Antique language, plus breasts.

One question: If the digital new media is supposed to be exploding all the old rules and not following any of the new ones, why do so many of its writers sound like Perry White dictating to the cigar-chomping rewrite man?

In Touch can exclusively reveal what actually happened after Britney Spears checked into LA’s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center last week.

A source exclusively tells that Brit’s dad, Jamie, is the one who sounded the emergency on the red Phil phone once he learned his daughter was checking out early.

TMZ has learned Eminem was rushed to the hospital over the holidays.

OK, two out of three of those are old media with websites. But TMZ is new-media all the way, and they do it too. I guess it’s all Drudge’s doing, with his stupid fedora and Walter Lippman affectations. It’s amusing how well that old rat-a-tat-tat passive-voice stuff holds up, isn’t it? And how ironic that it’s used so often on gossip sites, where the news couldn’t be less consequential. By the way, is anyone ever not “rushed” to the hospital? “Eminem was driven to the hospital at a leisurely pace, observing all legal speed limits.” Don’t read that much, do you?

Enough woolgathering. I’m late getting started today because I had my tit in a wringer. Literally, more or less — mammogram time. You have to schedule those so far in advance it’s impossible to coordinate it with one’s less-ouchy days on the calendar, but I was as stoic as I could be. The rule of mammography is squeeze, squeeze, squeeze a little more and then one last big squeeze until the patient yelps, and then you take the picture. The technician gave me a little lecture on the importance of maximum compression (not while I was compressed, thankfully) — the flatter you can make everything, the better “doctor” is able to see what’s going on. Fair enough.

Because this was a digital picture, I was able to look at them immediately afterward. I once had a hairdresser (straight, male) whose wife called her breasts “the hanging bags of fat,” a term that’s stuck with me, and I think about it whenever mammography time rolls around, seeing them squashed under my chin and doing my deep breathing to keep from yelling.

Today I thought about a writing class I took once, led by a real blowhard, who was trying to impress upon us the importance of le mot juste, just the right word. He was doing it with a long story from Arthur Koestler’s novel “Darkness at Noon,” about two men being held in the same prison. They were on opposite sides of a wall, and couldn’t see or hear one another, but over time they started communicating using a tap code. One man is describing an old lover’s “breasts like champagne glasses.” The way the blowhard told this story was excruciating, going on and on about the tap code and how agonizingly slow it was as a means of communication, kind of like this story, and then he gets to the punchline, “breasts like champagne glasses.” And he looks around the room and beams, because isn’t that just the most incredible phrase to describe a pair of perfect breasts?

I sat there blankly, picturing the old granny in those Playboy cartoons. Because, to me, a champagne glass looks like this:

About two seconds later it occurred to me he was thinking of this:


Which just goes to show le mot juste is never entirely juste. But the granny is probably more comfortable during her mammograms than the saucer-boobed girl.

Have I lowered the tone? Good. Now to the bloggage:

New Hampshire proves you can never count a Clinton out. Discuss.

Liberals are sabotaging RedState’s website. (I think.) Jon Carroll explains.

And now, I’m going to write something someone might actually pay me for. Carry on.

Posted at 10:59 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

41 responses to “Antique language, plus breasts.”

  1. LAMary said on January 9, 2008 at 11:28 am

    The last time I had a mammogram and I was doing the deep breathing to get through the boob squashing part, the tech who was administering the pain told me that 80 percent of women feel no pain or discomfort from a mammogram. I told her I did not believe her.

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  2. Mindy said on January 9, 2008 at 11:30 am

    The morning phone call to my mother the Faux News junkie found her sighing in pain. That’s how I knew Hillary had won.

    I’m anit-mammogram. Causing pain to the breasts before shooting them with radiation, hmmm. Doesn’t sound terribly healthful. I know a woman who was faithful with her mammograms due to a very scary family history of breast cancer. She lost both breasts last spring anyway. I’m not saying that the mammograms caused her cancer to reappear, but it does make me wonder.

    Ageless tone doesn’t seem to go away no matter where it is. I just got back from the post office (your lip balm is in the mail, Dorothy) and there was a message waiting for me on the answering machine. A woman who dialed the wrong number was calling to say how sorry she was to miss the viewing due to a cold, that the world has lost such a lovely woman, how it’s so hard to let go, and that such a dear woman is truly in a better place. So much for the handwritten note of condolence.

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  3. alex said on January 9, 2008 at 11:30 am

    I’ve always been kinda partial to the old grannies in National Geographic. Their jugs look like test tubes.

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  4. Sue said on January 9, 2008 at 11:32 am

    I had an English professor who liked to talk about the Greek classics in terms of erections. He spent a lot of time talking about it. I finally figured out that he was trying to embarrass the ladies in the room. Could your guy have been doing something similar? And between your mammo and Bossy’s pancake boobs/griddle girls, I must say that I am delighted with how low internet discourse has sunk.

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  5. Adrianne said on January 9, 2008 at 11:48 am

    I must have the gentlest radiology techs on the planet. Never had a problem (and I was a fraidy cat the first time I went for a mammogram). I tell ya, ladies, after giving birth twice, I have lost all squeamishness about medical procedures, personal privacy, etc. Have at me, docs!

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  6. LAMary said on January 9, 2008 at 11:52 am

    I’m not squeamish, trust me. I just don’t like getting my tits squashed. I used to pose naked for drawing classes when I was in art school. No embarassment here. It’s those plexiglass plates you get squeezed between, giving you a full view of your smashed tits as well as the feeling of smashed tits.

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  7. Kim said on January 9, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    I had the same thought about the champagne glass’ shape. A friend coined the phrase “36 long” to describe her girls, which is what I think women would call their boobs if they were men.

    Don’t like the annual smooshing either, but figure if I, the daughter of a breast cancer survivor, want to catch cancer as early as possible I’ve gotta just do it. LaMary, I hope you told the rad tech she was full of shit. Because she was.

    I wish a pundit could explain to me how the primaries were over even before they began yesterday in New Hampshire. Seriously, the name of the game for the Iowa caucuses is to change your mind until there’s a majority, right? There’s no real commitment but lots of compromise.

    Political reporters/analysts do this crap all the time, calling the end of the game without watching everyone play. It’s supposed to be the American thing to get to decide with a vote, no? I wish they would just shut their yaps, listen and save the Monday morning quarterbacking for Monday morning. That is, after the game is played.

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  8. Danny said on January 9, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    The Smashed Tits. That has the ring of a good band name, doesn’t it?

    Edit: Or the Mammogram Techs? Hmm.

    Further Edit: I rather think The Mammogram Nurses.

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  9. colleen said on January 9, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    I didn’t find it particularly PAINFUL, but I sure as heck can’t watch ’em being squooshed like that. THAT squicks me out.

    And what’s with using “doctor” like it’s the doc’s first name? I’ve noticed that a lot lately.

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  10. Connie said on January 9, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    I would never miss a mammogram. My mother died of stage 4 breast cancer at the age of 57.

    For some months now I have been in the midst of a political uproar regarding bond issues for two new branch libraries. (In fact it all really blew up this week. It all suddenly looks unlikely in fact.) There I was with my little babies smashed into the machine, doing my deep breathing just like I learned in Lamaze, when the technician says “So, I am going to get my new branch library?.”

    I don’t usually work during medical procedures.

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  11. john c said on January 9, 2008 at 12:51 pm


    About 20 years ago my mom discovered she had breast cancer after she took a mammogram. Wouldn’t have been detected that soon otherwise. I’m about to call her so she can head out and help with the kids and love up her grandchildren, whom she might never have known, while I write.

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  12. Dorothy said on January 9, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    I wouldn’t say what I feel is pain during a mammogram, but it is extremely uncomfortable. I’m just thankful they have those instant release buttons at the station where the technician stands. I’d much rather put up with a few seconds of discomfort once a year rather than the pain of recovery from a mastectomy or radiation treatments. That’s a no-brainer.

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  13. Mindy said on January 9, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    That’s terrific, John C. I know I’m in the minority on the mammography issue. It’s great to hear that one served the purpose it’s meant to.

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  14. LAMary said on January 9, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    It should be noted that mammograms are a walk in the park compared to colonoscopy. I do those every other year since my mother died quite young from colon cancer.

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  15. Peter said on January 9, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    LA Mary, I’m not planning on having the mammogram, but I thought the colonoscopy wasn’t bad at all, aside from drinking the Go Lightly.

    When I came to, the doctor said it was easy and went real well, and since I can’t leave well enough alone, I asked how much of the hose did he use, to which he replied “The WHOLE thing – we just had to see if we could”. ewwwww….

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  16. Laura said on January 9, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    My 2006 mammogram found stage II breast cancer. I’m just guessing, Mindy, but I think I’d prefer losing my breasts (or in my case a big fat chunk o’ breast) to being dead.

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  17. LAMary said on January 9, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    The Go Lightly stuff and what it does it what I don’t like. Drinking a gallon of the stuff and staying in the john all day…eww.

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  18. Danny said on January 9, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    Sounds like they should rename it to Go Constantly.

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  19. Kirk said on January 9, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Kim, your observations are on the money about the political media’s penchant for jumping to a conclusion and then voicing shock when it all suddenly changes. I didn’t understand it back in the ’60s when, as a kid, I started following politics and I don’t get it now. It’s akin to a sportswriter assuming that a baseball team would win because it scored a run in the first inning and then becoming totally flummoxed because the other team miraculously scored in the second.

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  20. Danny said on January 9, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    Kirk and Kim, I think what is probably happening is that there is a lot of pressure to get a scoop. And regardless of whether the political prognostications are correct, once there IS a storyline to kick around, then the pundits and talking heads can easily fill air time and page space.

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  21. Dorothy said on January 9, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    Yeah it’s not the colonoscopy itself that’s trouble, it’s the preparation for it. I’ve only had one, and in 8 years I will have another (God willing, none in between). Go Constantly is definitely a more appropriate name, Danny! Or Go Until Your Ass is So Sore You’ll Never Want to Go Again. Don’t forget the big ol’ tub of Vaseline for the day after!!

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  22. Mindy said on January 9, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    You’ll be dead someday anyway, Laura. I hope that you’ll have all of your body parts when you go.

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  23. Laura said on January 9, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    Yes, but I’d rather be dead at 96 than 46.

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  24. brian stouder said on January 9, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    but I’d rather be dead at 96 than 46

    I’ll second that motion!

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  25. Sue said on January 9, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    I just want to say I love you guys. Where would I be without my daily dose of all-over-the-map conversation?

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  26. Danny said on January 9, 2008 at 3:35 pm the proctologist, but without all of the witty conversation starters.

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  27. Jen said on January 9, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    Me, I’d much rather be boobless than dead. Therefore, when the time comes (probably soon, considering my mom and aunt were both developed breast cancer at around age 40, and I’m already 22), I will have the mammogram. I’m a TOTAL wuss, so I won’t be happy about it, but I think it’s necessary. However, I know numerous people whose cancer didn’t show up on a mammogram, so I think self exams are important too.

    Mindy, I do wonder about the high number of cancer cases. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like an awful lot of people I know are survivors of numerous different kinds of cancer: my mom, my aunt, my boyfriend, one of my coworkers, and numerous people from church and our community. I’m not sure I’d be so quick to blame mammograms, but I wonder if there’s some sort of factor – environmental gunk, food additives, radiation from somewhere – that’s causing it.

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  28. alex said on January 9, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    The big cause of breast cancer nobody talks about is pesticides and herbicides in foods. This comes courtesy of Mother Jones, so you can dis it if you believe nothing’s credible unless you’ve seen it on Fox News, but it makes perfect sense to me.

    Nowhere else in the world are rates of breast cancer as high as in the U.S. In Asia it’s almost nonexistent, and yet Asian women in America experience the same rates as everyone else in America. So it’s environmental.

    Anyway, the theory I saw put forth in Mother Jones (and it has been some time ago) is that certain carcinogenic chemicals used in agribusiness are known to bond with estrogen to form chemical compounds which accumulate progressively in the fatty tissues of breasts.

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  29. Dorothy said on January 9, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    It’s those damned terrorists, Jen. They have their fingers in everything!

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  30. nancy said on January 9, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    Interesting theory, Alex, but I don’t believe any complicated problem is that simple. It’s always a constellation of factors, one of which is more pronounced in the last 25 years or so — delayed childbearing. The later you get pregnant, the later your breasts swing into action to do the job they were meant to do. If they just sit around in your bra for 35 years or so before they go to work, you’re more likely to get cancer. Environmental carcinogens almost certainly play a role, but they’re not the only actor on the stage.

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  31. Julie Robinson said on January 9, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    Oh good, I’m so glad I did something right by having my first child at 24!

    My mother, who lives in a small town (one hospital, one clinic, one lab) had a routine mammogram and came home a few days later to a message on her machine: they had found something, she needed more tests immediately, gloom and doom, etc. This on a Friday afternoon. They had closed by the time she got the message and when she called Monday they blithely informed her they had been looking at someone else’s films. Oops. So sorry.

    In the meantime my poor mother had spent the whole weekend trying to find the mass and needed some Advil. I can’t even begin to count how many laws were violated, not to mention common sense.

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  32. Mindy said on January 9, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    Alex, I read all that same stuff seven years ago when I was considering a hysterectomy. Then I read that the worst of the chemicals to simulate estrogen in the body is RoundUp, which is illegal to use or even own in Canada. I mentioned what I learned to my friend whose family farm had adopted organic farming methods several years before. She told me a little about the wickedness of Monsanto, the company that developed RoundUp. A few months ago I rented the DVD The Future of Food from Netflix, which exposes Monsanto and its evils. Scary, scary stuff. Our national health is pretty much doomed. Nancy is right, of course, there’s lots of factors involved in the development of cancer. But there’s so much we can do to stack the deck in our favor.

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  33. LAMary said on January 9, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    Birth control pills and fertility drugs, as well as hormone replacement therapy drugs contribute as well.

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  34. Kim said on January 9, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    Kirk and Danny — I used to be one of those people. I know how it works, and the pressure to scoop isn’t really part of it. Seriously, you can’t call predicting the future or a good guess a “scoop” (another word for the package, all you wire enthusiasts!)

    How it works, in my experience, is this: Reporter is the only one who reads every boring word of the position papers. Reporter is the only one who drinks it down like a good terroir (or that pear stuff). Reporter is among a handful of people (most of whom are reporters who were assigned to attend) at a press conference or rally about some such. Reporter presumes she knows which way the world oughta go because she is Informed.

    Reporter may understand positions, but reporter doesn’t get people. Sometimes people vote for their leaders the way they choose their NCAA hoops bracket winners: by color of uniform, home state, strange mascot name, who’s better looking. Sometimes people decide because of something truly personal (a relative dying in Afghanistan in support of our forgotten war there, for instance). You just never know. Better to let the people decide, then ask ’em to tell you about it.

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  35. joodyb said on January 9, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    weird coincidence link:

    i just read this this weekend.

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  36. Kirk said on January 9, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    I still am one of those people (a newspaper guy that is, not a political reporter). Your assessment sounds accurate to me. It certainly is not a matter of going for scoops. It’s desire to inform the uninformed, among other things. The tendency to try to write off a candidate before things have barely started is what bugs me.

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  37. Laura said on January 9, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    There are many types of cancer (and even many types of breast cancer), so there are likely many causes, too. I could make myself crazy trying to detemine what caused mine.

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  38. basset said on January 9, 2008 at 9:49 pm

    “hanging bags of fat”… wife is in the other room still laughing.

    the hospital where she works has a “pink boutique” which sells various items of clothing and accessories with the pink-ribbon logo. she wanted a fleece jacket so I got her one for Christmas, nice pair of earrings in the pocket of course.

    not so nice that she would actually wear them but the fleece is getting some use.

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  39. basset said on January 9, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    >>Sometimes people vote for their leaders the way they choose their NCAA hoops bracket winners: by color of uniform, home state, strange mascot name, who’s better looking.

    my mother, an immigrant who as far as I know never saw a basketball or football game in person and paid them no mind on tv, used to regularly win office pools by asking what colors the teams wore and playing hunches. “red and green? I’ll take the greens…”

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  40. basset said on January 10, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    another thread dies within seconds of a Basset post. stand clear, y’all.

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  41. ashley said on January 11, 2008 at 3:44 am

    Laura’s so right. Warren Zevon died of mesothelioma, but he never worked around asbestos. He claimed to get it from hanging out in a relative’s attic. People often have no clue how they get cancer.

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