too much typing—since 2003

10.25.2004

various...

* The November 2004 "Harper's Index" claims that the "number of dead bodies pictures in the New York Times during the first week in September" was 16.5.

So is that a copyediting error (that it should be some sort of average) or a morbid joke? Because, of course, half a dead body is still a dead body.

* Surrealist Iowan pranksters...

* We watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind a couple nights ago on DVD, and one of the bonus features is an "ad" for Lacuna. Near the end of the "ad," Tom Wilkinson (who plays the doctor, Howard) dramatically removes his glasses to make his final point...and I remember that this gesture was oddly common a few years back. I never understood it: "to make this point more forcefully, I'm going to make my vision blurry"? I wonder where that gesture started, and why it caught on.

15 comments:

velvet lane said...

Taking off one's glasses is a way of removing a boundary, being more direct.

2fs said...

VL sez: "Taking off one's glasses is a way of removing a boundary, being more direct." Hmm: I'm sure you're right, but I never thought of it that way - as if wearing glasses (regular glasses, not sunglasses) constituted a barrier of any sort. Apparently I either have, or lack, intimacy issues. Of course, hard to believe that people think there's anything like a removal of barriers in viewing, on the television, an ad featuring an actor filmed in another city many months ago whose purpose is to sell a product. But then, a third of Americans think the National Enquirer is a reliable news source. So what do I know.

Anonymous said...

I recently caved in to ocular reality and began wearing reading glasses for, uh, reading. And computing. Thanks to my uniquely shaped nose, I can't quite get the "perch" to work all that elegantly, so I am continually whipping off my glasses to better interact with people and things at distances greater than about 18". My job is a constant blend of reading/computing and interacting with people. Bifocals are actually looking pretty damned attractive, so to speak. Meanwhile, don't be getting in my face over that gesture - or on second thought, maybe you'd better. Then I could see you just fine with my glasses on.
--Janet

2fs said...

Coincidentally, Janet, Rose made a similar observation: if you wear glasses for reading, and not for, uh, regular seeing (someone killed my vocabulary, sorry), you would in fact remove them when you want to talk to a person. Still...the drama of the gesture stands out, so that I've never seen a person in real life do it with that sort of flare. I think the characters in ads who do it are almost always authorities of some sorts: doctors, lawyers, scientists, etc....as if they were reading over some important info and then sincerely conveying it to you. Well there we go: another triumph for the Meme-Scheme Dream Team!

velvet lane said...

I'm dyin' to know what that post above said beore it was removed by a blog administrator!! Was it erased from your memory?

Anonymous said...

This wasn't a very controversial entry, so I don't know what the deleted entry had. Maybe gratuitous profanity or advertising?

Wouldn't a body shown from the waist up (or the waist down) be half a dead body?
Reminds me of the math problem:
If six men can dig six holes in six days, then how many holes can one man dig in half a day?
(Answer: One.. because half a hole is still a hole)

Anonymous Steve

Anonymous said...

I would have to guess that this started with post-modernistic english professors that have a propensity for psycho-babble.

2fs said...

Nope - I've never seen a "post-modernistic" English professor perform that gesture. And I don't know anyone prone to psychobabble either. "Has anybody seen the goddam bridge?"

Anonymous said...

Really? What would you call this?

"A map of his peeves and fascinations would bear precious little resemblance to generally available topographies of interest, except when it does."

2fs said...

Really? What would you call this?

"A map of his peeves and fascinations would bear precious little resemblance to generally available topographies of interest, except when it does."
A sentence designed to suss out the tone-deaf?

Anonymous said...

"suss out"?

"Has anybody seen the goddam bridge?"?

"bear... little resemblance...except when it does"?

Is this the psychobabble garbage we normally get from a college professor?

I have another question. When someone re-distributes work without properly crediting the original author, isn't that called plagiarism, professor?

http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml%3Fi=20041108&s=facts

2fs said...

Hmmm. Well, now I understand the animosity here. But really: I'm not responsible here for clarifying Led Zeppelin references, pointing out irony, or the use of not-all-that-obscure slang. And while facts are, in fact, public domain, I apologize that an editing error removed that particular credit. Extra points for correctly using the HTML paragraph tag - even though I can't get the damned thing to work here. You might want to point out that I left out a space after the quoted, italicized material in my last comment: oh the pain, the pain. (That would be Dr. Smith from Lost in Space, I believe.) Really though - resentment isn't very constructive, is it. I'm sure you have better things to do.

Jacob said...

Oh please, don't misunderstand me. I don't resent you. I just think you're a fraud is all.

2fs said...

And if I am a fraud (and I can't quite see where you'd get the basis for that), what does that matter to you? As the famed philosopher said, whatever.

Anonymous said...

It's all about being a handsome actor. I presume you remember the SNL skit with Mike Myers and Alec Baldwin:

Lank Thompson: Always wear glasses, so you can snap them off for a handsome effect.

Alec Baldwin: [ now wearing glasses ] "My God!" [ snaps off glasses ] "A meteor that size could destroy the Earth!"