I may not be current, but I know awesome when I read it.

Popping in to announce another milestone in my ongoing quest to understand what everybody on the Net is talking about: Order of the Stick is the sweetest, funniest, most adorable comic about unholy death and destruction, like, ever in the entire history of stuff.

As you were. I have archives to catch up on.

Social scientists must be very frustrated people.

One more because-it’s-still-vacation-and-I-can link:

The Word Banishment Committee of Lake Superior State University has a message for the technically savvy this year — put down your app and chillax on the tweets, people.

This is not, strictly speaking, news. As can be seen from the comments. People have been irked with the current vocabulary since Jehovah first asked Cain where his brother was. ("God! Like, am I my brother’s keeper, or what, you know?") Frankly — speaking especially as a technophile who resents being demonised just for being up-to-date — most of these people should just chillax.

But it can’t be denied that it’s satisfying to imagine, every now and then, just what would happen if you had sole charge of the English language. For one thing, you would never have to look at another ‘grocer’s apostrope’ as long as you lived, which would significantly reduce chances of at least one mass murder. Just think: a world in which everybody understands that ‘loose’ and ‘lose’ are two different words. Bliss.

I can’t say I disagree with everything on the list, though. ‘Bromance’ is stupid. So is the Obama-mania — we get it already. ‘Chillax’ is, in fact, completely un-necessary.
And (per the comments) I never have quite got the hang of ‘sick’ meaning ‘excellent!’. To paraphrase that great philosopher (and, interestingly enough, contemporary of Max Headroom) Huey Lewis on the general subject of trendy superlatives: while I stay cool as a rule, sometimes, ‘bad’ is bad.

One the other hand… what’s with the hostility for ‘twitter’ and ‘tweet’? I’ve always liked how they perfectly describe their function and its value — a little burst of inconsequential words, exactly like a sparrow’s song. Ditto ‘app’ — an ‘application’ is what you run on full-sized computers. What else are you going to call the handheld version, ‘Fun and/or useful programs sized so you can carry them in your pocket’? And while ‘friend’, in the telecom sense, may be an awkward misuse of the concept… let us all just be grateful ‘buddy’ never caught on big-time, OK?

Personally, as noted, I’m more of a grammar nazi. My list of really annoying buzzwords is small — but mighty; anyone using the phrase ‘Kanye West’ in my hearing is guaranteed an earful.

Seriously, also, people, can we get over the cutesy terms for female anatomy? ‘Vay-jay-jay’ etc? What Britney was showing the world was her — well, I didn’t study the photos closely, but I can guarantee you that was not it. Incidentally, while I find TMZ-speak generally really annoying, I can also guarantee that once you respond with something like ‘laeve britny alone shes workd sooooo hard your all just haterz!!!’ you have — to put it delicately — forfeited the intellectual high ground.

Yours truly the Grand High Authority on All Things Spoken would also like to have a word with you management-consultant types. Can you please stop lecturing me on how I can ‘leverage’ my ‘synergy’ to ‘impact results’ long enough for me to actually do my job?! Thank you.

In return, I resolve to quit starting every sentence with ‘Basically…’, and explaining to you how ‘text’ isn’t a verb, and we’ll all be a lot happier.

Another Bob & Ray post of actual current relevance. (Sort of.)

No, really, I’m on a roll here. Somebody at the NY Times’ weekly Magazine got the bright idea of profiling the Elliott, erm, comic dynasty. The result’s a surprisingly likeable take even on Chris, whom I may have to reconsider my vague dislike for after all…

…’Course, then I remember those Tostitos commercials, and I just freeze up. Chris, man, I understand the ‘love to hate me’ bit, but did you have to be so damn good at it?

Meanwhile, there’s this fairly awesome quote of Bob’s, summing up his own career with Ray: "We were aware that we were appreciated by a certain percentage of whatever audience it was that we were playing to."

There are worse career summaries. Much, much worse.

‘Tis the season to be snarky

Public-service announcement: Given that you’re all probably writhing in disappointment that I didn’t catalogue Little House’s hilariously blatant anachronisms in full below, I point out that others have gotten there first, and funnie. Here’s the most excellently ranty essay I’ve read on the subject yet.

Albeit it leaves out the one I especially liked: at the blind school, Mary presents her visiting parents with a (quite obviously modern) layer cake she made all by her little self — "I know it’s lopsided, but then my cakes were always lopsided!" D’awwwwww… um, wait. Just how much sugar, butter and white flour was available to a dirt-poor family on the 1880’s prairie, anyhow? Mary was sixteen when she went to the blind school.
I always figured that for what it cost to subsidise his daughter’s baking career Pa could easily have afforded that addition he never put on his two-room shanty. Carrie & Grace probably cursed those cakes with their dying breaths.


Otherwise, it’s Sunday, kinda cloudy, and I got nothin’. Except maybe relief that Hallowe’en is over for another year… another sweet, blissful year of not having to watch the neighborhood struggle with fake cobwebs.
Seriously. We are unclear on exactly why this particular decor choice bugs us more than, say, the plastic skeletons with cheery-boutonniere-wearing-tarantulas in their eye sockets; we only know that it does. It may be the sheer laziness of the thing. "Hey, Bob, we just string this-here stuff onto the hedge and whoooo! Looks spooky!"

No. No it does NOT. It looks like you voluntarily decorated your house in huge wads of dryer lint. Dryer lint is not spooky. STOP DOING THAT.

We also feel the need to point out the seasonal nastiness over on ‘realistic’ comic strip For Better or For Worse. We do not currently celebrate the holiday chez Shoe, of course, but this particular strip we see more as perpetrating crimes against childhood generally. Also we just like ragging on FBoFW whenever possible.

Honestly. ‘Honey, I’d like to throw the rest of that candy away now’? On the morning after Hallowe’en? The hell? Not only is Elly confiscating the candy pile before the poor kid’s even got through the good stuff (which, to a kid being confronted with that choice, is all of it, homemade popcorn included), she’s forcing him to admit it’s ‘the right thing to do’?!

Pre-enrollment as Witnesses, great ceremony attended the post-Hallowe’en candy sort chez Shoe — Shoemom even gave us tips on how to rank the pieces, albeit not necessarily helpful ones. ("You’re not gonna eat those brown molasses kisses? We had those when I was a kid! Those are the best ones!")
At any rate, once sorting and trading was over, the brown kisses were handed over to Shoemom en masse after one sample — leading to Dark Suspicions of her motives — and the rest was left to us. If we gorged ourselves right away, we only had ourselves to blame for the consequences; but interestingly enough, we more often saved them. I think we were overwhelmed by the responsibility of it all. Having all the candy you want, to a little kid, is Serious Business.

As is nicely illustrated by little Mikey’s content in the last panel, having learned that in order to keep his goodies he must not only whoof them down like hyenas on the veldt, but lie, cheat and steal to and from trusting family members. "Survival of the fittest… and besides, it’s fun!"

All of which is the longform version of: Elly may have taken off her pointy hat and nose warts, but she’s still in costume.

Bob & Ray linkage of the week

Getting this out of my system early this week, as I’ve got other stuff to worry about (as in, Oh God I Just Posted All The Fiction Now What?!)

Anyhow, this isn’t so much new! and exciting! as housekeeping – I’ve had these YouTube clips on Favourite for ages, but somehow’ve never gotten around to linking them here. Which is odd, because they really do deserve it. Besides showcasing B&R at their most personable, it’s also a fun little window into the David Letterman phenomenon circa… I’m not sure, really, except it must be the very early stages. There’s some background whooping and hollering that suggests Chris Elliott has been newly installed under the seats.

Part One involves intros and a typically unique take on shilling the latest project (the flick in question is Author, Author!, and yes, it’s a comedy):

Part Two showcases a couple of skits from their prime (you can tell, because the second opens with a decidedly, albeit good-naturedly, un-PC flourish):

Obligatory Bob & Ray reference of the week

Just thought I’d note down an interesting article (yes, as distinct from the other seventeen thousand or so I’ve found. Sheesh) from a Cape Cod local, reprinted as a blog post. Does a really nice job of putting the duo’s artistic legacy into perspective – I was particularly charmed by the notion of George Carlin obsessively buying up every recording he could find – besides elaborating a bit further on the new DVD.

It also contains a mini-interview with Bob himself, including a poignant admission that dealing with his partner’s death was ‘really difficult’. Apparently Ray was on dialysis for a decade or so prior, but ‘never complained’ and the act continued on without missing a beat for seven-eight of those years. Yikes. I don’t know whether to applaud or be completely horrified.

For one thing, the Dorkiness score was *way* lower than anticipated.

The site says I can now ‘wear the title of Cool Nerd proudly!’

And you know what? I kind of do.

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