November 5, 2010
My email to Paul Krugman earlier this afternoon went something like this;
Your recent Times article, The Focus Hocus-Pocus, contains repeated use of the phrase "Mr. Obama," a style choice which I find to be bothersome because it is unusually formal.
I would be happier to see "President Obama" on first reference, as you have it, followed by simply "Obama" on subsequent references.
My opinion is that it is preferable to treat Obama the same way we treat Clinton, Reagan, Nixon and even Bush (yes, both of them).
After I clicked Send, I was then haunted by the rampant irony of there being so many grammatical errors in my letter. Oh, wells...
Anyway, I'm sure Paul's going to jump right on that and not use "Mr. Obama" ever again, and word will get around the entire media industry, not just print but also broadcast, so I can stop hearing "Mr. Obama" every 3 seconds on NPR... Right?
October 28, 2010
It is that time of year again. The time of year for the third Pinferno of the year, to be exact. Pinferno is a competition of pinball players from around the entire world, and by world I mean mostly New Jersey, and also some guys from Brooklyn, usually. And you know how the saying goes;
"Nobody Knows Brooklyn, Because Brooklyn Is The World!"
I take it back, you did not know that saying. Let's move on.
More about Pinferno; each contestant plays his or her pinball-loving heart out for six long hours, hoping just to make it to the finals. A brief pause at 6pm allows time for sobriety tests to be administered and anyone with a blood alcohol content below 0.08 is politely asked to take their business elsewhere. The remaining finalists then stand about watching Sean Grant make sweet, sweet love to Doctor Who as if this were some post-nuclear scenario where there are only pinball machines left, and well, if Sean is going to get it on with a pinball machine it is sure as shit going to be Doctor Who... "That poor, defenseless pinball machine!" we all silently exclaim to ourselves, not wanting to hurt Sean's feelings. The process is awkward to witness, but it is also a necessary part of the Pinferno Mating Ritual slash Life Cycle slash If The Police Raid Were To Happen Right Now That Would Be Even More Difficult To Explain Than Usual But Hopefully They Might At Least Forget To Search Peace...
Besides this, what can I say about Pinferno that has not been said before?
Let's try a few;
"Pinferno will not cause Elephantiasis of any part of the body (except perhaps the liver area, slightly)."
True, this has not been said before about Pinferno. And another;
"If you were to stack all 32 Pinferno contestants end-to-end, how frickin' weird would that be? It just seems unnecessary. Why would you even think of doing that? More importantly, would it make for good television? How about Japanese television? I am authorized to sell the broadcast rights at a substantial discount, if it will bring us closer to a deal today. We may choose to incorporate Snapple(tm) and/or Cialis(tm) directly into the plot line to sweeten the deal even further."
Yes, these are unusual things to say about Pinferno, indeed. Dare we tread
"Pinferno is melancholy. But it is also the antidote to melancholy. Thus Pinferno is the absinthe of the pinball art form. No wonder we are all so addicted to it. No wonder some of us are inclined to mate, perhaps violently, with Doctor Who. Please do not watch us while we do this."
Keep going, I would like to hear just one more;
"Start with bacon. Crispy, crispy bacon. Add Pinferno to the bacon. I
cannot tell you what to do after this because I am starting to get choked up
with emotions just thinking about the result of such a marriage. Please turn
the cameras off for a moment while I collect myself. I feel ashamed and very
vulnerable right now... Do you know where there might be a Doctor Who that I
could be alone with to console myself, just for a few minutes? I promise to be
gentle. Firm, but gentle. You may need to re-wax after I am done,
incidentally. Please forget I said that last part."
Let's do this thing; Pinferno V lays ahead of us gloriously. May Pinferno V
wash over all of us and remove our sins. Except for the sins of mating with
pinball machines, which we must proceed to have absolved elsewhere, probably in
some dive-y hipster bar, thus beginning the cycle afresh.