Daddy! I can play Beethoven! She was downstairs practicing piano. I lent an ear, and sure enough, she had picked out the after-the-storm melody of the fourth movement of the 6th. (Odd how it makes me think of cartoon pegasuses, but not her.) When she came up to help make the tacos I popped the iPod in the speakers and called up the 6th; she was amazed. You have Beethoven in the iPod? There is no limit to the wonders and abilities of Me, the Father. The other day at the grocery store they had a plate of cheese but no toothpicks; I extracted the pick from the end of my Swiss Army Knife keyfob and speared a piece. She was impressed. I get more mileage out of that thing; I recommend it highly to all. The scissors are especially good for cutting small items out of the newspaper and mailing them to the author, and the flat blade is good for smearing feces on the front of the envelope, too.

I will never figure out why people send copies of something I wrote when writing a complaint; do they think they’ve somehow caught me at something? Just try to deny you wrote this! I have proof!

It snowed a good deal last night, a recap of the theme after yesterday’s adagio. More tonight. I have no desire to write much tonight; Tuesday always feels like it should be a day of rest after the last few days. Maybe just look at pitcher books. The other day I got “Forties Screen Style,” which explained one of the naggling questions (hah! Good type. Not a word; should be – something petty that bothers you. Naggling.) (Jeezum Crow, I’m in sniglets territory now) about movies in the 40s. Why did the interiors look so kitschy and ugly and frilly? Why, after the clean lines of the 30s, did they go for this junk? Because there was an actual style, you see. The book calls it “High Pastiche,” which sounds like the authors invented the style after the fact. And sure enough, they did: the book identifies “six styles” that make up High Pastiche, which is to say there was no one style, just an era of many. So what? you ask.

So nothing, I reply, but if you’re interested, here’s the deal. Turns out that the renovation of Williamsburg in 1937 set off a national craze (read: articles in home decorating magazines) for things Colonial. Add to that a Victorian revival I knew nothing about – by the 40s, the Victorian period was far enough away to seem charming, just as the Oughts love the sixties and seventies. (And I repeat: WHERE IS MY EIGHTIES REVIVAL? HUH?) There was also “Tropical,” since the war had made Pan-Americanism popular, and because the tropics meant a place where you could go drink sugary drinks and have sex without worrying too much about Nazis. Then there’s “Contemporary,” which is like Modernism but not quite so, well, fascist, and finally, “Surreal,” based on Dali et al, and usually expressed by oversized objects teetering on a stilt in an empty landscape consisting of lines shooting off to the horizon. In other words, there wasn’t any style. No one knew what the hell they were doing, they just knew they were sick of modernism, and the opposite of that was a silly lampshade with ruffles and bows. Forties style doesn’t hold up well as something iconic, but something about it puts you at ease right away. You could be a guy in an elegant tux lighting a cigarette with a pewter lighter shaped like a panther. Or you could be a detective with a battered hat and wrinkled raincoat, lighting a Lucky with a Ronson. Either would do.

You can sum it like this: the 20s and 30s were about the zig-zag. The forties were about the swirl. Something that simple defines an entire era.

Anyway. So I’m nagged no more.


Oh, yes. I have a cold. And this is the crappy day with the eye-aches and the general blahs. I was good for nothing tonight but reworking websites, so for your viewing pleasure I have . . . the same old thing, with new designs. We have Jerry on the Job, High-Pressure Pete & Salesman Sam (with new additions gleaned from the Usenet) and the Misc. section, which actually does have something new: two pages devoted to Peter Pain, an anti-mascot for Ben-Gay unguent. (Sorry about that Mr. Coffee Nerves screw-up; he's back, too, including three new pages.) Not an insignificant addition, and the graphics have been bumped up for today’s thicker pipes and larger screens: most images now top 125KB. In the back of my mind it’s still 1996, and such things are unimaginably huge, even as I scout around for half-terrabyte hard drives to hold all the HD footage I shoot.

As seen in People mag!
Dept. of uh-oh: this story about the Iranian president’s Mahdi complex gave me pause; the man is not good for children and other living things, as the poorly lettered poster used to say. What made me depressed, in an instant, was knowing exactly how this would be received on, say, a Fark forum: it would take about three comments before someone compared his messianic religiosity to Bush’s, and did so either to make them equal or disparage Bush as the greater threat. Not to say some righty Farker wouldn’t step in and slap the idiots with a mackerel. But. I understand why some on the left loathe Bush; what I do not understand is why this is so often coupled with a reflexive desire to downplay the words
and deeds of people like Ahmadinejad. It’s as if they fear that admitting the threat he poses means that the case for HATING BUSH 24/7 will be weakened, and there’s no possible way to justify such a thing.

Fairness update: the story was posted to TotalFark, and got two posts, both noting that the guy is nuts and dangerous; no Bush bashing. Let it hit FarkLite, though, and it’ll be a 300 post thread.

Read the story. “During his September speech at the UN, Ahmadinejad called for the reappearance of the 12th Imam. In mid-November, during a speech to Friday prayers leaders from across Iran, Ahmadinejad said that the main mission of the revolution is to pave the way for the reappearance of the 12th Imam.” If your response is to send me an email about James Watt saying there’s no point to saving the trees because Jesus is coming soon, you must also point out A) which nation Watt currently rules, B) which clandestine nuclear program he heads, and C) the speech Watt made in which he declares the need to destroy Israel and America. You could say this is something happening on the other side of the earth. But there is only one side to the earth now.

Said the pretentious internet scribbler who has spent his day writing about forties lampshades and twenties cartoons. Okay, got me. See you tomorrow.