10 Comments


  • I guess it’s a more encouraging indicator than reality programming (or the right-wing talk shows PBS has been starting lately) but I think my reaction is probably to blat some predictable derision. And I say that as someone who, as a Tolkein-obsessed teenager, learned to write the Tengwar. Aren’t there enough real languages to learn?

    (Of course, at least Europeans KNOW a few other languages, unlike most Americans including me…)

    Interesting background on the JFK quote. I didn’t know that.

    September 15, 2004
  • Anonymous

    Dammit…here’s another cool story I can’t use anymore. Next thing you’ll tell me is that Hitler had TWO testicles!

    Bill

    September 15, 2004
  • Thanks for reinforcing the notion that “intellectually speaking, our country is an environmental disaster area.” Just when I was feeling hopeful about things — well, personal ntellectual things, anyhoo — you go and remind me that I live in a country, half of whom support the retard-in-thief.

    Chris

    September 15, 2004
  • Aren’t there enough real languages to learn?

    Of course, but that’s exactly my point: it’s healthy that people and organizations can pursue minor intellectual exercises that don’t have any obvious utility. It’s enjoyable. Life is full of things we SHOULD be doing, but sometimes we choose to do things that satisfy us for their own sake, like playing the harp.

    About the JFK quote, Bill Mason and our classmates heard the legend from our anal-retentive German teacher, and we went around repeating it for years. It’s interesting that we learned the “jelly doughnut” story from the professor who was a native English speaker, rather than the German-born professor.

    September 16, 2004
  • Heh heh. Brings to mind the old Boy Scout song: “Goebbels, he had one big ball…” See my response to Ken, above.

    September 16, 2004
  • Sorry, Chief. I just calls ’em as I sees ’em. But congratulations on the sudden interest in your novels: I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you.

    September 16, 2004
  • …but sometimes we choose to do things that satisfy us for their own sake, like playing the harp.

    OK, that’s fair! Although it fails to recognize that my leisure pursuits are deeply significant unlike all those other people. (And ultimately, pretty much everything outside the 4 F’s is leisure.)

    But I do see your point that we’re fortunate to be able to spend our time doing things like that and not just fighting/fleeing/feeding/fucking.

    Also, given European football-fan behavior and the rise in racist and anti-Semitic groups in many western European nations, I don’t think the U.S. always comes out on the bad end of the comparison. I mean, we have enough sense not to watch Jerry Lewis, and we knew there were much better things to do with Matthias Hohner’s harmonicas than play polkas on them…

    September 16, 2004
  • I agree with the assessment of your “better nature” ( and happy to see him or her make an appearance, by the way). CNN pointed out that the Bible has already been translated into Klingon, which means that the language has to be a complete entity at least on a rudimentary scale. At least.

    With that said, why not? its a publicity move for sure, but not the worst we’ve seen by far.

    How would you feel about it if Star Trek didn’t have a 25+ year history, and had been critically and popularly shunned?

    PS- Here I am, falling into your trap with this icon. Happy now? )

    September 16, 2004
  • … my leisure pursuits are deeply significant unlike all those other people.

    *laughing*
    Yes, you are special. To your other point: It’s not a competition to the bottom of the barrel. Yes, there are dull-witted right-wing loonies in Europe—vicious anti-semites and rule Britannia bullyboys; what they lack is our ingrained anti-intellectualism. Europe and Great Britain (and Canada, for that matter) hold learning in higher esteem, and a higher percentage of the population is reasonably educated, even if a lower percentage of Europeans attend college. And let’s not club the French too hard for Jerry Lewis when our home-grown dullards are held rapt by Fear Factor, Oprah, Paris Hilton, the New York Post, and the World Wrestling Federation.

    September 16, 2004
  • Yes, I heard about the Klingon Bible. Makes you wonder how they translate the Sermon on the Mount, doesn’t it? Blessed are the peacemakers, until we rip out their gall bladders and use them to flavor our barbecued ribs.

    How would you feel about it if Star Trek didn’t have a 25+ year history, and had been critically and popularly shunned?

    Oh, I don’t know that it would make a difference to me; it might even lend the enterprise more cachet.

    Did you catch Martha’s self-pitying press conference last night, by the way? “I’m going to miss my dogs…” Yeah, I’m going to miss my lunch in a second.

    September 16, 2004

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