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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me.

                     T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

18 February 2007

I know we don't know how to deal with snow in this part of the country, but this was ridiculous.
Would you believe that couple of inches of snow and some ice shut down a 50-mile stretch of interstate highway (including I-78, I-80 and I-81) for more than two days this past week, starting late Wednesday and not getting entirely cleared up untill 4 pm Saturday? Hundreds of motorists were stranded at a dead stop, some for nearly 24 hours, many still trying to find their way home as late as yesterday afternoon.

You can read the end of the story here, but it's worth working your way back on the site to see all the gory details if you're a fan of horror stories.

Will Bunch did one of those picture-worth-a-thousand-word things that summed things up quite nicely, then added the perfect headline to create a truly classic commentary.

[posted by Jack Curtin 12:45pm edt]

17 February 2007

It seems several states, as many as 20, are thinking about making cervical cancer vaccinations mandatory for pre-teen girls, as has recently been done in Texas. The folks who are appalled by all this and would rather see thousands of their fellow citizens possibly die painful and terrible deaths than do anything that might offend their delicate sensibilities or challenge their rigid standards of conduct are justifiably skewered right here in Slate's daily round-up of the news this morning.

[posted by Jack Curtin 8:52 am edt]

15 February 2007

Still half-blind.
The big snow and ice storm cancelled my eye surgery yesterday. I've got some more about that over here.

[posted by Jack Curtin 11:46 am edt]

13 February 2007

Ted Rall pictures a world that makes sense.

[posted by Jack Curtin 7:27 am edt]

12 February 2007

From Canada for your consideration.
Written by the inestimable AOK, Mermaid's official poet laureate in exile:


Beside the rock
An old man
With no purpose
Other than
Just being there.
He could understand
The rock's position.

Give it time, you young whippersnappers, and this will make perfect sense to you.

[posted by Jack Curtin 8:30 am edt]

11 February 2007

Scary stuff.
As part of preparing for my cataract operation this Wednesday I had to get a complete physical from my primary provider and my visit to his office left me in a state of shock and terror.

No, no, not about my health in general. Comes to that, for a man in my condition, I'm in fine condition. Heart just fine, blood pressure really good (my standing pulse rate so low you'd think I was dead...and remind me to tell you a story about that some time), cholesterol better than it has been in years. If it weren't for the aches and pains, I'd think I was still just a spry young thing.

What was scary was that his scale weighed me five pounds--I say, five pounds--heavier than does mine here at home. Arrrghhh!

The doctor says their scale always comes in heavy and the nurse agreed. I did come home and check mine with some items which have an indicated weight and it seems pretty accurate. Still...

Time to get over the winter blahs and pay attention to what I'm eating and drinking again. At least, I'm told, I'll be able to see it all a lot better in a week or so.

The times in which we live.
Mark Evanier ponders the question of the week.

[posted by Jack Curtin 8:40 am edt]

2 February 2007

Good golly, Miss Molly.
Molly Ivins is dead. She was one of the funniest, most incisive and truly cut-the-B.S. pundits out there and I am impressed by how many share my sorrow at her passing and my great joy that she was among us and writing for so long a time.

Here's Joe Conason (hidden away behind the Salon firewall,but you can watch an ad to get through and read it all):

And What made Molly so special as a writer -- and raises her into an ink-stained pantheon alongside Mark Twain, A.J. Liebling, Murray Kempton, H.L. Mencken and other such greats -- was the American sound in her prose and the American style of her reporting. Her columns and essays -- and for that matter her wonderful, low, smoky voice, if you were lucky enough to hear her talk -- used her regional sensibility and experience to illuminate the wider world. She talked Texas but her subject was the universe.

This is Maya Angelou remembering the first time she met Molly .

And Paul Krugman on Molly, here.

Here's is Molly herself, in a perfect take-down of Rush Limbaugh (quoted by Krugman in the paragraph before the one to which I linked):

"Satire has historically been the weapon of powerless people aimed at the powerful. When you use satire against powerless people,it is like kicking a cripple."
Even better, here is Molly in 1991, eviscerating the eminently-evisceratable Camilla Paglia..

We won't see her like again, I suspect.

James Wolcott seems somewhat taken aback that Woody Allen falls all to pieces in the company of Scarlett Johansson. I'm am nonplussed. I mean, is there a man out there who wouldn't?.

[posted by Jack Curtin 5:15 pm edt]

The complete January 2007 postings have been archived here.


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