Friday, August 17, 2018

Mais où sont les neiges d’antan?

[Zippy, August 17, 2018.]

The conversation at the diner has turned to graphic novels. “You like graphic novels, Louise?” “I never read one, Mr. Nesbitt.” Above, Mr. Nesbitt’s reply.

Mr. Nesbitt needs to know that unlike the snows of yesteryear, Nancy and Sluggo will be with us always. On a daily basis, in original and more recent incarnations. And in great big books, though Nancy Loves Sluggo: Complete Dailies 1949-1951 appears to be out of stock at the publisher.

Venn reading
All OCA Nancy posts : Nancy and Zippy posts : Zippy posts (Pinboard)

Words from Nineteen Eighty-Four

This week at A.Word.A.Day, words from George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four that have entered the English language. Today’s entry: oldspeak. (In the novel, it’s capitalized.)

I think I would have chosen memory hole. As the Oxford English Dictionary defines it: “a slot through which documents recording past events, etc., can be disposed of, as part of the manipulation of memories of the past; also fig.”

Previously: newspeak, doublethink, Big Brother, unperson.

Related reading
All OCA Orwell posts (Pinboard)

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Aretha Franklin (1942–2018)

From the New York Times obituary:

In her indelible late-1960s hits, Ms. Franklin brought the righteous fervor of gospel music to secular songs that were about much more than romance. Hits like “Do Right Woman — Do Right Man,” “Think,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” and “Chain of Fools” defined a modern female archetype: sensual and strong, long-suffering but ultimately indomitable, loving but not to be taken for granted.
Did you see her Kennedy Center Honors performance?


When I retired from teaching in 2015, The Crow suggested pouring some single malt Scotch. I bought a bottle of Glenlivet. A few weeks ago, when Elaine went looking for a (third, I think) bottle, the store was out. A clerk recommended Tomatin. I don’t think it’s much like Glenlivet at all. But I like it. I like it. I like it. I’ll let the distillery speak: “A rich, fruity aroma is the prelude to sweet flavours of ripe apples, pears and a subtle hint of nut before the long, pleasantly oily finish.” Can an oily finish be pleasant? Here, have a sip.

Thanks, Martha, for the single-malt suggestion, which I took to heart.

A related post
“Middle school is like Scotch”

[And on a Nineteen Eighty-Four note: Tomatin sure beats Victory Gin.]

Words from Nineteen Eighty-Four

This week at A.Word.A.Day, words from George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four that have entered the English language. Today’s entry: unperson. In Orwell’s novel, the word is applied to a Comrade Withers, once honored, now disgraced and to be struck from the historical record: “He did not exist: he had never existed.”

Previously: newspeak, doublethink, Big Brother.

Related reading
All OCA Orwell posts (Pinboard)

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

A new old Kinks song

“Suddenly it’s too late”: a line from “Time Song,” a previously unreleased Kinks song, no doubt written by Ray Davies. Backstory here.

As a kid, I had time for just one great group. But as I wrote in a 2016 post, “I’m now convinced that there were three great pop groups in the 1960s: the Beatles, the Beach Boys, and the Kinks.” I wish that I knew what I know now when I was younger.

Ray, Dave, Mick, it’s not too late to get the band back together.

Then again, it is, really. A reunion would be a sad shadow of its original.

Thanks, Elaine.

The Avital Ronell story

Avital Ronell, professor of German and comp lit at New York University, has been found responsible for sexually harassing a student and has been suspended for the 2018–2019 academic year. Reading the newly available details of this story makes clear (at least to me) that Ronell’s behavior toward her student Nimrod Reitman was an abuse of power — utterly, wildly inappropriate. Says one of Ronell’s defenders, “Avital definitely is a type of her own.” Yep, that’s true.

Read more from The Advocate, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and The New York Times.

A related post
Prestigious signatures

On Academia

“Perry? Paul. I just spoke with Tragg. They found a body — in the canyon, a man, probably in his fifties, looks like he was strangled with a bow tie. That’s right. Yeah, a philologist of some kind. Tragg said the wife identified him from his clothes — said he was wearing his second-best tweed jacket. And get this: there was a pipe in the jacket pocket, but the wife says it wasn’t his briar. Can you meet me in about twenty minutes? At the last house on Academia Drive.”

Related reading
All OCA Perry Mason posts (Pinboard)

[We passed Academia Drive while taking an avoid-the-freeway route to the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles last month. I immediately thought of Paul and Perry and invented this bit of dialogue. “The canyon”? I think it sounds like something from the Mason world. In real life Academia Drive is a dead-end street — I mean, a cul-de-sac.]

Words from Nineteen Eighty-Four

This week at A.Word.A.Day, words from George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four that have entered the English language. Today’s entry: Big Brother. Under His Eye.

Previously: newspeak, doublethink.

Related reading
All OCA Orwell posts (Pinboard)

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Recently updated

Small town, car, screen More to this story of small-town life.