SARCASM….DO IT IN PRIVATE AND WASH YOUR HANDS AFTERWARD?….I asked this morning if I should avoid sarcasm in my posts, and so far the responses have been 100% in favor of sarcasm, 0% opposed. I even got a couple of emails telling me I wasn’t sarcastic enough.
As I told one of them, a few years ago (a couple of decades ago, actually) my boss made me pay her a quarter every time I said something sarcastic. It worked out OK in the end: I managed to cut down on my public sarcasm, and every couple of months we went out and had a few beers with the money I’d paid her.
But now I’m backsliding. Sigh.
SO WHEN DOES THE WAR START?….Back on November 12 I wrote this:
I’ll even go out on a limb and predict what will happen next: Saddam Hussein will accept the UN resolution at the last minute, inspectors will go in, they will eventually report obstruction or outright cheating, and the Security Council will then authorize military force. A few weeks later Saddam will be out of a job.
Now, via John Quiggin, I find that I might have been a little too hasty. Here’s what the Sydney Morning Herald had to say today:
Britain is pressing for war against Iraq to be delayed, possibly until late this year, to give weapons inspectors more time to provide evidence of violations by President Saddam Hussein.
….British officials hope that London’s reservations and Mr Blair’s growing problems in the Labour Party will help to tip the balance in the Bush Administration in favour of delay.
I think I’ll stick with my original guess, but there’s a nagging feeling that tells me that Bush might not be that hard to convince. Wouldn’t a successful war be a little more helpful to him if it were closer to election day?
LYING TO OUR CHILDREN….Via Electrolite, apparently New York is still sanitizing the literary excerpts it uses on its Regent exam:
In new guidelines, the state promised complete paragraphs with no deletions, but an excerpt from Kafka (on the importance of literature) changes his words and removes the middle of a paragraph without using ellipses, in the process deleting mentions of God and suicide.
The new state guidelines promised not to sanitize, but a passage on people’s conception of time from Aldous Huxley (a product of England’s colonial era) deletes the paragraphs on how unpunctual “the Oriental” is.
You know, I can almost sympathize with the test creators, who probably get a lot of shit from people who consider certain passages to be offensive. But that leads to the real mystery: why choose these passages at all? Out of the entire body of world literature, aren’t there plenty of excerpts they could choose that don’t include sensitive or offensive phrases?
Maybe they should pay Patrick and me to create the next test. We can fill it with inoffensive Robert Heinlein passages.
DIET ADVICE….I’ve seen several blogospheric posts about dieting lately, so I thought I’d share the CalPundit No-Hassle Diet Plan? with you:
Don’t eat any between-meal snacks.
No, this won’t solve all your problems, but as a quick-and-dirty plan it’s pretty decent. As a bonus, it has the advantage of allowing you to continue your normal ? yes, I said normal ? eating habits at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
I figure that if you don’t have the self control to stop snacking, you don’t have the self control to stick to a diet either. So my way is cheaper, easier, and better all around!