– From Booksquare:
When we go into a library, we usually spend a few minutes in the children’s book section, looking for old favorites. There is some comfort in knowing that another generation is puzzling over the (rather tame) antics of Beany Malone. That the Boxcar Children haven’t aged. That Margaret is still talking to God. That on any aisle in any library, we can find a book that changed our little world (look under Laura Ingalls Wilder, and you will discover the summer we captained an expedition to build a cave to protect our gang from the wild tornadoes of California’s Central Coast…).
– From Jolly Days:
I’m not entirely a fan of Impressionism. The “joy of life stuff” can feel flimsy, shallow, leaving out the full experience of consciousness, of being alive. Art is an analog to life, not a feel-good reassurance that things can be better — New Age self-absorbed dreaminess trying to be art. An emphasis on decoration and sensation ignores the mind and the spirit.
– From Household Opera:
Just under three years ago, I turned off the TV after two or three days glued to the screen because I could not, just could not, watch that footage one more time, couldn’t stand any more speculation about who or what might get blown up next, couldn’t listen to any more man-on-the-street interviews with people calling for the bombing of the entire Arab world to smithereens. Having hit my saturation point, I spent the better part of a day listening to Bach’s two- and three-part inventions over and over and over. I couldn’t tell at the time if it was escapism, or some part of my brain looking for equilibrium, or what. It may have been simply the need to remind myself of what other things human beings are capable of besides mass murder.
– From Cup of Chicha:
The back of my high school yearbook was reserved for senior ads, the rich suburban teen’s equivalent to graffiti. Groups were aesthetically demarcated, their ads’ “look” determined by their social status. The most popular girls made collages of beach cleavage, group hugs, and baby photos; the popular boys, meanwhile, wore wife-beaters, crossed their fingers into “west side,” and kneeled in front of Beemers.
– From Mixolydian Mode:
Today’s grooming tip: Guys, if your tonsorial model is Sinead O’Connor or Telly Savalas, remember to shave before heading off to evening Mass. A five o’clock shadow that covers the entire scalp is not a pleasant sight for your fellow parishioners.
– From Killin’ time bein’ lazy:
I see the impact of IM/texty/whatever you call it on my students. When they e-mail, they use it all the time; luckily, most of them know enough to not use it in actual papers and on projects in school. A few, though, seem to have a problem telling the difference between appropriate and inappropriate writing.
I don’t think it makes them look dumb, however. It makes them look like middle school and high school students.
When I see a message from someone my age, however, I worry. I don’t have a problem with getting a short text message on my cell from someone that says that they’ll be “l8”. But an entire message written like that? It’s as nails-on-a-blackboardy as reading something from an adult where they confuse your/you’re, too/to/two or (as one of my friends has discovered) weather/whether.
I wonder if it’s an attempt to act young. It can’t be a lack of education because this type of writing didn’t arise until recently. And there can’t possibly be that many former stenographers out there!
– From Reflections in D Minor:
Have you ever wondered what makes us cling so tenaciously to our beliefs – not just religious beliefs or belief in a political ideology but any little insignificant belief, such as belief in urban legends or the belief in the superiority of one brand over others of equal or better quality? We hold on to beliefs as if they were cherished possessions, like trinkets that have sentimental value but no practical use.
I have to plead guilty to this myself. Sometimes I really hate Snopes. I come across a remarkable but perfectly legitimate sounding story from a reasonably reliable source, share it with other people and the next thing I know someone sends me a link to Snopes. What a shattering blow. Why do they have to tell me the truth? Why can’t they just let me believe? (And, by the way, why do I believe Snopes is a reliable source of information?)
– From Eve Tushnet:
We’ve all heard the cliche that “truth is stranger than fiction,” and I expect most authors have been frustrated to realize that we just can’t write stories in which things happen the way they really did happen! because it would appear too coincidental and too neat. Fiction is not about presenting the raw world. Life does that for us. Fiction is supposed to tease out some kind of language from the raw world. Fiction is meant neither to replace nor to mirror life, but rather to interpret it.
– From Lileks:
The show went fast, as ever