Archive for the 'Culture' Category

Suggested new hashtags to chart the various moods of Jeremy Lin

February 19th, 2012

#lInstagram (if he starts using Instagram)

Weekly Punitive Confiscation

July 25th, 2011

Recently, I’ve been re-reading one of my favorite books, Mark Leyner’s 1992 fiction “Et Tu, Babe“; about halfway through the book the protagonist (cunningly named “Mark Leyner”) runs afoul of the law and plea bargains to a deal that sentences him to “Weekly Punitive Confications”. From the book:

The punishment consisted of having one item confiscated each week. At 10 A.M. every Monday morning, the authorities would arrive in a large truck. They’d read the statement that courts required them to read prior to each punitive confiscation, they’d handcuff us, and they’d put us in the truck … We were then allowed to return to our home. We were never told which items was confiscated. Sometimes it was obvious: the piano, the living room sofa, the wall phone in the kitchen, etc. But often we wouldn’t know what was taken until we needed it and it wasn’t there.

I don’t know if Leyner intended it this way, but I have been thinking about this passage a lot, and I have started to view it as a metaphor for adulthood. As you grow older, things start to fail, and things suddenly disappear, and you have to deal with it. You have to carry on with your day, every day, moving forward even without the thing you unknowingly depended on.

What’s really amazing is how often one single absence creates a domino effect that creates a day full of absences, “for want of a nail” style. Some days, leaving your cell phone uncharged causes you to miss the call that causes you to be stuck in traffic which causes your car engine to overheat.

One could make the argument that this all could simply be a function of having too much stuff — certainly it’s hard to break what isn’t there. But as we grow up, we find some Administrative Lifestyle Detritus to be required; car insurance, bed frames, dental floss. So it stands to reason we tend to spend a lot of time trying to strike a balance between what is essential and what is inessential.

So that’s the plan: Find out what is essential. Everything else gets confiscated.

What we talk about when we talk about Conan O’Brien

January 24th, 2010

New York magazine has a great piece up detailing the final days of the Conan O’Brien regime at “The Tonight Show” that includes this insightful passage:

By the time O’Brien signs off tonight, with a $33 million buyout and a green light to jump to a rival network as early as September, it will be on a wave of populist support. A younger, tech-savvier constituency—one that was more likely to watch TheTonight Show on DVR or Hulu and was now tweeting its allegiance to Team Conan over Team Jay more than 50 to 1—had remade him, with viral swiftness, into something he had not sought to be and, as a fantastically wealthy Harvard-educated showman, did not exactly match: a folk hero for the downsized age.

The phrase “folk hero for the downsized age” made me think, is there even more going on here than that? I think it’s a generational thing: Conan O’Brien represents the collective angst of Generation-X’ers and Y’zers who have had to sit patiently while a generation of Baby Boomers stubbornly refused to pass the torch. And Jay Leno’s continued willingness to stick around long, long past his cultural sell-by date could just be the perfect metaphor for the self-involved, decreasingly-effective generation of Boomers that continue to hog up the top slots in our nation’s workforce.

The sole bright spot likely to emerge from this entire embarrassing affair may turn out to be the uncharacteristically optimistic, final words from O’Brien’s final “Tonight Show” broadcast:

All I ask of you is one thing: please don’t be cynical. I hate cynicism — it’s my least favorite quality and it doesn’t lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard, and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.

Let’s hope amazing things happen for Conan much sooner than later, and let’s hope Jay Leno gets crushed by a Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental.

Man, I Love the Internet (part series-that-contains-itself of a series)

May 15th, 2009

Almost four years ago, I posted this Real, Actual Photo of Steve Perry. The real miracle that keeps on miracling is that people keep showing up to discover it for the first time, get in fights about what they think it is, and then lie low for another couple of months.

The picture was briefly on the front page for a Google search for “Steve Perry photo” but has since fallen deep into obscurity. Maybe you can help! Link to the article and picture in a blog post of your own. Write a whole post about it! Tell the world what you really think of the Real, Actual Photo of Steve Perry!

(Thanks to Misty for never stoppin’ believin’.)


May 6th, 2009

I would love to adopt that TEACUP YORKIES MALTESE PUPPIES whatever for sell! How about it, what!?

Looking forward to hearing back from you in timely fashion ideally yes,


Hello ,
Thanks for your interest in my puppy.I just relocated From Massachusetts to fort wayne,indiana. Love has the cute little babydoll face, short legs, nice thick coat and super friendly personality. Love has dew claws and tail done, vet checked, shots and dewormed. Love is available with AKC limited reg.I am giving Love out due to some certain conditions
beyond my control and i am only willing to give this puppy to someone i will be very sure will take care of my puppy.Pls answer the following questions….
Do you have a dog presently or have you ever had one?
Do you live alone or you have kids?
Do you have a fenced in yard?
Have you ever had any experience handling Maltese?

Do get back to me as soon as you can,i’ll evaluate so we can take it from there


!) I have never had a dog. I have seen pictures of dogs and I looked
up “DOG” in the wikipedia and it say they are friendly and happy so
count me in!!!1 I need a friend

2) I am currently under house arrest pending trial in the state of
massachusets but I have been assured by my home supervisor that a
Maltese would be a great addition and we would take extra precautions
to make sure it did not get eaten

3) AS you can imagein not only is the yard fenced, but I have a
tracking bracelet that keeps me around the home all of teh tiem. IS
the Maltese a large enough dog to possibly chew through such a
bracelet? LOL j/k

4) I do not have any experience with Dogs per say but I am a quick
studie. My family never had pets whiel growing up but I did watch a
lot of cartoons and I understand that dogs are better than mice and
cats. True?

Do you have any more pictured of the puppy so I can shoe my home
supervisor? Who do I make out the check to? Do I need to send you my social security number? It is 040-03-7737

Thank you!


Hello Jeff,
This would be the best puppy for you I call her Love,the shipping and handling will cost just $350 for the pup.If everything is fine by you and you are set to adopt my pup please go ahead and provide the details listed below:
Nearest Airport to you:
As soon as I get the requested info,the pup will be documented and processed for shipment to you.
And I want you to promise me that you will take good care of the puppy and also, I will like to know if you could send me a picture of the puppy while with you.
I will be expecting your email with the requested details so that I can instruct you on how to make payment to the shipping agent here in indiana.

Thanks and God bless.


I am sorrie I have not been in contact. I would like to know if the dog we discussed is still available? I have been getting the money together and I finally have the required amount. My family and friends are very excited to know if the dog is still available for adoption; we are all members of a group here in our area called “Les gens qui aiment manger des chiens,” and as you can imagine we can’t wait to get our hands on that dog! What a sweet, succulent little darling that dog looks like. We can’t decide if we should keep her outside or if it would result in a more tender dog to keep her inside. Is it appropriate to accompany dog with a red wine or a white wine, do you know? Long story short, I can’t wait to eat that dog. LOL

Let me know as soon as you can, and I will send out the check!


Yes the baby is still available.provide me with your address and Nearest Airport .


I Ain’t Your B!$(#, M*)#%&! Buy Your Own Damn Fries.

February 17th, 2009


OK. Here‘s for you. And you, and you. From April Winchell, bless her little heart.

Our President swearing a blue streak.

Technically, he’s reading someone else’s swearing from his autobiography, but don’t worry, we can decontexualize it in 4 seconds flat. Perhaps the most shocking is hearing him say “ain’t”– I’d say that’s the word he seems most uncomfortable with. I can’t wait to hear this remixed into 1/3 of all new YouTube videos for the next 7 months. IT WILL NOT GET OLD.

My morning commute

December 19th, 2008

[flashvideo filename=wp-content/uploads/commute.flv /]

Percentage of coolness as a function of number of times gotten busy in a Burger King bathroom

December 7th, 2008

As inspired by discussion overheard on

David Foster Wallace, 1962-2008

September 14th, 2008


David Foster Wallace was one of my very favorite writers; his work was dense, funny, parenthetical, prophetic, kind, brilliantly astute and always a tremendously enjoyable read. While in college at Hampshire, I made a special trip to get the specific copy of his first novel, ‘Broom of the System,’ from the library at his school, Amherst College, only because I imagined it might be the most special copy of that particular book for him. I locked myself up in my dorm room for two weeks to devour ‘Infinite Jest.’ And the long piece on his experience on a cruise ship in ‘A Supposedly Fun Thing’ is easily the most hilarious piece of journalism ever.

And already people are quoting this 2005 Kenyon Commencement speech as some sort of evidence, although honestly there’s never any lack of ‘evidence’ when this kind of thing happens:

Twenty years after my own graduation, I have come gradually to understand that the liberal arts cliché about teaching you how to think is actually shorthand for a much deeper, more serious idea: learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience. Because if you cannot exercise this kind of choice in adult life, you will be totally hosed. Think of the old cliché about quote the mind being an excellent servant but a terrible master.

This, like many clichés, so lame and unexciting on the surface, actually expresses a great and terrible truth. It is not the least bit coincidental that adults who commit suicide with firearms almost always shoot themselves in: the head. They shoot the terrible master. And the truth is that most of these suicides are actually dead long before they pull the trigger.

And I submit that this is what the real, no bullshit value of your liberal arts education is supposed to be about: how to keep from going through your comfortable, prosperous, respectable adult life dead, unconscious, a slave to your head and to your natural default setting of being uniquely, completely, imperially alone day in and day out. That may sound like hyperbole, or abstract nonsense. Let’s get concrete. The plain fact is that you graduating seniors do not yet have any clue what “day in day out” really means. There happen to be whole, large parts of adult American life that nobody talks about in commencement speeches. One such part involves boredom, routine, and petty frustration.

He will be missed.

1Most alarmingly: if someone this blindingly intelligent takes a look at our world and decides to cash out, what hope do the rest of us have?

cool wand

May 20th, 2008

How much of this scathing indictment of the “Millennial Generation” is fair, and how much is just standard Gen X ranting/whining? I myself am quite weary of the lame-ass business features that insist that Facebook applications, Twitter updates and SMS messaging are going to be OMG 100% MANDATORY in order to survive in the post-Millennial business workplace.

What do you think? Is this article a fair shot, or a low blow?


bring more tuna

February 20th, 2008

Carmina Burana

I always suspected Carl Orff had hid some meaningful English false cognates in that Latin; and now, proof. Make sure you crank up your speakers, especially if you are at work.

Side note: it’s been a while since two ldopans posted in one day. Hooray!

sneaker freaker

June 17th, 2007

Personally? I’ve always preferred “Display“.

I can remember when I was a kid I didn’t have the nearly right kind of sneakers at all for my fellow students’ liking — my Mom insisted we go to this store called “The Bootery” in Vernon, CT which only carried one kind of sneaker, “Kangaroos” — which were kind of cool on one level, thanks to the hidden pocket that you could stash about a dime-bags worth of seekrit! junk in, but on another level, the level that middle-school kids operated on? — “Kangaroos” were not cool in the least. Anyway.


pepsi summer mix

June 7th, 2007

Capsule Review: Tastes like the Fruit Stripe Zebra took a piss in my mouth!

And no, Pepsi Summer Mix is not paying me to say that.



May 29th, 2007

Don’t be fooled — the cryptically named, virally-marketed “X-13D” black-bag Doritos are wicked crazy exciting! if you’re wicked crazy excited by the explosive taste of: mustard.

I, myself, am not, as I feel putting mustard on my food is only one step less egregious than spitting on it. So I’m going to try and sell these suckers on eBay. One bag X-13D, barely touched. Laugh, but it’ll be this generations’ “Crystal Pepsi”.


a eulogy

May 16th, 2007

Look at the size of his fat head!

Jerry Falwell
a eulogy

Jerry Falwell was a big man. Not big of heart, not big of mind, but a big man anyway. His corpulence could only be compared in volume to that of his homophobia, contempt of women, and capacity to ignore the core tenets of the faith he claimed to hold dear. His love of prostitutes, politics, and money put him in line with the great corruptors of society while his media outlet and university gave him access to the greatest number of hungry minds and souls. Truly, he can be considered one of the worst individuals in American society through the 20th century. If he was right, and fortunately, he wasn’t, he is now sharing Hell with J. Edgar Hoover, Alan Dulles, Joseph McCarthy, and Richard Nixon in a special place for those whose thirst for power makes them consume all around them, body, soul, and leftovers.

(Jerry Falwell’s Hit Parade, by Slate.)