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Showing posts from March 10, 2002
Remora Dostoevsky said that you could measure the degree of humanity of a civilization by its prisons. Limited Inc would like to suggest that you can measure the degree of literacy of a civilization by its encyclopedias. If this is the case, the race is on and it looks bad for our culture. Right now, ancien regime France and Edwardian England come in at about no. 1 and no. 2, while contemporary American culture, despite its micro Britannicas and its multi-media Funk and Wagnalls, is back there with the melange of misinformation and rumor Isadore of Seville put together around 800. This isn�t good. So you can, perhaps, understand Limited Inc.�s joy when we went to the On-Line book page, to see what was new, and found a link to the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica. Joy turned to ecstasy as we went to the link and behold, it worked! (which does add points, admittedly, to our culture). A few days ago, Limited Inc was corresponding with a friend, and trying to press this friend
QUEVEDO Y VILLEGAS, FRANCISCO G6MEZ DE (1580-1645), Spanish satirist and poet, was born at Madrid, where his father, who came from the mountains of Burgos, was secretary to Anne of Austria, fourth wife of Philip II. Early left an orphan, Quevedo was educated at the university of Alcala, where he acquired a knowledge of classical and modern tongues �of Italian and French, Hebrew and Arabic, of philosophy, ;heology, civil law, and economics. His fame reached beyond Spain; at twenty-one he was in correspondence with Justus Lipsius on questions of Greek and Latin literature. His abstruse studies influenced Quevedo's style; to them are due the pedantic traits and mania for quotations which characterize most of his works.He betook himself to the court and mingled with the society that surrounded Philip III. The cynical greed ofministers, the meanness of their flatterers, the corruption of the royal officers, the financial scandals, afforded ample scope to Quevedo's talent as a pain
Our far-flung correspondents. For some reason, for the last week Limited Inc is getting an alarming amount of traffic. In the high 20s, messieurs et mesdames. Yes, the views we ventilate here are slowly seeping into the Weltgeist, where, like CFCs in the stratosphere, they will do their silent and peculiar damage. The last post elicited a nice little letter from D., who said he liked it, and his wife, who said what are you thinking of, describing D. as drinking like a fish. We replied that we were not saying D. was in any way an alky: "A drunk is a guy who is always longing for a drink; this is the exact reverse of the true artiste of drinking - in which case, the drink is always longing for the guy. The act of drinking, in the latter case, is just obliging the angel of history. Who is always saying: another round for my friend!" That post also elicited this opinion from the habitual scourge of Limited Inc's ill thought out attempts at humor, Alan C., who said he c
Dope D. called up this morning. He told Limited Inc a funny tale. Seems D. and his wife went to a cowboy dancehall a couple of days ago. Now, D., like Limited Inc, is an unhibited dancer. He dances like he has fishes in his britches, he flails galvanically, he pogoes to the sweet strains of trucker nostalgia coming over the loudspeakers, and he isn't afraid to dance alone. He also, it should be said, drinks like a fish. Of course. He's a friend of mine. Anyway, a good time was being had by all when D.'s wife was approached by a woman who identified herself as a school teacher. As you know, you can go through the education department at many of our illustrious institutions and come out without a clue as to how to do, say, long division. But one thing you can't skip is the class on how to drug the a- and anti-socials. Dumb em down, drug em up -- is this a win-win situation for your local school board or what? So, being a good diagnostician, this teacher had
Remora From the WP a story ostensibly detailing another instance of environmental degradation : "The first nationwide study of pharmaceutical pollution of rivers and streams offers an unsettling picture of waterways contaminated with antibiotics, steroids, synthetic hormones and other commonly used drugs.Of the 139 streams analyzed by the U.S. Geological Survey in 30 states -- including Maryland and Virginia -- about 80 percent contained trace amounts of contaminants that are routinely discharged into the water in human and livestock waste and chemical plant refuse." But only the naysayers, the nattering nabobs, will jump on this story from the pollution side. Because this is a classic good news/bad news story. See how the liberal press typically showcases the bad side -- when the good news side of it is right in front of their collective noses: here's the solution to the pesky problem of universal health care! The compassionate conservatives can now make the
Note: The usual process of putting out my posts involves proofreading them once they are up on the web page. For some unknown reason, the Blogger won't go into editing mode. So in the post below, there are several mistakes. For instance, "were does this woman, this woman flying around the Middle East alienating Egyptian journalists,. come from..." would have been edited to "where does this woman, jetting around the Middle East and alienating Egyptian journalists on US government time, come from..." Anyway, I apologize in advance for certain inelegancies. Limited Inc.
Remora Limited Inc, predictably, is a fan of Naomi Klein -- or at least is a fan of the idea of Naomi Klein. Sometimes, though, we feel that Ms. Klein allows the writerly ocassion, as Henry James might have put it, to pass her by. This is what we felt about her column, for the LA Times , on Charlotte Beers, America's official Image-meister: "As undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, Charlotte Beers' assignment was not to improve relations with other countries but rather to perform an overhaul of the U.S. image abroad. Beers had no previous State Department experience, but she had held the top job at both the J. Walter Thompson and Ogilvy & Mather ad agencies, and she's built brands for everything from dog food to power drills." Unsurprisingly, Charlotte Beers task, orientation, and administration are not to Klein's liking. "So why, only five months in, does the campaign for a new and improved Brand USA seem in dis
Dope Limited Inc was raised in the suburbs, but escaped those wastelands at the end of our larval stage. Still, sometimes there is a thing that calls us, a beckon in the sweet air, and we must go back to haunt those teen tedious reaches, those bloated wood and brick tents each on its own independent half to one acre� Well, really there isn�t, but for anthropological reasons we took off with a friend to explore Round Rock, Austin�s bedroom community, yesterday. The friend had romantic visions of Penny Lane, or at least the Cal-friendly colors of the Truman show, but we knew better. We knew that this is the South, after all, and that suburbs are where Yankees have traditionally coped with the South � by voting Republican, adopting Northern racism � a primness about language combined with a ferocity about money and who (and what color of who) it goes to � to Southern norms, and exuding around them, like the shell of some strange crustacean, that outlying reef of oddly monotonous shop