Monday, March 30, 2009

a thrill a minute

I've been watching the show "24." So far in this season's 24 hour time frame, there have been 32 terrorist attacks thwarted by the same guy, a hostage crisis involving the president whose husband is in the hospital for something everyone's forgotten about because it happened 7 hours ago, commercials featuring the former president who was assassinated around season four, and a whole lotta torture goin on. Also, Jon Voigt has become Dr. Evil.

So here's the plot line I'm proposing for next season, inspired by real events in a 24 hour period. Sleeping, guarding the food bowl with your sleeping body, eating, going outside between meals and naps, and more sleeping. Sometimes intense displays of frenzied happiness. The dramatic tension will be built by standing in front of the door waiting for someone to open it. Will it be opened in time? Stay tuned.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

join the cause

I set for myself the task of taking a picture of a shrug and trying to make it slightly interesting. The challenges included using a model whose face diminished the aesthetics of the picture, and the fact that the model wore a hoody, so that a wide shot made it look more like a picture of someone performing the Eucharist. So I'm left with a picture needing an explanation, and the hope that most people viewing like orange.

But the task was in support of a much more urgent action. Lately I've noticed people putting the gesture above into a printed utterance: meh. At first I thought it was idiosyncratic of a friend, then another friend. But now I see it is ubiquitous, the canonical spelling of a sound people make as shorthand for "whatever" or "I will now stop thinking about this particular problem that only marginally concerns me" or "it is out of my hands and I surrender to greater powers." Or whatever.

Since the first time I saw the word in print I was convinced that it represented no sound that people actually make. If it does, then it is the sound Jack Lemon made in The Odd Couple when he had to clear his sinus passages. Hilarious, by the way. But not a sound someone would make casually, which means it shouldn't be associated with a shrug.

Therefore, I call upon all phonetically responsible people to join me in rejecting this growing threat, and heretofore adopt as standard and correct a new spelling, accurate, clear, and universal:


Whatever. I will now google the newest word in the language.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

campus life

This poster advertises some on-campus apartments where I work. Since I've seen that same look walking into my class ten minutes late, I'm inclined to rewrite the ad as "lazy ass? no worries! nobody gives a damn!"

The school is frequently updating its slogans. The one I've always been tempted to suggest is a line from a Frank Zappa song: "Be a loyal plastic robot for a world that doesn't care."