, so it may take his nibs ten to the power of twelve times the age of the universe years to figure it all out, like the proverbial lizard crawling through molasses. (If this expression has not yet attained proverb status, it most certainly should have–if not full-fledged proverb, then idiom at least … that would be idiom with a final “m,” not with a “t” like our crack webmaster.)
This is the first sentence of this meaningless trial entry. This is the second sentence of this meaningless trial entry. This is the third sentence of this meaningless trial entry. This is the fifth … no … this is the fourth sentence of this meaningless trial entry. This is … this must be the fifth or sixth sentence of this meaningless trial entry. This is the seventh sentence of this meaningless trial entry. This is the eighth sentence of this meaningless trial entry. This is another eighth sentence of this meaningless trial entry. This is the tenth sentence of this meaningless trial entry. (The ninth sentence was accidentally deleted. An investigation is underway.)
This is a new paragraph with a picture of a yawning jaguar to the right. Even the poor kitty seems bored to tears by now. Speaking of pussycats, here comes a random link test. Oops. Wrong link. Here we go: the correct link … no … for heaven’s sake … never mind, this is the one. Meow. This mercifully concludes the link test segment of this meaningless trial entry.
This sentence opens the final paragraph of this meaningless trial entry. Happily, this sentence concludes the final paragraph of this meaningless trial entry.
Although not a big believer in prophecies, I am somewhat intrigued by the timing of this eerily portentous advertisement, which appeared on the back cover of the September 2001 edition (i.e., published sometime in July or August 2001) of an eyewear magazine: