Friday, July 19, 2019

Free Speech is a Mouthful

I overheard somebody say something like this once:
"The best response to hate speech is freak speech."
I agree with that sentiment, and I repeat it when it's called for, even though I get odd looks . . .

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Query of the Century

Might Frosty the Snowman actually be the Abominable Snowman in disguise?

Think about it.

Yes. Think about It.

Just as It was the public face of something far worse, so might Frosty be the public face of something far more abominable.


Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Memri Report on Threat to Jews

According to Memri Special Dispatch Number 8169 (July 15, 2019), Hamas official Fathi Hammad has called for attacks on Jews this coming Friday:
Hamas Political Bureau member Fathi Hammad said in a July 12, 2019 speech at a March of Return rally that aired on Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas-Gaza) that Israel has until the following Friday (July 19) to lift the siege on the Gaza Strip and implement its understandings with Hamas, lest the Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, and all over the world use the "many methods and means" that are "up their sleeves" to "powerfully explode" in Israel's face. He said that, contrary to what Israel thinks, the Gazans are not rational, and that if they die, they will do so honorably while cutting off the heads of Jews and killing them with explosive belts, which he said Hamas has been actively manufacturing in factories. Calling on the seven million Palestinians abroad, whom he said have been "warming up" and "preparing," Hammad said: "Enough warming up... We must attack every Jew on planet Earth and slaughter and kill them." Hammad also encouraged Palestinians in the West Bank to purchase knives in order to cut the necks of Jews, saying that knives only cost five shekels. He added: "We will die while exploding and cutting the necks and legs of the Jews. We will lacerate them and tear them to pieces, Allah willing!"
This sounds rather violent, but do not be alarmed, for Mr. Hammad has already explained that those who carry out the attacks "will do so honorably while cutting off the heads of Jews and killing them with explosive belts."

The honor in this is not entirely clear to me, but it seems to have something to do with the necessity of killing each Jew twice: once by beheading and once more by explosive belts.

Oddly enough, Mr. Hammad does admit that this is not rational: "the Gazans are not rational."

According to rational actor theory, I suppose . . .


Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Semantics of Prepositions: in and on

Importance of a Preposition:

in principle - the "in" introduces a hypothetical state: "In principle, I would not allow men to teach about women."

on principle - the "on" introduces a real state: "On principle, I do not allow men to teach about women."

I think everyone can see the difference.


Monday, July 15, 2019

Wreck Commendation

Ms. Professor Doctor Marginal Fringemon Writes a Wreck Commendation
Under my close supervision, Dr. Hodges collected research data, which I interpreted, and I also filled in all the missing data, which happened once and which therefore might have happened many, many times.  Moreover, I do not allow men to teach about women, so I cannot strongly support this application. Make of this what you will, I  will not write another letter.


Sunday, July 14, 2019

Ms. Professor Fringemon on Principle

Here stands Ms. Professor Fringemon on Principle:

Ms. Professor Fringemon announces: "I am on principle opposed to men teaching courses on women in religion."

I ask: "Why? Are you a feminist essentialist?"

Ms. Professor Fringemon responds: "I do not have to explain my reason. Also, do not respond to this email."


Saturday, July 13, 2019

Almost an Advertising Jingle

Coca Cola went to town.
Pepsi Cola knocked him down.
Dr. Pepper fixed him up.
Now we all drink Seven Up.

Overheard in my childhood . . .


Friday, July 12, 2019

Nattering Nabobs of Negativism

Blogpost title uttered by Spiro T. Agnew, but coined by William Safire . . . I think.

Assonance, consonance, alliteration.
We're the best of any nation.
When we act with determination
We create a sensation.

. . . Unlike those nattering nabobs of negativism.

Who are these nabobs? I don't know. I thought everybody else knew.


Thursday, July 11, 2019

Natal Nationalism?

Consider the expression "Natal Nationalism." Isn't this more catchy than, say, "Ethnic Nationalism"?

But it's perhaps less specific. I meant for it to mean "Ethnic Nationalism." But it could mean that any person born in a particular country will automatically belong to that nation. A bit like in the U.S.


Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Mary McCarthy on Lillian Hellman

"Every word she writes is a lie, including 'and' and 'the.'"

Great, witty quip by Mary McCarthy, but did she catch the devil from Hellman for it?


Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Pat Young, Fellow NoZe Brother

A NoZe was blown "up yonder" on June 24, 2019 for Pat Young, one of my fellow NoZe Brothers from way back in my Baylor days. Several of us Brothers signed tributes to an email sent around. I posted these words:
"I'm very sorry to hear this. I think I last saw Pat in 1984. He was one of the naturally funniest guys I've ever known, and he was anti-PC before it was PC to be anti-PC."
Pat's death was unexpected, and he was still young, only a year older than I am.

Here's one obituary I've found.


Monday, July 08, 2019

Null Set?

The null set can be represented as {}.

What is this: {{}}?

The set of the null set? The set of the concept of the null set? I'm just asking.


Sunday, July 07, 2019


Missematics: the Mismeasure of all things


Saturday, July 06, 2019


Massematics: the Measure of Mass


Friday, July 05, 2019

Empty Set?

"There's a whole lot of nothing in the empty set."


Thursday, July 04, 2019

M.D. Repellant?

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away."


Wednesday, July 03, 2019

"Evil Apple" "Mălum Mālum"

We bit the apple, but the bite mauled us.


Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Jeff's Quips: Nr. 4

Jeff's Quip Nr. 4:
"What goes up must come down, so why go up?"


Monday, July 01, 2019

Jeff's Quips: Nr. 3

Jeff's Quip Nr. 3:

If this is really going to hurt you more than it hurts me, why don't we just dispense with the whole masochistic thing?


Sunday, June 30, 2019

Jeff's Quips: Nr. 2

Jeff's Quip Nr. 2:

"Why say 'God forbid!' when something bad has already happened? Not even God can change the past!"


Saturday, June 29, 2019

Jeff's Quips: Nr. 1

Quip Nr. 1

"I don't know why we were called 'dirt poor.' We had plenty of dirt."


Friday, June 28, 2019

Academic Courtesy?

Exchange of Views Typical of Ms. Professor Fringemon:

Attendee to Lecture asks: "Does Gnosticism have any relation to ancient astrology?"

Ms. Professor Fringemon: "Not that I know of."

I say: "I can answer this question. Astrology is pervasive in Gnosticism."

Ms. Professor Fringemon later informs me: "Academic courtesy requires that one remain silent the first time one is invited to attend a research presentation."


Thursday, June 27, 2019

A Missing Scrap

Exchange of Views Typical of Ms. Professor Fringemon:

Ms. Professor Fringemon states: "I can't write you a recommendation."

I ask: "Why not?"

Ms. Professor Fringemon says: "I can't trust your work."

I ask: "Why not?"

Ms. Professor Fringemon explains: "Among the thousands of paper scraps with writing on them, you missed one. Luckily, the same writing was on another scrap, which you didn't miss, so I was able to access the material myself."


Wednesday, June 26, 2019

What do you mean by "left"?

This title seems to ask and answer a question:
What's Left of Enlightenment?: A Postmodern Question 
One could understand this title as asking what remains of the Enlightenment, now that we are postmodern. (Possible Answer: The question stated remains.)

Or one could understand it as asking what is politically to the left of the Enlightenment, now that we are postmodern. (Possible Answer: The question stated is politically to the left.)

Other possible readings: e.g.?

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Women in Religion

Exchange of Views Typical of Ms. Professor Fringemon:

Having proofread Ms. Professor Fringemon's manuscript Women in Religion, I say: "You can strengthen your argument on this crucial point if you make these changes."

Ms. Professor Fringemon, astonished by my suggestion, stares at me in silence for a full three seconds, before finally saying: "Well . . . I guess you learned something from my book."


Monday, June 24, 2019

Postmodernism's Grand Narrative?

Implicit in the words of Lawrence E. Klein, as written in "Enlightenment as Conversation" (What's Left of Enlightenment?: A Postmodern Question, edited by Keith Michael Baker and Peter Hanns Reill), postmodernism has a grand narrative, albeit one grounded in Modernism (and, if I might add, in all previous grand narratives):
The [Modernist] posture [of the distanced observer seeking mastery over what he sees] is marked by the distance between observer and observed, who are separated by a kind of ontological gap; a hierarchical relation that privileges the political and intellectual authority of the observer; and the disembodied and decontextualized position of the observer, which gives rise to the claim to provide objective knowledge of universal validity. This scientistic posture is the signal comportment of the Enlightenment in postmodernism's grand narrative, as well as the signal legacy of the Enlightenment targeted by the postmodern critique.
Ontological gap? Anyway, this passage seems to say that Postmodernism critiques Enlightenment reason as a kind of scientism. But what is Postmodernism's own grand narrative? It doesn't have one? Hah! Don't make me laugh. I've long thought of its grand narrative as that ramshackle mash-up of all prior grand narratives, thereby telling the biggest grand-damn story of them all.


Sunday, June 23, 2019

Still more from my Critic

My Critic critiques further:
Nationalism and fascism are flattened into a-cultural, a-historical, universal ideological or political manifestations (which, of course, they are not): where did Germany's NSDAP party start if not in particularly enculturated versions of a staunchly felt "nationalism"? As a culturally situated historical mode, Benét's nationalism must be more deeply critiqued and, I suggest, contrasted with anything roaming the old world (Europe) in a similar moment in history.
One can almost always critique an analysis for not going far enough, but I think that I do not commit the error attributed to me. Indeed, civic nationalism is contrasted with ethnic nationalism. And "Germany's . . . staunchly felt 'nationalism'" was an ethnic nationalism. Do I have to go back to Germany's loss in WWI and the experiences of a certain Austrian soldier as background? My concern is with Benét.

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Saturday, June 22, 2019

Wow! Some people really hate me!

In response to an old blogpost I wrote in 2006, Clayton Veno responds in 2019:
"The only one I see who is either lying or deceptive is YOU! Reil Zahn and Masers claim that the Orpheos Bakkikos is "forgery" was later refuted and debunked by Francesco Carlotta IN THIS PDF!"
Click the link at Clayton Veno for more on this, e.g., I'm a deceptive fraud, etc.


Friday, June 21, 2019

My Critic's Fou-Scaldian Gaze

My Critic thinks that one wonders what Foucault might have to say:
One wonders what Foucault might have to say in terms of those privileging and legitimizing power/knowledge discourses which systemically erase the other as part of a process of social codification (the process imparting erasure as equally as anything parlayed by a so-called "ethnic nationalism").
One wonders? Really? One actually wonders what Foucault might say about anything? I think we already know everything he might have said. Look at what he said about what some scholars have called an 'Islamofascist' revolution. You can easily find it and his remarks on it somewhere on the internet. I guess some erasures are better than others.

Actually, some are. Better the bad guys get erased.


Thursday, June 20, 2019

My Critic again . . .

My Critic refers to "a so-called 'ethnic nationalism,'" as if he'd never heard the expression - note the scare quotes and the words "so-called" - but he then turns about and claims I've gleaned both ethnic nationalism and civic nationalism from an encyclopedia, as if I were too stupid to know such things already and on my own.

The downside to all this is in being treated like an idiot. The upside is that everyone can see who the real idiot is.

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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Life Goes On . . .

My mother and I haven't always understood each other so well, but we had the simplest of exchanges one time not long ago. We had just finished a rambling conversation about the bad old times with her and my father. A definite pause followed before I spoke again, and I said:
"Life goes on."
To which my mother replied:
"It really does."
And that simple interchange of views seemed somehow to summon up a universe deep with meaning that we both implicitly understood, so we said no more.