Peter Schickele once quipped that the lute is a beautiful instrument, but that you won’t hear it if there is another instrument in the room—even if the other instrument isn’t actually being played! One seldom hears lute music on classical music programs, probably for this very reason: the delicate sound of the lute is simply not “good radio,” in the same way that a chess match would not be “good TV.”
In his marvelous monograph, Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television, Jerry Mander develops many fascinating points, one of which is: it is in the very nature of the medium to exclude certain kinds of experiences from public attention. Television takes a three-dimensional reality and flattens it into the two dimensions of a screen. Subtleties are easily lost. The senses of touch, smell, and taste are eliminated. Only that which is outsized and overly-dramatic makes for interesting programming: tight shots of faces, fast-paced action, conflict, and exaggerated sexuality. Events full of nuance that might be compelling when witnessed in person lose their luster when televised. A moonrise in the desert, a child and a dog napping together, the waves at the beach—there is no cable channel for these things, unless they were to get juiced up with a soundtrack or frequent jumps to new angles. TV is best for conveying scenes of strife and passionate sex, sports or violence. Continue reading “Otohelminthiasis—Part 2: Not Quite My Tempo …”
I’ve been MIA here at POM over the last couple of months due to an unusually heavy schedule of business travel. A couple of Saturdays back, on the final day of my last trip, I woke up feeling great. I had slept well (rare for me in a hotel), the constant rain of the previous few days had let up and the sky was bright blue. Above all, once I completed my morning commitment, I would be on my way home. I was walking on sunshine …
I ran down to the car to fetch my dress shoes. It was a short walk from my room, down the elevator, through the lobby, and over to my car in the parking lot. By the time I got to my car, I was in a blue funk. “Dear Lord!” I thought, “What just happened?”
I paused for a moment to analyze this sudden emotional turn. Soon enough I determined the reason: the clue was the echo in my mind’s ear of the song that has been playing in the lobby. Continue reading “Otohelminthiasis—Introduction: That Damn’d Ole Opry”
Mark’s recent post, Fake events of my lifetime, got me thinking: what news stories of the past left me feeling … unconvinced? A certain incident immediately popped into mind. Either I am an insensitive lout who is pitilessly digging up a family’s grief, or I have put my finger on an old school hoax—one from the days before cellphone videos and crisis actors. You help decide …
Source Continue reading “Mackinac Machinations?”
They say that rattlesnake tastes like chicken.
Ostrich meat, curiously, does not. Rather, it tastes like beef, so I am told.
So here’s the question for the coming weekend: What does child slavery taste like? Continue reading “Ain’t Gonna Study S’mores No More”
This essay contains medical information that might be construed as advice. It is not, but rather just long-winded opinion. Read it at your own risk.
Zombies on the Brain
In this piece I will proffer a novel thesis. And like every argument, I start from certain premises—things that one accepts without trying to prove.
I hold this truth to be self-evident: that the most awesome of all movie monsters ever are sword-wielding skeletons. I will drop anything to watch the scene from the 1963 classic Jason and the Argonauts in which the
Claymation Dynamation skeletons rise from the soil to attack Jason and his men. I also stipulate to the nearly equal awesomeness of CGI skeletons. [Edit: see comments below]
The other cinematic monsters leave me cold. Vampires? They suck. Werewolves? What’s the big hairy deal? Mummies? There’s more wick than wickedness about them. Godzilla and Rodan? Hardly rad to me. You can keep your demon-possessed dolls, your poltergeists, and your ghosts. The Terminator is alright, but just because under the ugly Arnold-skin is a bitchin’ metallic skeleton. Continue reading “Avast, We Scurvy Dogs!”
The following does not constitute medical advice. It is opinion. Before you make any changes to your medications, diet, or lifestyle, be sure that the person in charge of overseeing your health care is fully informed. By the way—that person is you and you alone.
If You’ve Got the Tide®, We’ve Got the Cheer®
Ever heard of pica? Not the font size—the eating disorder. Pica is the habit of ingesting things that are not food: dirt, drywall, chalk, clay, and so on. Some people see a box of laundry detergent, and their mouths start watering.
Pica has many causes, but a chief one is mineral deficiency. People who are low on iron, for example, often chew on ice; those low on zinc may dab a moist finger into the laundry soap for a nibble. Their taste for Tide® comes from their body’s unconscious craving for something it is not getting enough of. The non-food items rarely satisfy nutritional needs, but at least the pica-sufferer is not trying the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. Continue reading “Our Dam Obesity Problem”