It is the first day of April, so here’s an appropriate classic.
Maureen Mullarkey defends — sorta — the Vatican’s 2020 creche:
However off-beat the interpretation or craftsmanship, the Abruzzo portrayal is as innocent of blasphemy as a Lego Nativity. It is the departure from expectation—from the protocols of established iconography—that offends critics. Falsely accused of irreverence, its installation in St. Peter’s Square insinuates an intention that the project never held….
Agreed, Abruzzo’s Nativity was unsuited for solemn display in the Vatican. Both site and timing were malapropos. Nevertheless, all the artillery fired at it should have been aimed more accurately.
The Netflix warning about a documentary concerning a man who beat women to death has two warnings: “Nudity, Smoking.”
Shamus has as clear and lucid an explanation of the GameStop business as you’ll find anywhere:
People called this a “David versus Goliath” type situation, which for me conjures up the image of a middle schooler vs. a linebacker. But in terms of weight class, this is more like a regular-sized dude versus Godzilla. Maybe David didn’t totally kill Goliath today, but given the extreme size differential I think cutting Goliath in half is pretty damned impressive.
(Via Dale Price.)
… and that’s enough reality. Now for silly nonsense.
It’s February 2, on which day bloggers present favorite poems if they remember to. Since twenty-first century culture is permeated with malignant nonsense, it is appropriate to post some benign nonsense as an antidote. Here is the White Knight’s song from Through the Looking-Glass, first read by Sir John Gielgud, and then set to music by Gryphon.
fall-of-civilization end-of-the-year roundup is Dave Barry’s, but there are others worth reading.
The world finally accepted that there are more than 400 genders, and that all of these have been persecuted throughout history. Even the ones we invented last week.
Intersectional feminism triumphed over transphobia. All of a sudden, major companies were using phrases such as “menstruators”, “vulva owners” and “people with a cervix”. All of which is far more respectful to women: or, as I like to call them, bipedal gestation units.
As the coronavirus pandemic tightened its grip, we learned, via an immensely woke Brooklynite podcaster named Billy, “What it’s like to isolate with your girlfriend and her other boyfriend.” And in the pages of The Atlantic, we were told, by Natan Last, a Brooklynite and graduate of Columbia, that crossword puzzles are one of “the systemic forces that threaten women.”
While the point of the Hololive phenomenon eludes me, I do like the video of marching VTubers that Pixy found. In particular, I enjoy the tune, “みっちりねこマーチ,” or “MitchiriNeko March,”1 by one Chiemi Takano (Joedown). It reminds me of the Kuricorder Quartet in a playful mood. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find a recording of it in the USA. The video is based on an earlier one featuring cartoon cats.
Today’s useful phrase: “platitudinal capacity.”
Though he hailed from the dusty plains of Oklahoma, Kendall himself was certainly no rube. He worked his way onto the faculty of Yale, where he profoundly influenced Bill Buckley among others. But while he had the intellect to work at the highest academic levels, he had neither the temperament nor the platitudinal capacity. Yale eventually paid him to forfeit his tenure.
Years ago, when I finally had a computer at home with Photoshop, I thought that I would at last be able to make color prints of the pictures I take. Ha. Thanks to the machinations of printer manufacturers, the final destination for all my photography is digital files. The article focuses on HP, but I can state that Epson and Canon are no better. I print maybe a dozen pages a year, and those are rarely pictures.
(Via American Digest.)
How about a little opera?
… Scarfolk was ahead of the curve.
Here’s a motive for one of great crimes of the 21st century:
Wealth increase in the pandemic for founder/CEOs of
Amazon: $91 billion
Small businesses: collectively lost over $200 billion
We’re witnessing a record wealth transfer
Amazon: profit up 100%
Walmart: profit up 80%
Target: profit up 80%
Lowe’s: profit up 74%
Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, Google: stock at record high
Small businesses: 21% closed; revenue for rest down 30%. They’re gonna go extinct in the lockdown without help.
Enough about the end of civilization. Here’s some nonsense I’ve accumulated from various sources, as politics-free as I could manage.
(Via Dale Price.)
What the world needs now are ethnic and sexual stereotypes, guns, senseless violence, falling silverware and left-handed moths. I.e., Animal Crackers. Here’s an instructive game of bridge.
… to yesterday’s post, from one of the very few movies I’ve watched more than once.
A man visiting the Kotel – Western Wall – noted an old man praying diligently, all day. He was there every day. Finally [he] went to the old man and asked “What do you pray for”? “For world peace, harmony, the brotherhood of man…”
“Do you get a response”?
“No. It’s like I’m talking to a wall.”
(Via J Greely.)
Joseph Moore recommends a little booklet about some aspects of the CCP virus by a former NY Times writer. The substance won’t be new to those who’ve been following William Briggs, but it’s a handy compendium of information you probably won’t see in your newspaper.
Just wondering: is the final stage of every form of government kakistocracy?
In a Heath Robinson device, everything has a clear purpose, no matter how strange it appears. For example, there is a clearly discernable logic to the profusion of cables, pulleys and bellows in his “Spare Room,” above, from this year’s HR calendar. It may not be realistic — I wouldn’t want to sleep in that bed — but everything makes sense. (The same is true of the inventions of Heath Robinson’s American counterpart, Rube Goldberg.) Comparing Neil Ferguson’s incomprehensible mathematical model to a Heath Robinson device slanders Robinson.
Bonus calendar picture: Uncle Lubin in color.
Via Francis W. Porretto:
MINAS TIRITH (AP): The League Against Cultural Appropriation has filed suit against both the Texas Rangers of Major League Baseball and the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League for appropriating the cognomen of the Dunedain of northeastern Eriador, which is often called Arnor by the irredentist movement. The AP’s representative in the palace press pool sought the opinion of King Elessar Telcontar, who wore that moniker as “Strider the Ranger” before his ascension to the throne, but so far his press secretary has declined to comment. (Queen Arwen Evenstar’s publicist told our stringer to “Come back when you can ask in proper Sindarin Elvish.”) More on this story as it develops.
Via Glenn Reynolds:
Before this decade is out, some smart Democrat is going to realize that if they would have treated Trump like an ordinary President, he would have behaved like an ordinary President, that they have only themselves to blame for making him extraordinary. And if we’re very lucky, the rest of the Democrats will ignore and ostracize this insightful Democrat, and remain stuck on stupid for another 30 years.