Friday, February 24, 2012

Various & Sundry, February 24

It's been a couple of weeks, but I'll try to keep it succinct.  Let's start with getting ourselves settled with a nice cup of tea, preferably made with a Tea Monkey Infuser.

Although as I pointed out to the blogger, Lahikmajoe, there's something a little disturbing about the fact that you put a monkey in water and the water turns brown.  Still mighty cute, though.  Looks like he's soaking in a hot tub.  And turning it brown.

At any rate, once you've got your Golden Monkey tea, you're ready to check out the Tea and Biscuit Dunking Guide (also available as a high-resolution PDF) that tells you exactly how many seconds to leave each kind of cookie in your tea (when served between 150-160 degrees F) to prevent sogginess or the dreaded floppage!

Now that you're settled in, I've got a bunch of interesting stuff for you to read.

On the subject of writing, Ta-Nehisi Coates does it again with this meditation on U.S. Grant's memoirs, the skill of clarity, and how writing "has no real respect for credentialism," that "intelligence is so messy, that it would show itself in people we disdain or think we know."

On the subject of popular culture, Tom & Lorenzo had an inspired rant about the latest episode of Glee and the increasing victimization of its gay characters.
"Remember, my brothers? Remember that ten-year period when the mass media definition of “gay man” was “noble, diseased victim?” Is this new trope of gays as noble, weepy, child victims really a step in the right direction? Because just as in the eighties and nineties, when the majority of gay men were not dying of AIDS; the majority of young gay people today are doing relatively okay for themselves."
It's a very interesting perspective.

Also an interesting perspective on the political front from Dan Drezner on "Why I like power-hungry bureaucrats more than whistle-blowers." I don't see it as an either/or, but it's certainly thought-provoking. And a great headline, eh?

PeaceBang relates a powerful anecdote to relate from a WeightWatchers meeting. As a person (trying to) give up shame--not for Lent, but forever--this had a lot of resonance for me. At what point does our motivation devolve into shaming ourselves? And what can we do about it?

Finally, on the romance front, the Futility Closet shows us how it's done with this unique wedding proposal from Evelyn Waugh.  Excerpt:  "I am restless & moody and misanthropic & lazy & have no money except what I earn and if I got ill you would starve. In fact it’s a lousy proposition. On the other hand I think I could do a Grant and reform & become quite strict about not getting drunk and I am pretty sure I should be faithful." Who would even think of refusing?

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