Monday, May 30, 2005

Brief Entries

The title is not a sexual joke, and I am surprised and disappointed at you for thinking such a thing. I recently read a fairly inept statistical analysis (I forget where) of the most popular blogs. Although the methodology is suspect, the conclusions seem to be fairly sound, and the major one is this: The most popular blogs make brief blog entries. Although by and large I like to avoid popularity (despite a few lingering grade school desires), I do like to be read by actual people from time to time. This is for the same reason that I like to find that, on expounding on some topic trivial or vital, there are actually people in the room. I can often populate a room by offering acquaintances coffee, drinks, microwave canapes, doorprizes, and the chance to view tasteless grade Z videos. I cannot do this online. At least not yet, but technological miracles continue apace, and I am rarely more than five or ten years behind them. But I can offer brief entries from time to time, in hopes of attracting readers with short attention spans and dim minds. That is the purpose of this brief entry. Or was, as it is already too long, but I may as well continue.
  • Zembla has drawn my attention to this and to this. Zembla is a bit odd, which is a reason he is generally worth paying attention to.
  • Stephen has recently brought up the abiding issue of which music is appropriate to what household chores. I decided the other day that X-Legged Sally, though enjoyable enough to a certain geometric-satirical mentality, is unsuited to washing dishes. However, it would be even less suited to cutting back large overgrown backyard branches from a ladder, a task which awaits me soon, and for which the need of musical accompaniment is imminent. Well, though not ideally, suited to dishwashing was today's CD of musical settings of mostly light poetry by Liza Lehmann. Of particular interest to me were the treatments (for voice and piano) of Belloc's Cautionary Tales, Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses, and Lewis Carroll's nonsense verse. I begin to suspect that one of my collections of creaky British swing will be just the thing for dishes. But I will continue to experiment with this and other chores, perhaps taking wild chances, for there is always the possibility of a heretofore unanticipated breakthrough.
  • Fans of animation who are also admirers of muffins or of Strindberg ought to click, not here, but back there.
  • Classicist Donald Kagan delivers the 2005 Jefferson Lecture. The interview is rather good, too.
  • Bleak has been working in his spare time -- actually, his spare spare time, that which is not devoted to dishwashing with headphones, reading recently acquired used paperbacks from the mid-60s by Anthony Powell and John D. MacDonald, engaging in fruitless bouts of idle speculation on the most implausible topics, and entertaining commercial telephone persons who expect him to discuss products or services as sensibly as most people do -- preparing a memoir of a college campus in February 1969 that is awash in countercultural sensibilities. This memoir has proved to be more extensive than the few paragraphs initially envisioned, as memory unintentionally steps on the toe of memory when all it had wished to do was stroll briskly by. Names have been changed to protect the many who now swear earnestly, even to those who know better, that they never smoked marihuana; even as they continue to maintain that some months later they were at Woodstock, to those who know equally well that they were not. This reminiscence will appear here in due course, the only questions being in how many chunks and of what size they should be divided. Unlike many pieces of midnight typing that appear here, these will be largely true, although I will deny it if sued. All opinions will be those of the narrative voice.
  • Mr and Mrs Bleak may for the next few days be motoring through the New England countryside, despite his utter lack of geographical instincts, which she will do her best to correct without shouting. Although New England's back roads are notorious for sudden storms, psychotic semi-trailer drivers, generations of interbred strains of mutant degenerates, and cannibal cults, Bleak is certain that if they make the mistake of engaging in untoward activities towards him -- it will be their last. Don't fuck with the Bleakman.
  • Stupid thought of the day: One picture is worth a thousand worms. I think you will agree that this is both highly evocative and somewhat true.