18 September 2009

Post 212

I'm not convinced that I have any interest in seeing Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, but this awesome bit from Ebert's review:

Let me search my memory. I think — no, I'm positive — this is the first movie I've seen where the hero dangles above a chasm lined with razor-sharp peanut brittle while holding onto a red licorice rope held by his girlfriend, who has a peanut allergy, so that when she gets cut by some brittle and goes into anaphylactic shock and her body swells up, she refuses to let go, and so the hero bites through the licorice to save her. You don't see that every day.

Post 211

I have a plot to overthrow the entire world using only the power of rhetoric.

It has prose and cons....

03 September 2009

Post 210

Hahaha. I love literalism! And I love the 80s. If you love these things also, you will love this video:

02 September 2009

Post 209

Awesome headlines in the Chicago Tribune in the early 1900s:

Girls sold by gypsies; whole town up in arms


DANCES 3 DAYS; CAN'T STOP, Girl Whose Feet Won't Keep Still Drugged to Save Her Life. MANIA PUZZLES DOCTORS. Only Thing Like Philadelphia Case Is Tarantula Madness.



PASTOR TURNS MATCHMAKER Men with Proper Credentials May Meet Young Women Tonight.

CREATES FICTION, ALL RIGHT, BUT IT'S BY WORD OF MOUTH. Proposed Double Wedding Called Off When One Bride-Elect Finds "Story Writer" Fiance Is a Barber.


LET A PHYSICIAN FIT YOUR CORSET Latest Straight Front and Easy, Well 'Made Waist Adds Health, Says Doctor. MAKE WOMEN BEAUTIFUL

Post 208

HeylookI'mback. With any luck, I'll give my long, glorious, fantastic excuse for my absence from blogdom on Fake Dates within the next week or so, but today I wish to give an academic lament of sorts in far more brevity than I'd like because I've got a lot of stuff to do.

I'm back to school now; I started on Monday. I'm taking an English class called something like "Studies in Rhetoric and Style: Style and Stylistic Criticism." Today we were talking about what style is, trying to define it using the ridiculous bit of prolix that serves as our book's two prefaces and lengthy introduction. My professor said something about how the study of rhetoric has fallen out of English curriculum in the past couple centuries and has recently been picked up by linguists, which, she said, is unfortunate because the linguists approach it too scientifically. Later in the lecture, she mentioned how Plato poo-pooed rhetoric and wrote it off so now the whole philosophical community shuns rhetoric as something evil, "but Plato was wrong," she said.

This is facinating (and heart wrenching) to me. Last winter, I took an English Language class called "Semantics." This had an underlying sentiment of "Trying to understand how words mean stuff is really facinating, and English students are morons for not looking in to this." I really enjoyed the class and found it refreshingly not scientific, though I was a bit miffed because we were standing on the shoulders of a lot of philosophers while pretending that we were not studying philosophy. The summer before that, I took a Philosophy class called "The Philosophy of Language," so that's how I knew all these philosophers.

It's strange (and sad) to me that all three disciplines are working toward the same end (viz. understanding how language means anything) yet refuse to work together: the philosophers and linguists ignore each other as much as possible, but, when they can't ignore each other entirely, the philosophers call linguists like Chomsky (stupid Chomsky) philosophers while the linguists call philosophers like Grouse (blesses Grouse) linguists so that both groups can continue to pretend to be unrelated; the philosophers and rhetoricians are always at each other's throat, the philosophers calling the rhetoricians sophists while the rhetoricians give philosophers the finger for writing them off as such; and we ELANG kids don't associate with the English kids except to spank them at Scrabble once a year.

So where does this put me? I'm an ELANG major with minors in English, Linguistics, and Logic--I stand happily in all three camps. And so I am sad because all three are falling short of their goals because each only has a piece of the puzzle and see it through colored perspective. I hope that I can somehow within myself resolve the differing views and combine them into an academically orgasmic threesome that will cause all of language's mysteries to melt before me, but I feel totally incapable of doing so: I fear that, by dabbling in all three disciplines, I do none of them justice.

(Just another one of my rambling thoughts on academia that none of you probably cares about. Sorry to end my blogging hiatus with something so exclusive.)