Quo Vadimus

Saturday, April 19, 2003


Words of Wisdom. #002:

"As far as drug use is concerned, so what I say," Mr. Colbert said. "A lot of performers, probably many on this dais here, have used drugs to relax them, to make them confident, to make them funny. And if there is a drug that can make Chevy Chase funny, then I say that is a wonder drug. And a heaping bowl of whatever that drug is should be brought up to this dais and force-fed to Kevin Meaney."
Mr. Colbert concluded his segment by saying he'd like to offer "a little bit of warning to the rest of the people" who were going to roast Mr. Chase. "Before you attack him, think," he said. "There may come a day in your darkest hour when you are a shadow of your, albeit paper-thin self. And when that day comes, I hope that you are cheered up by something that Mr. Chase so famously said. He's Chevy Chase and you're not. If that doesn't cheer you up, then I don't know what will."
- Stephen Colbert, 9/28/2002, New York Friars Club roast of Chevy Chase.

posted by Linus | 8:15 PM


Classic Names, first in a series. #001: Lawless J. Barrientos, Jr.

Classmate: 3/84 (Rocky Mount[ain] Elementary) to 6/88 (Mabry Middle School).
Teammate: Spring/Summer 1984, Roswell Recreation and Parks, "Dixie Youth" baseball league, 9-10 division. Team name*: Bullets.


*Fast-forward to 1988, now in the 13-14 division (deeper fences, more obnoxious parents). Team name: Black Sox. It was bad enough to be named for a team notorious for scandal (though also kinda cool; my attempts to get "Shoeless Robbie" on the back of my jersey were refused by the "team mother" despite a clandestine rooftop meeting in which lunch was supplied), but then there was the hat. A cheap, half-plastic-mesh-y legend. Black with the sins of our namesakes, the front featured two letters, in all their white-script glory: BS.

posted by Linus | 12:34 PM

Thursday, April 17, 2003


Are You Hot?: The Search for America's Sexiest SNOOT.

"I know that my grammar and spelling are not perfect, but "your" is possessive. "You're" is short for "you are." Please do not email me and tell me "your hot." I appreciate your comments but over a year and a half of reading "your hot" every day, that particular grammatical error has started to give me the heebie-jeebies. What grammatical errors annoy you guys the most? We all have grammatical pet peeves I guess."
- from "Random Thoughts For A Wednesday Afternoon", 4/3/2003.

posted by Linus | 9:25 PM


Rock and roll is very food.

posted by Linus | 12:57 PM


"Oh, man. In that case, you have to check out Argento's Tenebre.":

Sprite will be fine.

posted by Linus | 7:52 AM

Wednesday, April 16, 2003


Holger and Gretel:

From an October email exchange between Holger Turck and EMI Music in Germany, as reported in Harper's Magazine, March 2003, p. 20. Translated from the German by Ben Ewing.

Dear Sir or Madam,
Yesterday I purchased the copy-protected TOTO CD "Through the Looking Glass." The reverse side reads: "It is designed to be compatible with CD audioplayers, DVD players and PC-OS, MS Windows 95, Pentium II 233 MHz 64MB RAM or higher." This statement is definitely false.
- In reality, only tracks 1 - 8 are playable in my DVD player. I don't own an ordinary CD player anymore, making this CD worthless.
- In reality, my Macintosh plays only tracks 1 - 7. Result: the CD is worthless.
- In reality, my PC would play the CD only if I were to use the software found on the CD itself. I am very careful when selecting the software that I install on my computer, and I refuse to be coerced into using proprietary software. As a result, this CD is worthless.
This is all the more regrettable, as I am a dedicated fan of the group TOTO and own - among other items - all of their albums. It's a pity that YOU have prevented me from being able to add their most recent work to my collection.
You altogether ignore the simple fact that every purchaser is - by law - allowed to make a copy of his purchased CD. Your behavior is altogether illegal. As a result, I will not purchase another CD that is outfitted with copy-protection from your firm or from any other.
How do you plan to win me back as a customer in the future?
Holger Turck

This is how:

Dear Mr. Turck,
We will spare ourselves the trouble of addressing those observations in your email which are obviously uninformed. Simply realize: more than 250 million blank, recordable discs and tapes were sold and used this year, in comparison to 213 million prerecorded albums. Even without formal study in economics, it should be clear to anyone reading this that the music industry cannot continue to exist if the trend holds. The widespread copying of prerecorded audio material via the burning of CD-Rs can only be countered one way: namely, copy protection. We fear, however, that all these facts will not interest you in the slightest, as these measures will herald the end of free music, which surely won't please you at all.
Should you legitimately have a playback problem with the CD that you complained about, we would ask that you specify the exact CD player model for us. The scenario you put forth - multiple players failing to play the CD - can only be the stuff of fairy tales, given our experiences.
In the event that you plan to protest future releases of copy-protected CDs, we can assure you that it is only a matter of months until more or less every CD released worldwide will include copy protection. To that end, we will do everything in our power, whether you like it or not.
Your EMI Team

posted by Linus | 6:14 PM

Tuesday, April 15, 2003


With or without you:

From a list of 300 odors available from Recognose, an Australian company that manufactures scents for commercial use, as reported in Harper's Magazine, August 2002, p. 29.

Band-Aid, barnyard, Bartlett pear, beans, body odor, burning rubber, cabbage, caramel, cat urine, compost heap, cork taint, crushed ants, doughnut shop, fishmonger's shop, flint, freshly cut grass, garlic, green apple, green potato, gunpowder, horse dung, just before it rains, machine oil, old books, onion, ozone, putrid meat, ricotta, rotten egg, rotting leaves, sauerkraut, sheep urine, Shiraz, smelly feet, sperm, steam train, sweat, tinned mushroom, tire rubber, toffee, vomit (with or without carrots).

posted by Linus | 9:17 PM


3 ounces of Aimee Mann and a side of asparagus:

The following "street terms" for marijuana can be found on the website of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, as reported in Harper's Magazine, May 2003, p. 23.

Airplane, Assasin of youth, Astroturf, Baby, Bammy, Bo, Bo-bo, Bone, Boo, Boo boo bama, Boom, Broccoli, Butter, Canceled stick, Catnip, Christmas tree, Chunky, Climb, Cripple, Dank, Dew, Ding, Dinkie dow, Ditch, Earth, Elephant, Feeling, Finger, Gash, Goblet of jam, Goody-goody, Haircut, Indian boy, Jive, Joystick, Kate Bush, Killer, Loaf, Log, Machinery, Mother, Muggles, Number, Ozone, Poke, Prescription, Queen Ann's lace, Rope, Salt and pepper, Scissors, Stick, Straw, Tea, Tex-mex, Thirteen, Thumb.

Full list of fun "street terms" here.

posted by Linus | 6:41 PM


New movie Tuesday. Check it.

posted by Linus | 7:23 AM

Monday, April 14, 2003


Curb Your Enthusiasm.

posted by Linus | 6:45 PM


The Genius List. #022: Chris Ware.

A vast complex graphic novel with Faulknerian breadth, Flaubertian subtlety and Joycean indirection - with dialogue bubbles and full-color panels.

Ha ha.

posted by Linus | 6:26 PM

Sunday, April 13, 2003


The Genius List. #021: Iron Chef French: Hiroyuki Sakai.

posted by Linus | 5:10 PM


The Genius List, man. #020: Kumar Pallana.

Actor. Comedian. Father. Magician. Juggler. Safecracker. Groundskeeper. Family butler. Plate-spinner.

BLVR: What was one of your first big performances?

KP: Long Beach, 1955, '57. There used to be a very good television program called You Asked For It. They got a letter saying that somebody kisses snakes. [Laughs]. Some people wrote that about me, I don't know. So, this program, they said, "Well we'd like to have you."

So they have a big stuido, and they build very high, way up fifty feet or a hundred feet high, they build up a little platform. And I'm up there with four bottles and two chairs. One chair here and another chair there and two legs on and two off.

BLVR: And you stand on top?

KP: And then I do a handstand.

BLVR: On the chair! Where are the bottles? You're holding the bottles?

KP: No.

BLVR: You balance the chair on the bottles?

KP: Yeah. You go up and lift the other chair and then you do the handstand. Then you drop the chair and then you come down and you pick up one bottle and now the chair is on three bottles. Then you go up again and pick up the chair and you hold it out, all they way out on the side.

In America they have a lot of very good actors. But all the circuses here, the Ringling Brothers and all those kind, most people are the Europeans or the Asians. Here you can get by because it is a different culture. You can have a nice tuxedo, a bow tie. You can get by.

BLVR: If you have a nice bow tie, that's all you need.

KP: Yeah. [Laughs.]

posted by Linus | 10:39 AM