Busy elsewhere, I
posted sporadically, on toxic couches, gun control, gay
marriage, that versus which, and those crazy
visit to the Shaker village
I recently went to New Hampshire to visit a Shaker
village. The Shakers were interesting because they were
highly religious and embraced celibacy. This embrace
unfortunately led to the demise of the village, but not before
they made beautiful furniture and dish towels. (I bought
some dish towels). The benevolence of the Shakers
contrasts with the more sinister approach of modern religious
cults, depicted in the so-bad-it's-good 1981 film Ticket to Heaven,
copied by the virtually identical 1982 film Split Image,
and joyfully ridiculed in a 2000 Strangers with Candy
episode, "The Blank Stare," in which Jerri Blank
gets abducted by and then kicked out of a cult. My
favorite line? When the high school principal says,
"We have to free her from that den of mindless
superstition: consult the bones!" Read a
marvelous photo essay comparing and contrasting "The
Blank Stare" with Ticket to Heaven here,
see some photos of my Shaker Village visit here.
From what I can tell, Ticket to Heaven is so bad that
it inspired me to buy a copy of Michael Medved's The Fifty
Worst Movies of All Time (and How They Got That Way).
It arrives next Monday!
posted November 10, 2013 7:35
"All human beings deserve to be loved. All
human beings." That's the love guru, who says this
warmly, emphatically, with the quiet firmness of someone
speaking that which they know to be right. He's sampled,
endlessly, in "Give Me All Your Love" on Jondi &
Spesh's Tubedrivers album—in my review of it here,
I note how the love guru saying this "squares off against
a slightly flat diva." Today the United States
Supreme Court took a small but significant step towards
recognizing that gays can get married like anybody else.
Although their opinion was divided, good won out over
bigotry. My friend Chris Cronbaugh posted this beautiful
equality painting-artwork thing, which I share with you
here. See a larger version here.
posted June 26, 2013, 8:02 pm
"that" vs. "which"
Sometimes I like learning grammar and, following up on an an
earlier exploration of who versus whom, here,
today I took another look at that
versus which. Here's the synopsis: use that
when introducing a description that identifies or singles out
the noun from others. The lawn mower that is broken is
in the garage. (There's multiple lawn mowers and we're
talking about just one of them.) The lawn mower, which
is broken, is in the garage. (There's not any question
of multiple lawn mowers, we're merely supplying additional
information about the lawnmower, which requires a comma before
the which.) Sometimes, though rarely, you can
also use a which not just to add information, but to
single out, like a that. Find out more about
these mysterious defining whiches on my "That Vs.
Which" page here.
posted May 16, 2:04 pm
Gun proliferation, as satirized in experimental rock group
Negativland's song "Sycamore," here,
which satirically juxtaposes a Bay Area real estate pitch
against a manipulative gun lobby political ad, has gotten
totally out of control. The country drifts between shootings,
and the White House weakly tells us that after a gun massacre
is no time to talk about guns, as detailed in Alex Koppelman's
December 14, 2012 New Yorker blog post "The Right Day to
Talk About Guns"
The gun lobby, with lawmakers in its pocket, presses on with
its preposterous vision of America-as-shooting alley, pleading
for ever still more guns to prevent gun shooting, as a
December 21, 2012 article by Forbes contributor Jeffrey Brown,
"What the NRA Is Assuming (and Why They Are Wrong)"
had an assault weapons ban but Bush—bleagh—let it expire
in 2004, as described in Josh Harkinson's January, 2012
Mother Jones article "Who Killed the Assault
Weapons Ban?" here.
Since then, mass shootings have only increased,
relentlessly. There was the mass shooting at a Colorado
movie theater last July, at a Wisconsin Sikh temple last
August, at a Minneapolis manufacturer in September, and then,
unacceptably, the horrific slaughter at a Connecticut
elementary school in December. 25 of the 62 mass
shootings since 1982 have happened after 2005, seven of them
in 2012, as a February 27, 2013 Mother Jones article by Mark
Follman, Gavin Aronsen, and Deanna Pan, "A Guide to Mass
Shootings in America," goes on to describe here.
But so tight is the gun lobby's stranglehold on our
throat that four months after the Newtown massacre and two
days after the Boston Marathon bombing, our dysfunctional
Senate can't even pass an anemic background check law, even
when the majority of the public supports it, as detailed in
Rebekah Metzler's April 29, 2013 U.S. News article,
"Poll: Majority Supports Failed Senate Gun Control
much less pass any legislation that might curb the
problem. What can you do? Find out who your
representative is here,
call them and tell them you don't care what their gun lobby
tells them, you want gun control, including a ban on assault
weapons, and you want it now.
posted May 2, 2013 8:40 pm