Saturday, September 15, 2012

You let your mind out somewhere down the road

Links you can use. For good or evil. Links like a dandelion spreading its seeds on the wind,  links like sugar, Johnny Applelink, Malcolm Gladwell's Link.

You know, links you might find mildly or wildly interesting.

David Cay Johnston gives us a Tale of Two Healthcare Plans. Warning: contains graphs, charts and the mention of taxes.

Paul Krugman (who had a cameo in Get Him to the Greek, much to my surprise and delight because if I have to sit through a film featuring Russell Brand and a scene where his character demands that his handler smuggle drugs up his butt (the handler's not his own), then I'm going to need some sort of smartypants liberal elite elixir to provide some balance. One can't sue Hollywood for brain atrophy, can one?) Where was I? Oh, yes, Paul Krugman. His piece on obstruction and exploitation. Also known as <redacted>.

I'm trying to not curse. It's an experiment, an exercise in self restraint.

Which reminds me, I'm listening to the audio version of Frank Delaney's Venetia Kelly's Traveling Show: A Novel of Ireland and have laughed uproariously while driving to and from work. Which is saying something because lately I have been in one pissed off and holler mood. To crack this marble face takes some true comedic talent.

I bring this up because in the book, there's a character who seasons every sentence with a sulfuric dash of that oh so versatile word fuck. When the narrator reports any conversations he has with said cuss monster, his mother insists he use flock instead of the other very bad word.

To wit:

...why in the flock does she need a flocking ladder to get to the flocking flowerboxes when I flocking told her that I would flocking help her in a few flocking minutes.......

It is perfect, of course, with the Irish brogue.

Douglas Coupland offers some advice to writers. Specifically, to young writers, but who's to say what's young anymore? I'm not biologically young, but my writing is young. Anyway, it's a bullet point list so it won't wear you thin with paragraphs and contains some points I haven't seen elsewhere in my search for enlightenment about writing (a procrastination tactic familiar to writers the world over.)

Gwynne Watkins interviews Amanda Palmer.

Super8. Have you seen it? Sophie interrupted her own raving about it to ask me to watch it with her. I said I'd watch a few minutes and then probably get back to whatever it was I'd been doing. Two hours later, I was still glued to the television. It held my interest enough that I didn't multitask once during the entire viewing and it made an ELO fan out of Sophie.

Bra Recycling. Surprisingly, I don't mean turning bras into charming chapeaux. Although one could, I suppose, but let's leave MathMan out of this.

I'm reading Rachel Maddow's Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power. Talk about taxing my ability to remain curse word free. I'm only up to the part about how Reagan funded the Contras in Nicaragua and have already worn out the phrases holy shit, motherfucker, Jesus Christ, What the hell? and I'll be damned.

Please just stop. For all that was good and holy in Mrs. Johnson's 7th grade language class, please. Stop.

And finally Fred Armisen on Alec Baldwin's Here's the Thing. Via the incomparable Bob Lefsetz. If you've been asking if you should keep chasing your dream, you must listen to this.

What's making you click these days?


  1. I was all happy about the news that a Judge in Wisconsin ruled the Union busting law by tea party nightmare Governor Walker was ruled unconstitutional on both State & Federal levels. Finally! Some good news there.
    But then I saw an AP article saying it is unclear if wayward Walker was going to ask them to keep the law in force while he appeals it to the next level. AND that only the teachers & municipal union workers filed this case, so all the state workers are not included. They would have to go through the whole legal rigamarole. Dang! It started out so hopeful .
    Best case scenario is the higher court simply agrees w the lower court ruling & it ends there. He also deemed that it infringed on workers "free speech" rights. The law just said workers have a voice! Can I get a Hallelujah!?

    Unions need some solid legal precedent, in the event some other politician wants to run roughshod over workers rights.

  2. I'm only up to the part about how Reagan funded the Contras in Nicaragua and have already worn out the phrases holy shit, motherfucker, Jesus Christ, What the hell? and I'll be damned.

    I remember protesting that shite in New Haven, back in the day.

    Nobody cared, and the monsters are still all here.

  3. The way the news is at the moment, Lisa, I just can't avoid the word fuck. Fucking fundamentalist Christians, fucking Moslem fanatics, fucking financial crisis, fucking Mitt Romney, fucking Angela Merkel ...

    But for a classic story, told entirely in expletives, check out this scene from The Wire ;-)

    1. Finding that on youtube was the reason we rented the series.

  4. This.

    Lightning vs. lightening should be on that poster.

  5. I'm cursing more and will have to continue to do so. Four years ago, I gave up fighting about this time, sick of all the misinformation and hatefulness out there. This time around, I'm just now gearing up. I hope my neighbors have their industrial headphones on --- Fuck, in all its forms, will be in full use here through early November. Hopefully my fight will end there?

    Did you see Michael Lewis on GPS with Fareed Z. this morning? He talked about spending days with the President for his new article in Vanity Fair, but much of what he discussed were things that won't be in the article. "The most literary president we've had since Lincoln," was one thing, with great details. Loved it.

  6. Lisa - I love Rachel Maddow. She used to DJ on our homegrown western Massachusetts radio station out of the town next door. She caught on like wildfire in the Valley with her wit and gusto for liberal politics and obviously had done very well for herself. I haven't been watching the broadcasts...I don't need any more practice in using the f-word - I think I have it down pretty good. :-)

    ifthethunderdontgetya - your comment made me grin and I remember working on that cause myself.By the way, you've got a lot of fucks to make up for. ;-)

  7. Mr. Coupland's advice is spot on. I really like his thought on interning. It makes perfect sense.

  8. Another for the list is saying 'less' when the meaning is 'fewer'. If it can be counted, it's 'fewer'.

    I'm too busy packing to click this week.

  9. Loved the writing advice one! The "Don’t write for magazines you don’t actually read. People can tell you’re not 100 percent into it" advice particularly rang true for I continue growing in my writing career (talking non-fiction here) I recognize that the publications I read religiously are the ones that might be best for my work. Even if they are in the shooting-for-the-stars range, at least I have something specific and familiar to shoot for.

  10. Food porn seems to be my guilty pleasure these days. I blame Pinterest!
    I'm totally avoiding MSM--it just makes me crazy!


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