09.17.09 – A Thursday

Word

logorrhea [law-guhreeuh, log-uh-] n. 1. pathologically incoherent, repetitious speech 2. incessant or compulsive talkativeness; wearisome volubility

Birthday

Jonathan Alder (1773), William Carlos Williams (1883), John Willard Marriott (1900), Warren Burger (1907), Hank Williams (1923), Roddy McDowall (1928), Anne Bancroft (1931), Ken Kesey (1935), Reinhold Messner (1944), Phil Jackson (1945), John Ritter (1948), Rita Rudner (1956), Baz Luhrmann (1962), Dustin Nguyen (1962), Bryan Singer (1965), Doug E. Fresh (1966), Anastacia (1968), Bobby Lee (1972), Mirah (1974), Constantine Maroulis (1975), Alexander Ovechkin (1985)

Standpoint

It’s pretty much a universal belief that the iPhone is the single greatest invention of this, or any other, era. Maybe. They seem pretty great. The whole bumpin’-iPhones-to-exchange pics app looks maybe somehow maybe somewhat useful. The holding-your-iPhone-to-a-speaker-in-a-public-place-to-find-out-who-is-performing app seems more than useful, if not a blatant attempt by Apple to get iPhone users to buy songs while inebriated in a bar. I bet it works more often than not. Kudos, Apple geniuses. I don’t own an iPhone, so I don’t truly know what it is everyone is yammering about.

However, I do know this: the iPhone is destroying something near and dear to my heart. Being both a bartender and an avid bar customer, I’m a huge fan of the mostly meaningless, often illogical and mainly unfulfilling pastime of bullshitting from a bar stool. Once upon a time, you could go to a local watering hole with a group of your buddies, and, after a few drinks, start up some nonsensical debate, usually about (a) sports, (b) music, (c) movies, and, even sometimes, (d) historical events. These are the kinds of debates that, even when highly intelligent individuals are involved, can go on for hours due to the emphatic way each person “swears to God” they’re right, and the increasing amounts of alcohol consumed.

For me, these deliberations are highly entertaining due to the simple fact it’s inconsequential who’s right and who’s wrong. The winner is the person who can convince everyone else involved they are, in fact, wrong, and he, in fact, is right. Even when he’s completely wrong and everyone else is exactly right. Whichever side of the bar I find myself on, it’s something I excel at. As a bartender, I love manipulating a bunch of drunk conversation in one way or another, nudging them along with supposedly innocous statements. As a bar customer, I more enjoy stating a fact or taking a position I know to be erroneous, and coaxing everyone to accept it as gospel truth. I’m kind of a dick that way.

IN ANY CASE, the iPhone has turned almost all of these disputes, once a nightlong event, into a simple matter of pulling a device out a pocket, and providing an irrefutable answer to whatever the hell it was everyone was discussing, reducing it to a matter of minutes, sometimes seconds.

The topic is trivial. Did Jason Bateman play a swarmy kid in the Ricky Schroeder sitcom “Silver Spoons?” Some people say yes, some say no. The argument could go on forever. Meanwhile, in the course of all that banter, the immediate topic gets put aside for a time, other topics emerge and are chewed on. Eventually, someone remembers how it all started and the original question is loudly thrown back onto the table. More hemming and hawing. No conclusion can be reached. But everyone had a helluva time trying to figure it out.

But now, when the Jason Bateman-“Silver Spoons” question comes up, at least three people, one of which was some loner eavesdropper no one knows, will whip out their iPhone (or its ugly cousin, the Blackberry), go to IMDb.com and tell everyone, yes, Jason Bateman was on the “Silver Spoons,” playing a characater named Derek for 23 episodes between 1982 and 1984.

And that’s it. End of discussion. Hours of fun averted.

I love all this technology, but there are some things that will go away because of it, that will make everything just a little less fun.

Quotation

The thing about being a professor is that if you can make just one student successful, if you can make just one student see the light, if you can make just one ready for the outside world, then you’re still stuck with nineteen failures. ← Mel Helitzer

Tune

Recently, someone described my music listening tastes as, “mostly lyric-driven.” OK, I’ll buy that. Probably true. Guess that’s why Brendan Benson‘s song, “What I’m Looking For” has been my on-again, off-again theme song for the past several years. I’m reasonably sure some of the most well-written lyrics ever.

Gallimaufry

Judging from my experiences with most of you out there in the world, some of you could really benefit from reading “10 Ways to Keep Your Mind Sharp.” Seriously, people, take a look at it. For me.

According to some dude named Sam McCaig from THN.com, The Philadelphia Flyers have all but sewn it up for the upcoming season. No reason to play the games, fellas. We’ll just take The Cup whenever it’s convenient for you to run it down this way. I hate articles like this because they never ever come true.

→ Despite the fact that just about everyone was saying it would never happen, Pavement’s decided it’s time for a reunion. Indie-rocker nirvana starts now.

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04.13.09 – Monday

Word: acumen [uhkyoo-muhn, ak-yuh-] n. keen insight; shrewdness: remarkable acumen in business matters

Birthday: Thomas Jefferson (1743), F.W. Woolworth (1852), James Ensor (1860), Butch Cassidy (1866), Samuel Beckett (1906), Don Adams (1923), Paul Sorvino (1939), Al Green (1946), Christopher Hitchens (1949), Ron Perlman (1950), Peabo Bryson (1951), Max Weinberg (1951), Davis Love III (1964), Caroline Rhea (1964), Rick Schroeder (1970)

Occurence: 1997Tiger Woods becomes the youngest golfer in history to win The Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Too bad Woods couldn’t get it together this year. He finished T-6th with a -8 under par. Angel Cabrera eventually won the four-day tournament after a sudden-death playoff with Kenny Perry and Chad Campbell. All three players were tied after 72 holes at -12 under par.

Standpoint: It’s been over five weeks since I’ve started the daily euneJeune. So far, the response to this blog has exceeded my expectations. It’s averaging about 125 hits per day and has ammased over 4,000 total hits. I’m constantly looking to learn. Not only do I learn a lot from the research I do for each post, but I learn from those of you making comments – both on here and Facebook – who expand on what I’ve written. I appreciate it greatly when you take the time to do this. After actually writing each edition, reading the comments being made each day has been the most fulfilling part of what I’m doing.

That’s why I’m asking everyone who reads today to make a comment. What parts of this blog do you like the best? What parts do you skip over? The overall sentiment so far is that a lot of you like coming here everyday. But I’d like to hear more. While I really dig the current format (and based on your feedback, so do a majority of you), I’m unsure if it will sustain itself long-term, which is obviously my ultimate goal. I’ve some exciting plans for the future of the daily euneJeune. But hearing your ideas will help me further achieve my goal of taking this blog to higher levels.

So, leave a comment today. (Note: Don’t worry about hurting my feelings or offending me. I assure you – I can take it.)

Thanks for reading. I look forward to hearing from you.

Quotation: People will accept your idea much more readily if you tell them Benjamin Franklin said it first. – David H. Comins

Tune: I’m not the biggest Ben Harper fan in the world but “Ground on Down” is probably one of the most kick-ass songs I’ve ever heard.

Link: Sporno: 20 Picture In Which Sports and Porn Collide – With the number of people taking pictures all over the world, I’m guessing situations like what’s happening in these photographs occur more often that we think. (Note: Don’t worry about the title. There are no naked people in any of the pictures.)

Gallimaufry: Normally, I’m not the kind of person who reads something like, “The First Puppy Makes a Big Splash,” and wonders if The Washington Post needed to exert all the time and energy that obviously went into the article. But this time was different. All the puns about dogs didn’t help matters…With the sports world being what it is these days, I’m pretty confident writing the next sentence. Most likely, I’m one of 20 people who care that the Philadelphia Flyers are in the playoffs (thanks to Anthony J. SanFilippo for the link)…Thankfully, I’m no longer on the dating scene. But for those of you men who still are, The Saucy Single Life has published “Don’t Do This on a First Date.” Pretty helpful, I think. My favorites are #22 and #29.

Incoming: Among this week’s topics will be more of your Annoying Sayings/Misused Words suggestions, “5 People I Wish Lived On Another Planet” and much much more.