09 August 2010

News not fit to print

What's been happening with me? Nothing much at all. Which is a big lie, but a personal blog is hardly the place for self-disclosure. No, today I thought we'd catch up on the news. Reading the newspaper of record on the internets this morning,* I came across this gem. For those of you unable to make the link work (Hi, mom), I'll sum up: girls getting the breastses earlier. Like, at age seven and eight. That girls are going through puberty younger has been much discussed for years, but this new, er, development is cause for alarm. Researchers fear that increased hormone exposure from early puberty could lead to higher cancer rates. More immediately, the pscyhosocial impacts are very real: young girls are not women, even if their bodies indicate otherwise. And men are pigs.***

Fine. I leave it to all of you caring, thoughtful people to discuss the issue and its many ramifications. Out of earshot of me. The real value of this article, from my perspective, is finding new material to add to my list of words banned from the Going40 lexicon:****
  1. menstruation
  2. fat deposits
  3. budding
  4. sprouting
Parsing the news so you don't have to, I remain your humble, faithful servant.
*And, by the way, I hope you're all with me that it's really no longer necessary to touch newsprint. I know you think you're cool with the blue plastic bag outside your door on Sunday mornings, and that sitting in your Eames rocker in striped pajama pants, soy cap in hand, somehow mitigates the fact that your studied casualnesss is actually pretension and we can't see it oozing out of your loft walls. But it doesn't, and we can.**

**We're trying out footnotes instead of the usual long parenthetical (because even I sometimes lose my train of thought during the meandering, and then I have to put my finger on the screen where the sentence was interrupted so that I can find my way back to the main point. If there is one.) asides. It worked for David Foster Wallace. Until he died.

***I think you'll agree, after reading the short article, that my ability to so succinctly summarize years of complicated research may be my most enduring legacy.

****A list that, when complete, is going to make a rockin' picture dictionary.


  1. * Too true.

    ** DFW would be honored and, dare I presume, proud.

    *** !.

    **** You're gonna have to make that one yourself, but yes.

  2. I'm not sure whom you're referring to in your first asterisk. We have a Ron Arad rocker, a chaise by Le Corbu, and Eames armchairs and lounge chairs, but no Eames rocker.

    And those of you who read the Times online but don't actually subscribe to the paper can thank those of us who pay the people that create that invaluable newspaper and web site.

  3. I am WAITING to be asked to pay for the Times online. Seriously. I will do so gladly, with joy in my heart.

  4. * I have found, through what little wisdom I've gained in my advanced years, that snarking on others' pretensions seldom establishes any high-ground ... but has no innocent victims. (I, myself, was only grazed.) My engrained habits will never let me scan online information as easily as well-designed print. [See also: Edward Tufte] Maybe I just need an iPad.

    *** As summaries go, that one IS pretty useful.

    Environmental hormones and pseudo-hormones aren't doing any favors to the XYs among us either. No doubt adding MORE banned words to your list.

    You SEEMED to be in such a good mood Sunday evening too ...

  5. My sister kept me waiting on the phone the other day while she looked up a movie time in the paper.
    She's so medieval.

  6. Jess - Your sister goes to 'movies'? Like with strangers in a dark room? Very retro. :-)

  7. I think you should create a list of words banned from the G40 lexicon and post it somewhere for our easy reference. Perhaps as a sidebar in all the white space next to the blog photo? That way we could see the list every time we come to this page and won't have to wonder, "Am I allowed to mention vaginas, vulvas, or clitorises in my comments? I wish there were an easy way for me to check on that, so as not to offend Scott's tender sensibilities!"

  8. "snarking on others' pretensions seldom establishes any high-ground."

    Um, Phil, you're undermining the entire basis for my blog.

  9. I thought you were mostly snarking on others with your own pretensions?

  10. "Um, Phil, you're undermining the entire basis for my blog."

    I simply shared an observation ... I didn't say I didn't enjoy snark, especially when wielded so expertly. Besides, I'd posit that 'high-ground' is itself a pretension.

  11. I LOVE TO READ. Ironically, I only read print news communally (freebie in the teachers' lounge, Sunday Trib at my parents on the weekend) and rarely use online news sources unless they come up after a google search. It's MPR for me. (Pretentious note: Yes, I'm a member.)

    I have to ask, are offensive words worse to look at or to hear aloud?

  12. At least now that we have 3 white males running for governor Scott can rest assured that the topic of m________ing will never come up in the campaign--but everything else will.


As always, civility reigns, but cleverness trumps.

They shall be called my disciples.