Category: About

The ‘I’ word

Yesterday, I could have gone to the mob and told them that Nero burned Rome. I could have offered them a new emperor in General Galba, and so set my seal upon the times. But I did not … because out of force of long habit, I’ve become content only to be an amused cynic … leaving others to shape the world.
—Petronius, Quo Vadis (1951)

Here’s an article that resonated with me, at Cracked, titled “I Can’t Tell if the World Is Being Serious Anymore,” by Daniel O’Brien. O’Brien is a very talented humorist and a sharp observer, the kind of guy I’d love to have a beer with.

He observes that there are more and more cases where you can’t tell satirical stupidity from actual stupidity. More and more, the world is forcing us to choose between cynical, self-conscious irony, and incompetence. But like me, O’Brien is starving for things he can take seriously.

The article is from 2011, but it’s current for me because I’ve been painting similar themes in florid color here. We live in a cultural so barren that a lot of us don’t even know what originality and depth look like. Many would run from it if they ever had to face it.

O’Brien wants to face it:

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I love you this much

See how my arms stretch? That isn’t enough.
I need other units to measure my love.

I love you tons — does that say it? No, I need more;
All measures that I can find add to the score.

Like liters and kilograms, megabytes, microns,
And firkins, and farthings, and fathoms, and furlongs.

I love you hat sizes: you contain my ego,
And friction coefficients, so you won’t let me go.

And Kelvin, and Fahrenheit, and Celsius degrees,
And beats, and measures, and octaves, and keys.

And IQ points: you understand me so well,
And then PSI’s, as you make my heart swell.

I love you amps, and joules, and kilowatt-hours,
And Fujita ratings, and binary powers.

And sandpaper grit, for how smooth you feel,
And candelas of light; you’re my whole color wheel.

And I love you carats, with treasures and prizes,
And calories: with you, my temperature rises.

And G-forces, for your gravitic appeal;
Yes, I love you with megawattical zeal!

I love you bushels, and barrels, and adjusted gross wages,
And coma scale ratings, and tennis racquet gauges.

I love you in boundlessly measurable ways,
And half-lives — two — ‘til the end of my days.

 

© Bryan Olive. All rights reserved.

The Editorial We

As this blog continues to find its identity, one of the questions we have been asking ourselves is how we ought to refer to ourselves. We’ve been toying with the idea of always calling ourselves “we.”

It’s done to create a certain kind of distinction, making it clear that the speaker and the audience are not of the same kind (no offense). There are various settings where this is done; here’s a handy guide to help you recognize and understand them:

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How We Roll

The title of this post, of course, is an effort to make this blog appear more contemporary and urban, as we are told that is the one true path to demographic glory. No matter. The real truth is, we’re just trying to make up for our woeful lack of posting lately and we hope that making ourselves look “cool” and “with it” might help you to overlook all that.

In fact, for personal reasons we have taken a rather sudden road trip to Kansas City, where we shall remain for a little while, and posting is likely to remain sporadic. If you happen to be in the area, be sure to say hello! They make a fine BBQ here and we’ll be sure to save some for you.

Your Word of the Week: Struthious

As noted elsewhere, this blog is a division of World Lexicography Headquarters. If you’ve been wondering just exactly what WLHQ is all about, please see our handy and helpful FAQ.

Each Thursday at 6pm, Central Time, I make an appearance on a fantastic radio program called “Life As Art, Also,” where I deliver a Word of the Week for your general betterment. (Believe me, you need it.) LAAA is the radio sequel to the now defunct “Life As Art,” which was a wonderful public access television program once upon a time. I made about eight appearances on that program, delivering the nascent version of the now mature Word of the Week. I guess you could give that old TV show credit for making me the man I am today: The Official Lexicographer of Internet Radio.

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Culture Under a Blacklight

Welcome to The Hoondat Report! This is where I will make sweeping pronouncements that I may later regret, but that won’t stop me from rushing them into publication, sometimes under the influence of alcohol. The Hoondat Report is a division of World Lexicography Headquarters, which is the source of your Word of the Week, each Thursday at 6pm Central Time, on xersradio.com.

Here’s an FAQ:

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