Tuesday was cold and rainy - and when it wasn’t rainy, it was dank. That might be the last time I can use that work, since its meaning is passing out of its original definition to mean something else. The original meaning is “disagreeably damp, musty, and typically cold,” but now it’s something that displays a particular sensibility. Dank Memes, as the kids say. Too bad; nice word, while we had it.

I don’t know what will replace it. Drear is good, but it’s like plussed or chalant; it seems incomplete. I like the definition: “literary version of dreary,” and by “literary” they meant old-tyme literature that creaks with high-flown words and phrases. This style persisted into the 20th century - while researching something today I came across a newspaper’s way of getting people to visit a new amusement park. ““All staid people,” said the Tribune, “should make up their minds to loosen up for the nonce.”

Look, down there! Here comes the nonce! Loosen up, everyone! Unstaid thineself!

So it was miserable, but I didn’t mind. When you’re indoors you’re missing nothing, and when it’s evening you don’t mind the fact that you’re in your car and walking around Target. BTW, this is coming to a Target near you:

The cereal - of the future! I’m surprised they didn’t use that tagline. It suggests that they have realized it’s not the ice cream of the future. It was, once, but time has disproved their assertion. It is now the future, and ice cream in its traditional form is unchallenged by the new paradigm. If they’d said “An ice cream of the future,” they would have been correct, but that makes it sound like one option among many, an equal in a reconfigured landscape. They gambled all on triumphalism, and ended up as an indistinguishable cereal in a dying genre.









I’m never tired of Twitter, but I’m tired of lousy people on Twitter. I almost posted an aphorism of sorts a few weeks ago when there was glurge and bile poured on Bourdain and Krauthammer - mostly the latter - but it seemed too sententious.

The gleefully indecent on Twitter are just bugs drawn to the brightness of someone else’s light; the indecent who dress up their soullessness in Principle want all the lights turned off, except for theirs.

But there are the gleefully indecent. They have smirky profile pictures and arch, fey self-descriptions; they strike you as the sort of people their “friends” love because they’re so bitchy and honest, and also the sort of people who end up drunk and sobbing at a party because they hate themselves but also mostly hate that one person who doesn’t love them, but also understands because they’re awful, but really they’re not, you know?



I know, I know, this guy. Only cited for purposes of ridicule, but it's a useful statement.

The Serious Indecent people are the wannabe Jacobins who would commend themselves for hating the people who wear robes, take a job after the revolution sentencing the people who wear robes to death, and then, when offered a robe, tell themselves they earned it.

Yes, some people have bad ideas that make them bad people, and these are the ideas intended to hurt others. I mean, hurt them: they express the need to kill and eliminate. They deny the humanity of other groups for the purpose of gaining political and social control. But that's different - and it’s insane that it needs to be said - from advocating a set of ideas that the opponents of the idea believe is the equivalent of wanting to kill and oppress.

In other words: if I conclude, via my own intellectual prism, that the end result of your ideas is death and oppression, then I believe that is your intention. Having deduced your objectives - whether you know them or not, although you probably do - I am free to want you dead. And the expression of this desire is an expression of virtue.

Who cares? Small accounts or writers who are just firecrackers in a dry toilet bowl. But it’s the small details that make you despair sometimes. For example. Here’s someone who doesn’t get what the issue was about.


Again, it is not about that. It is not about refusing service to gay people. The issue at hand was compelling people to participate in an event, requiring them to make an artistic creation. I’ve long disputed the wisdom of redefining marriage for reasons that have nothing to do whatsoever with my opinion of homosexuality. It doesn’t bother me in the least. I had grave concerns about the redefinition of marriage; I would go to a gay friend’s wedding and be happy for them. The general and the specific are two different things.

It is also possible to be concerned about religious freedoms you do not personally endorse or share - small statements of conscience that simple human decency would seem to require respecting.

Second tweet:




See, that’s not so. This person isn’t kind to someone whose religious objection would require them to decline something they regard as participation and endorsement. This person would endorse someone else’s refusal of service if the reason was valid in their eyes, because they have a perfectly balanced and up-to-date operating system. If the person who declined to offer the cake said I believe what Barack Obama said in 2008, this wouldn’t be enough; you have to update to Obama 2012 for bug patches and enhanced user experiences.

Another person:

  That's a natural, measured counterargument
  This being my first impression of this person, it'll probably be the most lasting.
  Then there's the nonsequitar to remind us all that nothing, absolutely nothing, is outside of the context of what others presume your beliefs to be.

You see this on both sides. Most avoid saying it's time to make the other side dead. There seems to more yearning for dead people on the other side, though, thanks to Twitter.

I don't know what "war' in the context of a skull means. Hitting your neighbor on the head with a hammer because he believes in a flat tax?


  "A pretty awful place," says the blue-check who's presumably studied the history of the nation and perhaps the general state of humankind. Then came the blessed 1960s! LBJ and Vietnam and then assassinations and riots.
  This is a Hollywood guy whose wife wrote a piece about his lousy treatment of women, trying to earn his white-knight points back. Edgy, to boot. A phosphorescent display of ignorance and anger, which is a Twitter speciality.


If there's a common thread in the tweets above, it might be this: i doubt these people have a close relationship with someone who doesn't think almost exactly as they do. If pressed, they might trot out an Awful Relative. If you had some long, serious, civil conversations with people with different opinions, you might respect the opposition a bit more, but now that's equivocating in the face of a tsumami of fascism.

Twitter is where people blurt out anger, get their self-righteousness reinforced by others, have the gift of an equally stupid opposition, and become despondant when tomorrow does not bring uprisings that overturn the current regime.

I'm not a Trump guy, as I've said. Don't like him. No sir, I don't. Don't think he's Hitler, either. Don't like these people, either.

You know what I do like? Going out in the world on errands, never thinking about what disagreements I might have with everyone else, apologizing when your cart bumps into someone else's, making small talk with the clerks. Uniting, perhaps, in our scorn for Dippin' Dots - but admitting that some might think otherwise. And that's okay.




We're currently enjoying . . .

Let’s bring you up to speed on the nefarious workings of the man they call . . . Brenda.


They were about to be crushed by a ship, but since there are many eps to go . . .

. . . that didn’t happen. But it turns out that Secret Agent x-9 managed to shoot a hole in their gas line, so the bad guys cruise to the dock . . .


. . . and end up on a farm. No, sorry, it has a ship’s wheel hanging from the porch! Not a farm at all. They steal a car and speed off into town, and I hope we’re not going back to the mansion. Or the art store.

The G-men take the boat to . . . the mansion. It has a secret dock. They incapacitate one henchman but The Other Agent Guy, Tommy, is jumped by two others. Secret X-9 jumps the other two guys. Meanwhile, the Real Baron is being led through the front gate with two other hench, and they hear X-9 calling HQ, and start shooting.

And so:

I don’t remember that being there. Then we get a hats-on fist fight in the classic style:

He wins, the henches are defeated, the Baron is rescued, and they make haste to keep Brenda, the Genius Jewel Thief, from taking the jewels from the Belgravian Embassy. They get in, and Brenda the Genius Thief, comes up against a flaw in his plan:

BUT! Brenda spies a picture on the Ambassador’s desk . . .

The Baron is the Ambassador’s son!

Brenda didn't do his research, did he.

So Brenda has leverage. But the Blonde manages to send a message to X-9, alerting the Feds. And then we get something satisfying:


Should’ve plugged him when you had the chance, sister.

The Blonde and Pidge head after Brenda, and are instantly in the countryside, as usually happens.

Pidge, the professional driver, isn’t driving, but shooting. And so:

I think we know how lethal that’ll turn out. Still, excitement! The Baron, freed! Brenda’s gang busted up! Brenda on the run! Two eps left.

And that'll do. WW2 ads await, if you're interested; see you around.


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