Friday, May 11, 2007

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Works Cited

In his memoir of the Sixties, Radical Son (1997), David Horowitz says that when a friend found out that Horowitz had never taken LSD, he said, "You have to take LSD. Until you've dropped acid, you don't know what socialism is."

Stephen Miller, Conversation: A History of a Declining Art

Works Cited

At first glance it would seem that contemporary society in the West suffers mainly from a lack of politeness... Reviewing a contemporary memoir, a critic in an English newspaper said: "Frey [the author] can really write. Brilliantly. And if you don't think so, f*** you."

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In the mid-twentieth century many writers--among them Jean-Paul Sartre and Mary McCarthy--praised neo-Spartan regimes (China and North Vietnam) but preferred to live in Neo-Athenian regimes.

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Addison and Steele refer to many fictitious clubs. There is the Widow-Club, where the conversation "often turns upon their former Husbands, and it is very diverting to hear them relate their several Arts and Stratagems, with which they amused the Jealous, pacified the Cholerick, or wheedled the Good-natured Man, 'till at last, to use the Club-phrase, They sent him out of House with his Heels foremost." There is the Lawyers Club, whose members discuss "several Ways of abusing their Clients, with the Applause... given to him who has done it most Artfully."

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When the Earl once said to Wilkes: "You will die, sir, either on the gallows or from the pox," Wilkes replied: "That depends, sir, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

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In Ben Jonson's Epicene (1609), a fatuous windbag and lecher named Sir Amorous La Foole brags of his French ancestry. Listening to his blather, another character says: "Did you ever hear such a wind-fucker as this?"

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After implying that the Apostles often were pompous bores, Woolf says their conversation improved immeasurably as a result of a peculiar incident, though she jokingly says that she may have invented the incident... "Suddenly the door opened and the long and sinister figure of Mr Lytton Strachey stood on the threshold... He pointed his finger at a stain on Vanessa's white dress. 'Semen?' he said." The word changed things utterly, Woolf says. "We burst out laughing. With that one word all barriers of reticence and reserve went down. A flood of the sacred fluid seemed to overwhelm us."

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Washington is a city of conversation because there is "a social indifference to the vulgar vociferous Market... Nobody was in 'business'--that was the sum and substance of it; and for the one large human assemblage on the continent of which this was true the difference made was huge."

...Going to Washington, he says, makes one "forget an hour the colossal greed of New York." Yet James may not have been as enamored of Washington as he claimed. Writing to Mrs. William James, he confesses: "to live here would be death and madness."

Stephen Miller, Conversation: A History of a Declining Art

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Gathering

REBECCA: Once I had to arbitrate a dispute between two kids who were fighting about Magic cards... After I settled it, they both tried to ask me out.

SCOTT: They wanted to tap you like a dual land!

MARK: Scott has just come out as a guy who never had sex in high school.

SCOTT: Yeah, but you should have seen my deck.

...

SCOTT: I said deck.

Coeds

Jay: I'm old enough that coeds give me dirty looks when I stare at them.

Mark: I'm Asian enough that coeds give me dirty looks when I stare at them.

Scott: I'm me enough that coeds give me dirty looks when I stare at them. Seriously though, you guys are old.