Eric Zorn’s RSS reader must be the best one in the world, because it somehow snagged the Lost Post in the 120 seconds or so that it existed. So here it is, and we love us some Eric:
Among the pleasures of the internet age, from sub-sub-sub-niche pornography (brunettes in pure-white Keds, anyone?) to the London dailies a click away, I have a new nominee for Top 25 status: The online package tracker.
I do a certain amount of catalog ordering, and have fallen in love with the small joy of watching my box, on this trip holding New Balance running shoes and two sports bras — please, draw no conclusions about my fitness plans — make its way to me. Origin scan, March 9: Commerce City, Colo., after which it was scanned for departure, arrival and departure again, all at the same facility. (I’m assuming it’s a hub.) On to Omaha, then Davenport, Iowa — how are you enjoying the humidity of the east, shoes and bras? much different from Colorado, no? — then Hodgkins, Ill., wherever that is. From Hodgkins to Livonia, Mich., where it stayed only a few hours. Its final departure scan took it to Detroit. In at 6:45 a.m., out at 7:40, delivered at 1:49 p.m., to the back door.
The dog didn’t bark. He’s likely to sleep through these things, these days.
Why can’t they put this technology on the cable guy? “We’ll be there sometime between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Can’t be more specific than that, sorry.”
(Of course, one day they will. And I’ll complain that it’s wrong to micromanage human beings to this extent, and predict that the cable guy with a bar code on his forehead is the next disgruntled postal worker, and who will be able to blame them? People are not packages. Consistency, thy name is…not mine.)
But until then, it’s nice to dream.
I like my shoes and bras, by the way. They’re all closeouts, for obvious reasons which I won’t get into, except to say: Bra designers, don’t put seams right down the middle of the boob, OK? Most women prefer a nice smooth line there. But it’ll do for something to sweat in this summer.
One deadline passes, another approaches — they’re like telephone poles on the highway. In the meantime, though, I have to see my doctor this morning, to find out why my knee hurts. No, I know why (slipped on the ice); I need to know why so long. Also, I’m hoping to score some powerful narcotics. I wonder if that would work, not pussyfooting around with the so-called drug-seeking behavior, but just asking outright: “How about a little Vicodin/Oxycontin mixed grill, doc?” It worked with my old doctor, who appreciated directness, as well as the fact I never asked for anything stronger than Tylenol 3. (On a scale of 1-10, there’s a reason that one has a 3 in its name.) A few weeks back, the Wall Street Journal ran a story on off-label prescribing. The opening anecdote was about a woman who was licking those narco-lollipops for relief of pregnancy-related migraines*. She was up to five (!!!!) a day by the time labor started, and surprise surprise, her baby’s first words were, “(Sniff.) How much for an eightball, doc? Can I get it on credit? I seem to have left my wallet in my other diaper.”
Of course, if he says I have arthritis I’ll just ask for a bullet. To shoot myself.
In the meantime, festive bloggage:
I’m not the biggest fan of the Freep’s pop-music critic, but I thought he did a pretty good piece on Why Cobo Matters, even if that wasn’t the headline (but should have been).
Jacob Weisberg went to the American Enterprise Institute’s gala the other night, and wrote a nice piece for Slate. They should change their name to Home of the Unrepentant Neocon:
In his address, the 90-year-old (Bernard) Lewis did not revisit his argument that regime change in Iraq would provide the jolt needed to modernize the Middle East. Instead, he spoke at length about the millennial struggle between Christianity and Islam. Lewis argues that Muslims have adopted migration, along with terror, as the latest strategy in their “cosmic struggle for world domination.” This is a familiar framework from the original author of the phrase “the clash of civilizations”—made more famous by Harvard scholar Samuel Huntington. What did surprise me was Lewis’ denunciation of Pope John Paul II’s 2000 apology for the Crusades as political correctness run amok. This drew applause. Lewis’ view is that the Muslims started it by invading Europe in the eighth century. The Crusades were merely a failed imitation of Muslim jihad in an endless see-saw of conquest and re-conquest.
Were you to start counting the ironies here, where would you stop? Here was a Jewish scholar criticizing the pope for apologizing to Muslims for a holy war against Muslims, which was also a massacre of the Jews. Here were the theorists of the invasion of Iraq, many of them also Jewish, applauding the notion that the Crusades were not so terrible and embracing a time horizon that makes it impossible to judge them wrong. And here was the clubhouse of the neocons throwing itself a lavish ‘do, when the biggest question in American politics is how to escape the hole they’ve dug. Reality seemed to have taken up residence elsewhere for the evening.
Mark Steyn can turn a clever phrase, but reading this piece o’ crap (only the first two grafs available online, sorry) last night made me want to cancel my subscription to The Atlantic. Please, editors of the world, don’t let idealogues write arts criticism, OK? Styled as a tribute to the talent-free Denny Doherty (“the other Papa”), it comes off as one long snark about the excesses of the ’60s, which is a record played so often by this crowd you can’t even hear the music anymore. Not that they ever heard the music in the first place. Michelle Phillips, he says, is “seriously hot, in a way few rock chicks are in the cold light of day when the drugs have worn off.” Oh, please. How would you know? There’s more snarkage about Cass Elliot, who could only get laid because she had drugs, and pokes at John Phillips’ “vacuous” lyrics, proving Steyn may be the only person alive who could listen to the Mamas and the Papas and think their appeal was about the lyrics.
Put it this way: Reading this, I was reminded of the time Alexander Cockburn, hard-core leftist, described the scene in “The Untouchables,” where Elliot Ness throws Frank Nitti off the roof after the latter taunted Ness about how his recently departed colleague (Sean Connery, sigh), “squealed like a stuck Irish pig” before he died. This person, Nitti, Cockburn describes as “an unarmed murder suspect.” So there.
Off to tend the knee.
Late-breaking update: Knee diagnosis unclear, but he suspects arthritis. (Muffled gunshot. Thump.)
* I originally wrote “nausea.” My memory was faulty.