Monthly Archives: October 2023

§  I would value your input here — please help educate me.  In more films than I can count, there is a scene in which a character is wronged or finds him/herself in a no-win situation, and the character responds (after a moment of seething) by trashing the room they are in, throwing objects against mirrors, sweeping figurines and framed photos onto the floor, and otherwise violently unleashing their negative energy onto their surrounds.

Items resting quietly on pianos and fireplace mantles are particularly vulnerable.

My question is: does any real person ever come close to doing this, or are such histrionics just a tired Hollywood trope?  Sure there have been times I’ve been frustrated and angry, but never (ever!) on such a destructive binge.  It make me think such episodes are over-represented in film, just like pre-meditated murders are, but I don’t have any data.  Do you think everyday people really act out their frustrations so forcefully ?  (You don’t have to answer personally.)

§  I have a problem with human noses and toes.  There are lots of beautiful things about the human body, but noses and toes aren’t among them.  Plastered here, pointed there, growing more curved and contorted as we age.  Consider noses, whose primary purpose seems to be to interfere with kissing — did noses really need to evolve that way to keep the bugs and rain out?  Or do downward-pointing nostrils serve more to hide our nose hairs?  

And take toes — please!  If toes are so important, why didn’t they take on a more elegant design?  What tenet of natural selection could justify their stubby appearance and their constant need of grooming?  And why do we need five of them?  (I am talking about toes per foot, not noses per face.  Thank God for that scant bit of evolutionary economy.)

Sometime soon, I will post a gallery at ART@CHC of my feet-and-toes photos, both real and statuesque, and I must say in advance that sculptors of feet have great imagination.

§  Not that it’s your problem — it never is! — but I can’t count the times I’ve thought of a knock-em-dead idea for a Thoughts@Large item, then opened my laptop to record it for our joint pleasure, only to lose the thought along the way.  As Mitch Hedberg said about the jokes that came to him in the middle of the night, “If the pen is too far away, I have to convince myself that what I thought of ain’t funny.”  Yep, same.  Except Mitch may have had higher standards.

§  On a more serious note, I would have liked to have been, at the very least, considered for the post of Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.  I would have been a natural for the position, given my political savvy and microwave skills.  So, when I heard that some Louisiana guy named Mike Johnson was elected, I was crushed.  Nearly cried (but didn’t — I’m a man).  I wasn’t even given the chance to drop out of the running first.

If this white guy from Louisiana had any cred at all, he should have been known as Wailin’ Mike Johnson or Jukin’ Mike Johnson and he should have his own line of hot sauce and a string of barbecue joints.  But just Mike Johnson?  C’mon dawg.

It was just last week that a Ohio man named James Daniel Jordan — after the 2oth book of the New Testament, and then after the lion’s den guy, and then after the river Jordan for good measure! — still wasn’t righteous enough for Republicans to elect him Speaker.  But then they turn around and pick James Michael Johnson, named after the very same book of the Bible, and then after the row-your-boat-ashore guy, and then after Walter Johnson, the iron-arm pitcher for the Washington Senators (1907-1927) who won the second-most games of anyone in baseball history.

It came as a surprise to me and many others, how the election of Speaker came down to how Congress felt about Johnsons.  But I guess it’s all about numbers: 189 of the 222 Republican House members have them.

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  • When I was 8, I wanted to be this guy...

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Credit:  New York Times, October 23, 2023

The wealth effect is even more evident when one takes into account that poorer students are less likely to take the SAT test.  The New York Times article points this out as well.

I’m guessing that my parents’ income rank was in the top 30-40% nationwide when I took my first SAT test 55 years ago.  They had me take the test three times; unfortunately, since my parents did not get richer, my test scores did not significantly improve.

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