Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Beauty Pageant Blues

An article last year by Christopher Ingraham in the Washington Post looked into the history of the Miss America Pageant; specifically which states produced disproportionately a number of winners. After genuflecting to the usual liberal-feminist-Blue State standards by referring to the "retrograde and frankly creepy  gender politics of pageant culture," he noted that New York State won for three years in succession; and New York, Illinois, California, and Ohio produced more winners than the other 46. Furthermore, several states such as Alaska, Montana, Wyoming, the Dakotas, New Mexico, Washington, and Louisiana never had a pageant winner; and the only one to win from New England came from Connecticut.  He did observe that Mississippi and Alabama each produced an unexpected number of winners, despite being less populated states.

Why the unexpected number of winners from the Deepest South in the past? Ingraham attributed that to more pageant activity there. And also cited a 2013 article by Blain Roberts in the NY Times which dutifully managed to attribute the Deep South's affinity for beauty contest to its racial past, and old values that enshrined the stereotypical Southern Belle! It turned out that Roberts recently wrote a book with that particular thesis. 

But what is the truth of the manner? I wonder what William of Ockham would have concluded? His dictum Entia non sunt multiplicanda sine necessitate (one should not multiply entities beyond those necessity). In other words, Bill of Ockham said that when interpreting things, we should go with the simplest of explanations. Now I happen to think that Bill's Rule (to refer to it in 2015 standards of casualness) is a good one, not only for philosophy and science, but for writing snarky blog material as well. Is there a possibility that New York has a surfeit of beautiful women now, just like Mississippi did in the past? Or is that conjecture too outré for these p.c. times?

Anyway, in these modern times in which women are encouraged to adopt new social roles, it seems rather self-defeating to close off other categories. After all, some might become supermodels, without having been discovered on camera by a randy announcer trying to having something to say during an utterly boring National Championship game! Hum...she was a Miss Alabama!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Types of Kisses, According to Philosophy

Philosophers, in their unbridled speculation, have worked out a taxonony of kisses. Who says philosophy is not practical?

Aristotelian kiss
This is a kiss performed using techniques gained solely from theoretical speculation untainted by any experiential data by one who feels that the latter is irrelevant anyway.

Cartesian kiss
This is a particularly well-planned and coordinated movement: "I think, therefore, I aim." In general, a kiss does not count as Cartesian unless it is applied with enough force to remove all doubt that one has been kissed. (cf. Polar kiss, a more well-rounded movement involving greater nose-to-nose contact, but colder overall.)

Derrida kiss
This is one in which you kiss everywhere, enacting a deconstruction of the binary lip/non-lip. 

Epimenidian kiss
This is a kiss given by someone who does not kiss.

Erdelatzian kiss
This is an unsatisfying kiss with one's sibling.

Freudian kiss
This is a kiss in which you are really trying to kiss your mother.

Hegelian kiss
This is a dialiptical technique in which the kiss incorporates its own antithikiss, forming a synthekiss.

Kantian kiss
This is a kiss that, eschewing inferior "phenomenal" contact, is performed entirely on the superior "noumenal" plane; though you don't actually feel it at all, you are, nonetheless, free to declare it the best kiss you've ever given or received.

Nietzscheian kiss
This is one in which whoever does not kiss you only makes you stronger.

Realism kiss
This is a kiss in which you notice that he used Axe, and he has wandering hands.

Russell-Whiteheadian kiss
This is a formal kiss in which each lip and tongue movement is rigorously and completely defined, even though it ends up seeming incomplete somehow.

Socratic kiss
This is really a Platonic kiss, but it's claimed to be the Socratic technique so it'll sound more authoritative; however, compared to most strictly Platonic kisses, Socratic kisses wander around a lot more and cover more ground. 

Steinian kiss
A kiss is a kiss is a kiss.

Subjective idealism kiss
This is a kiss that is best in the imagination.

Wittgensteinian kiss
The important thing about this type of kiss is that it refers only to the symbol (our internal mental representation we associate with the experience of the kiss--which must necessarily also be differentiated from the act itself for obvious reasons and which need not be by any means the same or even similar for the different people experiencing the act) rather than the act itself and, as sucience thereof based merely on our manipulation of the symbology therefore. 

Zenoian kiss
This is a kiss in which your lips approach, closer and closer, but never actually touch.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Deflated Footballs and Other Expectations

In these times that seem to try men's souls, with politics, the economy, the state of morals or the lack thereof, and the world situation, it seems that the state of humor is very much like the solvency of Greece's economy or the art world of West Virginia. Nevertheless, the Goddess of the Double Entendre sometimes awakes from her sleep to induce healing mirth on a serious situation. This is what has transpired from the latest -gate, the New England Patriots football deflating scandal known as Deflategate! [God, I wish they would stop using that -gate suffix!]

Anyway, in addition to the expected grousing over the fact of the cheating and the debate over the severeness or lack thereof of the penalties, there has been some evidence that Princess Lum, serving in the role as the Goddess of the Double Entendre, has been working behind the scenes:

Anyway, Tom Brady has been suspended for four games in the 2015-2016 season, and the Patriots have been fined $1,000,000 by the NFL, plus losing a few draft picks. No, they weren't vacated as NFL Champs, they didn't wear sackcloth and ashes (L.L. Bean or Orvis doesn't carry ugly hoodies in those products), but the 2014-2015 season and the Super Bowl was tainted by this halitosis of scandal.

Oh well, as a Washington politician would say, "Better halitosis than no breath at all."

I can fearlessly predict that during the 2015 season and beyond people will have an obsession with how well footballs are inflated (especially when the Patriots are playing), deflation metaphors with spring up like chickweed (with low-scoring games and under-endowed cheerleaders, for example), and football fans can expect a steady stream of ball humor to grab their cojones. 

Blame it on Princess Lum:

Princess Lum, thinking of a double entendre.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Pompous Ass Words

Let us consider pompous ass words, so beloved of editorial writers in some of the major newspapers and journals. These are those words which are more obscure than the simpler word for which it substitutes. The gentle reader is reminded, or made to believe, that the writer is more erudite than the reader and therefore should immediately be worthy of awe and automatic acquiescence to her or his point of view! It's kind of like the Ivy League equivalent to using a blackjack!

Anyway, this site introduces some of those words, and gives examples. But here's some right now: coruscating, scrofulous, pertinacious, contretemps, febrile, legerdemain, assiduous, mélange, nullipara, antipodal, vapid, and others. And there's more: also given are some examples from newspapers and magazines. This is, like hit lit!

Don't be an ass. Eschew obfuscation!

Monday, May 11, 2015

High School Students Making the News

It's that silly time of the school year for high schools and middle schools. However, recently two stories involving this age group made the news.

At several high schools in the South (and maybe in other places too), there is a long-standing tradition of senior pranks despite being discouraged by the school authorities. And it's understandable; whereas generations of old were content to write in chalk on sidewalks, put a flock of plastic flamingos on the school lawn, or perhaps paint "Seniors '75" on a water tower, latter day seniors sometimes go in for more serious acts of vandalism. Things can get out of hand sometimes.

This recently occurred at a high school in Tennessee somewhere near Chattanooga. During the senior prank approximately 100 young miscreants entered the school and performed assorted acts of vandalism including toilet paper-rolling the inside of the school, dumping garbage cans, smearing vegetable oil and ketchup on the wall, peeing on the floor, putting goldfish in the toilets, and leaving a dead possum behind. Some hid marbles under straw by the door, intending to cause teachers to take a header!

However, their secrecy was compromised: they were caught in the act on tape!

When school opened the next day, they kept the students in the gym while the teachers had to mop up the classroom and halls! (I got that And I guess one had to dispose of the corpus delecti! Now, in my opinion, that totally sucked!

Here's why: The teachers did nothing wrong; yet they were called on to do a disgusting task and, in effect, were punished for the bad kids' deeds! Ugh! To compound the insult, the kids got to wait in the gym while the teachers did something that they were not hired to do, and probably got a good laugh out of it! To compound the problem, a few teachers were injured due to the oil and water!

Anyway, the School Resource Officer was fired by the Sheriff, and the Principal was suspended without pay pending a probe of what happened. What in the world went on there? Anyway, the students who participated in the vandalism were banned from graduation, but had to pick up their diplomas on the day after graduation. 

I imagine there was a considerable pall over the school and community. There must be more to the story. Why was the Principal and the School Resource Officer also punished?

An additional commotion broke out as the result of a posed picture. Some high schoolers in Colorado went viral for a different reason: a pre-prom picture. Specifically, eight students at Chapparal High School in Colorado posed for a picture in which a Confederate flag and assault rifles were used as props. This brought the wrath of God or Progressives (or maybe both) on them! Now I wonder if the fuss, ado, and such was really worth it. 

Okay, it probably did not represent the best judgment; but the media response to it is like using a drone strike on a crawfish hill! Looking at the group's pose, it has all the hallmarks of a comic pose or even satire. Even the girls forming their hands into guns contributes to this.  At the bottom of this I sense an inside joke that outsiders missed.

Anyway, the group portrait would not thrill either the N.R.A. or the U.D.C. I can imagine this tableau appearing on a comedy skit ridiculing both groups; and high schoolers enjoy jerking adults' chains!

By the way, I think that the one on the right with the assault rifle had an outstanding prom dress! She has excellent taste in clothing, but maybe not in accessories!

Friday, May 8, 2015


The nine-banded armadillo is an interesting mammal, with an appearance looking very much tank-like if you can conceive of one approximately a foot and a half long. It mostly lives on grubs and insects such as beetles, ants, and termites. However, they dig up a lot of ground, and can be damaging to crops.

A unique feature of them is that the female armadillo usually gives birth to identical quadtruplets, a feature that can be useful in genetic research. There are only two mammalian species that carry Hansen's disease (leprosy): humans and armadillos. Approximately 20% of armadillos carry the bacillus for Hansen's disease, and it is a vector for Hansen's disease in humans. It is also a possible source of Chagas disease.

The armadillo's original range was South America; but with the opening of the land bridge between South and North America in the Cenozoic era, this expanded their range. Presently they are in the Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and the Southern states as far as the Atlantic Ocean. Potentially, they may migrate into North Carolina, Virginia, most of Pennsylvania, and even possibly coastal New York and Connecticut. Imagine armadillos in Central Park or on the White House lawn! That could disrupt the annual Easter egg roll.

On the other hand, don't look for armadillos to infiltrate the coffee houses of Seattle or run amok on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The outward appearance of armadillos is somewhat comical. It is surprising that there has not been an armadillo cartoon. I was able to find one children's story book about a multi-hued armadillo. Apparently he was leading a life as a hobo. Or maybe he was one of those armadillos destined to be pioneers in the Empire or Keystone states!

What about using an armadillo as a college mascot? Unfortunately, there is a surfeit of institutions who use iconic animals such as bears, lions, and tigers as mascots; and some with regional ones: catamounts, gators, wolverines. But none has adopted the armadillo, even though it could be seen as a fertility symbol. However, the official mascot for last year's FIFA World Cup Tournament was a grotesquely unrealistic armadillo named Fuleco! This mascot could in no way be seen as a inspiration for lovemaking!

These should be placed in the same category as racoons and possums: interesting to look at but not to touch.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Rest Room Signs

While the most common sex-specific designations of rest rooms are "Men" and "Women," and less often "Ladies" and "Gentlemen," sometimes other forms of specification may take place. Now this is complicated with the occasional persons who would specify another description, but that is something beyond the scope of my musings for now. Besides, by bringing up the topic of necessary rooms or 'bathrooms' or other attempts at euphemisms, I already skirting on the dangerous side of good manners.

However, some people elect to designate the sexes by the non-parallel binary: "Men" and "Ladies"; but that is risky. It supposes that the ladies would be comfortable in a setting where gentlemen are not present. Also, the nit-picker might argue that four restrooms should logically be required: "Ladies/Gentlemen/Men/Women."

And then there are the attempts to be cute when designating rest rooms:

1) "Kings" and "Queens."
2) "Pointers" and "Setters."
3) "Caballeros" and "Señoras"
4) "Boars" and "Sows"
5) "Sisters" and "Brothers" [With pictures of nuns and monks, respectively.]
6) "Cowboys" and "Cowgirls"
7) "Roosters" and "Hens."
8) "Rough Riders" and "Mounts" -- Which I find to be utterly disgusting.

And then there was the clueless barbecue joint that had restrooms for "Heifers" and "Steers."  Somebody must have given them a bum steer when it came to those signs, unless the clientele consisted of women and eunuchs!

It's safer to include foreign language words with pictures:

Or even to use only a small figure on the door to forestall embarrassing situations: