IF CAPES WERE FASHIONABLE … Jean jackets, bell bottoms, Polo shirts with the collars flipped up, mandals — they all successfully crossed over to this side of acceptable. So why not capes? Think of all the colors, fabrics and styles that could stock the racks of Barney’s, The French Connection, J.Crew and Urban Outfitters. With nearly limitless design potential, they’re unisex to boot. The fashionistas, the metrosexuals, the bling crowd and just about everyone in-between could get in on the action. And I could wear one, too — joining the caped ranks of the stylish, the hip and the cool — all the while secretly pretending to be Superman.
REPUBLICANS IN THE WORKPLACE. It’s not that I’m opposed. I’m just surprised. After all, when people spend many long days together doing about the same things as each other, it’s easy to assume that you might also share many of the same views and attitudes toward the world at large. And then one day, one of you realizes the other is an alien species. Well, I guess it’s not illegal. So what are you going to do? [20MB, ctrl-click or right-click link and save to disk.]
ALL MY FRIENDS ARE FAT AND THROW LIKE GIRLS. Although I’ve been keeping one for months now, I’m still not quite sure what a blog is for. According to this New York Times article, I should be revealing the intimate details, embarassments, and intrigues of my friends’ lives if I want any sort of readership. I’m thinking about it. You’ve been warned. (Actually, you haven’t been, because no one’s reading this right now.) I need advertising: I should buy banner ads. Or maybe a blimp.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE AD/PIECE OF COMMUNICATION? The question was being posed, via email, by an ad agency where I am counted among the pool of “steady” freelancers. My answer will be included in my bio:
The “You are here” graphic on any map at any mall, museum, theme park, tourist attraction, or information kiosk. It tells you everything you need to know in an eloquently minimalist triumvirate of monosyllables, dispelling confusion in an instant and bestowing reassuring order to unfamiliar surroundings. It also acts as the perfect Zen-like refrain as we grapple with the really big questions in life and try to get our bearings in a world filled to the piping hot brim with chaos and uncertainty: Where am I? You. Are. Here. Between the Baby Gap and the Food Court. Your place in the cosmos summed up in three simple words. Way better than “Just do it” — after all, what good is that supposedly beneficent mantra of marketing during an emergency bathroom crisis? You are here, and that’s pretty much all you need to know to get to where you want to go next. Not coincidentally, it’s also usually all you need to know to keep from peeing your pants. And that’s no small thing indeed – making it plenty worthy of commendation in my book.
A RANDOM CHINESE POEM, translated, in memory of a family friend who recently passed away.
The spring color in the garden
faded too fast
and too soon
It was because of the cold rain in the morning
and the strong wind during the night
Dreaming in your farewell tears
I wish I could share your joy and your sorrow
But life is fleeting
just like a river has no return
I’VE GOT THIS IDEA FOR HUMAN CHEESE. Rest assured, this isn’t like the other near-great ideas I’ve had: The heated umbrella. The waffle sandwich. The modern day bed pan—for those insufferable early mornings when you can’t seem to muster yourself to the bathroom and can’t fully fall back asleep either. (Despite how it sounds, it was all going to be very hygienic, even pleasant: A chemical reaction triggered by the uric acid would conjure the soothing aroma of flowers . . . lilacs maybe. See? Not disgusting at all! Great for mom!)
Granted, these flashes of genius also have their weak spots. How do you put away a self-heating umbrella without hurting anyone? Or, in the case of the Sweet Dream Pee Machine,™ where does the tube go?
But human cheese has none of these shortcomings of technology or logistics. No, human cheese is perfect in its simplicity.
The idea goes like this: Rich people are weird. They like weird things. Take caviar. Fish eggs. The unborn spawn of another living creature. Rich people gobble it up like cheese doodles. In China, monkey brains. An honest-to-goodness delicacy, no kidding. You’re privileged if you get to eat it.
The weirder the better. Because weird means exclusive. Not just the “where am I going to find a monkey to bludgeon on the way back from work” exclusive or the “tasty monkeys are so expensive these days” exclusive. More like the shocking, alienating, snivelling kind of exclusive, i.e., “Of course, you don’t have a hankering for sweet-and-sour grey matter and simian stir-fry. Your palette is totally unrefined.”
Which brings us back to the cheese. Sparing you the tiresome production details (milking, fermenting, etc.), this is guaranteed to be the height of exclusivity. Because not only is it human cheese (way more weird than goat or yak), but it will also be available in a celebrity variety. That’s right: Celebrity Human Cheese. How much would you pay for Julia Roberts-and-crackers? I’m betting quite a lot.
SANCTIONS AGAINST IRAQ have an interesting cultural effect I never considered. Some guy on NPR the other day interviewed a CD shop owner in Iraq who complained about how difficult it is to get all the latest rap and hip-hop music. Apparently, he has to rely on trade through Sudan and Jordan for block-busting beats and slim-shady-ness. I’m sure, however, that Saddam gets all the rap, hip-hop, and techno he wants. Yet another example of how the sanctions only hurt the little people.
WE’RE ONLY GUESSING HERE. If I had to measure everything I knew about the universe, god, and cheeseburgers as a percentage of everything there is to know about the universe, god, and cheeseburgers, I’d end up as close to 0% as mathematically possible. The only good part is, Einstein would end up with about the same percentage. After all, he was probably only guessing most of the time, too. (Though, perhaps, he was a better guesser than most.)
But Dr. Meyers questioned whether the discovery, if it does refer to Jesus Christ, will “tell us anything we didn’t already know.” He and other scholars agreed that Jesus as a historical figure had long been well established.
Dr. Joseph Fitzmyer , professor emeritus of New Testament studies at Catholic University in Washington, hailed it as a significant discovery if it does indeed refer to Jesus of Nazareth. “That would be a new extrabiblical attestation of his existence, and there are so few extrabiblical things that do,” he said.
Still, Dr. Fitzmyer said he had serious doubts that the third name on the inscription actually referred to Jesus of Nazareth. “My reaction is, it’s possible, but I hesitate to say probable,” he said. “I don’t see how anybody can say any more.”