Thursday, July 30, 2009

The simile defense?

This is quite possibly the stupidest thing I've ever heard any lawyer, real or fictional, say:
Barrett’s comments were taken out of context, said his lawyer, Peter

“Officer Barrett did not call professor Gates a jungle monkey or malign him
racially,” Marano said. “He said his behavior was like that of one. It was a
characterization of the actions of that man.”

Yeah. I don't even know how to make fun of that, since it pretty much makes fun of itself. What can I add? Anyway, here's his precious context:
In Barrett’s e-mail, which was posted on a Boston television station’s Web
site, he declared that if he had “been the officer he verbally assaulted like a
banana-eating jungle monkey, I would have sprayed him in the face with OC
(oleorosin capsicum, or pepper spray) deserving of his belligerent

Barrett used the “jungle monkey” phrase four times, three times referring
to Gates and once referring to Abraham’s writing as “jungle monkey

Not really sure how putting it back in context helps here....

(Excerpts are from this CNN story.)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Anyone want to write me a recommendation letter? It's okay if you don't know me, just make something up.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Christian Hawkey

Self-appointed poetic enforcers over at Silliman's blog may not want you to read Christian Hawkey, but that's probably because they don't like Silliman and will object to anything he likes no matter what. Fact is, Christian Hawkey's pretty awesome. And I do check my facts. Take a look:

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Not me:

After my first visit to the dentist in nine years, I find I have my first cavity. To be filled anon. Oh well. Could have been worse. See above. Or, see below to see that mouth in action...

Saturday, July 18, 2009


According to a Spanish newspaper, this famous photo was staged:

"Capa photographed his soldier at a location where there was no fighting," wrote Barcelona-based newspaper El Periodico which carried out a study of the photograph taken in September 1936, the third month of the war.

The so-called "falling soldier" photo was not taken near Cerro Muriano in the southern Andalusia region, as has long been claimed, but about 50 kilometres (30 miles) away near the town of Espejo, the newspaper said.

Well what do you know. The message of this photo was always "war is bad", and it turns out to be fake; I guess that means war isn't so bad after all. What a relief!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Troo story

Today I woke up and found that the ring and pinky fingers on my left hand were missing, gnawed off by rodents, I assumed. Or maybe I had chewed them off myself? Whatever the cause, I wasn't too alarmed. I accepted the situation. There was no blood or pain, the stumps looked as if they'd healed a long time ago, so with no emergency to attend to, I simply resigned myself to a life with two amputated fingers.

Then I really woke up and actually held my hand in front of my face to make sure the fingers were still there. When I saw that they were, I was relieved.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

So some people are complaining about how the Kindle will make it impossible for them to show off what book they're reading in public the way they've always been able to on the train or in the coffeeshop or whatever. And other people are complaining that those people are snobs and isn't it a good thing that this showing off won't go on anymore. Putting aside the silliness of the idea that these stupid Kindles will replace books, what is the big deal about reading good books in public? Why does everyone so cynically assume that people do it to show off? If I want to read Infinite Jest on the subway, what am I supposed to do, wrap the cover in plain brown paper? Come on. This is crazy. Why should people be ashamed of having good taste? Why should people be ashamed of anything they're reading?

(P.S. Death to Kindle. Thank you.)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Great conversation about comedy between two masters. This is part 1 of 6. You can follow the links back to YouTube to see the rest.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I like to say I divide my time between AM and PM, but today I'm dividing my time with AM/PM, the book, that is, by Amelia Gray. I've just read a few of the pieces in the book, but I like it already. Part of why I like it is because it doesn't care what genre it is. On the cover, instead of "AM/PM: stories" or "AM/PM: prose poems" or whatever, we have "AM/PM: a book". I've never seen that before. "A book." I wish I saw it more often.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Humble Proposition: A Theory of Itself: A Call for Dialogue

The importance of what I'm about to say here lies, it seems to me, in its refusal to be denied. That is, if we are to accept its importance, we must first admit its importance, and thereby accept its reality. It is real, it seems to me, which is why, in order for it to flourish, we must not deny that it is real. To do so would only encourage its deniability, a quality we have already established it does not have. Furthermore, if we are to learn from this, we must not shy away from what it means. Namely, that its importance is vital to our understanding of it, and that our understanding of it is vital to its importance. Lest you doubt the validity of this proposition, let me state that what I'm saying is undeniable. This quality, having been clearly and irrefutably established, cannot be denied its importance. Any attempt at such a denial would only prove its truth, which proof would thereby and furthermore prove its importance. Not only can its importance not be denied, the proof of itself and the proof of its importance are inseparable. Any attempt at separation would only serve as evidence that separation is impossible. It is just this form of denial that has been attempted countless times in the past to no avail. If we are to move forward, we must refrain from not advancing. We must avail ourselves of everything it has to offer, not least of which is its proven quality of undeniability. This quality will sustain it far into the future, regardless of any attempt to refute it.

The question is, now that its importance, its undeniability, the undeniability of its importance, and the importance of its undeniability have all been proven, we must ask ourselves, where do we go from here? Do we stay where we are, or do we do something different? Do we remain in this condition, or do we change? Do we refrain from alteration, or do we avoid standing still? These questions can only be answered if we take a look at why such questions are necessary. First, it is undeniable that these questions are essential. Their essentiality lies, it seems to me, in their necessity, which in turn is the source of their importance. This may be obvious enough, but what may not be immediately clear at first glance is that the necessity of their importance lies not in their essentiality alone, but in their undeniability. From here we can safely assume that such undeniability is itself undeniable, a quality which sets it apart and serves as evidence of its own undeniable necessity. Secondly, these questions must be asked now because now, more than ever, is when these questions are critical. No progress can be made until these questions have been reckoned with, and their time, our time, of reckoning is at hand. Of this there can be no denial, and insofar as these questions can be answered, the answers will prove the questions. It is only by exploring these questions that we may be assured of the validity of their answers. To deny ourselves this exploration would be to do deny the essentiality of these questions. The importance of this cannot be overstated. Furthermore, proof of this importance cannot be denied, nor can be denied the importance of the essentiality of the proof of this importance. Finally, what we seek is not merely proof of these questions' undeniability, but proof that our search for this proof is not merely essential but also undeniably irrefutable.

Now then, as I have just demonstrated, there is much to be learned from what I have just demonstrated. It will be up to others to fully realize the importance of this, but that others will inevitably do so cannot be denied. To deny this would be to deny the importance of this, and to deny the importance of this would be to deny its own inherent undeniability, the evidence of which, in the face of what we can now see to be true, cannot be denied.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


I'm up to page 161 in Infinite Jest. I've already lost track of where I'm supposed to be for #infsum. I'll probably still be reading it next summer.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Kenneth Koch lecture at Naropa, June 26, 1979

Just learned about this site. Found the following. Always good to hear his voice....