Gargling in public

It’s been awhile since I cleaned out my spam comments, but there were some nice ones this time. For instance this one from longtime correspondent “Senethra”:

Manipulation and furry has no boundaries upon selfishness. Bold talking of bullshiting . Just F- ing get to f-ing gether already. Spendrella and the green wolf, Damn. I dont need this shit in my back yard. How many black chocolate elgance God wonderful and fearly created without remorse. Im not the damn milk maid. Using and abusing people is agianst the laws of righteousness. Demons, vampires and dangon slaughteres. I live to love openly and passionately for the things th\at nature me back. Deception can sometimes win if the idiot doesnt pay full attention to its were abouts. Direct quotation marks and lots of exclamations. The pragnent women laying in blood because she was stupid not in LOVE. There is no way it could be right and YOU know the *&%^ is FACT, you selfish ass mother fuckers.

Or this one, which is apparently trying to sell me British prostitutes:

Unquestionably believe that that you said. Your favorite justification seemed to be at the internet the easiest thing to be mindful of. I say to you, I certainly get annoyed while people think about worries that they plainly don’t realize about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also outlined out the entire thing with no need side effect , people could take a signal. Will probably be again to get more. Thank you Magic Escorts, 30 Sutherland Street, Westminster, London, SW1V 4LA, 020 3011 1712

This is not the first time that I’ve been spammed with the phrase “You managed to hit the nail upon the top.” Is this perhaps something English people really say? That would be adorable!

This one was posted to my entry on Aloe Blacc. The writer seems quite exercised about something, but I have no idea what they are talking about:

NOOOO!!! NO SHOW ON NICK PLEASE NO!!! It will RUIN their personalities and they won’t be the funny and at times perverted guys that directioners know and love!!! Big time rush is on Nick let them be American show biz puppets and kindly live our boys out it please!!

This one seems to be addressed to a porn star named “Rod,” who apparently is a fan of ex-Lakers coach Phil Jackson:

Hi Rod, loved the live show tonight. Glad you found a great place to move to in Phoenix. That is beiggr and cheaper. I agree with you on Kobe and the Lakers. I hate to see Phil Jackson go he is great coach. Love your latest scene, you Mason Star flip flopping each other. I love all your scenes and your the greatest. Have a great week.

But this is my favorite, sucker that I am for all things in list form:

1. Evening gown, G-string, Muffs 2. Eddy’s ice cream, Graham crackers, Muffins 3. Earth shoes (brand), Goofy toe-socks, Mouse sleipprs 4. Easy-chair, Garden chair, Miniature recliner 5. Elvira, Gatsby, Milo 6. Eventide (nursing home), Grandpa’s bathroom, My closet 7. Extra candy canes, Games, Mints 8. Extra-low prices, Great Gift ideas, Merry Christmas 9. Eggs, Granola, Muffins 10. Excavator, Garbage collecter, Mail carrier 11. Eavesdropping, Gargling in public, Munching open-mouthed, 12. Extremely annoying, Groans about everything, Mistake

Mistake? Maybe, maybe not. “Accident,” maybe. It makes me think for some reason of the last words of Dutch Schultz…which are always worth thinking about.

Clarification: (Why) can(’t) we all (just) get along?

The Old Man pointed out to me that though my last post contained a photo of Rodney King adorned with the words “Can’t we all just get along?,” in the text I shortened the quote to “Can we all get along?”

There is a reason for this. Like many people, I’ve been carrying the quote around in my head all these years as “Why can’t we all just get along?” But as I discovered to my chagrin yesterday, if you go to the video tape, “Can we all get along?” is the actual phrase. This is too bad, because while the former is more pleasing to the ear and the sensibility, all the latter has going for it is that it is accurate.

If you wanted to get real semantic about it, you could read things into the addition of the words “why” and “just,” and the inversion of “can” to “can’t.” I suspect that it is just normal fact slippage, similar to the way many people now believe that Sarah Palin actually said she could see Russia from her house. (Sarah has said a lot of dumb things in her time, but that was not one of them. She did cite the proximity of Russia to Alaska as proof of her foreign policy credentials — that’s bad enough — but “I can see Russia from my house” is pure Tina Fey.)

While we’re at it, did you know that Hermann Goering never said “Whenever I hear the word ‘culture’ I reach for my revolver.”? According to The Wikipedia:

  • The actual quote is “Wenn ich Kultur höre … entsichere ich meinen Browning!” This translates as: “Whenever I hear [the word] ‘culture’… I remove the safety from my Browning!”
  • This quote is often mistakenly attributed to leading Nazi Hermann Goering, or occasionally to Julius Streicher, a lower-ranking Nazi. This misattribution may date from the famous Frank Capra documentaries (Why We Fight) shown to American troops before shipping out.
  • In fact, it is a line uttered by the character Thiemann in Act 1, Scene 1 of the play Schlageter, written by Hanns Johst. The association with Nazism is appropriate, as the play was first performed in April 1933, in honor of Hitler’s birthday.

Does that now make it OK for me to paraphrase this line in polite company, by way of explaining how I feel about Facebook? Or should I refrain?

R.I.P. Rodney King

I was sad to note today the passing of Rodney King, forever known to those of us who watched too much TV in the 90s as “black motorist Rodney King.”

Rodney sure had a weird life. First he became world-famous for having the shit beat out of him by some LA cops. Then, when those cops were acquitted in a controversial trial, he became the inadvertent cause of the biggest riot this country had seen in decades. It was in this context that Rodney uttered the five words that I think will be his legacy: “Can we all get along?”

He was not the first to ask this, and he won’t be the last. But it is a damn good question nonetheless. Rodney never asked to be a public figure, and he was not the most articulate guy on Earth; but I defy you to watch him speaking here (starting at :54) and not be moved:

Back in the U.S.A.

I won’t lie to you: It’s nice to be back where electrical outlets are shaped normally and people have the Courtesy to Speak English. Though to be fair, many people in Austria — where I just spent eight busy days — did have the Courtesy, or at least the capacity; it’s just that I was afraid to ask them to because I have a complex about being a bumbling monolingual American.

I may write at length about this trip at some point. Then again I may not, for the same reason that I didn’t write while I was there: there was/is too much work to do. So for now, I will just summarize briefly what I have learned:

  • There is an Irish pub in Graz called Flann O’Brien’s that was “built on the Emerald Isle by the finest of Irish craftsmen and was shipped piece by piece” to Austria. Do you believe that? Why not?
  • Mongolian vodka is delicious.
  • Just order what Barbara orders.
  • A surprising number of restaurants in that part of the world don’t take credit cards. Carry cash or you may find yourself in an embarrassing situation.
  • White asparagus does not make your pee smell funny.
  • There are hedgehogs living in the park in Graz. Hedgehogs!
  • Austria is the Jamaica of the German-speaking world. They even have their own reggae: