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the latest waddle:

good morning, wordpress - 10:36 a.m. , 2009-07-03

elaborate murder attempt - 2:56 p.m. , 2009-07-01

building a tractor in the basement - 10:42 a.m. , 2009-06-19

ask no questions tell just a few lies - 3:17 p.m. , 2009-06-09

my long lasting flavor really lasts long - 1:10 p.m. , 2009-06-04

2002-06-17 ... 11:45 a.m.

First: Cordless phones have many advantages, but they have interfered significantly with the modern expression of anger. It is so unsatisfying to hang up on someone with a cordless phone. Instead of the visceral slamming down of the receiver, you have to extend an index finger and poke a little button. Not quite the same.

Second: To each his or her own, of course. It's your body, do whatever you want with it. But from time to time I will see a person with so many piercings that I am automatically reminded of cartoons in which someone is shot full of holes, and they try to drink water and it keeps spilling out in fountains. I worry about people who seem to be running out of things to pierce, and the level of disappointment that will ensue when they finally have no body left to modify.

Status Report: Sabbatical. Over. Too soon. Now I am back to work, cranky and crampy and bright-eyed and wired all at the same time. My general mood is gray, but it's the gray made up of intense dark and light pixellated points rather than of flat no-color. Did brief and painless family things Saturday afternoon, and again on Sunday, both of which were overwhelmingly food-oriented. I think my system is rebelling somewhat, as all I really am craving right now is beer and mashed potatoes, like some kind of classic cliche Bukowski lush. Saturday night, after the family thing, I went out to (a) drink tea, (b) make noise, and then (c) chase the tea down with beer, which resulted in a sort of low-grade caffeine/alcohol speedball that lent itself very well to three or four hours of non sequiturs and private jokes.


There is a kind-of-fun article by Stanley Fish (why did I not remember that he's local?) in the current issue of Harper's....they are horrible about putting their content online, but the article is about postmodernism and terrorism, and some commentary about these things that has completely missed the point. He cites several snarky columnists who said that after 9/11, "campus intellectuals" (whatever that means) could now no longer say that "nothing was real" and there are "no moral norms or truths worth defending" and that "truth and ethical judgment have no objective validity." Fish makes the point, and it's an interesting one, that postmodernists say no such thing, and that it all depends on what you mean by "objective." A standard of validity that is independent of any intellectual, historical system of thought? Some sort of Platonic universal standard? Well, yes, then I guess I'm a postmodernist, because I too would deny that such a thing is, or could ever be, available. But there are plenty of standards that we use to judge truths, all the time: disciplines like psychology, different literary theories, chemistry and the scientific method, religion, etc. Here's my favorite part, so come on and sue my ass for quoting at length:

The problem is not that there is no universal----the universal, the absolutely true, exists, and I know what it is. The problem is that you know, too, and that we know different things, which puts us right back where we were a few sentences ago, armed with universal judgments that are irreconcilable, all dressed up and nowhere to go for an authoritative adjudication. What to do? Well, you do the only thing you can do, the only honest thing: you assert that your universal is the true one...and there you have to leave it, because the next step, the step of proving the falseness of their beliefs to not a step available to us as finite situated human beings. We have to live with the knowledge of two things: that we are absolutely right and that there is no generally accepted measure by which our rightness can be independently validated. That's just the way it is, and we should just get on with it, acting in accordance with our beliefs (what else could we do?) without expecting that some God will descend, like the duck in the old Groucho Marx TV show, and tell us that we have uttered the true and secret word.


Dilbert in Spanish is kind of freaking me out.


Anyone seen Zwan? I was never a huge Pumpkins fan but the new venture is kind of intriguing nonetheless.

---mimi smartypants got into the catnip.


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