Another night of work, so I’ll make this brief, he said, before dumping another 40 inches on the internet. True, I think in inches; I know a few pictures do not an essay make, but 40 inches of type would make your eyes skitter down, wondering how long he’s going to go on about whatever it is that sticks in his craw or put a spring in his step. The sun made me feel better today. It was warmer. Flowers are out. Can’t help but feel like we’re in the trenches of Verdun and this it is a lull in the bombardment, though.

Silly person at the Awl is telling us that Cereal for Breakfast is over and it’s a good thing.

Cereal is filler; it satisfies hunger and provides pleasure. It is a utilitarian semi-meal—Soylent, basically, for the psychologically sound. It is exactly what you need in the middle of the day, when hot food would put you to sleep and leafy food would instill a craving for something much worse. Lunch is for cereal and cereal is for lunch.

What cereal is not is the long-lasting, protein-rich foundation on which to build an entire waking day. Cereal as breakfast is a historical aberration—a series of questionable marketing efforts writ large.

This is the first in a series of YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG pieces, which will lead to a radio piece from some motormouth up-talker? who is super excited that the cereal industry is being disrupted. Look, I’d love to start every day with bacon and eggs, or eggs and sausage, or eggs bacon sausage and Spam, and so on, but I find a bowl of Raisin Bran in the morning with a small log of sausage (liberally spiced with hot sauce) is just enough to fill me up. Of course, this is because of marketing efforts. Previous generations were convinced that they wanted cereal, against their will; took years before people overcame their revulsion and said “okay, well, if the ads say so, I guess I don’t have a choice.” This was passed on to subsequent generations by genes.

The silly person was responding to a Wall Street Journal story about cereal makers responding to the RISE OF YOGURT by including yogurt. Or making a deal to blend cereal and yogurt. Because people like the convenience of yogurt - as opposed to the massive logistical nightmare involved in making a bowl of cereal, I guess.

It’s possible we eat cereal because we live in a culture where people eat cereal; I can’t imagine having dried fish and miso soup in the morning . . . so I don’t. Cereal might also be popular because it’s the easiest thing to make when you’re still waking up.

Anyway. It’s the delight in the end of something traditional that gets so tiresome, along with the assumption that this is part of the new world a-borning that will transform everything. You guys everyone is going to ride bikes and live in apartments and be localvores and drink craft beer and we don’t have to even have kids anymore it’s awesome.

It's also the smug superiority of knowing the real reason people like cereal - it's not what you think! - and the godawful weariness of confronting how much some people care about what other people eat. They're like that guy you knew in college who flipped through your record collection and sneered and laughed.

One site I will not be doing any time soon: the Faces of Judge Judy. Possibly because people would think it consisted entirely of 47 screen grabs of JJ scowling or making that happy-harpy face when someone really steps in it. I love her show, but not for the usual “reality” TV show reasons. It’s the only show where people who have never been told off in their life get told. Hard. In a world that regards Judgment with the same terror a Lutheran has in church when the new preacher instructs the congregation to turn left and hug the next person in the pew, the bestowal of stern, sharp, and unappealable judgment for personal behavior is wonderfully bracing.

Sometimes the people’s behavior is so uncouth, so selfish, so clueless that she hates them before she comse out; you can tell when she shoots a death-glare at a defendant when taking the bench. It’s also just nice to see people who got by their whole lives on what they presumed to be charm being instructed that they are simply not that impressive. It’s a good experience for people who have been tossing their hair and giggling all their lives and thinking they’re just adorable.

Anyway. This defendant stuck out. I’m not sure he wanted to be there.

Then there’s this.

And this.


And this:

Do you see her? She’s in every show, I swear. She moves around, but always on the plaintiff’s side. Sometimes she wears glasses. She has the same neutral expression as everyone else. The audience is mostly women, by the way; it’s rare you see a man back there. Just a wall of women, silently judging while JJ flays the parade.

Bioshock Infinite Update, if you care: still outmanned and undergunned, which makes for some interesting combat. But what really makes for interesting combat is leaping into the air, having my magnetic grappling hook clang on the rails above, careening around a corner, landing on a floating ship, using the repelling vigor to blow everyone on the ship off the deck and into the air. I cannot imagine the code responsible for some of the sequences.

Columbia is burning:

What this doesn’t capture are the leaves and ashes blowing around as you stand and watch in horror and awe.


I click on a state and zoom until I find a city that looks like the right size for a downtown. That's all. Once I choose I don't go elsewhere; I have to stick with the choice.

And so we find ourselves in . . .

In retrospect, they should have listened when the architect joked he was colorblind:

Virginia, the Queen City as it’s known to some, is one of the Iron Range cities that made their pile on iron. It has about 8,000 residents, and the downtown bears the marks of a boom town that . . . slipped.

Here and there are some spectacular examples of its wealth:

Wow. I can spot a Liebenberg & Kaplan design in a second, and that's one of theirs for sure.

You can lose yourself for an hour or so here, where the U of M has collected pictures of the various Liebenberg & Kaplan theaters. The interior of the Maco was as sharp and Moderne as you can imagine.

But not everything still has its old pizzazz. More bricked-up stores. Here's the front:

It has to be a bank:

You have to wonder if the owner saw what was done next door with the second floor windows, and thought "man, that turned out spectacular. I have to do that."

The pride of downtown, no doubt. The glorious bank building, five proud stories of money and law. But money moves along, and law doesn't care if this happens:

I can't imagine the reasons for that, although I'm sure the owner had them. Everyone in town had come down with Sudden Vampire Syndrome and the lower floor display windows had to go.

This looks like it's made of pie crust, and could crumble with a good hard kick:

Take a stroll. It's an interesting street.


Speaking of interesting streets: finally got around to scanning all my postcards of Nicollet Avenue and figuring out the modern -day locations. Have a look! See that Minneapolis button up there to the right? Right. I'd link it here, but what's the point of making those update buttons, then? Right.



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