28 March 2012

Read the Jar, Evelyn Wood

I am a fond reader of the Wall Street Journal. Or rather, I read WSJ Online. It's not just the often interesting and informative articles--although the WSJ has its fair share of lame fluff articles as does any major publication. No, as I've mentioned before, the real beauty of the WSJ site is in the comment section. Any news site has trolls, but the Wall Street Journal usually has a higher class of troll. Marxists and libertarians battle it out with sharply worded and often correctly punctuated retorts. I've started to recognize many of the names of regular posters, and some of them are so prolific that I can only assume they spend at least 8 hours daily commenting on WSJ articles. Of course, some commenters are just the regular kind of troll, so it's not all vaunted wit and wisdom.

But I also have found that some of the WSJ writers have a deft turn with a sarcastic phrase or two. In this article, decrying the tendency of liberalia to idealize the European socialist state model, conveniently ignoring the ever-rising tide of financial and political catastrophe flowing through these very supposedly ideal nations. Helprin throws a snarky bone to the Euro-lovers and bestows a backhanded compliment upon Europe's obviously superior cultural offerings:
Europeans make better movies; their cuisine is better (except in Eastern Europe, Central Europe, Scandinavia, England, Ireland, the Low Countries, Germany and Switzerland); and they do a better job of suppressing modern architecture, for which they are to be commended.

Well, if you don't see the humor, I just don't know how to explain it. For my part, I love Europe and see a lot of value in their culture, but at the same time, who doesn't enjoy the puncturing of overblown ego here and there?

27 March 2012

Conversations from Work

I haven't posted much at all, and it's been a long time since I offered any "conversations from work" material. My coworker here is pretty shrewd in his ability to take the wind out of my sails, plus he has suspicions about who or what exactly I am. Even I wonder about me sometimes...

Me: People get so easily distracted. Individual freedoms are at stake. People are stupid. It makes me angry that I have to be one.

Coworker: Are you certain you are?
Me: I reproduced effectively with another human being. Biologically speaking, that defines me as a member of the species... Although basing my definition of my own humanity on my reproductive viability seems like something an alien would do, right?

03 March 2012

On holiday

I'm having a bit of a much-deserved holiday in California. Yes, I'm in the land of Starbucks, Jamba Juice, and sunshine. I'm having trouble coming up with something to blog about, as I'm focused on alternating between sleeping and eating and imbibing caffeine.