Tuesday, August 12, 2008

talk. talk. talk.

It's true. That is all I'm good for.

(1) I am very much in sympathy with Emdashes' "Banned Words and Phrases," in a general sense. And I am supportive of the ban on "exhausted," in particular. And I would like to institute such a ban against my busy and hyperbolic but hardly --------- self. You know this.

Rebecca Mead and Roger S. Weick demonstrate the proper use of the word, in an Aug 4 talk:

[Queen] Claude, a near-contemporary of Anne Boleyn, who served her at the French court as a prepubescent lady-in-waiting, was betrothed at the age of six to her cousin François, the Duke of Angoulême and heir-presumptive to the French throne. She was wed at fourteen. She went on to bear seven royal children, including a son who became Henry II of France, and she died at twenty-four. “The French say that she was épuisée—exhausted,” Roger S. Wieck, a curator of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts at the Morgan, explained the other day. (27)

(2) "Fish Story," 7/21. I didn't like the way Mike Peed included panhandlers in a list of non-human objects. I did like the way he got distracted at the end, "Suddenly, an even bigger question loomed: What does the world have against eels?"

(3) I feel like it's interesting news that Sasha Frere-Jones is selling his vinyl collection. I hope he keeps us posted on that.

(4) Ug. On Saturday, on my local radio station, I heard someone desecrate James Thurber's "How to Tell a Fine Old Wine," in a reading for Selected Shorts. It was just so bad. Tension and excitement in all the wrong places. The actor clearly was not acquainted with dry, modern wit. While John Lithgow reading Roald Dahl's "Taste" was pretty good.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

talk of nettles. and thistles. and other things to eat.

You did read "Fourteen Passive-Aggressive Appetizers," didn't you? Oh, delicious.

And "Soup to Nettles," one family's experiments in 19th C Russian cookery. Also tasty.

The Emdashes interns are right, hip-hop Sesame Street is sublime. I also liked both Sasha Frere-Jones' posts the price of soul at the Christies' auction of James Brown miscellany. One sounded a bit like a good Talk; in the other, a picture spoke a thousand words.

The end was a bit pat, on Frere-Jones' longer piece (and the Russian one, for that matter), but that's how Talks are, huh?

Well, maybe not. The end of "Kranking It" was quietly dismissive in the best way.

Rebecca Mead's nuptial Talk was alternately seductive and repulsive. I got confused when the now-divorced Ms. Tucker is describing her wedding ceremony:

"'My dog Rosy was in the wedding. She wore a thistle collar. It was very me.' Was it also very him, she was asked. Tucker paused. 'I have no idea,' she said. 'Herein lies the problem.'"

The first two times I read it, I thought the him was the dog Rosy. The gender of dogs escapes me, I fixate on the weird psychological shit people put their pets through, I don't know . . . Anyway, when I went to post today, I realized the him in question was probably the ex-husband.

But the absolutely most disgusting line the whole thing is this, "The couple have been engaged since before Niederhoffer was pregnant with Magnolia but have no immediate plans to marry." Ew. Just ew. If you live in a world where you feel you have to be explicit about the dates, just . . . never mind.

To quote Tucker, “It’s like the perfect bohemian existence, except not.”