11.18.09 – A Wednesday

WORD

paragon [paruh-gon, -guhn] n. 1. a model or pattern of excellence or of a particular excellence 2. Printing. a 20-point type 3. an unusually large, round pearl v. 4. to compare; parallel 5. to be a match for; rival

BIRTHDAY

Asa Gray (1810), Dorothy Dix (1861), George Gallup (1901), Imogene Coca (1908), Hank Ballard (1927), Don Cherry (1936), Margaret Atwood (1939), Linda Evans (1942), Graham Parker (1950), Delroy Lindo (1952), Kevin Nealon (1953), Elizabeth Perkins (1960), Owen Wilson (1968), Duncan Sheik (1969), Mike Epps (1970), Chloë Sevigny (1974)

STANDPOINT

OK. What’s irking the shit out of me today is quite simple. People keep asking me, “Why do you write so angry?”

Yes. I write angry. Yes. I am occassionally an angry person. But that doesn’t mean much of anything except I’m one of those folks who’s easily bothered by the people I come into contact with everyday. And you may not be one of those folks. And that’s fine. But maybe you should be.

You see, my problem with people thinking I’m too angry is there aren’t enough of you out there who are remotely angry enough. Being angry or annoyed is not cool because everyone wants everyone to just be cool. But, the truth is, there aren’t enough of you out there acting remotely cool enough.

And, so, if I tend to get a bit animated or a little too passionate about the current state of most everything, you’ll have to forgive me. I’m just not down with everyone being so goddam down about stuff.

QUOTATION

What I’ve learned about teaching is to refer back to the root of that word, which is educo, which means “to pull from.” Education does not mean jamming information into somebody’s head. Rather, it’s that ancient idea that all knowledge is within us; to teach is to help somebody pull it out of themselves.Alan Arkin

TUNE

Tonight, I’m headed down, with Jer and Ezgi, to World Cafe Live in Philadelphia to see Blind Pilot. I hope I hear “The Story I Heard.” I really can’t imagine a scenario where I wouldn’t.

GALLIMAUFRY

→ Suddenly, pharmaceutical companies have come to the conclusion it might be a good idea to get into the preventive medicine business, instead of the curbing and/or curing side of it. In the next five years, there may be vaccines available for such maladies as Alzheimer’s disease, AIDS, Malaria, grass allergies and even something called traveler’s diarrhea. With the soaring prices of prescriptions and the subsequent scramble to find other options like the internet and Canada, maybe someone at one of these companies said somethig like, “Hey, what if we switch gears and actually try to find a genuine way to help people? I mean, we’ve tried everything else, right? Let’s give it a shot.” Funny, how a completely fucked economical situation can bring out the best in people.

A group of Native Americans, who’d filed a suit against the Washington Redskins over the use of the name “Redskins,” had their case tossed out by the US Supreme Court yesterday for, from what I can tell, is a complete technicality. I’m no lawyer, though, so I could easily be wrong. However, what I’m completely unwrong about is that the NFL franchise should just give up the name. We’re headed toward the future here, people, let’s keep our eyes on the ball. (Plus, the Redskins are so bad I’m sure hardly anyone would notice if they became the Washington Suckasses.)

Jonathan Safran Foer, author of one of my favorite books of all-time, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, has a new non-fiction novel coming out titled Eating Animals. Check out his interview with the AV Club.

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03.26.09 – Thursday

Whereabouts: Philadelphia, PA

Word: elucidate [i-loo-si-deyt] 1. verb (used with object) to make lucid or clear; throw light upon; explain: an explanation that elucidated his recent strange behavior  2. verb (used without object) to provide clarification; explain

Birthday: Nathaniel Bowditch (1773), Robert Frost (1874), Tennessee Williams (1911), Gregory Corso (1930), Sandra Day O’Connor (1930), Leonard Nimoy (1931), Alan Arkin (1934), Harry Kalas (1936), James Caan (1940), Erica Jong (1942), Bob Woodward (1943), Diana Ross (1944), Steven Tyler (1948), Vicki Lawrence (1949), Teddy Pendergrass (1950), Martin Short (1950), Leeza Gibbons (1957), Jennifer Grey (1960), Michael Imperioli (1966), Kenny Chesney (1968), James Iha (1968), Amy Smart (1976), Keira Knightley (1985)

Occurrence: 1969John Kennedy Toole commits suicide outside of Biloxi, Mississippi. Eleven years later, A Confederacy of Dunces is first published. In 1981, Toole posthumously is awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Standpoint: “In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.” Andy Warhol said that. It became a cliché. Even Warhol grew tired of it. Whatever he was talking about, however, is no longer relevant. Fame has changed. It’s no longer fleeting. Once a human being becomes famous, he is famous forever. A while back, television executives discovered something: we don’t want celebrities to go away. Shows like “Dancing With the Stars”, “Celebrity Apprentice” and “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew” feature individuals that, once upon a time, we would’ve never heard from again. Jeff Conaway? Tom Green? Steve-O?!? People who were once deservedly in the public spotlight (maybe) continue to reside in it because no one is asking them to leave. We encourage them to hang out and simply remain famous. And it’s because we either (a) associate the celebrity with some sort of nostalgia or (b) are patiently waiting for the celebrity to fail. Why else would we care what Ozzy Osbourne and his family are up to? Or Hulk Hogan and his family? Fame is no longer reserved for the unique and talented. Nowadays, you just need a marketing strategy. Is there any other reason why Kathy Griffin is not the manager of a Los Angeles-area GAP?

Quotation: Without music, life would be a mistake Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Digit: 17 – It’s proven as the least random number, meaning when asked to come up with a random number, people will pick 17 more often than other numbers.

Tune: Last night, I heard one of the most ridiculous songs I’ve heard in a while. Listen to Jazmine Sullivan’s “Bust Your Windows” and tell me you don’t agree. I dare ya.  

Link: Worldometers – Think overpopulation isn’t a problem?

Gallimaufry: I like Alexander Ovechkin but his “Stick on Fire” celebration after scoring his 50th goal was lame. That kind of crap belongs in the NFL not the NHL…More hockey. This article by Seth Rorabaugh about his experience with Philadelphia FlyersScott Hartnell shows how NHL players are different from other professional athletes…Are you a fan of circular logic? If so, you’ll love what is happening with the vitamin B-6…Make sure to check back tomorrow for things to do in Philadelphia over the weekend.