Friday, March 12, 2004

Dada spam blog.

Andre Codrescu, one of my favorite voices in radio, had a piece the other day on spam poetry -- the strings of words sent as subject lines on some spam. I think he compared it to Dada, as well he should. Got a good one myself today: this was the subject line, verbatim: chord halfhearted adjoin hosiery cube.

No definitive word on which set of barbarians blew up those trains in Spain, but it's more than enough to give a daily rail commuter like myself pause. It would be all too easy to do the same here. Sometimes, in fact, I marvel a major act of train terrorism hasn't happened in North America yet. But I expect it's just a matter of time.

Do I quit riding trains? No, of course not. Trains are an amenity of the Chicago area that I really like. Without them, Chicago roads would be horribly congested, as opposed to ordinarily congested. Then again, in some ways road congestion is just an unintended consequence of custom anyway. Once I offered this idea to some co-workers of mine: "There wouldn't be traffic jams every day," I suggested, "if our employers didn't require us all to come to work at the same time." Reaction: Blank faces.

Besides, I can read on the train. I finished Lindbergh some time ago and I may be on the verge of a Hemingway bender. Both of my readers might remember my fondness for The Sun Also Rises, which I read roughly once every Olympiad (see July 22, 2003, "The Blog Also Rises"). I decided to pick it up again and am most of the way through. I have a mind to dig up some of his other works after that, even the handful that I've never read. Maybe.

Though a serious book, it's got comedy. The following might mean that one of the characters was the first Log Cabin Republican: "Listen. [Bill Gorton says to Jake Barnes, as they prepare to go fishing.] You're a hell of a good guy, and I'm fonder of you than anybody on earth. I couldn't tell you that in New York. It'd mean I was a faggot. That was what the Civil War was about. Abraham Lincoln was a faggot. He was in love with General Grant. So was Jefferson Davis. Lincoln just freed the slaves on a bet. The Dred Scott case was framed by the Anti-Saloon League. Sex explains it all…."

Bet that didn't make it into the 1950s movie version. Which I won't watch, because I like the book too much.


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