Monday, December 26, 2011

Slightly Punchy on Boxing Day

Reinsdyrsteik. That's Norwegian for reindeer steak. And, yeah, it looks exactly like a dopey misspelling of a dopey mispronunciation of the English. Which supports my theory about Norwegian, and also Swedish (actually, the word “Swedish” simply means “poor and badly dressed” in Norwegian), which is that it's just ordinary English pronounced with a thick Muppet-style accent. I've tested this theory by speaking like that to native Scandinavians, and they have pretended not to understand me, which I think proves my point. But how about them reindeer: They bring you Christmas gifts, and then you can eat them. Sure beats FedEx.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Never Enough

Give a dog enough to eat and a nice cleansing walk and he'll go right to sleep until he's hungry again. Do the same for a man and he'll start looking around for something to do next. Because he's no good at doing nothing. Because he gets antsy. Because humans never feel quite right. Forget your big brain and opposable thumb; it's dissatisfaction that's made our species what it is. It's our primary survival trait. Take it away and we're local and rare as bonobos. Striving to overcome your nature in order to attain Zen detachment only proves the point.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Hey Baby

Hi there! Breathing okay? Good. We'll just clean you up a little and you'll be good to go. That soft spot in the middle of your skull should firm up real quick, so don't worry about that. And, let's see, what else can we tell you on your way out? First, nobody knows what's going on. Anybody who says they do is stupid or lying. Take care of your teeth. Wear comfortable shoes. Be careful about the first few things you do, because that's what you're going to be doing over and over again for the rest of your life.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Regretfully yours

If you had only known. Midget Racing is noisy and unpleasant and the drivers are ordinary sized people. It turns out sweetbreads are neither sweet, nor are they bread. You're pretty sure you would have remembered if somebody had mentioned the word pancreas. Is that the sort of thing a person is expected to know? How could you have forgotten how much you dislike playing Monopoly? If you'd only read the fine print. If you'd only listened in class. If you'd only known she'd grow up to be a morbidly obese Shoney's waitress, you might not have named her Hyacinth.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Even Educated Fleas

We've all seen those bumper stickers that explain the appropriately puntastic ways in which members of a specific demographic clade “do it.” They are remarkably unfunny, and also if you then pass the vehicle to which they adhere, the driver is usually revealed to be someone with whom you could not remotely imagine doing “it” even if said human was dipped in nectar and rolled in cocaine. Assuming, of course, that “it” means what I think it means. This is all a clumsy setup for two great bumper sticker ideas: “Prostitutes do it for money,” and “Literalists eschew coy euphemisms.”

Monday, November 7, 2011


Daylight Saving Time was the invention of one G.V. Hudson, an English-born New Zealand entomologist and postal clerk whose collection of insects, the largest in New Zealand, is housed in the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, and who was furthermore a member of the 1907 Sub-Antarctic Islands Scientific Expedition, a voyage which led to the rescue of the survivors of the shipwreck of the Dundonald, who had initially subsisted on the raw flesh of the mollymawk, a medium-sized albatross with a distinctive salt gland above the nasal passage that excretes a saline solution from the nose. Wikipedia, baby.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Just William

There's a new movie about an old subject. Somebody thinks Shakespeare was written by somebody other than Shakespeare. Every time this comes up, the new candidate is always better educated, or of a higher class, than the historical Bard. Because, see, they teach this stuff at college, and the actual Will Shakespeare simply wasn't qualified to write at a university level. But unlike tenure, talent is capricious. You can't learn it or earn it. And genius always attracts small minds seeking to reduce it to their own scale. Next you'll try to tell me that Bob Kane didn't write Batman.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Wrong to work state

I like things simple. I like to decide what my position is on a whole class of ideas all at once. That way I can know what my opinion is just by checking to see who is on which side. So right now, Alabama has me flummoxed. That's because an unintended consequence of their new and scary immigration law is to make it absolutely clear that one reason we eat so cheap is because we have people working for us for less that we'd take ourselves. And I'm thinking any difference between slave labor and slave wages is purely semantic.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Waiting for "Lefty," maybe

One of the things that starts to dawn on a guy as he grinds his way through his sixth decade is that if he was ever going to get a cool nickname he would probably have gotten it by now. More than likely, there will be no Pee Wee, Doc, or Big D for me. Not Sparky, Bucky, Lucky, or Duke. Not Scooter, Skeeter, Slats, Slick, Slam, or Slim. No Shorty, Sleepy, Specs, Spike, Spud, Tiny or Tubby or Chubby or Chink. Nickname acquisition is a young man's game: George Foster wasn't more than 29 when got tagged with Pops.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Prime Example

Last week I wrote my 250th rant in a row, which I didn't notice until now. That's a lot of rants. It's a good time to pause and reflect. I feel that I have thus far accomplished as much as any one man could hope to achieve in terms of keeping the public eye focused on extremely large watering cans and also gigantic pencils. I have written about the best way to buy bananas, what I think of Jerry Lewis, and interesting things I've noticed while riding my bicycle. Admittedly, there has also been a certain amount of trivial filler.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pet Theory

Your choice of pet says a lot about you. Like, getting a dog means you crave unconditional devotion, and keeping a cat indicates you're a sucker for emotional abuse. So what does ferret ownership signify? It certainly makes a statement, something on the order of, “I have so little personality that I prefer to be represented socially through a proxy rodent.” It's still a better pet than a rabbit, though. Did you know those cute floppy eared little balls of fluff eat their own babies? They also eat their own poop, redigest it, and poop it out again. Nature's postmodernists.

Monday, September 26, 2011

3 exercises in discretion.

When somebody tells you they're driving to the clinic for a stress test, that's the wrong time to say that if they'd regularly walked to the clinic they probably wouldn't need any stress test. You may remember exactly how many release-your-inner-millionaire books a friend has ever bought. There's no good time to mention that number, ever. And listen. Someday, let's suppose somebody gets up in your face all belligerent and asks, “You think I care what you think of me?” That's probably a bad time to point out that they're asking your opinion of them, right there.

Monday, September 19, 2011


I'd like to think that every week I say a clever thing or two here, so that anybody who happens to be reading it will say to themselves, “You know, that's right. I never thought of it that way. The fella that writes this thing has a lot on the ball.” But I may instead be providing sidekick humor. Sidekick humor is when you say a dumb thing that inadvertently steers the main character toward a smart solution. So a scrawny bewhiskered geezer spouts some inanity, and Roy snaps his fingers and says brightly, “Say! That gives me an idea!”

Monday, September 12, 2011

Not You Again

Contrafact. There's a word I'd never heard before. It means a musical composition that uses the metric and harmonic structure of an earlier piece. Like, every 12-bar blues is a contrafact, or how you can play the Flintstones theme over the top of "I've Got Rhythm." Charlie Parker's "Ornithology" is a new melody for "How High the Moon." Weirdly, "The Horst Wessel Song" is a contrafact of "How Great Thou Art." It's not plagiarism; a copyright protects melody, not chord structure. It's like life- you can't fundamentally alter its shape, but you can play whatever you want over the changes.

Monday, September 5, 2011


I know this sounds like a retelling of The Aristocrats, but it's seriously totally true. Last decade, there was this great little band from Detroit that was creating quite a buzz. Big crunchy chords, clever and insightful lyrics, a guy named John Speck with for real one of the great rock voices ever. And they make an EP that gets some major label attention, get signed, make a full-length recording, which, okay, the label sits on it for too long, but finally it gets released. Then... nothing. No sales. No airplay. And The Fags go their separate ways.

Monday, August 29, 2011

A kept man

We are funny animals, easy to please as dogs. I got up too early, dragged my butt out of the house to have a series of cheerful women torment me with pointed instruments. But I feel gratified, because I was told what a fine job I'm doing with the floss and the brush. Good boy. Doglike, too, in this way: There was a time when I needed a lot of work from myself, but these days I'm always looking for ways to keep me exercised, so I don't mope and pine. I have become my own pet.

Monday, August 22, 2011


Back when I was a kid I would sit around and imagine I was a teenager. Then when I was a teenager I'd enjoy just sitting around imagining I was in a band. When I was in a band I would sit around imagining I was an actor, and when I had chance to do some acting, I'd sit around imagining I was on the radio. I used to imagine what it would be like to write for a living. Now I've finally figured out what my favorite thing to do is. Turns out I like sitting around imagining things.

Monday, August 15, 2011


It's like trying to climb a ferris wheel; there's isn't time in a human life to write down even a single day. There's too much; you have to leave stuff out. Storytelling turns out to be subtractive, like coaxing Caesar's head out of a block of marble. Every sentence you write has an omission-to-inclusion ratio that's just staggeringly high. The thing is, every omission is a little falsehood. Like saying you went to the candy store but not mentioning you stole a box of Atomic Red Hots. All I'm saying is, don't expect to read the truth here.

Monday, August 8, 2011


Last Friday NASA launched a mission to Jupiter, named Juno, on a rocket called Atlas. This promises to be mythic- it's actually going to fly partway there, circle back, fly past Earth in 2012, then finally get serious and actually fly to Jupiter. The scenic route, I guess. But doesn't the phrase “unmanned probe” sound like something unpleasant and humiliating has occurred? Meanwhile, new evidence of water on Mars is leading some scientists to speculate that the red planet might support some form of life. So far, no Starbucks or WiFi, though, so you can't really call it living.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Mister Big Stuff

Normally, I'm in the droll observations and avuncular yet acerbic witticism racket, and let me tell you it's been paying off like gangbusters. Gangbusters, I tell ya. But let's get serious for a minute. It used to be the world largest pencil was hanging out front of an office supply store in Wytheville, Virginia. It was a big tin pencil on a small town main street. Then in about 2002, the Faber-Castell factory built a 65-footer out of real pencil materials.
Now there's a 76-footer, a new world's record, with a real rubber eraser. This, friends, is history writ large.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday Brain Teasers

Welcome back, class. Let's start with an essay question. Was there anything short of WWII that Germany could have said to communicate their dissatisfaction with the Treaty of Versailles and desire for a more liberal peace as exemplified by the Marshall Plan? Try to show how violence is never the answer. Now a word problem: Where x is the value, measured in headline position and column inches, of 11.8 million human lives threatened by famine, while y is that same value for the story of a dead pop singer, prove by induction that y>x. Be prepared to show your work.

Monday, July 18, 2011

A fictitious narrative which terminates in an atrocious pun.

He stood in the doorway with a paper plate in his hand. Covered in aluminum foil, it contained a double portion of the complicated quinoa salad he had complimented so effusively at dinner. Now the leftovers were his to take home, if he could ever get out the door. But the two women were still saying goodbye. He looked at his host and smiled. And his host smiled back. They smiled at one another. There was absolutely no eye rolling. Shifting his stance, he tapped, deferential, upon her shoulder. “Let us go now,” he said. “Without further adieu.”

Monday, July 11, 2011

I must blog about this immediately.

Remember Tamagotchis, the little electronic pets that first came out about 15 years ago? Kids would carry them around as they simulated an organic life cycle, demanding to be fed and cleaned and otherwise attended to at preprogrammed intervals. All virtual, of course; what you actually do is push certain buttons whenever the machine tells you. A silly toy- it teaches you nothing, prepares you for nothing. Still, a generation of kids walked around bent over these little beeping boxes, absolutely absorbed by this utterly meaningless activity. Those kids are now in their 20s, and have outgrown such childish pastimes.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Here's what makes us unique.

I'm looking at an outdated promotional calendar that carries upon it the mission statement/motto of the company that gave it away: “Our commitment to sophisticated technology is an investment in customer satisfaction.” Isn't that delightful? It's the sort of thing that's a perfect example of the sort of thing it is. I can envision them agreeing after hours of earnest debate and revision that, yeah, this really gets it. And one guy says, “But what about our tradition of innovation?” Then after a few moments of consideration, somebody says thoughtfully, “I think the tradition of innovation is pretty strongly implied.”

Monday, June 27, 2011

Mad, am I? The fools!

I think probably Homer didn't write the Odyssey. As a blind wandering bard he would've had little access to even the primitive word-processing software of the time, let alone today's far superior GUIs that allow seamless WYSIWYG user interaction through keyboard, mouse and screen. Also, there is no evidence that he attended any sort of school where he could have studied ancient Greek, a notoriously difficult language. My candidate for the actual author of Homer's works: John Fitzgerald Kennedy, our 35th President, who not only attended Harvard but then there's his wife's second husband, an actual ancient Greek. Mere coincidence?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Up against the wall.

You know when you're at a social event and somebody you barely know thinks you look lonely so they walk over and say something like why so glum, chum? and you go heh-heh and they start talking and before you know it you're nodding your head up and down so fast you might actually beat your own brains out against the inside of your skull which doesn't seem so bad compared to what's happening on the outside of it which is your new friend is getting ready to open his wallet and show you baby pictures? Facebook is like that.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Cordial and Substantive.

When you said, "I respect your opinion," you meant, "I hold you and everything about you in utter contempt." To which I responded by saying, “We're really not that far apart on this,” which means, “I'm pretty sure we're not the same species. Can you prove you're even a mammal?” You replied, “We just have to take the time to listen to one another,” which is to say, “I hope you get lung cancer in your eyes.” But I meant every word when I said, “I heard you wrong.” I heard you. You were wrong.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Tails has something to prove.

Sports commentators have the uncanny ability to see patterns that are invisible to the casual observer. Flip a coin once and they'll tell you heads has the momentum. That's a normal human thing, though. We want a narrative, not just one thing happening after another for no good reason. But actually, real life is like opera; try to enjoy the songs and costumes, 'cause the plot doesn't amount to much. Also, if you should happen to doze off because the room is warm and your seat is comfy, don't worry. You're not missing a thing.

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Symptom

Here's bad news for those of you unlucky enough to live in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, or Tennessee -- states collectively known as the Stroke Belt. What may sound like something you'd order from the back of a gentlemen's magazine is actually a region where the odds of dying from a brain attack are significantly higher than the rest of the country. Now scientists say you are also more likely to suffer from cognitive decline, as measured by your willingness to live in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, or Tennessee.

Monday, May 23, 2011


Sex is nice and ice cream is delicious, but there's really no greater pleasure than feeling superior to another human being. So when a radio preacher tells us that the world is coming to an end, it's going to be a big occasion for smug fun. I mean, radio? Seriously? Get with it, Grandpa. Except, what if it's happened and the transition was subtle and difficult to detect? What if it's after the end of the world and this right now is what rapture feels like? What if we're in the presence of the Lord?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Space is the place

Did you ever feel like you really know a place from years of reading about it and looking at pictures and hearing stories, while at the same time there may some other location where you have actually physically been that's left less of an impression? Two places like that for me are Berlin vs. Madrid. Also outer space and Akron. So the shuttle program is winding down, and I'm thinking maybe the best way to the stars is via inorganic extensions of ourselves, as opposed to figuring out ways to get actual meat onto the surface of Mars, for instance.

Monday, May 9, 2011

It feels so good when I stop

I ran into yet another reference to Voluntary Human Extinction, folks who have chosen to forgo reproduction in order to save the planet. I have no argument with the goal, really, but their strategy is sadly flawed. They'll just end up prolonging the ordeal for everybody else, while reducing the population of people who want to reduce the population. If you want to hasten the extinction of the species, you should have as many kids as possible, and raise them all to be real estate developers who drive around in enormous SUVs buying up farmland to build tracts of McMansions.

Monday, May 2, 2011

No more in thrall

May Day, International Workers' Day, commemorates a time when governments could (occasionally) be shamed or coerced into siding with the citizenry against the predations of power, privilege, and capital. In some places, it also celebrates an early form of pole dancing. Oddly, people aboard a sinking ship don't holler "Mayday" into radios to celebrate spring one last glorious time; the word is a homophone for the French phrase meaning "help me." The Internet is just chock full of places where the simple appearance of the word "homophone" would be occasion for coarse jocularity, but this is not one of them.

Monday, April 25, 2011

They hate our freedom

Maybe you missed this: A guy from Kazakhstan, while on a flight from Paris to Rome, pulled out a nail clipper and attempted to coerce the flight crew into diverting the plane to Tripoli. His first name is Valery. There was a brief altercation and Valery's nail clipper was confiscated. They gave him a sedative, and he was arrested when the plane landed in Rome. My guess is that he's in the most trouble you can get in with a nail clipper. Someone should dig deeper to bring you the story behind the story. That would be good, I suppose.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Apparently, size matters.

Scientists at University College London studied the brains of people with liberal and conservative political views. They found conservatives are amygdala-driven, while liberals have a more developed anterior cingulate cortex; that's linked to rational cognitive functions. Wait. There's more. The University of Iowa reports on a woman with a damaged amygdala who is literally without fear. Yet a study at Harvard Medical School shows that folks with bigger amygdalas have more extensive and complex social networks. Normally, I would punctuate each of these little stories with a joke. But I won't insult your anterior cingulate cortex by spelling them out.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Ice Cream Mondae

Remember those "Strange Old Laws" features with funny archaic ordinances? "In Zanesville, Ohio it is illegal to humiliate a raccoon?" Here's a brand-new one. With certain specified exceptions, you're not allowed out in public in France with your face covered. That's the law, and the legislators who made it up assure us they do not intend to target Muslim women. So don't be all, "I'm a Baptist and also I'm a dude, so probably I can stroll around downtown France in this here burka without fear of legal repercussions." Because nuh-uh. You can't. That's why the law is fair.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Fool me once

Last Friday there was a item in the Times-Picayune about Mikhail Gorbachev's 80th birthday celebration. Held at London's Royal Albert Hall, this party went on for over four hours. There were live performances by The Scorpions, Andrei Gavrilov, and Shirley Bassey, among others. Large-screen monitors showed video greetings from Bill Clinton, Sting, and Bono. Arnold Schwarzenegger gave a short speech, as did Shimon Perez. The entire event was hosted by Sharon Stone and Kevin Spacey. This story appeared on April first; I assumed it was a joke - a pretty far-fetched one. Once again, reality beats absurdism at its own game.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The fine line between extinct and imaginary

By now we all know there was never any such thing as a Brontosaurus. It turns out what they had back then (about 150 million years ago) was the Apatosaurus. We were calling it the wrong thing all along. Just think. If you'd have time traveled back there and seen one of these honking great quadrupeds ambling along chewing contemplatively and smelling like a thousand compost piles, and you had hollered, "Yo! Brontosaurus!" it would have just kept right on walking. And you'd have said to yourself, "How rude." But no. You were just calling him out of his name.

Monday, March 21, 2011

in re: bananas

If you should inadvertently break the peel on two bananas at once, you pretty much have to eat them both. Avoid this by buying single bananas, available because people often seem to want exactly one banana fewer. Selecting several single bananas instead of a bunch also lets you create a ripeness spectrum, so every day when you go for a banana, one will be just about perfect. Because if you let bananas get overripe, the only thing you can do is say to yourself, “I'll save these for banana bread” for about three days, and then throw them away.

Monday, March 14, 2011


I'm sitting in an airport. I've been awake since four. Remember being 17? Me neither. But I recall well-meaning adults saying, "It's not the end of the world." But, yeah it was. Normally, when we say the world is falling apart we mean our social or cultural infrastructure has revealed itself to be transitory and mutable. That's bad enough. But it's when the surface of the actual crust of the world gives way that we feel really betrayed. We take it personally. Well, personally is pretty much the only way you can take anything.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Fat Monday

Science! A new study from Cardiff University finds a linkage between Happy Hour-type cheap drink promotions and pub violence. Researchers at Mississippi State University believe that it may be possible to substitute natural materials such as manure for artificial fertilizers. And a report out of Madison, Wisconsin concludes that huge lagoons full of pig feces tend to release noxious gases into the atmosphere. Whatever. They still deserve their right to collective bargaining the same as the rest of us. Except down here, in the right-to-work south. Hey. What's the difference between Scott Walker and Muammar Gaddafi? Gaddafi has loyalists.

Monday, February 28, 2011

A Trifling Quibble

Apparently, the phrase "tech savvy" has evolved. By evolved, I mean, of course, "mutated to mean something that has nothing to do with the aggregate definitions of its component words." To me, the phrase implies a working knowledge of and interest in the underlying systems that make something work. So buying a new car or listening to the radio a lot don't make you tech savvy. Working on a car or rewiring a radio do. Supposing I design a new and more sophisticated button to dispense treats to a cage full of lab rats. Are my rats more tech savvy?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Who cares if you read this?

For too long, we writers have been slaves to traditional forms that constrain our expression and constrict our ability to move the Art of Literature forward. The problem is that old habits are so thoroughly ingrained in us as to make truly original writing difficult, if not impossible. How to liberate oneself from the terrible tyranny of words? What I propose is to begin with a randomly generated 26-letter row of phonetic symbols, which we will manipulate according to strict rules of form and structure into works of a new pure literature which will transcend tradition, language, meaning, and readership.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Can you still get Tang?

In Moscow they have this thing called Mars500, a simulation of longterm spaceflight. Eight volunteer cosmonauts have spent the past several months in "a series of windowless steel tubes representing a spacecraft." They recently pretended they had landed on Mars, and did a simulated Martian surface excursion by putting on spacesuits and walking around in a big sandbox for about an hour. Now they're going to get back in the windowless tube and pretend to fly back to Earth. All in all, a pretty cool science project. But they'll probably get beat by some guy with a soda-and-vinegar volcano.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Now I'm hungry for Froot Loops

When you think about it, we're essentially toroidal. In a topological sense, stuff that passes through our alimentary system doesn't actually go inside of us. Although when we swallow a donut, it feels exactly like it's inside of us. That's because the difference between you and the world is a perceptual construct- the actual edge of you is as hard to define as the upper boundary of the atmosphere. As far as the universe is concerned, there's probably no big difference between you and the rest of itself. And of course to the atmosphere, I'm just an ambulatory man-shaped bubble.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Not that I watch them, of course...

Are there more show business awards shows on TV than ever? I'm amazed these people have time to get any work done. Of course, technology helps: In a day or two in front of a green wall, skilled operators can capture enough of a performer's essence to add a vaguely human flavor to an otherwise all-CG thrill ride. Likewise, a few words mumbled into a mic provide a sufficient sample to be manipulated into an exciting vocal performance. So the technicians have lots to do, and the stars keep themselves busy parading around like nicely accessorized sides of Kobe beef.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Apparently, I can do this in my sleep.

At 5 a.m. the other day I woke up, scribbled on a scrap of paper, and went back to sleep. In the morning I decided I had written the best non-watering-can-related prose of my career. Here it is, verbatim:

Out front of the post office this guy was getting all agitated – pointing at nothing and yelling, “If this is an elephant, where is its trunk?” Until one of us, one fellow stepped forward and said, “Who said anything about elephants?” And the guy calmed down. So what's so bad about answering a question with a question?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Another argument against tenure

This just in: 47 British academics specializing in American history and politics have participated in a survey conducted by the University of London's School of Advanced Study's Institute for the Study of the Americas' United States Presidency Centre to rate American presidents. For all the relevance that has, they might as well have gathered to vote on their favorite pizza toppings, or the cutest Beatle. Anyway, Franklin Delano Roosevelt came in first, James Buchanan dead last. But seriously now, at the University of London, wasn't FDR sort of a shoo-in? Without him, the results would have been published in German.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Check behind the furnace

Why do I even call these rants? There's precious little ranting done here. These are musings, micro-articles, featurettes. They are extended captions for invisible snapshots, dust jacket blurbs for non-existent books, truncated responses to essay questions on private pop quizzes that pop up only between my ears. Stabs at shtick, unsponsored spots for nothing at all. It's like some big sweaty guy moved into your knotty pine rec room and you keep getting these postcards from someone a lot like that in a similar rec room but you're not sure: What if it's some other guy in somebody else's basement?

Monday, January 3, 2011

The underside of a flat smooth stone

Here's an actual quote from an art critic I refrain from naming so that you won't hunt him down and punch him in the nose: “His art was deliberately elusive; introverted but with a steely ambition evident in the obduracy with which it declines to present anything that could be interpreted as a statement of purpose.” I'm woozy with epistemological revulsion - there's something about that sentence that makes me want to douse it with kerosene and strike a match. Anyway, who needs Art when we spend every day of our lives in a full-sized interactive Museum of Everything?