I was perusing the Wiki article for Kaavya Viswanathan, a Harvard undergrad who was discovered to have plagarized several passages for her debut novel. As I skimmed over sample robberies discussing boys, clothes, petty scrutiny of other girls' body weight -- typical chick lit -- a sudden, urgent question occurred to me. "Should it count as plagarism if the entire genre is so homogenous that it's impossible to differentiate one steaming pile of pages from another?" I decided the answer was, "No."
Opening the discussion page, I typed, "Dear Wikipedia, please wake me up when real plagarism happens, not just a couple of silly hacks grabbing at each other's face-holes."
One of the most truly awkward "awkward" moments I've ever endured occurred during a lunch with co-workers. The topic of ethnic foods sprang up, and it went around the table, everyone contributing their experience of exotic culintary experiences (mostly Indian and Greek). I hadn't shown an iota of interest but suddenly someone asked me, "What food do you like, Gloria?"
I swallowed; my fish had inexplicably turned to ash. "Uh ... I like ... um, Chinese, actually," came my lame reply.
For a moment, it hung in the air, sharply choking off conversation; some people looked at their plates and decided to stab at the last limp salad leaf, while others chewed in pretend contemplation. Finally, someone announced that we ought to go.
Everyone jumped to their feet.
I kind of want to form a band and name it Inigo Jones. But instead of using this reference to a slightly less than outrageously famous historial figure -- thus, impressive -- on a group of skinny rock-indie kids, I'd take the irony train all the way back to HIptown and make mine a string quartet.
From chapter two, "The Soldier", by Geoffrey Parker, from Rosario Villari's Baroque Personae:
"in the first decades of the [seventeenth] century, it is true, cavalry made up less than 10 percent of most armies in Western Europe: when France went to war against Spain in 1635, orders were issued to raise 132,00 infantry but only 12,400 cavalry. Yet even this relatively small total continued to pose supply problems, since each cavalry trooper would need at least three mounts in the course of a campaign ... and sometimes more: at the battle of Breitenfeld in 1631, the Tuscan officer Ottavio Piccolomini had seven horses shot from under him in the course of a day."
A story from Spigel.de reports that the Italian police service has issued every one of its 14,750 female police officers high heels. The feeling is that it will give the ladies' uniforms a "younger and sexier" look.
The article does not indicate whether the women are expected to wear these shoes while walking the beat. If one was of a cynical disposition, inclined towards wild speculation, one might dourly remark that in Italy, female officers are probably given not public duties but deskwork -- making the footgear a moot point. But only if one were very cynical.
Some people on the internet, I have learned slowly over the years, are assholes.
In a Joystiq post on a blogger fired from her job at Nintendo, a photo was included with the story. Commentators in the ensuing thread felt it relevant to remark that she -- a complete stranger -- was hot, wasn't that hot, wore too much make-up, needed to remove her shirt, looked like a blow-up sex doll, has "what they call in the industry a working mouth", looked good in her first photo, looked "freakish" in her second photo, or was "hot in that slutty 'use me' kind of way ... not someone to take home to Mom." A number of these same souls, however, generously conceded that they'd "still hit that." Those who still found her visage too offensive to their gentle sensibilities were advised -- somewhat ingeniously -- to take her anally.
It is an understatement to say that I want to drive a steel pipe through their fucking goddamn throats. I am bewildered, amazed, stunned, because the state of mind -- if it could be that, because I cannot fathom that any true cerebral processes could have been involved -- which allows them to conduct themselves in these outrageous yet righteous ways, whatever it is, is something alien to me. That otherwise conversant human beings, homo sapiens sapiens, obviously of means and interests to mine -- such mundane, sexless things as gaming, blogs, technology -- can be so completely, utterly foreign ... on some wondrous, horrific level, it both awes and terrifies me. It is sublime.
Girl who mistook the Virgin Mary for Herod the Great, you put a contemptuous smile on my face all day.
The 2007/2008 academic year is my fifth and last year at university. Having spent a half decade dreading the dire job prospects that await my measly BA and me, I'm crotchety, cranky, and deeply ill-tempered.
Listening to your second-year bitching cuts to the heart.
Oh, I can't sit still and listen for two measly goddamn hours, why can't we have a break so I can get my overpriced cup of cream and water? Oh, why can't I take cellphone photos of slides because I don't want to develop critical note-taking skills? Oh, the prof finds this disruptive and distracting for herself and other students, but why have any sense of social consideration? Oh, why can't the prof post image carousels ahead of time instead of after class, because I can't add two and two and simply jot down artists and titles in shorthand and download carousels later to compare?
At this point, I'm craning my neck to see who has the balls to think these things are so important as to actually ask them during question period. Because I want to remember your face, so I know who to present the bill to asking for the refund of my time you wasted requesting silly little concessions no self-respecting adult, and student of the arts, would conceive of deserving. It's arts, at the undergraduate level. It's really not that hard.
So shut your stupid fucking puny overprivileged face. And learn.
2. As "Americana" defines itself as artefacts of American culture, "Gloriana" consists of the artefacts of my culture.
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