Torgo χ


2012-10-28 (Sunday)

Dear Log,

No man has known hate, like the hate I have for the continued pathetic existence of the American Electoral College.

The excuses for it ever being created in the first place are dim, after-the-fact justifications, not even worthy of the level of Southern Baptist biblical apologists.

And the arguments against the electoral college are: everyone who has ever voted.

That the choice of President isn't a matter of popular vote, but is a perpetual Ohiomancy, is beyond forgiveness.

Current Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Current Mood: exaspertronic
Current Music: (playlist in the supermarket)

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2011-06-28 (Tuesday)

Dear Log,

I been book readin.

«On the strength of the fact that I had published a book on Nietzsche in 1906, six years after his death, [then, years later, during WWI:] I was called upon by agents of the Department of Justice, elaborately outfitted with badges, to meet the charge that I was an intimate associate and agent of "the German monster, Nietzsky." I quote the official procès verbal, an indignant but often misspelled document. Alas, poor Nietzsche! After all his laborious efforts to prove that he was not a German, but a Pole— even after his heroic readiness, via anti-anti-Semitism, to meet the deduction that, if a Pole, then probably also a Jew!»
—H.L. Mencken, ca. 1918, from his Foreword to his translation of Nietzsche's Antichrist.
IT'S SPELLED "J00" AMIRITE

Current Location: Freak Wharf, AK
Current Mood: superybur
Current Music: Cake- Comfort Eagle

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2011-05-23 (Monday)

Dear Log,

«The Great Disappointment was a major event in the history of the Millerite movement, a 19th century American Christian sect [...] that Jesus Christ would return to the earth during the year 1844.»
"The Great Disappointment" (wikipedia)

"Disappointed a few people? Well, isn't that what friends are for?"

Current Location: Freak Wharf, AK
Current Music: Public Image Limited- Disappointed

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2010-11-25 (Thursday)

Dear Log,

Yup, it's that time of year, folks!

It's not exactly cheery, and I'm already in not a great mood.


[Youtube video, 2½ video min, of the author reading it.]

William S. Burroughs
"The Thanksgiving Prayer"

For John Dillinger, in hope he is still alive

Thanksgiving Day, November 28, 1986

Thanks for the wild turkey and the passenger pigeons, destined to be shit out through wholesome American guts.

Thanks for a continent to despoil and poison.

Thanks for Indians to provide a modicum of challenge and danger.

Thanks for vast herds of bison to kill and skin leaving the carcasses to rot.

Thanks for bounties on wolves and coyotes.

Thanks for the American dream,
To vulgarize and falsify until the bare lies shine through.

Thanks for the KKK.

For nigger-killin' lawmen, feelin' their notches.

For decent church-goin' women, with their mean, pinched, bitter, evil faces.

Thanks for "Kill a Queer for Christ" stickers.

Thanks for laboratory AIDS.

Thanks for Prohibition and the war against drugs.

Thanks for a country where nobody is allowed to mind their own business.

Thanks for a nation of finks.

Yes, thanks for all the memories— alright let's see your arms!

You always were a headache and you always were a bore.

Thanks for the last and greatest betrayal of the last and greatest of human dreams.


Here's some sparse explanatory notes, for folks who might not get some of the more cryptic references, because of being not an American, not old enough, and/or not familiar enough with some of Burroughs's various personal stylistic tics.

  • Dillinger — "idolized by some as a modern-day Robin Hood." -Wikipedia entry
  • wild turkey — a species that European Americans hunted to (relative) near-extinction.  Now very numerous.
  • passenger pigeons — a species that European Americans hunted from a population in the hundreds of millions(!), to complete extinction. (The last known one of them died a few months after Burroughs was born.)
  • bison — species wastefully/pointlessly massacred by the millions, in the 19th century.
  • KKK (Ku Klux Klan) — a radical racist organization (or factions of), originally Southern.  Now has ties to Neo-Nazi groups.
  • "notches" — a lawman proud of killing a black person would file/carve a notch onto their gun, for each kill.
  • "laboratory AIDS" — as late as 1986, it was a conspiracy theory with at least some plausibilty that AIDS was a synthetic virus— and either released accidentally; or deliberately, possibly targeted at the (first) groups to be devastated by it, gay men and junkies.  This reference is a definite piece of bathos, making an otherwise "as true today..." work into something very much stapled into the early 80s.  Mentally edit out that line, much better that way.
  • In 1969, President Nixon declared a "War against Drugs", i.e., vigorous police action against drugs.  That's why you can't find drugs anywhere anymore.
  • "Show us your arms" — searching someone to see whether they are or were, a junkie; the arms would show scarred/bruised arms.
  • "Last and greatest betrayal of the last and greatest of human dreams": very, very open to interpretation– especially on seeing the Youtube video, and knowing some of Burroughs's work... Interpretation which, after reading Youtube comments there,... or really anywhere... I don't think I particularly want to hear any more of.

[Commentary; Burke 2009; more here]


I think I'll go for a walk.  There's a lake that I like to go talk to/at.  Tonight, maybe yell at.

Current Location: Freak Wharf, AK
Current Mood: theoretically hungry
Current Music: Grieg- "In my native country" (43-4)

1 response | respond...


2010-10-29 (Friday)

Dear Log,

Election.

Alaskan.

Can I just elect Charlie?

* * *

Worst... Singularity... ever.

Current Location: Freak Wharf, AK
Current Mood: just no
Current Music: Tom Waits- Swordfishtrombone

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2010-10-12 (Tuesday)

Dear Log,

Aaawwww hell naw, DJ 譚克成, ohhh shyih!, you'n did it again!  You and the rest of your Batshit Crazy Anti-Gay Krewe!  But this time, you're dragging in John Mellencamp.  Why you gotta play him like that, yo?

No, seriously, why did you play him, like that

We have been thru this before.  You know, with you playing someone's music without clearing it, and the musician saying "Bitchno!" and then his lawyer and agent saying "My client would like to express bitchno to these bigot anti-gay fuckwits, unquote", and we have discussed how your actions have legal consequences, and Johnny Law, and lawyers/headdrillers from Universal/Sony/EMI/Warner,... 

CEASE AND DESIST, MUTHAHFUCKAH, DO YOU SPEAK IT? 

Do you want these musicians to put out a press release of bitchno, with an unsympathetic press going thru its checklist of painting you as hair-gelled roving violent goons?

All I can imagine is: Is it so you can say that of course that musician would say that, he's part of the Hollywood liberal elite and you loathe them for corroding family values?  If that's the strategy, then you had to get to that point by playing their music at your rallies, which implicates that you like them: "here's some music we like, because it's about us Jesus bus people, and little pink houses! like you! and me!".

It is enough to cause me to think that perhaps the best strategic minds are not at work here.

* * *

So: Peter, Paul & Mary last time.  That's just run of the mill (drilling into your skull) music illegality. 

Now you've been roving around the country stealing music from John Mellencamp.

Hhhhhh.

Mellencamp is friends with farmers, with that whole Farm-Aid thing he's had going for twenty years or so.  So he knows ex-farmers, who have lost their farms, and are scraping by in the Walmart-nuked economy that constitutes "rural" USA.  (Namely, anyplace without an Ikea.)

And I'd put double nickels on the dime that a lot of those ex-farmers' kids have a headstart into that "have nothing to lose!", very stoned, frame of mind that is very easy to adopt these days.  But: they have access to sharp farm equipment, including the very traditional and multipurpose tool, the Pitchfork.  Do not anger the Pitchfork.  Maybe the Pitchfork has come to mock, or maybe it has come to jab.  Maybe the Pitchfork becomes numerous and belligerent, in the hands of stoned no-future rural dudes, whose closest connection with anything like a supposedly morals-eating Hollywood elite is a guy whose music you're stealing.  The Pitchfork, even en masse and with poor impulse control, has only one moving part: it.  And yet, it (it) can express its displeasure in many ways.  Do not seek them!

* * *

Again, this is enough to cause me to think that perhaps the best strategic minds are not at work here.

Current Location: Freak Wharf, AK
Current Mood: fr0k
Current Music: Fiona Apple- Extraordinary Machine

2 responses | respond...


2010-10-01 (Friday)

Dear Log,

Well well well, if it isn't our chum Orson Scott Card, a.k.a. Polemarch Godwin von Utah, a.k.a. Punch Card.

My first link there is to the page about him at the site NOM Exposed, all about the goons, goofs, and moneybags who are pushing the National Organization for Marriage, who are so for marriage that they're against any more of it (TEH GAY) going around.  It rather reminds me of the old Lily Tomlin / Jane Wagner joke: "I worry whoever thought up the term 'quality control' thought if we didn't control it, it would get out of hand."

But then, Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner are, like, from Lesbia, or summink?

You see, it's a slippery slope, of course... first you allow gays to marry... then you have to allow people of different races to marry.  Nobody wants that.  Wait.  What.  Ohyeah, first you don't allow gays to marry... then you don't allow people of different races to marry.  Okay. 

I AM A GAY AND WAS A CALCULUS TUTOR, I UNDERSTAND THESE THINGS. DX/DY, "DOING E", LOCAL MINIMA AND MAXIMA, HEIL HITLER, DONGS, ETC.

Tags: ,

Current Location: Freak Wharf, AK
Current Mood: calcal
Current Music: perky incidental music from "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"

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2010-09-11 (Saturday)

Dear Log,

What with today being the nine stroke one one, it was appropriate that I was looking for something in Florence King's With Charity Toward None: A Fond Look At Misanthropy, from 1992, and came upon this paragraph,

«Our [Americans'] underlying fear that there is no national glue holding us together has always been embarrassingly obvious.  Whenever calamity strikes— Pearl Harbor, Dallas [JFK's assassination], the Iranian hostages, the Challenger explosion— we give ourselves away with a verbal pat on the back that we recite with conspicuous relief: "It brought us together."»
—Florence King, 1992
Tags: , ,

Current Location: Freak Wharf, AK
Current Mood: stroke
Current Music: Geoff Baker- Nobody Suffers But Us

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Dear Log,

«I don't care if there's Kool-Aid down in the basement, I'm drinking it, because I want to be like that, I want to be able to genuinely love someone the first time I met them.  What a great goal that is!»
—Glenn Beck, from a snippet on Youtube of his interview-DVD, The Conversion of Glenn Beck- An Unlikely Mormon

Current Location: Freak Wharf, AK
Current Mood: basemental
Current Music: Geoff Baker- Indiana

1 response | respond...


2010-08-15 (Sunday)

Dear Log,

"" seems to be the hanzi for Tam Hak-Shing = Hak-Shing Tam = Hak-Shing "William" Tam = William Tam = Bill Tam, one of the two defendant-intervenors (or just plain defendants?) who testified for the defense in the Judge Walker Proposition 8 case.

(The "Hak-Shing Tam" is the apparently Cantonese pronunciation of those characters; their transcription under some-or-other scheme, is apparently "taam4 hak1 shing4", IPA /ta:m˨˩ hak˥ ʃiŋ˨˩/

Hm... is that really tone 4 (midlow drops to low) on 成?
Also, I thought Cantonese 成 is "sing4" / "seng4"; maybe writing it as "Shing" just spells it more like it sounds. Or maybe it's not strictly Cantonese, but something close to it.)

(I'm fumbly with hanzi, much less Cantonese, so figuring out what his Unihan scribbly-scribbly was, was a bit of fun for me this afternoon.)

Tam is the secretary-or-something of the America Return to God Prayer Movement (nice word salad there), which operates the website 1man1woman.net which is not just vile nausea in textual (bilingual!) form, but is also really crappy web design.  Right from page one, view source and: <meta name="generator" content="Homestead SiteBuilder"> CLASSY!!

Oh, and 克成, and don't ask around too much, or you'll bump into someone who'll read you down about how the US used to have a mountain of prejudices firmly and harshly written into law against what everyone thought of as the wily Chineeee, who, once most of them were treated like expendable drones for backbreaking construction jobs in the 1800s, were found to, like, not have a beep-boop autodestruct sequence or a return-China-poverty-okay sequence!  Instead they (especially if born here, gawwwd!) had the wily-wily audacity to stick around in the USA, luring us to opium, SHANGHAI OUR CHILDREN, and also the Yellow Peril Devil Doom Agenda!  [sfx: dissonant gong]

Wait... Oh fuck! look out, it's the great Yellow Movement, and he's comin' right at us!! One-man horde dead-ahead!!!

譚克成 = Hak-Shing "William" Tam = William Tam = Bill Tam

Oh wait, oops, that's no sinister Dr. Mwa-Ha Ha, it's obviously just some muppet who got too much Jeez-Tzŭ all up in he brain.

And incidentally, I'm pulling that image from the entry on him from the site disgrasian.com, which is a site run by two Asianese sassmouth women (WOMEN!!) whose site is a catalog-in-progress of sucky things in life that get under their skin particularly because of those things being Asian Or Oriennal or what-have-you.  And that very much includes the existence and activities of Muppet Tam. I like their tags on him, which include the tag "this is bullshit".

It is so ordered!

* * *

Oh, and by the way, Tam is reason number seventeen that I want to destroy the world.

Current Location: Freak Wharf, AK
Current Mood: squeasy
Current Music: "Deadwood" opening theme music

3 responses | respond...


2010-06-06 (Sunday)

Dear Log,

From Anchorage Daily News, here are the expert opinions of Alaska's Republican Congressmonster Don Young, about the oil spill catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico:

"This is not an environmental disaster, and I will say that again and again because it is a natural phenomena.  Oil has seeped into this ocean for centuries, will continue to do it. During World War II there was over 10 million barrels of oil spilt from ships, and no natural catastrophe. ... We will lose some birds, we will lose some fixed sealife, but overall it will recover."
"Don Young: Gulf spill 'not an environmental disaster'"

Or hit this page where you can play/download a 3m15s audio file about it.

Sure, we'll lose "some" animals... it'd be too bad if we were to "lose" a Congressman because of drowning in a bathtub full of motor oil and brackish sea water.

Everything about Alaska state and local goverment is so reliably awful. As bad as the electorate itself? It's a tough call.

Current Location: Freak Wharf, AK
Current Mood: abbaesque
Current Music: Abba- Waterloo

1 response | respond...


2010-05-20 (Thursday)

Dear Log,

Old people make me tired.

«"My stepdad says, 'Why do I have to press 1 for English?' I think that's ridiculous," Ms. Vespia said, referring to the common instruction on customer-service lines. "It's not that big of a deal. Quit crying about it. Press the button."»
"A Generation Gap Over Immigration"

Current Location: Freak Wharf, AK
Current Mood: duatone
Current Music: Cyndi Lauper- Girls Just Want To Have Fun

1 response | respond...


2010-04-21 (Wednesday)

Dear Log,

In light of recent especial insanity in Arizona, I offer you the very happily retro yet eternal:

You'll have to scroll down the page a bit for the download link.

(Mix by The Evolution Control Committee.)

Current Location: Freak Wharf, AK
Current Mood: WHITE, I SWEARS IT!
Current Music: Public Enemy, Herb Alpert, and the Evolution Control Committee- By The Time I Ge

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2010-04-06 (Tuesday)

Dear Log,

イ タ ワン バ, ハン ソ ロ! ホ! ホ! ホ!

Current Location: Freak Wharf, AK
Current Mood: gom jabban
Current Music: Talking Heads- This Must Be The Place (Home)

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2010-04-01 (Thursday)

Dear Log,

Best double-parse sentence I've seen in years:

«"[Although Palin's] language about targeting someone and being in the cross hairs was a metaphor to her, to a twisted mind, it really might be the sign that they should go ahead and do something more violent."»
"Rep. Anthony Weiner blasts Sarah Palin for gun-sight imagery after threat letter sent to his office"

Namely:

...was a metaphor to her.  To a twisted mind, it really might...

vs.

...was a metaphor to her, to a twisted mind.  It really might...

I can see both parses at once!  I have meta-Orwellian doubleparse!  I CAN SEE THRU TIME AND/OR ENGLISH SYNTAX ITSELF!

* * *

And, in the picture below... what the fuck, is she Catwoman!?  Is she trying to do some sort of thing mixing Molly from Neuromancer and Diana Rigg from the Avengers?  Lady, you can't be Mistress Ditah from the Madonna "Erotica" video by just cobbling together stuff that one of your kids bought on ebay and which still smells faintly of the methy biker check who died in it!

Palin in a catsuit

My guess: she got her one real wish in life, by becoming her own action-figure.

Current Location: Freak Wharf, AK
Current Music: David Bowie- Blue Jean

2 responses | respond...


Dear Log,

What the fuck!?

Tags: , ,

Current Location: Freak Wharf, AK
Current Mood: what
Current Music: Smash Mouth- Disconnect the Dots

2 responses | respond...


2010-03-31 (Wednesday)

Dear Log,

Quitsy-Governor Sarah Palin says: "Don't Retreat, Instead - RELOAD!"

That language (which she repeats), and graphics with crosshairs, makes it kinda clear that she sees few or no limits on SHOOT THEM! IN THE FACE!!! imagery.  She considers it all to be fair play, all a bit of fun, "all in the game" as they say on The Wire. And Ol' Man McCain agrees that this is all perfectly normal metaphor like he's seen for ages and ages. 

What's not to love about it all?  Why have Socratic argument when you can have Socratic armament?

An idea comes to mind: folks could bring laser pointers to her speeches, and put very steady little dots on her chest and forehead.

It would be just a reminder that there might be people, potentially many, who would take a rifle with a laser scope (and not just a cat-toy laser pointer), look thru it and see her thru the crosshairs, and pop.  And then "not retreat, instead RELOAD!", so would line up the scope again, and pop.

...I picture this all totally metaphorically, as Mr McCain says that all such discourse is, and always has been.

Tags: ,

Current Location: Freak Wharf, AK
Current Mood: lazy
Current Music: Queens of the Stone Age- No One Knows

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2010-03-01 (Monday)

Dear Log,

Well, if a corporation has greater and greater privileges of being of being a person, it makes very interesting sense that a person can have greater and greater privileges of being a corporation.

«People who have lost their employer-provided health insurance because of a layoff, early retirement or other reasons are turning to a little-known strategy to get coverage: forming a small business, or using an existing one, to buy a group policy.

The strategy is used by groups as small as one person, and is particularly useful for people with chronic health problems -- so-called pre-existing conditions -- that insurers refuse to cover or that result in steep premiums.  Group health plans, under federal law, are required [!!!] to cover such conditions, as long as the individual doesn't go uncovered for more than 63 days.»

"Hard-to-Insure Find Novel Way to Get Coverage: Group Health Plans Available to as Few as One Employee; How to Prove You're Legit"

I wonder if a group of zero people could get a group health plan.  And bonus: definitely no pre-existing conditions!  A group of zero people just needs to get one of their members to pick up the phone and talk to an insurance broker.

Someone should get out the word to all these zero-people groups.  But I'm not even sure how many of those there are around!  I wonder if the US Census Bureau keeps track.

Current Location: Freak Wharf, AK
Current Mood: accountable
Current Music: Klaus Nomi- I'm A Simple Man

2 responses | respond...


2010-02-10 (Wednesday)

Dear Log,

LET'S INFLICT U.S. TORTURE METHODS ON OUR CHILDREN.

READY GO!

* * *

It's almost as if the existence of the phrase "U.S. torture methods" were enough to make you doubt that The United States Is The Greatest Nation In The World!

Current Location: Freak Wharf, AK
Current Mood: board
Current Music: David Bowie with Klaus Nomi- The Man Who Sold The World

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2009-12-20 (Sunday)

Dear Log,

As Tivo, against my wishes, briefly shows me news of the USA Senate kerfuffle about votes on health care, there is this quote in my mind...

"Once the minority of House and Senate are comfortable in their minority status, they will have no problem socializing with [the majority party].  Any farmer will tell you that certain animals run around and are unpleasant, but when they've been fixed, then they are happy and sedate.  They are contented and cheerful.  They don't go around peeing on the furniture and such."

But- big reveal!  That was from 2006, which was all backwardsy compared to now, and the quote was from Republican Grover Norquist, explaining that "Democrats must accept the finality of their powerlessness".  He also explained: "We are trying to change the tones in the state capitals— and turn them toward bitter nastiness and partisanship. Bipartisanship is another name for date rape."

Well then.

Current Location: Ketchikan, AK
Current Mood: pissy
Current Music: Shirim- Kozatsky 'til You Dropsky

1 response | respond...


2009-12-12 (Saturday)

Dear Log

HELP!  The President is a spy from Pangea!!

Tags: ,

Current Location: Ketchikan, Alaska
Current Mood: refugical
Current Music: Inspecter 7- Cookin'

respond...


2009-11-26 (Thursday)

Dear Log,

Yup, it's that time of year, folks!

It's not exactly cheery, and I'm already in not a great mood.


[Youtube video, 2½ video min, of the author reading it.]

William S. Burroughs
"The Thanksgiving Prayer"

For John Dillinger, in hope he is still alive

Thanksgiving Day, November 28, 1986

Thanks for the wild turkey and the passenger pigeons, destined to be shit out through wholesome American guts.

Thanks for a continent to despoil and poison.

Thanks for Indians to provide a modicum of challenge and danger.

Thanks for vast herds of bison to kill and skin leaving the carcasses to rot.

Thanks for bounties on wolves and coyotes.

Thanks for the American dream,
To vulgarize and falsify until the bare lies shine through.

Thanks for the KKK.

For nigger-killin' lawmen, feelin' their notches.

For decent church-goin' women, with their mean, pinched, bitter, evil faces.

Thanks for "Kill a Queer for Christ" stickers.

Thanks for laboratory AIDS.

Thanks for Prohibition and the war against drugs.

Thanks for a country where nobody is allowed to mind their own business.

Thanks for a nation of finks.

Yes, thanks for all the memories— alright let's see your arms!

You always were a headache and you always were a bore.

Thanks for the last and greatest betrayal of the last and greatest of human dreams.


Here's some sparse explanatory notes, for folks who might not get some of the more cryptic references, because of being not an American, not old enough, and/or not familiar enough with some of Burroughs's various personal stylistic tics.

  • Dillinger — "idolized by some as a modern-day Robin Hood." -Wikipedia entry
  • wild turkey — a species that European Americans hunted to (relative) near-extinction.  Now very numerous.
  • passenger pigeons — a species that European Americans hunted from a population in the hundreds of millions(!), to complete extinction. (The last known one of them died a few months after Burroughs was born.)
  • bison — species wastefully/pointlessly massacred by the millions, in the 19th century.
  • KKK (Ku Klux Klan) — a radical racist organization (or factions of), originally Southern.  Now has ties to Neo-Nazi groups.
  • "notches" — a lawman proud of killing a black person would file/carve a notch onto their gun, for each kill.
  • "laboratory AIDS" — as late as 1986, it was a conspiracy theory with at least some plausibilty that AIDS was a synthetic virus— and either released accidentally; or deliberately, possibly targeted at the (first) groups to be devastated by it, gay men and junkies.  This reference is a definite piece of bathos, making an otherwise "as true today..." work into something very much stapled into the early 80s.  Mentally edit out that line, much better that way.
  • In 1969, President Nixon declared a "War against Drugs", i.e., vigorous police action against drugs.  That's why you can't find drugs anywhere anymore.
  • "Show us your arms" — searching someone to see whether they are or were, a junkie; the arms would show scarred/bruised arms.
  • "Last and greatest betrayal of the last and greatest of human dreams": very, very open to interpretation– especially on seeing the Youtube video, and knowing some of Burroughs's work... Interpretation which, after reading Youtube comments there, I don't think I particularly want to hear any more of.

Burke, 2009


I think I'll go for a walk.  There's a lake that I like to go talk to/at.  Tonight, maybe yell at.

Current Location: Ketchikan, Alaska
Current Mood: theoretically hungry
Current Music: Grieg- "In my native country" (43-4)

2 responses | respond...


Dear Log,

Today is Thanksgiving Day for all Earthicans. I prefer to think of today as a great chance to collectively thank Native Americans, who have been spending millennia crafting some of the world's sanest and sauciest languages.

But their most famous undertaking has been how they've been making some of the best food on the planet: twisting genes to turn corn from a scrawny grass into a lucious sweet grain; turning potatoes from a marble-sized weed-root into a hundred varieties that you can happily live on (and get drunk on); and coaxing chili peppers from a weird acrid seed-pod into the world-wrapping glory that they are today. And that's to say nothing of the whole of Mexican (and New Mexican) cooking, or of the delights of thousands of weird drugs: Cocaine! Ayahuasca! Magic mushrooms! Maple syrup!

And that's just the stuff you've heard of, the stuff that got around. I've travelled here and there and I've stumbled on some great stuff that stayed local: sumac-berry punch; ooligan grease; rice with black seaweed; glasswort salad; blue atole; herring eggs on spruce branches; dried black seaweed, great just to chew on. Mmmmmm. Now I'm almost hungry.

Tags: , ,

Current Location: Ketchikan, Alaska
Current Mood: capsaicine
Current Music: Willam S. Burroughs- A Thanksgiving Prayer

1 response | respond...


Dear Log,

To everyone outside the US and Canada, happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is a late-autumn Thursday dinner party generally for family, or friends.

Myth has it that it dates to the 1600s when a general European harvest-time feast was Established by USA Holy Pilgrims.  They decreed a Solemn and Joyous Observance of having harvested barely enough, or maybe-not enough, food to get them thru winter; so they also begged/grifted the friendly locals, Natives, into keeping them from potentially starving: the locals gave gifts of native foods, and showed the Pilgrims how to grow corn and other foods that the Natives had put a few thousand years' work into genetically optimizing for hardiness and nutritive yield.

(That's the myth.  The truth is different— some parts messier, some more tame, some simply contradictory.)

But these days:

The traditional main course of the meal is a bigger-than-your-head turkey, which I think tastes like cardboard no matter how you prepare it; and in this case, the normal preparation is to bake it for hours and hours.  Unfamiliarity with how long it takes to bake this thoroughly often leads to undercooked meat in places, which can lead to salmonella et al.

A recent fad has been to try to deep-fry the turkey.  A very common result is splattering searing hot oil on everyone, and possibly catching the house on fire.

People also eat "cranberry sauce" which is not a sauce, but basically like an over-thick jam made with cranberries (which are like small cherries) and containing a massive amount of sugar to offset the bitter taste of the cranberries.  That is rarely served except during a Thanksgiving meal.  Most people just buy a can of it.

There is also "the stuffing", which starts out as smallish chunks of bread mixed up with seasoning, and stuffed into the HOLLOWED-OUT INTERNAL BODY CAVITY of the turkey, to absorb heat and grease from the process of baking the turkey.  This stuffing is later spooned out, and is served as an actually quite tasty glop.

Skillfully slicing the turkey meat apart is called "carving", and is a grand task, jocularly but skillfully performed by the α-male.

To keep the turkey from turning into a papery husk as it is being cooked for hours and hours, it is routinely "basted" with a large plastic syringe, where you draw up fat from the bottom of the pan (which has dripped off the turkey), and squirt it out on top of the turkey.

(Also: supposedly these oversized large plastic syringes can also be bought and used for at-home on-the-cheap artificial insemination!  That is not part of the traditional holiday.)

Current Location: Ketchikan, Alaska
Current Mood: basterd
Current Music: The Killers- Human

1 response | respond...


2009-11-21 (Saturday)

Dear Log,

This shtik of making fun of Amazon's dumb recommendations is too easy.

But this one I can't pass up, because it is a Borges aleph:

As someone who has purchased or rated Stranger in a Strange Land: Encounters in the Disunited States by Gary Younge, you might like to know that How the Left Swiftboated America: The Liberal Media Conspiracy to Make You Think George Bush Was the Worst President in History [by John Gibson] will be released on December 1, 2009.

First off, who is Gary Younge and what did he write?  He's a British reporter for the Guardian. They posted him in the US starting in 2003.  His Stranger in a Strange Land is an anthology (that I bought) of some of his articles that he wrote as he traveled around the US, before settling back into NYC.  Here he is, on the book cover.  HE'S THE ONE NOT WEARING A HAT. ...Collapse )

Current Location: Ketchikan, Alaska
Current Mood: predated
Current Music: REM- Man on the Moon

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