Thursday, April 10, 2008

Parvum Opus 273 ~ Lying on My Mind


Number 273



Bill R. wrote:

||| On climate change: Thomas Friedman calls it "global weirding" for just that reason.

||| On yeoman: In fact, it comes from their activities ~ yeomen were known for spending most of their time polishing their brightly colored yeos. Later, advanced technology gave us yeo-yeos.

||| On medieval life (nasty, brutish, and short): You bet your booty it was nasty brutish and short! (I have a wallpaper that states, "Solitary, poor, nasty and brutish, but of average stature.")

||| On Harry Reid and voluntary taxes: Maybe Harry Reid doesn't get hassled by the IRS ~ ya think?


||| Dave DaBee isn't having "climate change":

No no no no, "climate change" is a spin expression created by a spinner-for-hire, paid by the oil industry, to shift the focus from warming (perceived negatively; worrisome) to "it's just *change*. We don't really know what's happening." I saw the spinner-for-hire interviewed on some show last year, talking quite openly about his services, and expressing quite openly that he didn't have a single scruple in his soul. If I recall correctly, he was also the one who, thirty years earlier, served the tobacco industry, recommending that they publicize that there's "controversy" about "this seemingly closed subject." But perhaps that was just a comparison the program made. At any rate, this guy has also come up with one or two other meme changes that are now part of the vernacular ~ I don't recall which.

If you will, it's "differently abled" thinking, implemented this time by the oil industry.

I suppose there's a slippery slope between meme-changing, PC-ness, spin, and eventually Orwellian NewSpeak.

Gotta have some sources, Dave.

||| Dave also sent a lengthy professional comment on typesetting; here's part of it:

In hand-set type, using a larger space between sentences was easy. But that's hard for machines. On a Linotype machine, the variable-size spaces used in justified text are achieved by a spaceband, which is a mechanical thing that physically spreads the words apart when a line is cast into metal, as lead is injected into the mold under great pressure. But it does not work at all well to place two of those spready things together, so that wasn't done. (When a Linotype machine malfunctions, it squirts hot lead into the air, often landing on the typographer; journeyman Lino men had burn scars or holes in their work sweaters.)

||| And he discovered TEAL, two guys on a typo eradication mission. Someone in that e-mail string said here are two people who need to get a job. Maybe they have a job. They did at least one NPR interview (see Hoboken). Seems like a knock-off of the Brit Apostrophe Society, since they spot a lot of bad apostrophes or lack thereof. But can we assume faulty apostrophe usage to be typos? I wonder if NPR would pay for my next vacation if I took photos of typos etc.

||| Dave also was wondering what you might call the phenomenon of seeing a word and thinking it looks wrong, that it must be spelled wrong even if it isn't. He has that problem with banana, for instance. I queried Rich Lederer, who said that as far as he knows there's no technical name for it. Dave would like to name it "typeaux beaugus". When I was a kid certain words used to devolve into a meaningless sound if I repeated them to myself long enough. Probably related to some sort of obsessive-compulsive thing in the brain. Perhaps it could be controlled by drugs, or hours of meditation.


||| "Disappearing Concoctions" from The Amish Cook lists a few old-fashioned Amish dishes, which like similar foods from other cultures were created out of poverty and scraps. Some are similar to country (or southern) cooking, with which I'm most familiar, but the names are different. For instance, "Brown Flour Soup" is just flour and milk, but if the flour is fried it's basically gravy. "Coffee Soup" I've never heard of: a mug of crumbled crackers or bread crumbs with hot coffee poured over it. I guess it's the poor relation of dunking your doughnut in coffee. I looked up red-eye gravy in Wikipedia and found that it's a gravy made from ham drippings and coffee. (And I thought I was being adventurous putting coffee in barbecue sauce.) "Rivvel Soup" (if "rivvel" is German, what does it mean?) is dumplings.

||| On the other side of the comestibles universe, in more ways than one, is Absolut vodka. The Swedish company ran an ad in Mexico showing a 19th-century map of North America when Mexico included California, Texas, and other states further north. Part of their "In an Absolut world" campaign. They succumbed to complaints from gringos who objected and pulled the ad. But perhaps Mexicans, who might think that was a more "ideal" vision than current reality, along with the Absolut ad people, might go back even further, before Spaniards or any Europeans arrived. Why not go back to the Aztecs and blood sacrifice? If the border were stuck in the mid-19th century location, wouldn't the border where illegal immigrants cross simply be further north? I assume the United States would still be prosperous enough to lure them, and that the Mexican economy would be just as poor, but it would cover more territory. Anyway, I get the message. No more Absolut for me. Too bad, because I like Fris vodka, by Absolut, and I loved an ad they did years ago with a very verbal work by outsider artist Howard Finster.


It must be the interminable presidential campaign that keeps lying on my mind. One of my favorite sayings about lying is, "He lies so much his wife has to call the dog." But here's a good one that's new to me: "He wouldn't tell you the truth if it helped him."

||| Read Theodore Dalrymple on lying.

||| Read about the Chinese Wikipedia block.

||| Read Mark Steyn on free speech (and punishment thereof, for telling the truth, in Canada's "Human Rights" Commission, scare quotes Steyn's); and Steyn on lying.


Son Jude sent a reference to the DarkCopy Online Fullscreen Text Editor, a simplified word processor for those who don't like or need the complications of Word, et al.


Whereas some Christian objections to school library books on gay-parent families have been decried as repressive, oppressive, and suppressive, Muslims were able to get The King and the King, And Tango Makes Three, and other items "temporarily" removed from a Bristol, England elementary school library. Why did they succeed where the Christians did not? Because they'll kill you, and your little gay dog too.


Bob Dylan won a Pulitzer Prize! I thought he was an interesting writer, from way back in the days of teaching freshman comp when I had students analyze "Dear Landlord". Out of all the things I lost by the wayside, I still think he's a good writer.


Ever notice this line in Paul McCartney's "Live and Let Die":

... if this ever changing world in which we live in

makes you give in and cry...

Imagine you were a Beatle helping him out with the lyric. How could you get rid of that extra "in" and retain the meter? You could always delete the second "in" and just stretch out the word "live". Or how about, "...if this ever changing world that we all live in". Lots of possibilities.

No comments: