This blog covers everything except sports and gardening, unless we find a really good link about using dead professional bowlers for mulch. The author is a StarTribune columnist, has been passing off fiction and hyperbole as insight since 1997, has run his own website since the Jurassic era of AOL, and was online when today’s college sophomores were a year away from being born. So get off his lawn.
I’m king of the world! Admire me! Throw laurels at me! Bedeck my heck with garlands! Name your kids after me! Place Zod behind me in the list of people to whom you should kneel! I won! I won! I - hey, who’s that?
GUESS THE SUBJECT The Cheesegrater, the Walkie-Talkie, the Can of Ham, and of course the Gherkin. The last one might give it away. Hint: half of them were probably demolished by Khan.
HUMAN INTERACTION IMPROVED Yes, thanks to this new type of drinking glass, people may make eye contact once again. More likely they will spill beer everywhere. Or ask for wine. It’s a nice reminder, though: unless you are expecting a text whose importance reaches the level of “your transplant organ is now available, but the dry ice keeping it cold is beginning to deteriorate” then you don’t need to check your phone every minute.
THAT’LL LEARN HIM He’ll learn that authority is capricious as it is witless, I mean. That’s the lesson he’ll take away, if he remembers anything at all. Probably not. From the WaPo:
Calvert County school officials on Friday denied a request to clear the school record of a 5-year-old boy who was suspended for bringing a cowboy-style cap gun onto a school bus last month.
The kindergartner, who tucked the orange-tipped toy gun inside his backpack so that he could show it to a friend, was suspended May 29 for 10 days. After a disciplinary conference that scaled back his punishment to three days, he returned to Dowell Elementary School in Lusby.
First of all, I’ll have to make a note to drop by the sporting goods store and get me one of those Cowboy-Style guns. Just walk in and ask for something Cowboy-Style and they’ll wave you over to special case and if you’re lucky the clerk will use a Slim Pickins voice during the transaction and call you Podner.
Second, the orange tip means it’s fake. Third, wouldn’t you want the school’s policy on contacting parents not to consist entirely of “oh, eventually”?
The incident highlighted concerns about the length of time in which parents are notified of school offenses. The mother said she was called more than two hours after the bus ride. The boy was questioned without a parent and uncharacteristically wet himself, she said.
School officials said that the incident was handled appropriately and that the child was questioned for five to seven minutes. Calvert officials did not respond to requests for comment Friday.
Of course they didn’t! They rarely do. Schools always clam up when someone calls from the media to ask about some example of cranial calcification like this
On the other hand: here’s a school responding to a parent’s complaint with proper alacrity. Read “The photo that broke a mother’s heart,” and see if it doesn’t do the same for you.
HEY YOU Today’s gratuitous use of the internet headline cliche:
BARATUNDE THURSTON LEFT THE INTERNET FOR 25 DAYS, AND YOU SHOULD TOO.
The article is by Baratunde Thurston, who wants you to read his piece. On the Internet. Well, let’s see what he’s peddling.
I’m an author, consultant, speechifier, and cross-platform opiner on the digital life. My friends say I’m the most connected man in the world. And in 2012, I lived like a man running for president of the United States, planet Earth, and the Internet all at once.
Never heard of him. But he had a hectic year and tweeted a lot and took a lot of pictures and sent a lot of messages, so:
I considered fleeing to a remote island for a few weeks, but I realized I wasn’t craving physical escape. I didn’t actually want to be alone. I just wanted to be mentally free of obligations, most of which asserted themselves in some digital fashion. I decided to stay still, find an Airbnb residence right in Brooklyn (technically homeless, remember?), and step back from digital interaction.Yes, me. The recipient of the 2011 Shorty Award for Foursquare Mayor of the Year would not check in. At least for a few weeks.
I KNOW! THE 2011 SHORTY AWARD WINNER! It’s amazing you guys but maybe if he can leave the internet for 25 days, you can too. If you want to. Totally your call. Anyway, here’s an interesting definition of “leaving the internet:
I didn’t want to completely abandon the Internet. I love, depend on, and frankly am made a better human being by the convenience of streaming movies, online food ordering, and Google Maps. I did not want to sever ties with friends; in fact, one of my goals was to strengthen relationships with pre-Facebook pals. I wanted to go to lunch, attend holiday parties, and host people for dinner. So I decided I could use my phone for personal calls and texts, and could schedule these encounters with Google Calendar.
Detox AND you can still drink? Awesome! I recommend the article for three reasons:
1. The picture of the author looking into the future while holding a quill pen
2. A logistical account of the process of leaving the internet, which makes the Normandy Invasion look like jumping over a puddle
3. The flowersthat infest the browser window until the piece is unreadable.
Any more of this and the internet won’t be something you leave as much as something that just drives you away.
We'll get to the Archie Zombies and the matter of Jughead's hat in a moment.
First, that Miss Teenage Universe of America pageant clip:
It’s possible her brain came up with some answers she realized were not safe, and she defaulted to the More Education Answer. No one ever got in trouble for suggesting More Education.
ART It’s one of those quirky things that make the city special! Sweat-stained, vermin-infested mattresses.
First-time visitors to San Francisco are forgiven for mistaking the city for a great natural preserve for free-range mattresses. The blocky bed-pads and their symbiotic box springs have emerged as a dominant species – sunbathing on sidewalks like albino porpoises, lackadaisically leaning against trees and mailboxes, rubbing grimy surfaces with discarded IKEA sofas in dark alleys. They're seemingly everywhere except where they belong, which is the dump or recycling center.
The Bay Area's weird preponderance of mattresses has become an obsession for local photographer Amanda Durbin, who's shot probably a "couple few hundred" of them since 2009.
Well, it’s a living. The article speculates why people leave the mattresses on the street. Not listed as a reason is "there's no consequence for doing so."
CURRENT EVENTS Tension in Turkey: Policeman insists the photographer shoot the demonstrators, not the police.
If you’re just coming up to speed on this, an opinion piece from Forbes might help. “Wealth without fun” is the takeaway line, perhaps.
MOVIES Won’t be seeing this one.
For as long as the Archie comics have been in circulation, it’s incredible that it has taken this long for a film adaptation to be produced. Maybe it can be attributed to the fact that Archie comics have long been known to lack the same luster as something that comes from DC, Marvel, or Dark Horse. But Warner Brothers has finally found a way for the iconic comic book character to come alive on the big screen, with a slight twist of course.
It’s being reported that Pitch Perfect director Jason Moore has just signed a deal to helm an adaptation of Afterlife with Archie, a spinoff comic in which Archie, Jughead, Betty, and the rest of the gang having a run in with the undead.
This may make you care:
The screenplay will be based on the Afterlife with Archie comic, a new ongoing comic set to arrive sometime this that’s written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Glee).
Aguirre-Sacasa rewrote the broadway musical Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark
There’s a picture of Undead Jughead:
You can identify him by his cap. What was with those things? Did anyone really wear serrated caps? Based on this 1940s comic book ad: yes.
About what you'd expect. Dash-cam winner of the week: Guy drives off a cliff, lives so he can see everyone criticize his driving on YouTube.
LIKE WHALES, BUT DRIER Do elephants have souls? It’s almost more provocative to wonder if their hunters do.
Scientists tell us that elephants have death rituals. They will, for instance, cluster around a dead individual and touch the carcass with their trunks, and then return much later to caress the bones. Mkanga, the first poacher, is asked if he knows that elephants mourn their dead. He shifts in his chair, adjusts his Safari Beer cap, and smirks. "Sometimes when they have a funeral, it's like a party for me," he says. "You shoot one, and before he dies the others come to mourn for the one who is injured. And so I kill another one, and kill another one."
They aim for the legs, to cripple the elephants first, or in large-scale attacks fire indiscriminately into the herd. Invariably, investigators find evidence that tusks, reaching deep into the skull, have been cut out before some of the creatures were even dead. The poachers often leave poison on the carcasses, to kill the vultures whose swirling above might alert rangers. Sometimes they poison the elephants, with laced pumpkins or watermelons set out before the attack, or with poisoned arrows, or nails on boards laid in the brush that prolong the agony but muffle the noise.
Read it all. The author calls for a world-wide ban on ivory sales. Small stumbling block: lots of people who couldn’t care less.
BYGONES I wouldn’t say these insane-asylum-suitcase pictures are chilling, as the headline says. Incredibly sad is more like it.
WHEW I like malls. That’s why I’m happy that Quartz (who?) has announced that malls will never die, and the reason makes sense: because teenage girls will always exist. It’s a social millieu as well as a shopping experience. Seriously, it is! C’mon, don’t be such a skeptic. It’s possible teen girls go to the mall to see and be seen.
That’s the theory, anyway. But adults like them too. There’s no substitute for looking at something, feeling the fabric between your fingers. I’ve never bought a shirt in a store, got it home, and said “that’s not the same color.” Whereas just about every shirt bought online in a color other than WHITE was different than the picture. Come to think of it, even the whites were different.
Sorry; that's it today. Busy day. Interesting day. See you around.
The New Yorker asks: SO ARE WE LIVING IN 1984?
As the rule has it, the answer to any question posed in a headline is “no.” But since the subject came up, the answer isn’t just no, it’s “you wouldn’t ask that if you’d read the book.” It does remind you - by which I mean me - that there have been several filmed versions of the book, each with their own version of Big Brother. Let’s take a look. First of all, here’s Eddie Albert as Winston Smith, looking more farmer-like than he ever did in "Green Acres."
Oceania is where I want to be / Oligarchy is the gov for me / Meeting Julia for carnal sin / Keep Eurasia just give me that Victory Gin. This was a live TV performance, and rather spare. Big Brother was presented in an abstract style:
The BBC version - also live, and two hours long - was more literal. It showed the Ministry of Truth as a hideous pyramid emblazoned with state slogans:
The two-minute hate is quite similar to the definitive filmed version of the book, released in 1984. The director of the ’84 version quotes it directly, when Goldstein’s speech ends in film of a Eurasian soldier shooting into the camera - followed by the comforting sight of Big Brother. Any similarities to Stalins, living or dead, is purely coincidental:
When Hollywood took a whack at the story, they had to play up the love angle. I know, I know, seems preposterous! As if Edmond O’Brien isn’t enough!
The movie's Big:
The 50s paperback version had a more brutish Big Bro, and it tarted up Julia to put her sultriness at odds with her membership in the ASL:
Finally, the 1984 movie, which, like everything else in that incredible movie, nailed it:
The unblinking gaze, the hint of dispasionate menace - it's perfect. That's Bob Flag, a non-actor who just showed up for an open casting-call.
I wonder if he practiced in the mirror before he went.