Wednesday, May 25, 2022

“Ten hours to Chicago”

Nella Larsen, Quicksand (1928).

I discovered only this morning that the 1928 Knopf edition of Quicksand is available from Google Books as a free PDF or e-book. Marginal notes here and there — dynamics of authority, paradox — but they disappear not long into the novel.

HCR on “the right to bear arms”

“Today’s insistence that the Second Amendment gives individuals a broad right to own guns comes from two places”: Heather Cox Richardson gives a short lesson about the history of a peculiarly American idea.

Red flags

David French: “Pass red flag laws. Now. Give families and police a chance to remove guns from the people who tell us they’re dangerous.” Found via The New York Times.

Our household’s representative in Congress, Mary Miller (R, IL-15), has touted, loudly, repeatedly, her opposition to red-flag laws. Here she is, proclaiming her opposition and boasting about her A ratings from the NRA and Gun Owners of America (a organization that deems the NRA too willing to compromise).

Related reading
All OCA Mary Miller posts (Pinboard)

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

“Why are you here?”

Senator Chris Murphy (D, CT) on the Senate floor not long ago:

“What are we doing? Why are you here, if not to solve a problem as existential as this? This isn’t inevitable. These kids weren’t unlucky. This only happens in this country, and nowhere else. Nowhere else do little kids go to school thinking they might be shot that day.”
[Fourteen Eighteen Nineteen children, a teacher, and another adult two teachers were killed at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas today.]

Herschel Walker voting

MSNBC has a camera (why?) on Herschel Walker as he votes. He’s taking a very long time, just standing in front if the machine, and I think it’s reasonable to wonder: Does he know how to use a voting machine?

The last pay phones in NYC?

This story is getting considerable attention: “Last street payphone in New York City removed” (CBS News ). And yet:

While there are no more freestanding, public pay phones left in New York City, LinkNYC says they could still exist — on private property. There are also four “Superman booths,” or full-length phonebooths left in the city, but it is unclear if their phones are in service.
That’d be easy for someone for someone to check, no?

In 2009 Scouting New York tracked down those four booths, all on West End Avenue. Google Maps shows them still standing in August 2021, complete with pay phones. Working ones, I hope.

And now I’m kicking myself for not photographing the New York Public Library’s phone booths when I was last there.

A handful of pay phones
A Blue Dahlia pay phone : A Henry pay phone : The Lonely Phone Booth : A Naked City pay phone : A subway pay phone, 1932 : Chicago pay phones : “If your coin was not returned”

[Yes, the CBS headline has payphone; the article, pay phone.]

SFW on the shelf

Take a look at this tweeted photograph of Bryan Garner’s bookshelves. Can you spot the book by Sally Foster Wallace, David’s mother?

This 2013 post, a review of Quack This Way, a transcribed conversation between Bryan Garner and David Foster Wallace, has links about the Garner–Wallace connection. This 2020 post has some sample sentences from SFW’s book.

Related reading
All OCA Garner posts : DFW posts (Pinboard)

[The book is Practically Painless English (Prentice-Hall, 1980), above the three blue volumes, lower right.]

Monday, May 23, 2022

Domestic comedy

An ordinary evening. We were watching yet another Lou Grant episode, “Boomerang” (January 19, 1981). The opening scene: a busy hospital, doctors and nurses speaking Spanish. I called the theme of the episode (not derivable from its title) forty-four seconds in, when the camera zoomed in on a respirator, the manufacturer’s name in all caps: defective medical equipment. And then:

“Yes, Michael, you’re brilliant. You’re a genius at watching television. You can quote me.”

Related reading
All OCA domestic comedy posts (Pinboard)

[“Yet another”: these episodes aren’t going to watch themselves. And if you haven’t watched, it was a really good show.]

Mary’s and Rhoda’s apartments

Computer-modeled tours of Mary Richards’s and Rhoda Morgenstern’s apartments. The presence of elements never seen on The Mary Tyler Moore Show itself — bathrooms, a fourth wall — makes me want to call the Epistemology Help Line.

Thanks, Steven.

Related reading
All OCA MTM posts (Pinboard) : I envy Mary Richards

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Grain, oil, and pastries

News from way out west:

A professional outdoorsman in Utah is facing felony criminal charges for allegedly helping Donald Trump Jr. shoot a bear illegally during a guided hunting expedition. Wade Lemon of Wade Lemon Hunting hosted Trump for the outing in May 2018. According to the Utah Department of Natural Resources, Lemon illegally baited the bear for Trump with “a pile of grain, oil, and pastries.”
“A pile of grain, oil, and pastries”: is it certain that Mr. Lemon wasn’t trying to help Don Jr. make contact with his dad?