Thursday, February 15, 2007

St. Valentine's Day Text-Messenger

[Update to the following: Peony has some thoughts of her own.]

I've been considering turning this blog into what it's supposed to be, a real weblog, you know, a journal detailing the details of my life - all my actual activities and all my deeply felt feelings, all the trivia of my trials and tribulations. Notice that I didn't include "thoughts," because thoughts are hard work, and I do draw a distinction between feeling and thinking, which I'd like to explain, but I don't feel like thinking about it.

For example, perhaps you'd like to know how I felt (and what I said to my wife) when I got up this morning and found that my favorite tube of toothpaste had been squeezed so dry that it appeared to have been run over by a car...Just kidding. I wouldn't do that to you.

For another example, I've got this long post that should have been put up about a month ago, but every time I open it up I have to think about it, which makes me feel put upon, so I close it again.

No, let's talk about something important, such as the occasional comparisons people make between the intelligence of men and women. You ladies might like this link. It sounds like a bunch of men talking about women. Karen Hall and the Anchoress even get mentioned in the post. For the record, I want it known that I am completely neutral...check that. What I meant to say is: I LOVE WOMEN PEOPLE. No matter how smart they are. One of the commenters offers this link to the reflections of a philosopher named David Stove upon the intellectual track record of women through the ages, after which overview he considers the case closed. Such sweeping assertions are difficult to disprove, but I think scepticism should be brought to it in light of this passage:

Is not this virtually-unlimited variety, variety enough? Has it not constituted a fair trial of the intellectual capacity of women? "No," says the equality-theorist. But this theory now begins to reminds us of a supremely silly thing which G. K. Chesterton once said: that Christianity has not been tried and found wanting, but was found difficult, and never properly tried. Now, I ask you: Christianity not had a fair trial? Why, at this rate, nothing has ever had a fair trial, and we can know, or even rationally believe, nothing whatever about the capacities of anything...But this is just an even stronger version of that silly scepticism which I mentioned a moment ago. In fact we know, or near-enough know, that Christianity does not have the capacity, which it claims to have, to satisfy indefinitely the religious aspiration of all human beings. And such a case proves, let us notice, that an historical sample of performance can be varied enough, and large enough, to be the basis of a rational inference to capacity, or rather to the lack of capacity.

Did you notice how this line - Christianity not had a fair trial? - completely distorts what Chesterton was saying? Of course you do. You're women, after all. Which frees me from having to explicate further, because it would require more thinking and, as should be clear by now, I'm not at the moment in that mode.

Speaking of women, though, I came home from work the other night, hoping to plop down in front of the lobotomizer and catch up on the news, only to find my wife watching the Grammys. She likes awards shows. I sat there munching cashews and watching all these people I didn't recognize when we could have been on Fox, CNN or MSNBC getting the latest on the late Anna Nicole Smith, more precisely on who among many eligibles had boffed her at just the right time to lay claim to being the father of her orphaned child. Instead I am forced to observe a bizarre variety of musical 'artists' take the stage (all right, not forced - I could have gone into another room and read a book but I didn't feel like it). At one point - as a black 'artist' ascended to the dais - I even said to my wife, "You know, this is ludicrous." And she replied, "How did you know?"

I perked up at a bit when Mary K. Blige (I'm pretty sure I've heard of her) got an award, because she thanked Jesus Christ her Savior, which would probably put her in Dr. Stove's stupid book. There was a blonde cutie named Carrie Underwood (another name ringing a distant bell), who apparently came to fame via American Idol, but since I've never seen the show...In fact, I remarked out loud that she sure was blonde and cute, provoking from the wife one of those looks I've come to treasure. Then the camera panned the audience, landing on Joan Baez, a figure from our youth, to which the wife thought I ought to make note of how cute and grey-haired she was, since she seemed, age-wise, a more suitable object for my admiration; and which in turn forced me to recognize that such vindictiveness requires an intelligence that might refute to some degree Dr. Stove's thesis.

(I also found out on the news today that Algore showed up to kiss some celebrity ass, the same Algore who did a mouth rape on his wife at the 2000 Demo convention, the same wife who once led a censorship campaign against the industry he was at that moment wooing. But somehow the bedfellows didn't seem all that strange.)

A further example was given yesterday, Valentine's Day, when, on a lark, I text-messaged Bernadette:

"Would you be my valentine?"

Bern: "Thanks, Dad. U can b mine 2. did u do anything for Mom?"

She and her sister are the Valentine's Day cops, always looking out for their Mom.

Me: "Cooking her steak on the grill 2nite."

Bern: "I hope it's free range steak." (She has a thing about eating the meat of animals not raised and fed in a certain way.)

Me: "No, I had to pay for it. And we're cooking it on the grill, not the range."

Bern: "Haha."

Then I texted Ebe, up there in blizzard-bound Chicago: "Could you be my valentine?"

Ebe: "Of course!"

I told her I was cooking out for her Mom.

Ebe: "Oh good. She'll like that. I love u. I bet u asked Bern to b your valentine too."

Me: "Naw. Only you."

Ebe: "I hope u're not lying cuz i'll find out."

Me. "Uh..i'm pretty sure I'm telling the truth."

There was a few moments' lull. Then, from Ebe: "Bill, our relationship as valentines is over. U're cooking for my mother, asking my sister 2 b your valentine...i can't live like this anymore."

I knew it.

Me: "I beg u to reconsider. I'll never do it again. I've learned my lesson."

Ebe: "No way. Once a cheater, always a cheater. Men r dogs. Have a nice life, Bill. (Sound of door slamming)

Me: "It's true. Men are dogs. But I will be a faithful dog. And obedient..."

I don't know what kind of intelligence this is evidence of, but don't tell me that no calculation is involved.

Further evidence. My wife rendezvoused with me at an art store to find a frame for one of my so-called paintings. She saw me scoping out some oils I'd been wanting to try but had put off because of the price; no rush, I said, I'll get to it eventually. She handed me a red envelope. "Happy Valentine's Day," she said. I opened it and there's a 50 dollar gift certificate to the very store in which we stood. I got the oils.

Now this involved calculation too. It may also be that she actually still likes me and that the message in the card, which I will not reveal, speaks the truth. All I know is that they're smart enough to get you where they want you and keep you there, an ability that seems to me at least as important to the success of civilization as anything any man has ever done.


TS said...

Very amusing...

Erik Keilholtz said...

Always indulge your daughter in free-range, grass-fed organic beef. It tastes better than anything on earth (except, perhaps foie gras, which is only improved upon by being seared and sliced and served atop a grilled ribeye of free-range, grass-fed organic beef), and maintaining a hearty taste for good beef will go far in preventing the vice of vegetarianism, a disease that tends to prey on young women (and the worthless, often long-haired, emasculated men who want to project an image of sensitivity to the wrong sort of women - these fellows are homos in everything but their sexual orientation).

Eating good beef is good for the body and good for the soul.

And, no, I am not paid by any grass-fed beef dealer.

William Luse said...

I do indulge her when it comes to eggs and chicken. Pork and beef are harder to come by without paying too much. All I know is that it was a big slab of boneless top sirloin fit for two, so I threw it in the basket.

Have almost finished my first oil painting. It's a whole other world of workability and messiness. My back room smells like paint and "odourless" thinner. My hands were covered with it and got some on my clothes. But the wife likes the way it looks, so I'll not be giving it up.

Erik Keilholtz said...

I am glad you are having fun with it. That odor (especially the almost fishy lindseed oil one) will never go away. Get used to it. Did you pick up any of that neo-megilp?

William Luse said...

I must not have, because I can't remember what it was. Remind me.

A couple questions: 1. What is Georgian oil? 2. Fat over lean means that a pigment with more medium in it (such as added oil) should go over one with less. Correct? How does this principle apply to pigment that one has thinned with mineral spirits?

Erik Keilholtz said...

I will have to look up Georgian oil. I'll get back to you on that.

2. Yes, underlying layers should have less oil in them, because you want the more flexible layers on the outside, to prevent cracking (think of layers of mud, when the outer layers dry first and get hard, the movement of the lower, mushy layers makes the outer layer crack). Mineral spirits evaporate, so they don't count, except that, if the paint is too thinned with mineral spirits, there will not be enough oil to bind the pigments, and the pigment can flake or powder off (if you "oil out" a painting's dull spots six months after it is dry, you can mitigate against this. Use a thinned out stand oil for this. When you get to that point, holler, and I will give more specifics).

William Luse said...

Ok, thanks. I guess I don't need to know about the neo-megilp right now.

Anyway, post some more of your stuff.

TSO said...

I know it's not a democracy here, but I vote for more posts concerning Ebe & Bern. Pictures wouldn't hurt either.

William Luse said...

I'll see what I can do.