Tuesday had about four good hours, and the rest felt the relationship between a common sponge and a cheese grater. Why did I say common? Are there uncommon sponges? Well, yes; a live one in your sink would be rare. A sponge the size of a garage door would be rare. But just saying “a sponge” seems insufficient. A “sink sponge” would be better, but adding “sink” seems unnecessary. Context is everything; if you’re in the kitchen and you ask your spouse to hand you the sponge, she knows what you mean. If you’re in the office and say “do you have a sponge” to a co-worker, they’d be confused. This is not a sponge place. This is not a sponge situation.

There’s nothing like a new sponge, is there. So firm and bright and full of promise. I think they lose their will to live after a few trips through the dishwasher; they’re still useful, but they’re like old boxers who can still go enough rounds to make the bout interesting.

Anyway. Mood low because I was just tired all day, and even a stonking great nap didn’t help. Oh, I woke with brio, marched down the stairs, made an omelette in four minutes, and set right to work, but after five hours I was just bored with everything in the world had to offer. Which is something of a sin, but there it was. I love Mondays. Wednesdays are busy. Thursdays are wall-to-wall; Fridays are the best. Tuesdays are just rote: when you wake you slide the form across the counter and wait for it to be stamped. The stamp says CERTIFIED TUESDAY. No more needs to be said.

So I won’t say it.

Still revising the novel, BTW; nothing quite so fun as running into a minor character you’d forgotten about. In this case it’s Bill Oreland, a former movie critic the newspaper puts on the webcasts. He’s a dolt and I like him. I’m almost afraid to keep reading and discover I had him shot.

Drum roll: I unfollowed someone on Twitter! I hate when I do that, because it seems rude and abrupt. If only Twitter had a “drift apart” setting. The posts from the person you don’t want to follow anymore appear less and less frequently, until they’re gone all together and you don’t notice. But I also hate to unfollow people because it gives them satisfaction that they’re doing something right. Can’t handle the truth, eh? It depends on the ratio of interesting news and/or posts to hobby-horse riding, the number of times they tweet with brusque contemptuous certainty about a thing which, shall we say, is more nuanced than they seem to believe.

Well, this came out of nowhere. I'll leave the name off it. One of those bloggers who goes from job to job.

I wish more editors at major publications would green light more longform journalism by white men. That's what we need more of.

I think the world needs more longform pieces by women, because longform is good and requires skills not evident in a short hit-post on a groupthink blog. I was unaware that more longform pieces by white males drove out the opportunities for someone to write long on a website somewhere. Or that any website with a goal of wide readership has announced it would be doubling its efforts to publish more long pieces by men with the intention of swamping the smaller boats that have able women at the keel. In short, I don’t know what she is talking about, except that the way she is talking about it is a sign of a cramped mind. Do you want to sit next to someone at work who says little but occasionally pipes up with a remark about how there are too many women in the HR department? Or says “oh great, another Indian hired in the IT department.” If you followed this person around every day and he or she popped off with a remark like this now and then you would . . . what’s the word? Right.

People are applauded for statements like this: necessary! People are admired for this perspective: forward-thinking! Time to clear the deck! It’s actually regarded as a sign of an enlightened mind to point to race and gender as a reason for bemoaning someone’s speech, and it’s everything I can’t stand about identity politics. Not because I am both of those characteristics - if anyone wants to dismiss me out of hand for those reasons I’ve no interest in their opinion, because they are looking at the big wide world through the aperture of a toilet-paper tube and have cotton in their ears. Have a nice life. No, it’s something else:

Your argument is judged before it is made, because of the amount of melanin you have and the composition of body parts in your groinal region. (Or, more and more, what you want those parts to be). There is something inherently dubious in the White Male that must be disproved quickly by calling attention to your status, and what you say next must swaddle its assertions in apologies. The White Male Experience is monolithic, you see. While there may be tiny variances to account for class, social skills, work experience, intelligence, and culture, they are irrelevant when balanced against Privilege, so yeah, you’re all White Males.

In some cases, the WM Experience is quite germane, because what you’re talking pertains to being male. Even then you should rely on your betters to elevate it to a sociological level, where it can be explained by people untroubled by your blinkered perspective. Your perspective blinds you to truth. (For other groups the perspective confers truth.)

God, these people are boring.

On a somewhat related note: started watching “Agents of SHIELD” because I always thought I should, it being Marvel, and I grew up on that stuff.

This is not a review, but an expansion of the above.

Granted, I grew up with White Male Nick Fury, but quickly accepted Samuel L. Jackson in the role because he was badass, and that’s the term that’s supposed to command instant respect, no? I hate that term. Again, it’s lazy. Usually used for the “strong female” trope. This woman is grim and kicks people in the head and isn’t the usual man who is grim and kicks people in the head! Badass! I’m glad Jackson got the role, because if they’d cast a WM it would have meant he would be revealed as compromised and corrupt down the line; Jackson’s casting assures that the essence of Nick Fury will be maintained. Anyway: what a festival of cliches. The script was good; the performances were good; it had a spirit and zip that made it a bit better than most pilots, but let’s check off the boxes:

BEAUTIFUL hacker who tosses her thick, conditioned hair while spitting back fearless rejoinders, and can get into any system with quick typing: CHECK.

GRIM ASIAN WOMAN who is better at that thing than anyone and is also a martial-arts expert, because, the way her eyes are shaped + culture: CHECK

STUTTERING MILKY BRIT who is brilliant! of course, but sexless and gawky: CHECK

QUIRKY AMUSING BRIT LADY who is like her counterpart but much more together: CHECK


DECENT BALD BRAWNY African-American guy who’s just trying to do right by his son in a hard world that kicks a man every time it can: CHECK

BRILLIANT, SOCIALLY WELL-ADJUSTED African-American science guy with grey hair to indicate gravitas: CHECK, and hoorah for Ron Glass getting a job.

These are the only possible archetypes, I guess. Wasn’t always so. In “24” Chloe was not a sexbomb. She had the joy-sucking personality of an office manager who sends out memos about people who take pens home from work. She was peevish and had the worst case of resting bitch-face in the history of Western civilization. We loved her. In “Fringe” - one my favorite TV shows, ever - no one felt like a token, a ticked box. People were people. When I toted up the end of “SHIELD” it seemed like the only way they could present the two necessary WM archetypes without controversy - Rip Squarejaw and Agent Coulson, the omnipotent enabler - was to give everyone else absurdly amplified examples of what they believe those groups want to see.

Perhaps they do. But these things have a way of supplanting one’s expectations of reality, at least among those who do not get out very much. Some people seem to require unreality to advance justice in the next iteration of reality. Where everything will be apportioned correctly. As always: next time, we'll get it right.

This week it's another round-up of stuff from my favorite museum - er, antique store . . .

Schlemiel; Schlimazel:

Description: "The object of the game is to collect as many 'dating hours' during a week as the TV's characters, while having to work at the factory and avoid being stood up." The "dreams" which will come true involve basic mating rituals, ending perhaps in socially-sanctioned intercourse.






Commando Cody vs. the Moon. The Whole Damned Moon. Which is so powerful they have one gun and hire crooks to drive it around in secret.

If you remember last week, Cody fell off a cliff, and was hanging limp in the air as riding an invisible glider. There wasn't much suspense, because, well, he's a Rocketman. And so:

That is no surprise whatsoever, is it. But who cares? Flying suit! Cool. So it’s back to Al’s Cafe to see if anyone recognized the Criminals. Cody finds a mechanic who says he referred them to another mechanic (This happens in serials over and over again) and Cody heads off to keep that plot line going for a few more episodes.

Back on the Moon, President Moon hears that his sniveling advance man on the Earth has the ray gun fixed, and can start blowing up crap again. The Criminals get their instructions, and leave - heading, of course, right to . . . the mechanic’s garage where Cody's poking around. Annnnnnnd fistfight! HAT PROTOCOL MUST BE OBSERVED HATS MUST BE WORN AT ALL TIMES

Cody is beaten, but wakes seconds later with no signs of bruising or bloody lip or nose. He realizes the truck had the all-important critical ray gun - that’s why the Criminals left it at a garage - and then he gets news of a troop train blown up, and realizes that the budget for the show might not be as big as he thought. Or they would have shown it.

He takes to the sky and finds the truck, and alerts his friend Ted because why would you call in the military to take out a ray-gun truck paving the way for interplanetary invasion? And so:


This again. The shoot-the-sky-guy scene. No good: Cody gets into the plane piloted by Ted, where he grabs . . .

. . . the cutest bombs possible! The first one misses, so naturally the Criminals STOP, and get out the RAY GUN, making themselves sitting ducks. We see the problems inherent in back-of-truck-based ray guns:

You have to drive the truck around so you can shoot at a plane that’s infinitely more maneuverable. Nevertheless:

Crap! You know, I’ll bet there’s some missing dialogue we’ll hear next week. Something along the lines of “they’ve locked on us! Bail out!”

Unless the next six episodes are just funeral arrangements and the wake. But no:

Wouldn't be . . . the MOON, by any chance?


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