Page 31 of 34

Bad Beer is Bad.

I remember getting all worked up because people drank crap beer. I no longer do so, because I understand why people drink crap beer.

Because it’s beer. BEER. What people drink when they want to get slowly and pleasantly drunk. They don’t want to intellectualize it. They don’t want to turn it into an aesthetic experience. They just want to drink it. And if you tell them that their tastes are bad, they will think you’re an idiot, because from where they sit, taste doesn’t enter into it. It’s just beer.

Now, I don’t care for the mass-produced light lagers, myself, and aside from the occasional Miller High Life or Natty Bo, I don’t drink them. I spend my money on craft beers, because I enjoy them, and they get you drunk faster. But I’m not going to waste any more energy on Budweiser’s market share than it takes to offer someone a Sam Adams, Dogfish Head, or Chimay.

Bad beer is bad, agreed. So drink good beer and shut up.

Lileks on Hoarders

Good stuff:

There’s always two stories, they alternate between them, and something is always about to happen, usually eviction. Last night was one of those really cheerful episodes where both stories end in failure. The fascinating part? Not the junk they keep, not the reasons they give, not the delusions they construct, but the immense disconnect between their rational, intelligent conversations, and their insanity.

A fine commentary on the human condition: the reason understands, analyzes, conceives action, but the will blocks it. The will is not informed by reason, but by something else.

I can’t stand Hoarders, for the same reason I can’t stand Wife Swappers: because drawing entertainment from people’s dysfunction is cruel and boring. It’s one thing to laugh at the sociopathy of Beavis & Butthead; those guys are caricatures, and the very bluntness of their moronity makes them the perfect critics of the crap MTV slings. But to see some poor old grandmother losing her mind because someone tries to get rid of something she will never use does nothing more than reassure me that I am not so fallen.

Although it does inspire me to clean out the basement. Read the Whole Thing.

Valentine’s Day Was Not Made Up By Greeting Card Companies.

St. Valentine was a real, actual martyr. In fact there were 3 or 4 martyrs named Valentine. The only thing we know about any of them is that one of them was buried by the Via Flaminia on the 14th of February. Valentine’s Day was first celebrated in 496 AD.

The association with romantic love is due to Chaucer, who made poesy of Valentine’s Day as the day when birds mated. The idea caught on, and was such common currency in Shakespeare’s time that he used it in one of Ophelia’s mad babbles.

Valentines were mailed as early as the late 18th century, before there was any such thing as a “greeting card”. In fact, the greeting card industry appears to have come into existence to meet the need of mailing Valentines, not the other way around.

So everyone who’s ever complained about this holiday because they don’t have their flowers-and-chocolate trade pact set for the year are going to have to come up with something else.

At least, according to Wikipedia.

Whitney Houston has Died

And it would be heartless to say “Who’s Surprised?” but I can think of no better response.

This is not another example of me hating another 80’s pop songstress. Houston was not Madonna; her songs are exactly what they should be and nothing more. No harm, no foul, and if I got tired of seeing “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” back in the summer of  ’88 or whenever that was, the fault is undoubtedly mine.

But when you work that hard for that long destroying your body, your body will eventually fail you. Call it sad, call it tragic even, but do not pretend that this comes out of nowhere.

Incidentally, Doris Day is still alive.

Episode I in 3-D? *That* is Why You Fail.

It’s sublimely ridiculous to presume that I can say anything else about Star Wars that has not been said. For many, the very subject itself is boring. I sympathize with your point of view. The movies are as old as I am, and in some way, it’s mere perverse nostalgia to want to argue about them. But I am unable not to. As a boy, I was obsessed with them, the way other boys might have obsessed over comic heroes, folk legends, or warrior sagas. I still remember seeing Episode VI in the summer of 1983, all of six years old, thinking it was the greatest thing that had ever been done.

My reverence for Star Wars ensured that I was among the first to see Episode I, at the midnight showing in May of 1999. I was 22, and more that ready to revert back to that excited six-year-old. I wanted awesomeness, which is not what I got. I wanted to believe it was good. I pretended that I thought it was good. It wasn’t good. Neither was Episode II or Episode III.

If you like them, fine. I like Weekend at Bernie’s. That doesn’t make it a good movie. The only way to enjoy the prequels is to stare at the spectacle and ignore the utter lack of storytelling, dialogue, or any of the other things that make cinema good. Continue reading → Episode I in 3-D? *That* is Why You Fail.