Expurgation station

In the wake of Alan Gribben’s expurgation of Huckleberry Finn, D. G. Myers suggests some other possible targets:

In Chilly Scenes of Winter, Ann Beattie commits a double fault when she describes a character as a “fat oriental nurse.” This should be Gribbenized to read: “clinically overweight Asian American or Pacific Islander nurse.” And of course, when warning that Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises would become the next American classic to be Gribbenized, I completely forgot about Brett Ashley’s famous line: “You know it makes one feel rather good deciding not to be a bitch.” This must be changed. Brett must not be permitted to call herself a bitch. She must say something like this: “You know it makes one feel rather good deciding not to be a self-empowered woman whose sexual freedom challenges masculine privilege to define women’s sexuality as ‘chaste’ or ‘promiscuous’ for the political purpose of controlling it.”

That was morality; things that made you disgusted afterward. No, that must be immorality.

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Cegenation

In which I invent a word, though I’m not the only one.

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Grizzly business

The Thunder, we had to hope, would not make the same mistakes they made against Memphis last time. The Grizzlies, who had beaten the Jazz last night and the Lakers earlier in the week, certainly weren’t showing any signs of fatigue. But the old ratchet-down-the-defense trick still works, and Oklahoma City pulled out a 109-100 win over Memphis at the Largely Inaccessible Arena.

At least one major difference was Jeff Green, who at some point had to defend just about every Grizzly on the floor. And Uncle Jeff didn’t flinch; holding Zach Randolph to 27 points and 16 rebounds is a tough job by any standard. Rudy Gay had 20 more before fouling out late. But the Griz didn’t dominate the boards this time around, they missed fourteen straight treys before O. J. Mayo finally got one in the last minute, and they left 11 points at the foul line.

Meanwhile, Kevin Durant, who had a fairly-pedestrian 12 points in the first half, dropped in 28 more in the second, for a total of 40; Russell Westbrook added 22 and 11 dimes, and Uncle Jeff, when he had the chance to shoot, got 15. The Thunder put up 42 foul shots, connecting on 35. If OKC had gotten some points in the paint — the Griz managed almost 60 — this might have been a blowout instead of a grinder; the game was, for the most part, a lot closer than that nine-point margin might suggest.

Take a rest, guys. You’re gonna need it, and Houston’s coming up.

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Parallel LOL

One of the foundations of this site, easily visible if you spend enough time looking, is Reusable Shtick; there are lots of fragments here and there which occasionally can be fused into something resembling a coherent post — with, perhaps, the exception of the search-engine stuff, which exists in a world of its own, shtickwise.

Then again, the best shtick is not only fun, but fungible: it works even when someone else is doing it. Clark Collis of Entertainment Weekly has, to my knowledge, never set virtual foot on these premises. However, this pair of adjacent listings in EW’s “What to Watch” (#1137, 1/14/11) would have fit right in with those strange search queries:

My Strange Addiction [TLC]
This week: a teen who eats detergent. Well, at least it’s low in fat.

Man v. Food: The Carnivore Chronicles [Travel]
This week: hot dogs and burgers. Well, at least they’re low in detergent.

Nicely done, Mr Collis.

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Reprobates from the Doppel gang

Note to spammers: working variations of my actual URL into your fake URLs will not help to get your spam onto the site.

Just saying.

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Doesn’t look like Parson Brown

Christopher Walken demotivational poster

(Very Demotivational, indeed.)

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It’s that whole Reveal Codes thing

And you thought your workplace was retarded for using IE 6:

I have just learned, to my astonishment, that half the lawyers in New York create their documents in WordPerfect. That is not a typo.

I may as well admit here that I still have a copy of WP 5.1 for DOS; the executable (a mere 213k) is dated 6 November 1989. Apparently the last time I used it for anything was in 1999; I have a ZIP file of correspondence that was created in 1991.

Alas, I gave away my copy of WordStar, which I acquired along with a brace of Osborne 1s back in the Jurassic period.

Now to do something about those pesky IE 6 users.

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Discounts, schmiscounts

This is why you (and by “you,” I mean “I”) shop where you do:

I try to get the shopping done before noon on Sunday. Mostly to avoid human interaction. Which means I will have to avoid Whole Foods for a good 2 years after construction is complete. The only other shoppers at Homeland on Britton and May at such an early hour are old people.

Such is not the case after 5 p.m. Do all hot little 20-somethings go to yoga class immediately preceding a trip to the grocery store? Or is the constant parade of tight behinds covered by painted-on black stretchy pants just a ruse to cause me certain embarrassment and a potential sexual harassment lawsuit?

As a practicing old person — not that it requires a hell of a lot of effort to keep up the practice — I can testify that around 3 pm on a Saturday, that very same store is a hotbed, so to speak, of highly-observable forty- and fiftysomethings. I assume that the men in their lives are at that moment glued to the sofa, remote in one hand, brewski in the other.

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And a shortage of blinker fluid

When you say that the electrical system of a car is “flatly insane,” it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that said car is some misbegotten British box whose electrons are flowed sporadically at the whim of Lucas, Prince of Darkness. “With a monopoly in place,” says the anonymous Wikipedant, “Lucas proceeded to supply electrical equipment that was commonly cited as the best reason not to buy a British car.”

Yet somehow, without buying from Lucas, the Americans managed to duplicate the experience, as Ric Locke explains:

The electrical system is quite flatly insane. Things work or not according to some scheme I have not yet identified, probably having to do with the phases of the moons on some planet in the Andromeda galaxy. For instance, the turn signals — which are driven by the computer, not anything simple like a flasher module — are supposed to have an audible signal, a soft beep each time they flash. That started working one afternoon last September, worked perfectly for a day and a half, and hasn’t worked since.

Most annoyingly, from time to time it just stops. While traveling down the road the engine quits as if the ignition had been turned off — no coughs and spits like fuel starvation, no “run down”, no nothing; just one moment running, the next moment not. So far it has not yet failed to start again once the transmission lever is set in Neutral and the ignition is switched off and on to reboot the computers, but it’s annoying as can be. (No, I don’t think it’s a Windows operating system. That’s barely possible for the time period, but the logo doesn’t show up anywhere.)

Early-90s Mazdas showed signs of this latter, which was eventually traced to thermal overload in the ignitor. This part was theoretically available separately, but part places in general and dealers in particular would rather have sold you the entire distributor.

On a car of a Certain Age, however, I tend to suspect that the wiring harness has assumed the general shape and inscrutability of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (pasta be upon him), and only divine intervention can save it.

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Without benefit of visuals

As most of you have noticed by now, I have long been mystified by the appeal of fishnets, and by “long” I mean for at least seven years, even at those moments when I’m inclined to celebrate their presence.

Sienna Miller, in this clip, explains the process to Steve Buscemi:

Well, okay, if you say so. I’d like to think there’s a bit less BDSM to it, but what do I know?

(Via Ferdinand Bardamu.)

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Quote of the week

Ready for the Federal government to be shrunk to a more manageable size? Don’t hold your breath while you wait:

Remember that money is at stake. If, for example, a federal Cabinet department were deemed unConstitutional, it would open the way for claims that the funding for that department had been illegally appropriated and must be returned via a tax rebate. But governments give no refunds, now or ever. It would be the height of absurdity to imagine that the trillions of dollars poured into the Department of Health and Human Services, for example, would be returned to American taxpayers, even if it could be raised.

On the other hand, seeing it declared defunct, its regulations vacated, its facilities emptied, and its personnel scattered to the four winds, would almost make up for not getting a check for the proceeds, wouldn’t it?

No one in federal office will vote for any diminution of Washington’s power to tax and tyrannize us — certainly not with retroactive effect. Any vows of fidelity to the Constitution made by Congress over these next two years will be tactical only.

Which is likely true, but as tactics go, we’ve all seen worse.

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However many weeks’ notice

The Man of the West tells us of the resignation letter he’s actually going to send, and then of the resignation letter he feels like sending. Scissored from the latter:

I have to be on good terms with the rich and the poor, with the native and the foreigner, with the saints and with the wickedest of the reprobate. I have had to extract information from people who do not speak the language and from people whose illnesses render them no longer able to speak at all. I have had to communicate with people who cannot hear and with people who cannot see.

Possession of these characteristics, alas, does not apparently pay well:

I don’t begrudge you the cost-saving moves; that’s just business. I am just saying that effectively cutting my pay doesn’t really constitute an incentive for me to stay.

Traditionally, one quotes Johnny Paycheck and/or David Allan Coe at a time like this, but sometimes it takes Jello Biafra.

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407

Andrew Ian Dodge, who knows about such things, advises that we’re CoTVing into the 112th Congress with this week’s edition of the Carnival of the Vanities, the 407th in the series.

Of course, the 112th Congress hasn’t done a whole lot yet. I suspect, though, that it will be a lot like its predecessor: anxious to put its stamp on things which won’t particularly arouse the electorate. For instance, there was a measure to designate May as National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. (If you’re not aware of either asthma or allergies, raise your hand.) More than a hundred co-sponsors signed up for H.Res.407.

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Depletion allowance

Last Thunder/Mavericks clash, Dirk Nowitzki played barely a quarter before retiring to the locker room with a sprained knee, but the Mavs won that one anyway. This time, Dallas was still Dirkless, and Caron Butler, poor fellow, is out for the season with a ripped tendon. Despite that, the Mavs jumped out to an early lead and were up 55-51 at the half, at which time Scott Brooks gave the Thunder a spelling lesson, emphasizing the letter D. OKC outscored Dallas 22-15 in the third quarter, and ran out to a double-digit lead in the fourth. Then in the last minute, DeShawn Stevenson rolled out two consecutive treys and nearly pulled off a steal on the next possession; Kevin Durant nailed two free throws, the Thunder got a stop, Rick Carlisle wandered out onto the court for some reason, Durant handed him the ball for no apparent reason, and Stevenson put up one more trey before the horn, making the final score 99-95.

All the Dallas starters posted double figures, except Jason Kidd, who didn’t score at all but did get ten rebounds. Shawn Marion, who’s been shooting over 50 percent most of the season, had an admirable 25 points; Tyson Chandler, ever ferocious, got 14 points and 18 boards. Were Nowitzki and Butler missed? No doubt; but there’s also no doubt that the Mavs know how to step up.

Telltale statistic: Oklahoma City pulled off 13 steals. (The Mavs had four.) This was a game of ball movement, first and foremost: 41 assists (OKC 23, Dallas 18), and only three blocked shots. Durant finished at 28, about his average; Russell Westbrook and Jeff Green returned to form, and Serge Ibaka had eight rebounds and hit six of six shots in 24 minutes — and accumulated, again, six fouls.

So the Mavs win this series 2-1, but I suspect we’re not done with these guys just yet. In the meantime, the Grizzlies will be in town Saturday; next week, it’s an odd back-to-back, at Houston on Wednesday, followed by a visit from the Magic on Thursday.

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Perhaps she’ll have a Spanish guitar

Fark blurb:  Toni Braxton might unwear her dress for Playboy.

She tweets:

New Year, New opportunities. So I have been considering taking up Playboy’s offer to feature me on their cover this year. What you think?

Well …

Toni Braxton circa 2009

You won’t see me complain, although I’m pretty sure Hef isn’t running out of twentysomethings just yet. (Besides, it’s just a cover; it’s not a pictorial, fercryingoutloud.) And anyway, she could use a few extra bucks right about now.

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Mark his words

For some time, Ferris O’Brien has been buying quarter-pages in the Gazette to promote The Spy; last week’s ad said simply “We are The Spy.”

This week’s ad says: “We are The Spy™.”

I have a feeling things are about to get interesting.

(If you haven’t heard them lately, they’re at TheSpyFM.com.)

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