Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
December 2, 2018
Currently pondering: knit ties
Category: Miscellany

Currently pondering: knit ties. I don't have any yet and would like to own one or several (I do have one wool tie that I break out on occasion), but I'm curious about how I'd make it work for me. Like, I rarely see knit ties knotted in ways I find compelling (though they often look nice enough), and even the pages I just read via a google search recommended smaller, simpler knots with knit ties. And the reasoning makes sense enough -- a bulky knot would probably look bad with most knit ties -- but I'm just not in love with the result. Whenever I do acquire a knit tie (and assuming the resultant look isn't awful), I imagine I'll use it as a rare excuse to wear an Onassis knot. I'm not generally a fan of that one (it's not *really* a knot IMO), but I think here it'd work. (more...)

-posted by Wes | 6:42 pm | Comments (0)
Plattsburgh knot achievement earned!
Category: Miscellany

So because I mostly approach tie knots as sets of moves rather than by name -- and because I tend to tie them according to my mood while preparing for a given outing -- it's possible for me to tie a knot and venture forth without knowing precisely which knot I've tied. Upon reviewing the maneuver I executed this morning with reference to a thorough list of knot names, I've determined that today was likely the first day I ever wore a Plattsburgh knot out in public. (more...)

-posted by Wes | 12:02 am | Comments (0)
November 28, 2018
Brief Death-related Q&A
Category: Miscellany

So someone on this political discussion group on Facebook posted a series of questions about death, presumably motivated by the recent death of his neighbor. I answered the questions and figured I'd post those answers here as well.

Q: Is it appropriate for me to take my 6 year old daughter to the wake?

A: Others have way better answers than this. I'd ask if your 6-year-old daughter knew the dude and/or liked the dude, and if she didn't then I wouldn't make her go. Wakes are weird.

Q: When you die, do you want people to know how you died?

A: I expect I know precisely how I'm going to die, and I totally want everyone to know. If I'm feeling especially darkly performance-inclined at the end, I may even want them to watch.

Q: What's the best funeral you've been to? Do you have specific requests for your funeral?

A: I've never actually been to a funeral (though I have been to two wakes). I haven't thought tons about specific requests for my own, but I pledge to wise fwom my gwave... er, casket... and start smacking people with my stiff dead hands if it takes place in a house of worship and any clergy is involved. It'd be nice if a few of my favorite songs got played during the service or if one or two of my poems got read. (I'd probably have written at least one specifically for the occasion.)

Q: What would you want in lieu of flowers?

A: I think I'd prefer people take things rather than bring them. I have a pretty sizeable collection of toys, and I might like it if everyone who wanted to remember me took a souvenir to that end. (I guess if people wanted to donate money to get some of my writings self-published posthumously in print form, that would be cool.)

Q: Are you getting buried?

A: Nope! I want to be cremated and placed in a cool urn that incorporates some of my action figures into it. Then I can become a nifty collectible like the ones I so loved in life. 😛

-posted by Wes | 6:12 pm | Comments (0)
November 27, 2018
Those High-Energy YouTubers
Category: Miscellany

So it is late, and I ended up watching random YouTube videos, and I think I figured out one of the things I dislike about so many YouTube personalities! Like, I've always known there's something about their mode of speaking that I find so offputtingly artificial, but until tonight I'd never really connected it to the seams and frequent cuts in the videos. Now it occurs to me that they're saying a thing, then stopping the video (whether to repeat flubbed lines or simply for effect I have no idea), then resuming with a new take -- such that pretty much every single sentence is delivered with the energy and enthusiasm of an opening line. And while I generally tend to find television presenters' delivery styles to be unnatural and somehow repellent, hooooly crap would that explain why I find YouTube personalities to be so especially exhausting. It's all just so aggressively fake.

-posted by Wes | 3:54 am | Comments (0)
November 19, 2018
James Loewen… huh.
Category: Linkage … Serious

Random "...huh" moment: this Vox article showed up on my FB feed, so I decided to click through and give it a look since it contains an interview with James Loewen. I'd never heard of Loewen before a few years ago, when an Italian friend (in the midst of an argument about Columbus Day) excoriated him for his authorship of Lies My Teacher Told Me and his revisionist approach to the study and teaching of history. In the midst of our exchange, she wrote, "Loewen, a black historian, clearly had his own agenda in both his writing and teachings."

And I just sort of assumed she knew what she was talking about, at least with respect to Loewen -- the sentiment was hella racist (rather than seeking to remove bias from and approximate truth in our understanding of history, a black man "clearly" must be writing to serve an anti-white and anti-Italian agenda), and it was preceded by other comments I found equally offensive (I discontinued the exchange once she got around to projecting that agenda onto me). But the awful nature of her views on the subject seemed most apparent in her emphasis on the fact that Loewen is black.

Except I'm reading this article, and at one point Loewen responds: "If you looked around the world at that time, white people dominated most of it. ... We simply assumed that we dominated because we were better, or smarter, or worked harder." And it strikes me as odd that Loewen would use "we" there given that Loewen is presumably a black man.

So I hit the Google Image search and do a little more digging (photos aren't exactly conclusive here), and I ultimately land on Loewen's bio on the Tougaloo College website. And here I read: "In 2012 the American Sociological Association gave Loewen its Cox-Johnson-Frazier Award, for 'scholarship in service to social justice.' He is the first white person ever to win this award."

...Huh.

-posted by Wes | 3:27 pm | Comments (0)
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