Wednesday, December 31, 2008

More place holders

The above image is from Wikimedia Commons.
I keep wanting to provide the Chapter on Buttons. The previous post's question was in anticipation of that. However, like Tristram Shandy, the more I put it off, the harder it is to get around to doing because, like him, other things occur to me instead. If I decide not to write them, because I want to write the Chapter on Buttons, then that just makes us wait around with nothing, thereby losing the interest of the few readers I gathered in November.

So, while I'm waiting for the energy, time, and interest to write on buttons, I have just two quick things.

  1. All the time that I was a very young boy, I dreamed of the ability to become a bird. This is not an unusual fantasy. In fact, it is a cliche or an archetype, one. However, like all humans everywhere, I dreamed of becoming a noble eagle (not Don Henley or Joe Walsh, then), or a sharp winged hawk. I have now changed my mind. If I were a bird, I'd be a buzzard.
  2. I have decided that, all things considered, left-hand drive is the superior configuration for cars.

As for #1, I wrote last year about how eating is murder ("For whom the dinner bell tolls"), how this is an unresolved moral equation for any one, whether ancient or modern. Well, I was thinking that buzzards have a great many advantages over eagles and hawks. In addition to no one ever naming a rock band or literary society after them, buzzards haven't very much competition. You don't hear of other animals working for a day and a half for a chance to eat a buzzard. In fact, vultures in general can land in the middle of a crowd of feeding lions and be ignored. (Probably the lions are wrinkling their noses and complaining about how ugly the vultures are.)

Additionally, they get to eat and breed and nest without any guilt. They wait for things to die on their own and then go clean up. They do a service to all the other animals.

Even the subject of their grotesque features is overplayed. Yesterday, I saw a flock of buzzards overhead. I had never before seen more than six buzzards on the wing, but I saw a supercolony of buzzards circling. There had to be more than two dozen. Say what you want about how thin their necks are, how wrinkled their faces, how vile their eating habits, buzzards are actually beautiful on the wing. The stringent V of their wings, the effortless soaring, and even the powerful flapping are all quite pleasing.


Well, the left hand side drive is obviously superior. By pinning the driver's left arm against the door, left hand side drive allows the driver to swat children, repel or explore passengers, and fish for dropped CD's with the right hand. Imagine having to do all of that with the left: the children would be bratty, the passengers licentious or chaste, and the fumbled lighters and CD's would pile up on the car floor. It's a horrible thought.

(Oh, and the chapter on buttons is actually going to be, eventually, a discussion of the neurotic codes of nudity and cloud cuckoo land of empiricism gone mad that bedevils contemporary culture.)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Pop Quiz

This is in anticipation of my next post, a single question.

Instructions: Answer the following questions on your own paper. Please skip lines, write legibly, and use black pixels. The questions are closed book. Do not use any reference work or notes to answer.

1. What song was Janet Jackson singing at the Super Bowl when she experienced a "wardrobe malfunction?"