things of little relevance

well, it gives me hope
April 6, 2010, 6:05 pm
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From my friend Alex:

I once heard that you can fit all the people who read literary fiction, in the whole world, into a single football stadium. But I saw a banker type on the subway this morning reading Pamela, a guy who clearly was not reading it because he was taking or teaching a class on it, and he only had like twenty pages to go! And Updike and McEwan are cake by comparison! I thought about submitting this to GMH, but I think it’s not the kind of thing they’re looking for.


i see the sign
March 30, 2010, 1:02 am
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Sam Amidon is one of my favorite musicians right now and this is coming from someone who dislikes folk music. He does an amazing cover of R. Kelly’s “Relief.”

March 27, 2010, 1:18 pm
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Anthony Gottlieb explains philosophy:

There was once a website on which academic philosophers listed the curious things that strangers had said to them upon learning that they were in the presence of a philosopher. The following conversation allegedly took place on an aeroplane:

“May I ask you a question?”
“It’s a philosophical question. Is that ok?”
“There’s a boy I fancy. Should I text him or e-mail him?”

A) The answer is e-mail. My personal rule of thumb is never to date anyone who makes plans via text.

B) This reminds me, I should probably read some Hume this summer.

March 26, 2010, 7:18 pm
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(via Vol. 1 Brooklyn)

March 24, 2010, 12:12 am
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(via A Don’s Life)

March 19, 2010, 12:02 pm
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“A hundred years from now, if someone wants to study the bobbleheads, where will they go? There needs to be an archive.” (via Vol. 1 Brooklyn)

This article reads like something out of The Onion:

The bobblehead of Justice David H. Souter, for instance, wears heavy gold jewelry and sits on a lifeguard stand, reminders of his opinions in a copyright case involving the rap group 2 Live Crew and a sexual harassment case brought by a female lifeguard. In a secondcopyright case, Justice Souter referred to “the latest release by Modest Mouse”; his bobblehead plays a snippet of a song by the band.

Maybe I’ll be a bobblehead scholar, it is en par with being a James Patterson scholar.

The Liberal Arts Layabout
March 19, 2010, 12:13 am
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Jessica Grose dissects me and you and everyone we know (if me and you and everyone we know were male and likely living in Brooklyn):

Greenberg is pretty much the fictional representation of the masculinity crisis that Susan Faludi outlined in her 1999 book Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man. Men like Greenberg, Faludi argued, were led to believe as boys that they were “going to be the master of the universe and all that was in it,” that they’d be astronauts conquering the final space frontier or, at the very least, that they would master a lifelong stable job and a healthy family. But by the ’90s, Greenberg types found themselves “masters of nothing.” The latest recession is only making it more so, as job security becomes a fantasy for many, and marriage rates plummet.

And yet men are still tragically unable to retool. The image of the American woman has gone through several upheavals since the 1950s, but the masculine ideal seems fixed in cultural aspic: Think slick ad executive Don Draper in Mad Men and the WWII heroes in the Tom Hanks-produced HBO series The Pacific. So his confused, paralyzed counterpart is cropping up in ever-more variations on TV and in movies: the omega male.

Who am I kidding? I am already a liberal arts layabout…