Thursday, March 31, 2011

"Mad Men" Reaches an Agreement

New York magazine has the story.

25 Years of Pixar

"The Sopranos" Rewatch

Inspired by my friend Nikki Stafford's very successful Great Buffy Rewatch, hosted on her blog Nik at Nite, I have set about launching The Sopranos Rewatch.

Go here to see a full list of Sopranos episodes broken into groups of three. A wide variety of Sopranos scholars/critics, contributors to my three books, will watch an assigned trio of episodes, and their comments/analyses/insights will be published here, on The Laverytory, on the University Press of Kentucky website, and on Critical Studies in Television Online.

As someone who is contributing to the Great Buffy Rewatch, I feel certain this will be a great deal of fun.

The starting date for the Sopranos Rewatch will be May 15. New entries will appear every Sunday evening (of course) through November.

"Justified" Renewed

Entirely justified, if you ask me.

Yglesias Award Nominee - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

Yglesias Award Nominee - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

Do I now have to like Rand Paul?

Colbert for President?

Is he going to do it? This could be so much more interesting than Pat Paulsen.

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"Endless Impossibilities"

My new Telegenic is up.

Quote of the Day (3/31/11) (William Irwin Thompson Week 2)

Like a shadow that does not permit us to jump over it, but moves with us to maintain its proper distance, pollution is nature's answer to culture. When we have learned to recycle pollution into potent information, we will have passed over completely into the new cultural ecology.
--William Irwin Thompson

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Trailer for "Doctor Who" 2011

30 Years Since . . .

All the news shows are remembering today as the 30th anniversary of the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan.

For Joyce and I (and then four month old Rachel), it's also the anniversary of our trek to Shanghai.

When I finally began teaching, over a month later, one of the first questions my students had was "Why did this man try to kill your President?" Here's what I wrote about my answer elsewhere on this blog.

After almost a month of getting acclimated to our new surroundings (a month in which we learned that "culture shock" is not just a term in an anthropology matching test but a real, very palpable malaise), I finally began teaching. A few days before we had departed for China, President Reagan had been shot. As expected, my students were most interested in understanding the assassination attempt. Why did this young man try to kill your President? they asked on the very first day I taught. Based on what I knew at the time (from a close reading of the Far East Edition of Time Magazine), I tried to explain: "It seems that Hinckley was in love with a movie star named Jodie Foster, who had appeared in a film called Taxi Driver, in which a deranged young man tries to kill a presidential candidate in order to make a young prostitute (played by Foster) fall in love with him. Hinckley, confusing the movies with reality, evidently believed that if he killed the real President of the United States, himself a former Hollywood actor who would later be characterized as the "acting" President, Jodie Foster (the real Jodie Foster, not the character played by her in the film) would then fall in love with him." They listened politely, and they stared at me like I had come from another universe. I wondered that first day I would ever be able to make myself understood by them.

Quote For The Day II - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

Quote For The Day II - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

Brace Yourself

In the run-up to this Sunday's debut of The Borgias, Showtime has a new campaign with a new tagline:

Brace Yourself

How bracing!

Quote of the Day (3/30/11) (William Irwin Thompson Week 2)

Home means a lot to moralists, but the mystic is society's alien and is not allowed to have a home smaller than the universe, and any time he tries to settle for less, to settle down, and to set up fences, God appears as the moving whirlwind.
--William Irwin Thompson, The American Replacement of Nature

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Great "Buffy" Rewatch

Tonight's rewatch, the first three episodes of Season 3, is by my wonderful former student Dr. Cynthia Burkhead.

Read it here.

How Loony Is The Right? - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

How Loony Is The Right? - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

Mapping Twin Peaks

io9 has Lynch's original map.

TIp of the hat to Stephanie Graves.

Race, The Tea Party And Conservatism - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

Race, The Tea Party And Conservatism - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

The Top Dirty Words - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

The Top Dirty Words - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

"That's My Bush!"

Salon remembers the short-lived Parker/Stone sitcom from 10 years ago.

Quote of the Day (3/29/11) (William Irwin Thompson Week 2)

[The CNN Center in Atlanta is] a rendering of Teilhard de Chardin's noosphere . . . a planetary lattice of satellites in which non-stop 24-hours-a-day news gives us the experience of time under control-history under new American management.
--William Irwin Thompson, The American Replacement of Nature

Monday, March 28, 2011


A Facebook friend just posted.

Um, I just used "Žižekian" in a sentence. I'm not sure if I should be concerned or not.

I responded:

Remember in M*A*S*H when Radar was told he could convince anyone he had been to college by saying "Ah, Bach." "Ah, Žižekian" tells us what--that we have pursued a terminal degree?

Writing Like Lorne

It's the fall of 1973, University of Florida Building D (an old World War II barracks where the grad teaching assistants had their offices).

Dick Bolling, a troubled but hilarious new Ph.D. student who went to Harvard, is pounding away at his manual typewriter, writing a paper for Dr. Ira Clark's 17th Century Poetry course.

Dick bangs on the table and exclaims:

Everyday my writing sounds more and more like Lorne Greene!

Dick dropped out at the end of his first year.

Quote of the Day (3/28/11) (William Irwin Thompson Week 2)

There seems little chance of getting out of this century with the same human nature with which we entered it.
--William Irwin Thompson, The American Replacement of Nature

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Lois Selected

Amy Adams it is--for the Superman re-reboot.

"Mad Men" Delayed

I had heard about the delay earlier in the week. The New York Times has the full story.

Quote of the Day (3/27/11) (William Irwin Thompson Week 2)

So there are some signs in the cultural evolution of America that, while the cold-blooded dinosaurs are tearing up the landscape, there are some tiny mammals around with warm blood in their hearts.
--William Irwin Thompson, Darkness and Scattered Light

Saturday, March 26, 2011

"Waiting for Godot" the Video Game

Tip of the hat to Andrew Sullivan.

The Rest of Season Three of "Fringe"

Noel Murray (Onion TV Club)has the titles of the remaining episodes of this season's Fringe:

“Lysergic Acid Diethylamide” (4/15)
“6:02 AM EST” (4/22)
“The Last Sam Weiss” (4/29)
“The Day We Died” (5/6)

Quote of the Day (3/26/11) (William Irwin Thompson Week 2)

America's esoteric destiny seems to be one of breaking down all the cultures of the world in preparation for a new global culture that will become humanity's second nature. The Muslims, whose genius was born in the Middle Ages, have a point when they call America "the Great Satan," for this second nature is so artificial, so opposite to anything that a traditional person would wish to call cultural or natural, that it appears on the horizon of the human as something inhuman, monstrous, and evil. (113)
--William Irwin Thompson, The American Replacement of Nature

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sitcom Resurgence

Hollywood Reporter has the story.

Cruising The History Books - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

Cruising The History Books - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

Now, now Andrew. That's my ancestor on my mother's side you are talking about!

"Captain America"

Looks pretty damn good.

James (from "Twin Peaks") Goes to Court

The man, James Marshall, who played one of the most despised characters in TV history is suing over his medical condition.

Hallelujah--"Fringe" Gets a 4th Season

LiveFeed and others have the story.

The English Breakfast

An article in HuffPo defends it.

Heard on "NCIS: LA"

I had to do this for Ollie North in Nicaragua--twice. The man really was an ass.
--Hattie, putting on rubber gloves in order to apply Calamine lotion to Sam's posterior after he has sat in poison oak

Newt Paraphrased

His current position on Libya amounts to: Obama should never have followed my advice.--David Kurtz

'Have You No Sense of Decency?' The Wm. Cronon Story - The Atlantic

The Joe McCarthy tradition returns to Wisconsin.

'Have You No Sense of Decency?' The Wm. Cronon Story - The Atlantic

The Triumph Of "The Book Of Mormon" - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

Jon Stewart raved about The Book of Mormon to its creators the other night on TDS:

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and now this:

The Triumph Of "The Book Of Mormon" - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan.

Quote of the Day (3/25/11)

The ordinary mind is the Tao.
--Taoist Commonplace

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Quote of the Day (3/24/11)

Since Darwin, we have been forced, in art as in life, to mature to finiteness. I mean maturing as human beings not simply by realizing that there are no usable absolutes for man—for that mere realization is still a kind of adolescence—but by accepting one's finiteness and learning to live with it with some degree of sanity and integrity.
--Philip Appleman, "Darwin: On Changing the Mind"

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Heard on Conan

Marijuana growers in California are concerned that their crops may be affected by radiation from Japan. Do you think something might be making them paranoid?

A Placebo Candidate - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

A brilliant term for TPaw.

A Placebo Candidate - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

Birds Do It, Frogs Do It . . .

Tip of the Hat to Andrew Sullivan.


This is Olivia, the adorable daughter of Janet McCabe and Mike Allen, treasured colleagues and one-time neighbors in London, 2006-2008.

Janet, of course, is (with writing partner and BFF and fellow feminist Kim Akass) a powerful force in television studies, editor of numerous books and of Critical Studies in Television. I like to think (and Janet agrees) that I had a hand in her involvement with television, publishing an exceptional essay by J and K in my first Sopranos book.

So when, during my time at Brunel, I was asked to babysit darling Olivia while Janet gave a public lecture on television at Birkbeck College, it was Janet who remarked on the synchronicity: the man (me) who inspired her interest in the study of the small screen now sat in her living room watching Shrek with her daughter while mom gave a talk about TV.

It was a lovely, memorable evening. I can't believe she's five!

Addy in Full

This wonderful video captures our grandbaby in her true essence.


On the day I begin work in earnest on an essay on Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? for a Cambridge U P book, its star (her finest performance) passes away.

National Puppy Day

Who knew? It's today. And here's a stair-wary puppy (courtesy of Onion TV Club).

Trump for President!

Lewis Black champions the Donald for President.

Quote of the Day (3/23/11)

Our culture is caught in a frenzy of biological materialism. Newspaper columns, sit-coms, comic strips, talk shows—our public banter is replete with corrolaries of the thesis that biology is destiny. When we laugh, if we do, at the claims that the genes for noticing dirty dishes, asking directions, and making commitments are absent on the Y chromosome, or that the gene for channel-surfing with the TV buzz box is present only there, it is because these beliefs are not distant from ones we actually hold.
--Peter Kramer, Listening to Prozac

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"Buffy"/"Angel" Crossovers

Someone has neatly catalogued them.

"The X-Files" Revisited

With Simon Brown and Stacey Abbott at the helm, this is bound to be good.

"Impossible Dreams"

My doctoral student B. J. Keeton recommended this story by Tim Pratt.

A cinephile named Pete discover a mysterious video store from an alternative universe that appears in our reality only for briefer and briefer periods near closing time. As he becomes more-than-friends with the clerk, Ally, Peter discovers the store's amazing, not from our reality, collection.

*I, Robot, not starring Will Smith, from a script by Harlan Ellison
*the director's cut of The Magnificent Ambersons, including Orson Welles' long missing footage
*The Terminator, with O. J. Simpson as the killer cyborg and Arnold Schwarzenegger as Kyle Reese
*Orson Welles' Jason and the Argonauts
*Return of the Jedi--directed by David Lynch
*A sequel to The Breakfast Club: The Lunch Bunch
*a number of films by the greatest of all woman directors, Sara Hansen
*Tim Burton's The Death of Superman, starring Nicholas Cage as the Man of Steel
*Casablanca, starring George Raft
*Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark with Tom Selleck as Indy
*a John Wayne film about the ground invasion of Japan that ended WWII
*Stanley Kubrick's (not Steven Spielberg's) Artificial Intelligence

All of these films, of course, have some basis in fact. That wife-murdering former star football player was considered for the role of The Terminator. Welles' post-Kane film was mangled by the studio. Kubrick did plan to make AI but did not live long enough and asked the often schmaltzy Spielberg to take it on. The US considered invading Japan but opted for dropping atomic bombs instead.

In the end, Pete gets the girl and they settle down to watch Citizen Kane, which does not exist in her reality.

A Miniature Giraffe on a Treadmill!

These DirectTV ads are seriously strange. I especially love the miniature giraffe, which in the most recent commercial ("I am Epic Win") can be seen working out on a treadmill.

Here's an earlier one.

Quote of the Day (3/22/11)

Man set outside himself is brought up against himself as reality, as history. And for the first time, he sees himself forced to a concern with the past, not from curiosity nor in search of examples which may serve as norms, but because it is all he has.
--Jose Ortega y Gasset, "History as a System"

Monday, March 21, 2011

Rob Owen on "Big Love"

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's excellent TV critic offers not only a review of last night's Big Love finale but an interview with Olsen and Sheffer. (Numerous typos--must have rushed to put it on the web.)

Quote of the Day (3/21/11)

All men are brave
All men endure. . . .
The major men
That is different. They are characters beyond
Reality, composed thereof.
--Wallace Stevens, "Paisant Chronicle"

Sunday, March 20, 2011

"Where Men and Mountains Meet"

As someone doing a book on series finales (with David Bianculli), I watched the last episode of Big Love, a series with which I have had a love-hate relationship, with great interest.

I found it touching, unexpected, well-conceived, worthy of the series' first three years, which were consistently outstanding.

Now I miss. We aren't like to see another series like it.

Clueless About Meat


The Daily Telegraph (UK) passed on the results of a survey done by The Meat Trades Journal.

A survey has revealed the ignorance of many people when it comes to butcher's shops, once a part of people's weekly or even daily shop.

Not only did some think pig wings existed, nearly two in ten thought tofu ribs were a cut of meat, and a leg of liver was something you could buy.

As many as 23 per cent thought a chicken chop or a lamb drumstick was a product they could pick up in a supermarket or a butcher's shop.

The survey of a 1,000 adults – all of them meat eaters – was conducted on behalf of National Butchers' Week.

The Ig Nobel Awards

Identifying this year's winners was a category on today's "Says You."

The website for these fascinating "Improbable Research" prizes is here.

The Growth of Murfreesboro

Now 108,755, an increase of 58.04 percent since the 2000 census.


My university, Middle Tennessee State, turns 100.

The Big Love Series Finale

Daily Beast picks the top ten moments in Big Love's five season run.

The Big Love Series Finale

Quote of the Day (3/20/11)

Have you ever looked at a leaf, the leaf of a tree? . . . I saw one recently. It was yellow, with some green in it, and a bit wilted at the edges. The wind was blowing it around. When I was ten, in the winter, I'd close my eyes and imagine a leaf green, bright, with those little veins, and glistening in the sun. When I opened my eyes, I couldn't believe it possible because it was too beautiful. Then I'd close my eyes again. . . . I meant no allegory, just a leaf. One leaf. It's beautiful. Everything is good.
--Kirilov in Dostoevsky, The Possessed

Saturday, March 19, 2011

"The World is Bound With Secret Knots The Life and Works of Athanasius Kircher"

Just discovered this exhibit on the fascinating Museum of Jurassic Technology website.

More Nathan

Fillion, "Geek God," also on the cover of EW.

The Luddite Myth - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

So Lemmings don't commit mass suicide and Luddites weren't reactionary anti-technologists. Another metaphor bites the dust.

The Luddite Myth - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

On China

Just learned that a former MTSU colleague is teaching in China, and in my e-mail to her I included links to the various things I have written about the Middle Kingdom. Here they are:

"It Dawns on Me"

"Yellow Mountain"

"The Streets of Shanghai"

"Remarks in China"

Quote of the Day (3/19/11)

In the unconscious cerebral is genital. The word cerebral is from the same root as Ceres, goddess of cereals, of growth and fertility; the same root as cresco, to grow, and creo, to create. Onians, archaeologist of language, who uncovers lost worlds of meaning, buried meanings, has dug up a prehistoric image of the body, according to which head and genital intercommunicate via the spinal column: the gray matter of the brain, the spinal marrow, and the seminal fluid are all one identical substance, on tap in the genital and stored in the head. The soul-substance is the seminal substance: the genius is the genital in the head. We should then all be carrying our seeds in our head, like flowers.
--Norman O. Brown, Love's Body

Friday, March 18, 2011

"Nathan Fillion talks fan campaign to resurrect 'Firefly'"

Entertainment Weekly has the story.

Money quote:

Joss sent me a text that said he had a dream that we were all shooting Firefly again and, you know, this was happening, this was happening, this was happening, and the scripts were coming in late — ‘It was like a little slice of heaven.’ Which is just like it used to be,” Fillion told us. “We were always under the wire with scripts. Scripts were coming in the day before, or the day of, or would change for that afternoon, and everybody said ‘Okay. No problem.’ We loved it. We loved it. Because what you see on TV is what we ended up with in our hands. So it was always great. There was never a day I went to work on Firefly where I looked at the script and went, ‘Eh, today will be alright.’ Everyday I was doing something so great. So great.

Adrianne Palicki as The Amazon Princess

Quote of the Day (3/18/11)

An unbridled lucidity can destroy our understanding of complex matters. Scrutinize closely the particulars of a comprehensive entity, their meaning is effaced, our conception of the entirety destroyed. . . . The declared aim of modern science is to establish a strictly detached, objective knowledge. Any falling short of this ideal is accepted only as a temporary imperfection, which we must aim at eliminating. But suppose that tacit thought forms an indispensable part of all knowledge, then the ideal of eliminating all personal elements of knowledge would, in effect, aim at the destruction of all knowledge. The ideal of exact science would turn out to be fundamentally misleading and possibly a source of devastating fallacies.
--Michael Polanyi

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Quote of the Day (3/17/11)

Indeed, when we get down to the substance of things, unbemused by covering terms like "literature," "sociology" or "physics," most effective academic communities are not that much larger than most peasant villages and just about as ingrown. Even some entire disciplines fit this pattern: it is still true apparently, that just about every creative mathematician . . . knows about every other one, and the interaction, indeed the Durkeimian solidarity, among them would make a Zulu proud. To some extent the same thing seems to be true of plasma physicists, psycholinguists, Renaissance scholars, and a number of other of what have come to be called, adapting [Robert] Boyle's older phrase, "invisible colleges." From such units, intellectual villages if you will, convergent data can be gathered, for the relations among the inhabitants are typically not merely intellectual, but political, moral, and broadly personal (these days, increasingly, marital) as well. Laboratories and research institutes, scholarly societies, axial university departments, literary and artistic cliques, intellectual factions, all fit the same pattern: communities of multiply connected individuals in which something you find out about A tells you something about B as well, because they have known each other too long and too well, they are characters in one another's biographies.
--Clifford Geertz, "The Way We Think Now: Ethnography of Modern Thought"

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Rules of Leroy Jethro Gibbs

Been watching a lot of NCIS and am not the first to become fascinated with the rules of NCIS' chief investigator (Mark Harmon).

The NCIS Wiki has the still incomplete record.

"Top 10 Awkwardly Timed Movie Premieres"

Daily Beast has the slide show.

Seattle On Shaky Ground, Ctd - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

Seattle On Shaky Ground, Ctd - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

That Damn Wikileaks - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

That Damn Wikileaks - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

"Japan's cinema of disaster, from Godzilla to J-horror"

Andrew O'Hehir contemplates it in the wake of the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear reactor catastrophe in Japan.

Quote of the Day (3/16/11)

Through feeling the old longed-for time would return; the element of feeling is an inner light which is refracted in more beautiful, deeper colors. Then the stars would rise in him [man], he would learn to feel the whole world more clearly and more diversely far beyond the horizons and surfaces his naked eye now shows him. . . . Thinking is only a dream of feeling, a feeling which has died away.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Quote of the Day (3/15/11)

The political fanatic who is hearing voices in the air has distilled his frenzy from the work of some academic scribbler of a few years back.
--John Maynard Keynes

Monday, March 14, 2011

Shrinking Storage - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

Shrinking Storage - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

"The English forest that inspired Tolkien"

An interesting Salon slide show: "A look at the locations that informed celebrated novelists, from Faulkner to Woolf."

Quote of the Day (3/14/11)

Diseases have a character of their own, but they also partake of our character; we have a character of our own, but we also partake of the world's character: character is monadic or microcosmic, worlds within worlds within worlds, worlds which express worlds. The disease-the man-the world go together, and cannot be considered separately as things-in-themselves.
--Oliver Sacks

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Snark Of The Day - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

Snark Of The Day - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

"Who" Credits "Buffy" Style

It's well-known that Doctor Who in the Davies/Moffatt era has been under-the-influence of Buffy.

Now a fan has Buffyized the Who credits.

Quote of the Day (3/12/11)

It is extraordinary that life functions in me without me, that the multiple hormone balances which science reveals constantly reestablish themselves within me without my help. This is extraordinary because at a certain level of my existence I no longer appear to myself as a task, as a project. I am a problem resolved as though by a greater wisdom than myself. This wisdom is a nourishing one: when I have eaten , it is not up to me to make the food into myself and grow on it. It is a wisdom of movement: the circulation of my blood and the beating of my heart do not depend on me.
--Paul Ricoeur

Thursday, March 10, 2011

"Battle of Los Angeles"

AICN really liked it.

Maybe I will go see it.

The next day . . . Did not go. Roger Ebert convinced me otherwise:

Young men: If you attend this crap with friends who admire it, tactfully inform them they are idiots. Young women: If your date likes this movie, tell him you've been thinking it over, and you think you should consider spending some time apart.

The History of Science Fiction

Here's where you'll find it.

TIp of the Hat to Andrew Sullivan.

Quote of the Day (3/10/11) (Adagia IV Week)

A poet looks at the world as a man looks at a woman.
--Wallace Stevens, “Adagia”

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


Ross Douthat makes the case for why it will be Romney vs. Obama in 2012.

I usually don't read posted comments, but I read and love what "Will" in NY said:

In any post about Romney, it must be noted that he once went on a family vacation with his family dog tied to the roof of his car.

In 2000, the Democrats lost to "W" after ignoring then comedian/now Senator Al Franken's insistence that the sole campaign issue should be "He [Bush] traded Sammy Sosa" [when he was owned the Texas Rangers].

Here's hoping that the Dems in 2012 heed Will's reminder.

Quote of the Day (3/9/11) (Adagia IV Week)

I don't think we should insist that the poet is normal or, for that matter, that anybody is.
--Wallace Stevens, “Adagia”

Sunday, March 06, 2011

"The Adjustment Bureau"

Joyce and I, Sarah and Jason, all saw the Bureau last night, and I apparently liked it way more than the others. I would give it a solid B+.

I was surprised to see Eric Kripke as an associate producer in the closing credits. I thought Kripke was shot to death last week in "The French Mistake."

Throw Clarence Thomas Off the Bench

Throw Clarence Thomas Off the Bench

Quote of the Day (3/6/11) (Adagia IV Week)

Money is a kind of poetry.
--Wallace Stevens, “Adagia”

Thursday, March 03, 2011

A Robin and a Squirrel

This morning I opened the blinds in the spare bedroom to discover, perched not a foot apart on the backyard fence outside the window, a robin and a squirrel. It was as if they were having a daybreak confab, chatting about their respective days ahead.

They remained, peaceful as can be, until I left the room in pursuit of coffee.

Quote of the Day (3/3/11) (Italo Calvino Week)

The struggle of literature is in fact a struggle to escape from the confines of language; it stretches out from the utmost limits of what can be said; what stirs literature is the call and attraction of what is not in the dictionary.
--Italo Calvino

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

The Palm at the End of the Mindless

Absolute proof that O'Reilly lies. First the prank phone call, now this. The Right Wing is being exposed for what they are.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Heard on "The Colbert Report"

Opinions are like assholes, in that I have more than most people.

A Parable

A public union employee, a tea party activist, and a CEO are sitting at a table with a plate of a dozen cookies in the middle of it. The CEO takes 11 of the cookies, turns to the tea partier and says, 'Watch out for that union guy. He wants a piece of your cookie.

Tip of the hat to Alyson Buckman

We Can't Punish Success

Quote of the Day (3/2/11) (Italo Calvino Week)

Myth is the hidden part of every story, the buried part, the region that is still unexplored because there are as yet no words to enable us to get there. Myth is nourished by silence as well as by words.
--Italo Calvino

Quote of the Day (3/1/11) (Italo Calvino Week)

And in that moment we all thought of the space that her round arms would occupy moving backward and forward with the rolling pin over the dough, her bosom leaning over the great mound of flour and eggs, [...] and we thought of the space the flour would occupy, and the wheat for the flour, and the fields to raise the wheat, and the mountains from which the water would flow to irrigate the fields; [...] of the space it would take for the Sun to arrive with its rays, to ripen the wheat; of the space for the Sun to condense from the clouds of stellar gases and burn; of the quantities of stars and galaxies and galactic masses in flight through space which would be needed to hold suspended every galaxy, every nebula, every sun, every planet, and at the same time we thought of it, this space was inevitably being formed, at the same time that Mrs. Ph(i)Nk0 was uttering those words: "... ah, what noodles, boys!" the point that contained her and all of us was expanding in a halo of distance in light-years and light-centuries and billions of light-millennia, and we were being hurled to the four corners of the universe, [...] and she, dissolved into I don't know what kind of energy-light-heat, she, Mrs. Ph(i)Nk0, she who in the midst of our closed, petty world had been capable of a generous impulse, "Boys, the noodles I would make for you!," a true outburst of general love, initiating at the same moment the concept of space and, properly speaking, space itself, and time, and universal gravitation, and the gravitating universe, making possible billions and billions of suns, and of planets, and fields of wheat, and Mrs. Ph(i)Nk0s, scattered through the continents of the planets, kneading with floury, oil-shiny, generous arms, and she lost at that very moment, and we, mourning her loss.
--Italo Calvino, "All at One Point," Cosmicomics