A Mind That Suits What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

Monday, January 12, 2004 :::
Back at the old stand, so blogging will be much easier. The world's villains should quake at the prospect.

Time for A Mind That Suits to present the Stupidest Quotes of 2003.

One DC lawyer guy to another: "I wouldn't want to live in a world where every country looks like the United States."

So you want to live in a world where everyone lives in quaint poverty so you can go slumming and feel authentic?

On top of which, if the entire world modernized, it wouldn't look like the United States, it would like Italy, whose industrial design is so dominant (and so beautiful) as to have driven nearly almost every other style out of production. Car designers struggle to make their sleek autos look different, so accepted is the smooth-edged, aerodynamic Italian standard.

This is an important point, because Italy has succeeded in keeping its culture--almost alone among Western European nations--and you do not for a minute think that you are in the US, despite the glee with which Italians greet every trend.
And they have all the benefits (and problems) of a modern economy. Most other Western European cultures, too, bear little resemblance to the US, but they are grimly uniform in the changes that socialism has wrought in their respective cultures.

"It was a cup of cappuccino that provided an opportunity for me to discuss the meaning of the body with a young black lesbian." From a book of feminist Evangelical theology. A Mind That Suits was sitting late in his office reading when he saw that and burst out laughing so loudly he could be heard by the only class in the building, he suspects, even though they were nearly a block away.

"Burn revisits familiar narratives of McCarthyism, Jewish socialism, and p*dophilia, but from the rarely-heard perspective of a menopausal immigrant woman." From the dustjacket of a p*doporn novel for "educated" wymyn.

And A Mind That Suits discovers that even if one is attacking "p*doporn" and "p*dophilia," the mere presence of the word will attract to one's website people who are trolling for such, and so one should put in an asterisk or something to make sure that doesn't happen.

"I wouldn't know about morale."--Donald Rumsfeld.

Why the hell not?

Most Inexcusable Action by an Over-endowed 501(c)(3): Dear old Stanford University has been reported to take in $500 million a year in grants and donations, and one year doubled that because Fred Hewlett (of H-P) made a large donation to avoid tax problems for his family after he died. That is in addition to contracts, such as those provided by our Department of Defense. For years, Stanford has kept a business hours schedule--the staff is just given a flat amount of vacation, not tied to the academic year, because the school's buildings were always open. Not this year: because of "budget problems," the administration closed the school for two weeks--and forced the staff to either take vacation or uncompensated leave. di-sgusting.

And A Mind That Suits would like to declare open a Hall of Fame for stock phrases people should never utter. The one he really grew tired of this year was "the book was better." That's not always true, first of all, but it is what A Mind That Suits has for many years called a "conversation ender." One is probably talking about movies because one is intentionally spending time with someone. The point of that annoying crack is to show you know more than the other person, and not to engage in conversation with them, and so it is wrong to say it.

Plus, when you have a situation where one of the great works of literature has been transformed into one of the great works of modern visual art, as with The Lord of the Rings, exactly where the film failed to catch the spirit of the book or made needless changes (as with Frodo dangling from the edge of the Crack of Doom) is in fact a superb topic of conversation for educated people.

Now that he has that off his chest, he would like to comment once again that the indispensable Wall Street Journal is the world's most interesting newspaper exactly because there is a business aspect to everything, and all kinds of people are skilled at business, down to the guys who, still, load things on donkeys and carry them to the next village. This morning's Journal seemed relatively free of "news," but was brimming with interesting stuff. Not all of it is fun: the cover of their usual Monday morning fourth section--typically, a run-own on one business sector or another--this morning brings a discussion of how managers should handle the ways they have to monitor their employees. It turns out they have a frightening amount, and how many creepy, power-hungry people do you run across in a typical day? Are they going to read this as a guide to restrain themselves, or a how-to on spying?

With that grim thought...

Have a good one....

::: posted by A Mind That Suits at 10:14 AM



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What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

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