Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Literary endeavours

Satan, oscillate my metallic sonatas.

Since the rise of the environmental movement, Chomsky's "green ideas dream furiously" has lost its perfection as a meaningless sentence that is correct in grammar and syntax. But this is a wonderful replacement. On top of that it is a perfect palindrome, which makes it just superlative. OK, there are other palindromes, too many and too boring to enumerate, but this one is great, a magnificent achievement, as perfect as one of Michaelangelo's sculptures or Gauss' theorems, if not on the same scale. Hats off to its creator, or creators, who, according to Google, is or are anonymous. 

How did they do it? Inspiration? Hard work? Or with a search algorithm? A really clever algorithm, if it was that, too clever to be plausible. The simplest explanation is that it is a work of art, and a sublime one.

Update: alert reader Ms Scarlet points out a dropped aspirate in the label: eroicus was indeed wrong. I shall borrow Arlington Hynes' spellcheck in future.

Updated update: and there shouldn't be an et there. As any fule kno.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

My most embarrassing record

is that I was arrested sooner than anyone else (3 weeks) my first year at university. For stealing a traffic cone. So unimaginative, I cringe still.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Tough guy

"Daddy, can you make me pancakes? Please?" Huh? Never had this before. At this time of the evening (8-30, dinner was ages ago) she often wants cereal or porridge, which are easy. Pancakes are trickier, because the effing whisk devotes its contemptible existence to hiding from me. Sometimes behind the dogfood, sometimes not.

"Tell you what, I'll make you pancakes after you've finished your homework, walked your dog and practiced your clarinet."

"I've done all that, so will you make pancakes?"

["Since your negotiating position is now so lousy, why should I?"] "Oh, OK then." 

God, I'm such a wimp.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

More help wanted

Mme Inkspot's birthday approaches. Yes, I do know what to get her, because she's told me: Black Orchid, by Tom Ford. (Duh, it's a perfume.) But frantic googling (is there any other kind?) reveals the existence of two sub-species: Voile de Fleur, and, well, it seems to be Not Voile de Fleur. FFS, which do I choose? Look, I'm used to parfum vs. eau de parfum vs. eau de toilette, but why must these manufacturers, sorry, parfumeurs or whatever, have to make a chap's life even harder? Especially as it's chaps who buy so much of their stuff; it's not in their interests to make us think, sod this for a game of soldiers, I'll get her a welding torch. Nor ours, come to that.

Update: further googling has contradicted the first googling: Voile de Fleur is not a sub-species of Black Orchid. Phew.

I am sure the world needed re-assurance on this point.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Of categories

Arlington Hynes deleted one of my comments at bogol. Since this is only the world's best blog I was crushed into a nadir of worthlessness. His explanation was that he wanted no politics; fair enough, it's his blog. But he made an error of category. My comment concerned Sarah Palin, who has already reached that zone, inhabited by the late President Eisenhower and Dan Quayle, of being above politics during her own political career. "Disjoint from politics" would be more accurate, but it's still a remarkable achievement. Can anything similar be done in other walks of life? Music? Medicine? Ten pin bowling?

Saturday, 1 November 2008


Pics are too hard, but here are 6 non-random things ("facts") about me.

1. I spent several years in Chicago. Its beauty is astonishing; visit if you do not know this. But not in winter, which is indescribable by ordinary standards.

2. The one woman who broke my heart was an accountant.

3. Good writing demands the extermination of adverbs.

4. Yeats is a dreadful poet. This has nothing to do with his adverbs.

5. English boarding school food is horrible. Unfortunately there are worse cuisines.

6. This blog is an outlet for sarcasm and inconsistency.