Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Random Ten

1. Keith Olbermann is an asshole. And misogynist, at that. So is Jack Shafer, by the way.

2. Are you a certified asshole? Take Prof. Sutton's test and find out.

3. Talking about the assholes of the blogging academy last week (no links), I was not persuaded by my (delightful) company's assertion that "he's a prick, but he's a prick for our side, and so we can at least agree with him." Not so. An asshole is an asshole is an asshole.

4. Coldplay on Coldplay: "I don’t listen to our records because it makes me break out in tears and sweat,” and “We have a rule that only the four of us can ever be onstage because we don’t want to be upstaged by someone more attractive.”

5. David Guterson is one of the least original writers out there, except for those n+1 prats.

6. Mary Pickford was awesome. Less so, the Taft-Hartley Act.

7. I agree with Chris Uggen: I do not want to gird my loins with my school's name and/or mascot. Goodness, can you imagine UCI Anteater underoos? Finally, I hope to avoid the awkwardness of "Hey Prof. ____!" at the lingerie shop at the mall by buying everything online. Awk-ward.

8. When I write carefully (not always the case with blogging), I do have near-perfect spelling and grammar. I am occasionally congratulated on how well I speak and write. Whether this is a left-handed compliment to my generation or my race, I do not know. But in any case, learning English formally as a second language isn't such a bad thing. That, and learning how to be an editor first and a writer second. This is how one learns how to write well, with greater economy and precision (notwithstanding my general verbosity). However, odes to semicolons (and the subjunctive) are just plain toolish. Americans should not be as obsessed with the precise enunciation of vowels as the English (oh noes! the Queen is slipping in her diction!) or as xenophobic about the permeable barriers of language and culture (and thus the production of knowledge) as the French. One of the great things about the English language is its adaptability and evolution through time, absorbing other languages and happily embracing neologisms. And yes, it's a beautiful language, full of music and cadence. Keep blathering on, you "but it is not a Romance language" Euro-obsessed freaks. Not that Latinate languages aren't beautiful (and as a former student of Latin, I do love such languages), but believing that only old world languages (which do lend themselves well to old-school rhyme schemes) are beautiful is not unlike the pedestrian view that only rhyming poems are beautiful. Grow up, and get with the times.

9. Speaking of declining standards, peer review, at least at university presses, is not all it's cracked up to be. And yet, still better than student-edited law journals...

10. Some people have a sense of "due North." I do not. On the other hand, I am glad that the caption to this article is no longer "Real Men Don't Use GPS." Grunt! Belch! In other news, the NYT's Fashion and Style section finds out that gender is a social construct with roots in biological realities.