Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Do you know who else was an outgoing hugger?

Wherein You see Hitler hugging kids

Two heroes of mine, fighting against tyranny and oppression:

Juliet Lapidos
The word hug is of uncertain origin. In place of a proper etymology the Oxford English Dictionary cautions against confusing it with hugge-a variant of the Middle English ug, meaning to inspire with dread, loathing, or disgust. While I believe in the OED's near-infallibility, I nevertheless find myself drawn to the possibility that hug does, in fact, have some kinship with ug. It seems apt to me. At the prospect of a tight embrace, dread and loathing, if not disgust, do come to mind. So does the sound ug.[...]

Like form letters that mimic the conventions of personal notes, obligatory hugs mock true intimacy. "Dear Janet," aspiring-City Councilman Brad Lander e-mailed me after he won his Democratic primary, "Well, we did it. After two years of incredibly hard work, we won a great victory." Oh, did we? My name's not Janet, but even if it were,
I'd prefer madam. Dear Madam is prim, but honest. A real hug-the hug of consolation, let's say-soothes its target; it says you can count on me, because we're close. See how close we are? We're actually touching! The doorway hug impersonates that message, and corrupts it through casual repetition.

Jonathan Rauch
Extroverts have little or no grasp of introversion*. They assume that company, especially their own, is always welcome. They cannot imagine why someone would need to be alone; indeed, they often take umbrage at the suggestion. As often as I have tried to explain the matter to extroverts, I have never sensed that any of them really understood. They listen for a moment and then go back to barking and yipping.

*I'm striking out that part because stopping at "no grasp" pretty much covers all of it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

My favorite sentence of the year

Wherein Dead Poets Society is a very bad movie

Barry Glendenning:
When we're not pretentiously fashioning headlines out of conventionally metered extended metaphor poetry penned by Walt Whitman in 1865, then popularised by a load of barbarically yawping fops in Dead Poets Society 124 years later, the Fiver likes nothing better than to suck leisurely on the end of its V7 Hi-Tecpoint 0.7 Pilot pen, wonder what it is that so obsesses English football players, fans and hacks about the captaincy of their national team, and then sit bolt upright and begin violently coughing and spitting upon realising our mouth is full of ink.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Culinary Bands

Wherein bands that are actual food like the Black Eyed Peas or the Beatles or la Roux do not count

  • Pie a la Depeche Mode
  • Bachman Turnover Overdrive
  • Bay City Crullers
  • Durum Durum
  • The Mountain Goats with Curry
  • The Pirogies
  • Red Velvet Cake Underground
  • The Orange Tang Clan
  • Cee-Lo Salad Greens
  • Nori Jones
  • John Oscar Mayer Bologna
  • Macaroon 5
  • The Brian Seltzer Orchestra
  • Chickpea Corea
  • Natalie Coleslaw
  • Britney Asparagus Spears
  • B.B. King Cake
  • The Robert Crawfish Boil Band
  • Mike Doughy
  • Food Fighters
  • Almond Brothers

Alternative Wherein I learned in chemistry class that taking one thing and adding something else to it to make another thing is sometimes funny