Old Oligarch's Painted Stoa

Past Posts of Note
Substantative, in chronological order
The Sunday obligation and illness: question, research & my answer

Denial of personhood: Dei Filius & Terri Schiavo

On Modesty 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Differing with Dulles 1 & 2 on pro-abort politicians

Mad About Manuals 1 & 2

Absinthe recherches early, required reading, 2, 3, 4.

First time at an abortuary

The Maundy

TPOTC impact & analysis and more

Contraception reflections 1, 2

Meiwes, propheta, übermensch

Headship Loggerheads 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5

Matrix: Revolutions

Matrix: Reloaded
1, 2 & 3

Terrorist Attack Preparations, and follow-ups 1 & 2 & 3


Casuistry of Drinking

Review of Auto Focus

Parish Review 1

The Power of Shame

Biblical Hermeneutics

Ayoob on Guns

Against the Ordination of Women

Two Cents on Braveheart


Thematic Meditations

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Two more data points as evidence that the US is going sexually insane.

1) Guide for queer school boys distributed in middle and high schools in Brookline, MA, near Boston. (WARNING: EXTREMELY GRAPHIC. MALE NUDITY. SODOMITICAL FILTH.) Funded in part by the Jesuit Urban Center!! (HT Laura)

If the graphic sexual instructions don't send you into orbit, and you can make it to the last page without losing your lunch, N.B., on the last page: the guide gives these middle & high school gay boys directions to Boston Area gay bars. Repeat: The guide sends little boys to the bath houses, via the Boston public schools.

2) Rainbow Party, a book for orgy-minded young teenage girls, published by the childrens' lit imprint of Simon & Schuster. On a positive note, the Simon & Schuster comments box is filled with outrage! HT Mere Comments.

Posted by Old Oligarch on 5/29/2005 04:49:00 AM | link

I am flattered to have been mentioned on Ignatius Insights e-zine, thanks to Jeff Culbreath, esp. since the blogging has been very light lately with the new baby, dissertation and work.

To all the new Ignatius visitors to the Painted Stoa: peruse the links to the left and the archives.

Posted by Old Oligarch on 5/29/2005 04:43:00 AM | link

Welcome to the AOL searcher who came here looking for signs tubal ligation come undone!

Well, seeing as I have the medical knowledge of a Medieval barber (so saith Zorak) I can only come up with: (a) You're pregnant, (b) An increasing feeling of ovarian liberty.

But God acts in mysterious ways. Perhaps he was trying to bring these great sites to the attention of the Catholic blogosphere:

A message board on Tubal Ligation Syndrome, a debated medical phenomenon that may be another health risk to self-sterilization.

And even cooler: Second Chance Babies: Babies Born After Successful Tubal Ligation Reversal. Pro-lifers: link away!

Posted by Old Oligarch on 5/29/2005 03:40:00 AM | link

Something missing from your life as a couple?

Posted by Old Oligarch on 5/28/2005 03:53:00 PM | link

The reason for the terse posts is because my dissertation proposal has not yet been accepted by The Prof Who Will Make It Awesome. So I'm blogging between Hail Marys. If you like me, keep praying. The Prof is interested, but waffling because he's not sure he has the time. He's really overworked as it is. I don't want to be the doctorand who breaks the doctor's back.

Posted by Old Oligarch on 5/27/2005 04:10:00 PM | link

I'm glad a few priests report the widespread priestly difficulty of preaching on Trinity Sunday. Around here, I call it "bad homily Sunday." Thankfully, a few priests of the blogosphere have taken it upon themselves to remedy that deficiency.

Fr. Rob also offers a great expose on all the Catholics Representatives in the House who just voted for the Vampire Bill -- i.e. to extend embryonic stem cell research. Because if we can't kill the healthy and young to pay for the old and dying, the metaphor begun by our failing social security system remains only a metaphor, and our pleasure-centric culture-of-death utilitarianism hasn't worked itself out. And we all know how painful cognative dissonance is for hedonists.

Posted by Old Oligarch on 5/27/2005 04:05:00 PM | link

The transforming power of love as death; or, the mechanics of Cant. 8:6:

"And since charity puts to death that which we were, in order to become what we were not, love produces in us a kind of death. This is the death he died of, who said, 'The world is crucified to me, and I to the world.' ... Love is strong, it is powerful, it has great force, it is force itself."

-- St. Augustine, In Ps 121

Posted by Old Oligarch on 5/26/2005 02:39:00 AM | link

The Chevalier met the mini-mantis this past weekend, and we very much enjoyed the pleasure of her company and that of ASH. There is also a special happiness -- perhaps someone can find a terminus technicus for me -- in seeing two people you admire beginning to admire each other. Bonum est diffusivum sui is not quite right. "The happiness of friends communicates" is more accurate, but not a proverb as far as I know.

On that same theme, we also saw Ratty and Trav, who are always great to see. "Uncle Travis" made mini-mantis a custom mobile, but replaced the cute kid parts that dangle with plastic models of his professional equipment: an M-16, a claymore, some hand grenages, a commando knife, a tac light, etc., etc. Guaranteed to flip out the relatives. Here is a picture with the mobile, Trav's hand, and a hint of the super-cute mini-mantis.

Readers don't be alarmed. The ingestible G.I. Joe parts hang far away from baby's crib, where she can't get them. Thanks, Ratty and Trav!

Posted by Old Oligarch on 5/26/2005 02:04:00 AM | link

Posted by Old Oligarch on 5/26/2005 02:02:00 AM | link

Via Fr. Jim, Voyager One is entering the outskirts of the solar system. It's truly amazing that thing is still sending back data -- at 160 bps! "Uplink communications is via S-band (16-bits/sec command rate) while an X-band transmitter provides downlink telemetry at 160 bits/sec normally and 1.4 kbps for playback of high-rate plasma wave data."

And you thought surfing the net on a dial-up modem was slow. To put it in perspective, you get 28,000 bits of data per second on a BAD day on a dial-up connection. I love the willpower combined with just-evolving digital tech that characterized so many of the the early space exploration missions. My '85 Buick probably has more computing power than the Titan-Centaur rocket that put Voyager into space.

Moving on to the other end of science, Cyprus makes its claim for oldest wine-producing Western Civ.

Posted by Old Oligarch on 5/26/2005 01:47:00 AM | link

Let the Arabs eat sand. We're pumping hydrogen from now on, says Prez.

Twice as expensive as gas? It won't cost $4.75/kg once you can make it in your backyard from water given the right hardware.

And O.O.'s little hint on getting hydrogen to be a household word again after the Hindenberg: DROP THE METRIC: what are you nuts? Selling in Kilograms? A sure recipe for the disaster of anything, except apparently, soda.

Posted by Old Oligarch on 5/26/2005 12:51:00 AM | link

I am surprised the DC panda-bear equivalent of Zurich's teddy bear scandal didn't occur. Really, now, is there anything the gay lobby can't sexualize? And the plight of the creators! Says the article: "The dominatrix bear's creators now seek a private home for their sadomasochist teddy..."

""This bear is perverse, dominatrix and hardcore. We had to ban it because of the children," Beat Seeberger-Quin, the project's art director, told Reuters."

Or, you could ban it because of the adults. It deserves a longer blog, but one of the main arguments we need to hammer out of the public square is this one: It's horrible and corrosive for children, but once you're eighteen, it's just a choice. Obviously, children enjoy less liberty because they are beinng morally formed, but society exists (by design or merely by necessary consequence) to form us morally. I think I've blogged about this false concept of the perfectly rational, autonomous will earlier.

Posted by Old Oligarch on 5/26/2005 12:47:00 AM | link

Personal prayer request
If you have a moment, offer a prayer for an intention of mine: I've been waiting to hear about an important decision that a prof will make concerning my dissertation proposal. Good news means I start research this summer. Bad news means I may go back to square one. I could really use this favor -- more accurately, my very patient wife & my daughter who needs a dad with a job are the ones who could use this favor.

I ask the assistance of my usual litany of heavenly patrons, and suggest that you invoke them as well: Our Lady, St. Joseph, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Joseph Cupertino, St. John Vianney, St. Augustine, Bl. Karl of Austria, & St. John, intercede for me!

I certainly derived benefit from all your prayers during my exams. Please send me an Ave or Paternoster if you have a moment.

Posted by Old Oligarch on 5/25/2005 03:06:00 AM | link

A new lay Catholic magazine for men: Catholic Men's Quarterly, featuring humor, travel, sports, military history, apologetics and news.

Posted by Old Oligarch on 5/25/2005 01:52:00 AM | link

Cheever Tyler: Making Mory's More Like Naples

So I get the latest newsletter from the club, touting the new President of the Board, Cheever Tyler. The pull quote by his photo: "Our job is to chip away at this reputation of exclusivity." His photo is shot against the background of one of those urban murals. I kid you not. Mory's.

Tyler is supposed to steer the club through "the tide of pervasive social, academic and economic change that engulfs the university." Says Tyler: "there is no exclusivity associated with membership.... The reputation of exclusivity has been with Mory's since I was an undergraduate but it was never by intention. Yale is a place that is very selective about its students and that implies a certain degree of elitism. But once you are admitted to Yale, getting into Mory's is virtually a done deal."

The whole letter is as vapid as this. Several things come to mind:

First, surely some degree of "exclusivity" is present by design insofar as the club has always insisted upon having a sponsor to join? And in my not-so-distant day, it forbade membership to Freshman, precisely because (I presume) Freshmen cannot yet be expected to know how to act like mature Yalies who have picked up the decorum and traditions of the institution. I.e., work those awkward adolescent moments out in the dining hall, not at the club.

Second, Mory's has never been a close-knit, rabidly anglophilic club like the Lizzy. Because so many undergrads are Mory's members, it has always been the case that if you want to join, simply being an undergrad was tantamount to membership. If it always was "a done deal," what exactly does Tyler propose to change about that?

In other words: I don't see what Tyler wants in the first point, short of making Mory's a walk-in restaurant like any other in New Haven. If I want an anonymous classy restaurant in New Haven, I go to the Union League or La Trattoria (actually, never been to the latter), and just go and sit down there. If I want a CLUB, I go to a club. The second point isn't a goal, it's just a statement of fact.

Now here's the quote that will make you vomit your Welsh Rarebit faster than you can sing the first line of the Salvation Army Drinking Song:

"Many of the old Yale traditions were centered on some sort of exclusivity, but I think that sense of exclusivity -- the need for it -- has virtually disappeared within the Yale community."

1) Insofar as this is true, it is a BAD thing. (What happens as often is that a veneer of egalitarianism makes a nice face for an equally elitist but evil champagne socialism that only the rich can afford to propose. And their aesthetics, while somewhat less price, are absolutely awful.)

2) Mory's is an dining establishment. It takes minimal bravery to maintain an historical aesthetic here. It's not like Tyler is Kingman Brewster, who had major issues at stake in coeducating the college. I mean, what's Tyler going to do? Draw boobs on exactly 50% of the portraits of the sports captains that line the back stairs? Have a table for the homeless in the crew room? Either this is empty blather, or a declaration of incipient collapse of club atmosphere. I tell ya, it all started with banning smoking from the first floor...

I encourage any of you readers who have memberships (all 3 of you, I'd imagine) to write the new President of the Board and tell him to work out his issues in a long talk with Howard Dean and Jessie Jackson, and leave Mory's Mory's.

If all I wanted was mediocre food, wood panels, some old pictures, and all the boors in New Haven as table-mates, I'd go to Naples.

Posted by Old Oligarch on 5/25/2005 01:14:00 AM | link

NY Ball for Life. If the Becket Fund throw-down doesn't have enough celebrities for you, try this $200/night fundraiser.

(From the coordinator who e-mailed me:)

The stars are out tonight! Come for drinks, buffet dinner and dancing. This is a DON'T miss party.


Benefiting Good Counsel Homes which serves women and their children in crisis pregnancy situations.

Peggy Noonan and Ambassador Faith Whittlesey

Honorary Co-chairmen Larry Kudlow & Sean Hannity

Black tie

Friday, June 3, 2005
8:00 pm - 12 midnight

New York Athletic Club
180 Central Park South
New York City

Order tickets here NOW - limited space!


Posted by Old Oligarch on 5/24/2005 07:29:00 PM | link

Book Meme | (Infected by Cnytr)

1. Total Number of Books I’ve Owned. Well over 1,000. I don't have an exact count. Could be pushing 1,200 by now.

2. Last Book I Bought. William Farmer's Synopticon. Yeah, eat your heart out, conservative Catholic rare book collectors who like Matthean priority synopses! I found a copy of this little gem. All mine. Mwuhahaha....

I suppose the question is distinct from (a) Last book I acquired, which was Herman Marcuse's Eros and Civilization (it was free, so what the hell) and (b) Last book acquired as a gift for someone else, thus not really "acquired," which would have been a collection of essays on William Dilthey for a friend.

3. Last Book I read. Richard Burridge, What are the Gospels? For work.

4. Five Books That Mean A Lot to Me:
(a) A Picture Book of Saints by Fr. Lovasik. Perhaps my most treasured volume. Growing up, this was like a Bible to me. Yes, that's incontrovertible proof I'm a cradle Catholic. We had a Bible in my parents' house, indeed, a rather lavishly illustrated one always on display in the living room, but we never read it as a family, and there was sooo much text, I never dove in. Too daunting. But I loved to look at all the bold illustrations of the Saints and read their short bios and think about how I might live that way. It made the Faith come alive in all its historical weight and international diversity. You can imagine how touched I was when Cacciaguida bought our daughter some Lovasik books for her baptism.

(b) Chronicles of Narnia, by C. S. Lewis. Pretty self-explanatory.

(c) Summa Theologiae by St. Thomas.

There's plenty enough said about the Summa. I never quite believed it until I began grad school. I'll give you just one example of why I love St. Thomas. In preparing for doctoral comps, I have to read a dozen books on Trinitarian theology. I read the articles in the Summa first. I am non-plussed. Ok. That was nice. Move on.

I then read the eleven other books. I get deep into the issues of post-Augustinian Western Trinitarian theology. I come back to the same articles in the Summa. I read them again. Not only are they crisp, clear statements -- they are amazingly humble, for Thomas never tells you that he is resolving some major difficulties in Western Trinitarian theology that needed ironing out for the past 800 years. That would mean focusing on him rather than ideas. That would devalue the preceeding tradition on which he relies. That would glorify his most recent contribution for its own sake, rather than for merely being right. So the learned will know what Thomas is doing, and appreciate his unique synthesis, but the simple will just get a nice, short clear statement of the matter.

So I realized: here was Thomas, doing something genuinely novel in the tradition, and very subtle, and dead on, 100% right, with no bells and whistles to announce his solution, but absolutely brilliant.

If an author does that to you once, you generally respect him. Thomas does this to me several times every year. (E.g., on operative grace earlier last year.) That's why I love Thomas. People who are forced to memorize him or read him as a reference work like an encyclopedia are completely missing the sublimity of his incredible mind.

(d) Plato's Parmenides. It all goes back to One. I fell in love with metaphysics after running into this dialogue like a brick wall.

(e) Jesus. There is no other text.

5. Tag 5 people and have them do this on their blog. Feh. Too lazy. Zorak, Eve, Ratty, Chevalier, & Keilholtz, are my 5 if they read this.

Posted by Old Oligarch on 5/19/2005 04:06:00 AM | link

"My response to the dissolution of civilization is reactionary counterdecadence." -- from a friend's friendster self-description.

I used to think like this, and in some ways, was quite good at it. But social morality is not a contract. Just because some people are royal screw-ups and in positions of authority doesn't give me carte blanche to ignore certain moral laws nominally on the books for everyone. I think conservatives of a creative stripe are more prone to think this way, esp. if you've ever had a run-in with Nietzsche. To me, the "reactionary counterdecadence" attitude bespeaks a lingering resentment that comes from deep dissappointment that there are no heroes or mentors these days in the more glorious positions in society -- people to imitate and support. (E.g., Reagan's one heck of a President, but he's still no Charlesmagne.) So if the modern world savages whatever mixed-up-but-good-hearted or beautiful-yet-powerless ideal I happen to find, I just savage their darlings right back. That's the great thing about post-modernism: the liberals don't kill you for being "irrational" anymore (at least when they're being honest). We are all supposed to admit that value systems are charades and private fetishes, so a good liberal must submit to being made to tolerate a counter-revolutionary savaging of his own darlings every now and again to prove he's no Robespierre.

So as cool as I think the slogan is -- and apologies to its coiner if he reads this: he's still an amazing guy -- it is at best a fire break strategy. And sometimes we need to fight fire with fire. But it is ultimately capitulating to post-modern terms. And it's not the Gospel. It neither sheds light in darkness, nor bespeaks the fact that the source of ideas transcends the world, and most importantly, the political arena. Better to do penance and walk the streets with a rope around one's neck like St. Charles Borromeo than exquisite counter-revolutionary decadence - no matter how fun it might be, and no matter how much the other guy has it coming to him.

I will pause now to allow certain collegiate friends a chance to collect their jaws from the floor.

Posted by Old Oligarch on 5/18/2005 01:00:00 PM | link

I want to see a webzine interview whoever is responsible for these crazy ads that have made grossly elongated, stupid-looking animals a household image:

Posted by Old Oligarch on 5/18/2005 04:04:00 AM | link

Yes, doctor, my heart feels....what the hell is that?!

A camera on top of a robotic torso with a flatscreen for a "face" is how the "doctor" now visits you in a hospital in London.

1) Is it too much damn trouble to walk down the hall?

2) If it's just a camera / screen setup, why the clunky robot lower body? Just have an intern carry the camera around and put the TV on in the room. TVs are in the rooms already...

3) As for "bedside manner" this would only cause patient ire, I'd imagine.

And before someone says "but it's for places that have no doctors far away," again, why the huge body and robot-like appearance? A small, portable camera and low-power, compact flatscreen are much easier just to set up and break down in a third-world hospital, no?

Posted by Old Oligarch on 5/18/2005 12:14:00 AM | link

New book: Anthony B. Bradley Abortion by Race (Asheville, NC: World, 2005).

Filled with great statistics, several of which can be found in this article by Bradley, such as:

"According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, more than 43 percent of African-American pregnancies end in abortion. Although African-Americans represent only 12 percent of the American population, they account for almost 35 percent of all abortions. In Mississippi, for example, while African-Americans represent only 37 percent of the population, they account for 73 percent of the state's abortions. More than 78 percent of Planned Parenthood's abortion centers are in or near minority communities."

Posted by Old Oligarch on 5/17/2005 04:22:00 PM | link

First, I was LMAO at this The Onion | Scientology Losing Ground To New Fictionology.

My favorite line:
Scientology can only offer data, such as how an Operating Thetan can control matter, energy, space, and time with pure thought alone," McSavage said. "But truly spiritual people don't care about data, especially those seeking an escape from very real physical, mental, or emotional problems." McSavage added, "As a Fictionologist, I live in a world of pretend. It's liberating."
Yes, a thousand times, yes.

Then I asked Zorak: "Lord Xenu. That's too much. They make up the funniest things." Then I learned that the scientology side of the piece is pretty much accurate. I leered in horror that so many people could actually believe that. As someone reminded us recently, "If you can convince people of an absurdity, you can make them commit atrocities" (Voltaire). Apparently there is even an Amazon bestseller on this generation's shameless admittance that it knows it is fabricating from falsehoods the very world it lives in. The book is called simply, On Bullshit.

I do think, however, that the Kool-Aid Man would make a pretty cool god for a primitive society -- may John Hick find it in his heart to include such a cult in what he calls "pre-axial religions." Kool Aid Man is mighty, always bursting onto the scene. He fixes everything. He loves the children. He already has his own icon. You can drink from his head! &c &c.

Posted by Old Oligarch on 5/17/2005 02:53:00 AM | link

A former prof of mine once gave a lecture on the natural human instinct to have relics. She gave the example of Lincoln (to whom attached all sorts of quasi-religious devotions after his death, for another example: Lincoln "shrines"), whose blood-soaked great coat was torn and pieces of it were kept as precious relics and even publicly displayed for "veneration." If you visit the Lincoln museum in the basement of Ford's Theatre in DC, you will find out that the same also happened to bloody bandages taken from the house where Lincoln died.

Now, on eBay, you can even buy a third-class relic of the diva (pun intended) Paris Hilton: Paris Hilton's Touched Frosted Flakes.

EBay also has a whole category of auction now called "mystery auctions." That's right, you bid on something and you don't know what it is. Weird.

Posted by Old Oligarch on 5/15/2005 02:42:00 PM | link

Posted by Old Oligarch on 5/15/2005 02:18:00 AM | link

Headz vill rrrroll?

Just as I did not permit myself wild daydreams of a Ratzinger papacy until the conclave itself had decided, I think that similarly enthusiastic hypothesizing of a church-wide, sudden and violent housecleaning might breed needless disappointment and fail to appreciate the complexity of certain (but certainly not all!) problems in the Church.

Yet, when I see this piece of news, I cannot fail to catch my breath and say: Do we have another Pio Nono on the throne of Peter?

Liberal Jesuit editor Fr. Thomas Reese canned by Vatican as head of liberal Jesuit rag America.

Another article here.

Reese has had few kind words for the CDF on a number of matters, and this disciplinary action has been a long time in coming. The order founded to defend the papacy should be embarassed by what has become of it, and if they won't clean their own house, the best they can do is let the CDF bring in the exterminator.

As I said earlier:

Sagittae tuae acutae
Populi sub te cadent
In corde inimicorum regis!

Posted by Old Oligarch on 5/07/2005 10:52:00 PM | link

He's sooo cool. Check out this brief spiritual meditation from then-cardinal Ratzinger, The Beautiful is the Good. What's cool about it?

1) The whole exercise in lectio divinia is occasioned by puzzling over two different uses of an antiphon in the breviary. A truly monastic wisdom at work here, contemplating the lex orandi as a source for theology. Compare Benedict XVI's recent sermon (I think it was right before the conclave) about our Lord's citation of Isaiah in Luke 4 and His deliberate omission of the dies retributionis in the Isaian text, a great gloss on this problem if ever I've heard one.

2) Shows the influence (but no overwhelmingly so) of von Balthasar's theological aesthetics. A marked Augustinian edge too.

3) Contemplates the battered face of Christ as an icon for the solution to the problems of modernity!

4) Displays deep familiarity with the contemporary theology of the Eastern Church, breathing with "both lungs" of the Church, as JPII of beloved memory so put it.

5) Emphasizes the role of love in the intellectual life.

I note that one main image of the meditation -- the "dart and wound of love" which provokes depth mediation -- is not original with Kabasilas but rather belongs to Origen's homilies on the Song of Songs. I know, because I put that very homily in my wedding program for guests.

The linked pieces puts to shame my own two cents on the same Psalm.

Posted by Old Oligarch on 5/07/2005 10:42:00 PM | link

Just when you think to yourself: "Should I bother to go see the forthcoming movie about the crusades, viz., Kingdom of Heaven?" (and yes, my mental soliloquoies include the use of viz.) Cacciaguida comes to the rescue with a review from a pre-release viewing. And passes on a new meme.

To turn our attention immediately thereupon: "List five things that people in your circle of friends or peer group are wild about, but you can't really understand the fuss over. To use the words of Caesar (from History of the World Part I), 'Nice. Nice. Not thrilling . . . but nice.'"

1. Any sport. Really, it's just sweaty men, or worse, sweaty women grunting and struggling over some damn ball. Stuff that poetry-of-the-body and discipline crap. You'd think that in 2000 years, we'd be able to move beyond the corporeal allegory to the point by now: the virtues of team solidarity, hard work, results, etc. But no, it's just the opposite. We're worse now than in Greece, we've regressed into complete mind-body dualism, which does not further underscore the need for sports, but rather indicates the direct opposite: people are fixated on sports as a thing in itself. It is a massive waste of time, it glorifies people with wild salaries for doing stupid things, and if every sports-addicted man spent just one of those weekends wasted in front of the tube doing something for himself, his family or his community, we'd live in a better world. So stick that in your pipe and smoke it. Yes, this is a push-button issue for me.

2. Walk-a-thons / Marathons / Bike-a-thons. Not only are these things rapidly obscuring their own etymological origins (always a bad sign), not a week goes by when some charity doesn't start one. "Train for a week and run a billion miles to raise money for gravid catfish." Such things are utterly stupid for two reasons: (1) It is financially idiotic. We invented money precisely so that I don't have to waste my precious time arduously struggling to do something I'm bad at in order to help you with your interests. Which brings us for the real reason for the popularity of this gruelling, inefficient fundraiser: (2) it builds massive solidarity. It is, in fact, a secular replacement for pilgrimages. The real payoff comes in the journey, the meeting of thousands of others like you, the communal involvement in a shared goal, but today, it the explicit goal is not holiness.

3. Tilapia fish. Yuppie scrod. Whitefish = bad.

4. Boutique Vodkas. Having had Grey Goose for the first time last week, and having sampled some other contenders, I just don't see the point. I can appreciate the additional smoothness of a high-end vodka. But for a neutral grain spirit, the minor nuances in sweetness, smoothness, and grain flavors just don't merit the hype, IMHO. Especially after you do the right thing and throw a heap of Vermouth in there and some cream-cheese-stuffed olives....(Homer Simpson voice: Mmmmm, olives).

5. Summer. Too hot. Bourgeoning immodesty. Cult of the body / eternal youth. Consumerist outlays for idle pursuits. People (like my parents) think academics have a three-month vacation and demand all sorts of time "because you're not working now." (No, of course not! That trained monkey we own writes those articles you see on my CV and does dissertation research all by himself. We just leave him a stack of bananas and a ream of Hammermill-Smith cotton bond archival paper and come back in August to see what BoBo has written.) The leaves and the sun are nice from time to time, but I don't get why it mentally perks people up so much.

Posted by Old Oligarch on 5/05/2005 09:54:00 PM | link

Cannot connect to backend database error I received at a random website:

Posted by Old Oligarch on 5/05/2005 12:57:00 AM | link


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