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Thursday, October 15, 2009

So this is why

everyone’s talking about that sports franchise in St. Louis!

I totally get it now.

H/t Hester Blum.

Posted by Michael on 10/15 at 07:35 PM
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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I should be blogging about Afghanistan and Mad Men and the Beatles

... but who has time to blog about such things at a time like this?  I’m way too busy with teaching and writing letters of recommendation and reading students’ applications and personal statements and going to meetings and reading other things and basically doing my day job.  I wonder how many people realize that October is crunch time for professors.  Other than other professors, of course.

And though I have to admit that I didn’t have the good sense to plan this week’s course preps back in July, I am pleased to find myself teaching The Sound and the Fury in my “Stranger than Fiction” senior seminar and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time in my Intro to Disability Studies in the Humanities course.  I am enjoying this immensely, and I hope that some of my students are too.  Feel free to ask me about cognitive disability and narrative!  I’m supposed to write a book about these things one of these days.

In the meantime, here are two Important Pictures.  Each of them Tells a Story, and the two of them together tell Yet Another Story, a Story about My Life.  One of these days I’ll get around to writing those stories, if you like.  Especially the Story of the Broken Stick, which will make you laugh and/or cry, depending on how much you care about hockey sticks.

As for Mad Men:  poor Sal.

Posted by Michael on 10/13 at 11:30 PM
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Friday, October 09, 2009

ABF Friday: WTF edition!

But first, cake!

Two graduate students brought me a cake—and I eated it!  Nom nom nom, etc.

So.  In honor of that scrumtrulescent Arbitrary But Fun cake (thanks, Sarah and Dan!), today American Airspace offers you all a special treat:  it’s time for

Weekend Wingnut Mix-and-Match!

Here’s how to play.  Combine any two (or more! it’s Arbitrary!) Outrageous Obama Outrages and see if you qualify for the Washington Post’s “America’s Next Great Wingnut” contest!

First, choose from column A:

(1) Barack Hussein al-Obama was personally rebuked by the International Olympics Committee because of

(2) Barack Hussein al-Obama was personally knighted and apotheosized and then canonized by the Nobel Committee because of

and then choose from column B:

(1) his liberal-elitist taste in mustard
(2) his wanton and profligate trip to New York with Michelle for a night on the town
(3) his willingness to appease terrorists by saying “salaam alaikum” in Cairo
(4) his repeated Queen-touching, DVD-giving affronts to the United Kingdom
(5) his racist attack on one of Cambridge’s Finest and his subsequent refusal to help Henry Louis Gates, Jr. down the stairs at the White House
(6) his inability to speak extemporaneously
(7) his promise to kill the world’s grandmothers with his bare hands
(8) his wanton and profligate trip to Chicago with Michelle for their wedding anniversary
(9) his Katrina-like bungling of the fatally flawed “cash for clunkers” program
(10) his willingness to leave America open to a Soviet invasion by scrapping the Eastern European missile defense system
(11) his abominable bowling score
(12) his arrogant draining of a three-pointer on a basketball court in Iraq
(13) his repeated use of the word “I”
(14) his close personal friendships with Moammar Qaddafi and Hugo Chávez
(15) oh please, it’s only because he’s black

or make up your own!

Oh, and before I forget: in other news, the Nobel Committee announced that Herta Müller is not in fact the winner of the 2009 prize in literature.  Apparently the initial announcement was the result of a kerning error, and the recipient is instead William Ayers, for Dreams from My Father.

Posted by Michael on 10/09 at 11:03 AM
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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

About that TV show

OK, so let me see if I’ve got this straight.  Pete rapes the au pair down the hall, and we’re led to believe that his marriage is going to get stronger as a result.  (Though not before he’s had that humiliating exchange with his neighbor, who tells him to stop bullshitting about the au pair and—wink wink—to take that extracurricular business outside the building.  Vile on every level.) Meanwhile, our cad Don does the right marital thing for once: he takes Betty to Rome where they have a short—but sweet!—little honeymoon, with Don turned on by the fact that Italian men fall for Betty while Betty’s kinda turned on by the fact that Conrad Hilton fell for Don.  Why, Don even has Connie send Betty a souvenir.  How thoughtful!  And ... their marriage takes a body blow as a result.  It just doesn’t seem fair, somehow.

Not that one can blame Betty.  She’s not putting her anthropology major—or her fluent Italian—to much use in the wilds of Ossining.  And can I just point out that in 1961-63, living in Ossining was like living in Ultima Thule?  I mean, people are talking about Don and Betty living in “the suburbs.” Actually, Scarsdale and Dobbs Ferry were suburbs back then.  Ossining (35 miles from midtown Manhattan) is a hyper-exurb, a bit further away from the action than those wealthy Connecticut bedroom communities, Greenwich and Cos Cob.

And under the heading of I Are A Complete Numbskull, I actually said to Janet, as Pete handed the young woman the replacement dress, “it’s kind of nice to see Pete do something altruistic for a change.”

Posted by Michael on 10/06 at 02:49 PM
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Monday, October 05, 2009


Here’s a snippet from Jamie’s tang soo do test.  This is Saturday morning, some time between 8 and 11 am—yes, we were testing all morning.  We’re brown belts (fourth gup) testing for brown-belt-with-white-stripe (third gup).  Here, Jamie demonstrates hand techniques eleven through fifteen:

On the cultural studies front, there’s this, to which the only responsible answer, I believe, is this.

Posted by Michael on 10/05 at 12:13 PM
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