First, list writer Robert Heinlein’s examples of the accomplishments that distinguish a [generalist] human from a [specialist] insect. Then identify the ones he has actually done.
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. I have taken the list and written explanatory notes.
Change a diaper (Actually a few times B.L. – before Lydia – but a lot more now.) Plan an invasion (Actually it was a counterinvasion of a house I rented against the mice that tried to take over. I took over a dozen casualties and the rodents retreated.) Butcher a hog (Well, no.) Conn a ship (I’ve rowed a canoe, badly.) Design a building (Only with LEGOs.) Write a sonnet (Yes. It was terrible.) Balance accounts (Yes, for student government in college, and for the Schenectady Arts Council.) Build a wall (LEGOs don’t count, do they?) Set a bone (I was directed to do a splint, once.) Comfort the dying (I hope so – my friends Steber and Nancy, and my father.) Take orders (In the corporate hierarchy.) Give orders (Committee chair.) Cooperate (I do play well with others, don’t I?) Act alone (Does blogging count?) Solve equations (I was GREAT in algebra and trig, but got lost when I got to calculus.). Analyze a new problem (Being a reference librarian, happens almost daily. Every time I moved, finding where everything will go.) Pitch manure (I’ve cleaned cat litter boxes.) Program a computer (Well, I’ve installed software.) Cook a tasty meal (Actually, yes – I’ve cooked lasagna, and chicken a number of times, with vegetables or salad. Some other stuff, too.) Fight efficiently (Yes, once. But generally, I flail around.) Die gallantly (Sounds like Man of La Mancha- I’ll get back to you on that.)
Oh, yeah, I said I wouldn’t pick on others to do these exercises. I lied. Eddie (who hasn’t posted in two and a half weeks), Nat (who hasn’t posted in one and a half months), and Logan (who has already posted TODAY, but who I wish to confound), come on down!
Some things I’ve seen in the popular culture world that caught my attention recently:
Paul McCartney has a new album, which got 3 stars out of 4 at USA Today, and an A from the guy at Knight Ridder. A good sign is that Sir Paul had creative tension from Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich; I think he does better working with people like Steve Miller, Elvis Costello, Denny Laine or that Lennon fellow. The review I’m most looking forward to is the one from Beatleologist with a Maccasian flair Fred Hembeck. And he promises it by the end of the week. (Pressure is on, buddy!) *** And speaking of my old friend, Fred did a piece on Joey Dee and the Starliters (of “Peppermint Twist” fame) and David Brigati (brother of Young Rascals singer Eddie) back on September 8. It reminded me, and I verified this with my trusty Joel Whitburn Billboard book, that Eddie and his fellow Rascals Felix Cavaliere and Gene Cornish were once part of the Starliters. David Brigati, who was in an earlier incrnation of thr Starliters, actually got to sing at least one lead on a Rascals album, the title track to the album “Once Upon a Dream”, the album after “Groovin'”. *** I’m going to watch a lot of PBS next week, September 26-29. (Broadcast times may differ where you live.) Monday and Tuesday, 9-11 p.m., American Masters is presenting “No Direction Home: Bob Dylan”, directed by Martin Scorsese. Wednesday 8-9 p.m., “Best of the Beatles”, tales from Pete Best about Liverpool and Hamburg. Wednesday 9-11 p.m., “Get Up, Stand Up” The Story of Pop and Protest”, “from Joe Hill to Bob Geldof.” Finally, Thursday, 9-11 p.m., “The Sixties: The Years That Shaped a Generation,” if only for the music of Dylan, Arlo Guthrie, CSN, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles, the Chambers Brothers, the Doors, the Rolling Stones…and Elvis Costello? *** You may have heard that some Marvel characters will be made into movies. But some of the articles have been, to borrow a word, snarky. For instance, “Avengers-a super-sized version of the Fantastic Four”; I wonder if the writer had even HEARD of the FF before the movie? *** I took the Batman test on Gordon’s site, and this is my results, the same as 148 of the other 338 people taking the test. You’re Classic Batman. You’re the old school, iconic Batman that everyone knows. Your sidekick is Dick Grayson, the original Robin, and you also team up with Batgirl alot. You’re the World’s Greatest Detective, and also one of the best fighters on the planet. You’re against guns and lethal force. Right now, you’re pretty much in the prime of your career, before you become haunted by Dead Sidekicks and loved ones.
What kind of Batman are you? brought to you by Quizilla *** And speaking of Batman, there was a category on JEOPARDY last week called “Also a Batman villian”: $400 An extra playing card in as deck often used as a wild card $800 Neurotoxic crawler who’s hard on her mates $1200 Antarctic krill-eater $1600 Itchy cashew relative $2000 His mask is in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo Answers at the end. *** The Napoleon Dynamite talking doll is now available. I’ve never seen the film (should I?), but I’m aware of its “cult classic” status. You can get the doll in lots of places, but I picked this place because it also has other N.D. stuff, PLUS the George Bush farting doll. *** Advertising geeks should check out Ad Rag. There are lots of free articles; it’ll cost 2 Euros per month to view the ads. *** Johnny Bacardi wrote on Thursday: There’s a quiz/meme going around over in the LJ community that goes something like this: 1. Pick 16 of your favorite movies and choose one still from each movie 2. Post those stills in your journal 3. Have your friends guess which movie goes along with each screen still. Well, I actually contemplated this exercise, but got stuck 1) narrowing the choice of picking 16 films and 2) finding stills obscure enough to make it interesting. But check out the links, and you may be entertained, as I was. *** “Apprentice: Martha” will open with the tune of Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) by the Eurythmics. Ad Age notes that Annie Lennox stalking around portraying a dominatrix (as she does on the album cover) may seem somehow highly appropriate or inappropriate, depending on your view of Ms. Stewart. Talk about snarky! (A word I actually never used before today.) *** I thought the Where Is Andy’s Mojo American Express Campaign was dopey in concept, but it became more so when he lost the first round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament to the 68th seeded player. Does anyone know how much Ogilvy & Mather got for that dud? Don’t know, but AmEx spent $7 million to $10 million on the campaign *** Ad Age is pondering, and it got me to wonder, which of these sports stars, if any, will become the next Michael Jordan in terms of commercial appeal from among: Danica Patrick, 23, car racing Michelle Wie, 15, golf Tony Stewart, 34, car racing Natalie Gulbis, 22, golf Sidney Crosby, 18, ice hockey Freddy Adu, 16, soccer Albert Pujols, 23, baseball Eli Manning, 24, football Shaun White, 18, skateboarding Chris Moneymaker, 28, poker
Any thoughts, oh opinionated ones?
BTW, the current leaders in endorsement in the sporting world are, in millions of dollars (approx.): Tiger Woods, 80 Andre Agassi, 44 LeBron James, 27 Phil Mickelson, 21 Dale Earnhardt, Jr., 20 Serena Williams, 20 Lance Armstrong, 17.5 Jeff Gordon, 15 Shaquille O’Neal, 14 Peyton Manning, 11 Only Shaq (23) and Peyton (18) make more in their ACTUAL jobs than they make in their endorsements. *** J answers: The Joker, Black Widow, the Penguin, Poison Ivy, King Tut. I missed one in the time alloted.
NAME: Greg Burgas BLOG NAME: Delenda Est Carthago NAME OF CD: At Last! At Last! My Forever Came Today! NUMBER OF CUTS: 24 RUNNING TIME: 79:29 COVER ART: Color SONG LIST: 1. I Look Funny (talk) 2. Monday A.M. First Thing-Think Tree 3. Pass It Along-Chumbawamba 4. Paper Doll-P.M. Dawn 5. Closed session (talk) 6. Therapy-Infectious Grooves 7. Donde Estas, Yolanda?-Pink Martini 8. Junkie-James 9. In the Jailhouse Now-the Soggy Bottom Boys 10. K Street-Fastbacks 11. Down to the River to Pray-Alison Krauss 12. The Last Mile-Cinderella 13. Excursions-A Tribe Called Qwest 14. Turn Your Head (talk) 15. Ugly in the Morning-Faith No More 16. No Man’s Woman-Sinead O’Connor 17. Reservation Blues-Jim Boyd 18. Ocean Size-Jane’s Addiction 19. Istanbul (Not Constantinople)-They Might Be Giants 20. Forever Came Today-Supremes 21. Just Like Fred Astaire-James 22. Last Call-the Popes 23. Crown of Thorns-Mother Love Bone 24. Thanx But No Thanx (talk) ALREADY REVIEWED BY: Me on June 27 GENERAL THOUGHTS: See my review. I suggested that Greg got his CD out so early because he was anticipating the birth of his second child. He corrected me and indicated that he had a bunch of songs lying around from the previous mix. MY version made him look MUCH better. THINGS I PARTICULARLY LOVED: See my review. But it does play even better the fourth time through. ON THE OTHER HAND: More than the songs I mentioned in my review, the dialogue breaks the flow. OFFICE FRIENDLY: As far as I can tell. Some of the lyrics are so garbled – the word “ugly” in the title of #15 sounded like a curse, but it was just his pronunciation. ONLY VAGUELY RELATED: The Jackson 5 did a cover of the title track; Diana, Mary and Cindy do it so much better.
NAME: Nat Pike BLOG NAME: Nat Pike’s Wired For Sound NAME OF CD: We Don’t Need No Stinking Lyrics NUMBER OF CUTS: 15 RUNNING TIME: 50:23 (only the second disc shorter than mine) COVER ART: Nicely typed SONG LIST: His post of June 10 ALREADY REVIEWED BY: GENERAL THOUGHTS: I think the instrumental compilation is the trickiest. In songs with lyrics, you have another aspect that might grab you. But these are all or nothing. Not that there aren’t vocals on here – you’ll find whistling, vocoder, ahs. This is a very diverse set, and I enjoyed much of it. THINGS I PARTICULARLY LOVED: the accordion in Madagascar; whistling and banjo in Air; Dan K guitar and running bass; Wall of Voodoo; and especially, the jazz banjo feel of the Spidey theme. A suitable ending. Too bad ELP song was co-opted by Beef, because it’s a great piece of American music. ON THE OTHER HAND: There were periods when it became background music. Pleasant background music; it wasn’t an individual cut, but the flow. Sticking Wadsworth or Van Halen, or indeed anything from cuts 8-14 within cuts 4-7 might have changed it up a little sonically. OFFICE FRIENDLY: Well, no dirty words. ONLY VAGUELY RELATED: I’ve been told that the Tomita piece is the theme to the show Jack Horkheimer: Star Gazer, a very brief (5 minute), very quirky show that airs on our PBS station just before sign off. Geologically, Madagascar could be defined as a continent.
I added a couple links: Johnny Bacardi (belatedly) and Tegan’s Bloggity-Blog-Blog, both in the Comic Book section of this here electronic communicator.
And I also, reluctantly, added the word verification feature to the comments part of the page. I started to believe all the nice things those spam bloggers were saying about the blog. What I discovered almost immediately is that my per day “hit” average went down by 5, but I’m OK with that.