a blog with cultural bulimia.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

The Sunday Times
brown snow

NYC's Black Snow

The Public Editor: "My only concern in this adventure is dispassionate evaluation"
The NYTimes finally got an Ombudsman???

How Much Is That Death Denial In the Window?
"For Mary Poppins, 'Enough is as good as a feast,'
but this nominally sensible approach to life has never been embraced or practiced by the human race. For humans, enough has never been enough; and avaricious acquisitiveness has rendered human history a giant plundering shopping spree, one that predates the first suburban shopping mall by thousands of years. . . .
The notion that the urge to splurge is fundamentally defensive death denial above and beyond the quite legitimate pursuit of material comfort and aesthetic pleasure is supported by both the historical record and contemporary empirical research. . . . "

The Archaeology of Maleness Reaches Back ... and Back Again
"The Emperor Elagabalus
appointed ministers in Rome through a competitive appraisal that Edward Gibbon, the 18th century historian of the Roman empire, described delicately as one based on 'enormitate membrorum.'
While this criterion for appointive office may not seem much more absurd than measuring candidates today by the enormousness of their campaign war chests or the telegenicity of their coiffures, it resembles a tiresome male fixation that is now stirring competition in a surprising arena: the staid field of paleontology."
Expanding on yesterday's posting: "Ancient fossil penis discovered"
Oldest known male fossil bares all
Scientists have discovered what may be the oldest known unequivocally male animal fossil. Like the male leads in the film “The Full Monty,” this 5-millimeter crustacean from Britain bares all — though he has a lot more to offer than his copulatory organ.

Colymbosathon ecplecticos
(Greek for 'amazing swimmer with large penis.')

NYTimes: "Some have copulatory organs one-third the length of their bodies and some produce sperm 10 times the length of their bodies."
When Political Art Mattered: "At the beginning of AIDS, artists humanized the disease and engaged people's instincts for self-preservation by appropriating comfortable, popular forms of expression. But good intentions can yield bad results. Within about a decade, that appropriation neutralized the artists' ability to make further change; the message itself (and even some of the messengers) became comfortable and popular."
SLIDESHOW: AIDS and the Arts

Fashion for Dummies: "Back in 1971, when I finally decided on Stepford as the name of the Connecticut town I was about to populate with feminist wives and chauvinist husbands, I had no idea that I would be adding an adjective to the language. A phrase is actually what I was aiming for. "

"Toy making can be overromanticized, of course.": "For 40 years workers in Bryan made Etch A Sketch, a children's drawing toy that has outlasted almost all others, and to a significant extent Etch A Sketch made Bryan."
Then, as with every other industry, production moved to China. Now, "employees of the company that produces Etch A Sketch say they work many more hours and earn about 40 percent less than the company claims."