Feb 192015
  • I put Windows 10 on my netbook this week, but couldn’t find a suitable video driver. Maybe I’ll look harder this weekend. I got Windows 8.1 to display properly without a supported driver. I just don’t remember what I did.
  • Madison Police has a charcoal gray, previous-generation Impala that I suspect has been an excellent unmarked car because of its alloy wheels. (Unmarked units usually have lowball wheels that give them away.) Well, now that car has exactly those: steel wheels with plastic covers. (Guess this is to throw those of us who’ve pulled it into our world view.) I didn’t process it as a police car this morning on County Line Rd. (Neither did the unfortunate guy running about 65 in the red Chevy S-10.)
  • Latest Cortana quirk: Shuffling my music works great, but she always starts with Tesla’s “2 Late 4 Love.” It does seem random after that. Odd.
  • No red meat or alcohol for Lent. I have considered eliminating mammals from my diet before. I may see how this is sitting with me in a few weeks and consider whether it’s a permanent change.
  • I got email this morning telling me that ESPN and ESPN2 had come to Roku. That solves most of the football problem. I have to have NBCSN for IndyCar. I think when that’s a thing, we really will get rid of cable TV.
  • Upon learning that “my” RadioShack would remain open, I idly wondered whether the electronics-tutorial-in-a-box from my youth survived in 2015. It does. I might ask for that for my birthday. Heh.
  • “Dad, teach us to play chess?” Sock us in tomorrow, winter!
 Posted by at 2:40 pm
Feb 172015

So I guess the Fifty Shades of Grey movie is out. The book on which it is based is known to me mostly by the crude joke about smelling your wife’s fingers to know whether she’s reading it. I haven’t read it. Lea thought it was plodding, with little plot.

The erotic novel is, of course, not a new idea. We’ve had them as long as we’ve had novels. I can remember flipping through some of the books my stepsister read and being amazed at both the level of detail and how long it would go on. I can’t recall ever trying to write about a sexual encounter at length, but I bet getting much past a paragraph or so without sounding silly is pretty tough.

I just looked the title up to make sure I had it spelled correctly and was astonished to discover six showtimes every day this week for it at our nicest theater. Apparently it’s every bit the phenomenon the book was/is.

It’s unlikely I’ll read or see it, so I have no firsthand knowledge of it. I think I’ve been able to get the gist, though. And while the libertarian in me is all about leaving adults to do what they consent to doing, it’s depressing that it’s this story that’s such a sensation. We have a woman a half a hair’s-width removed from girlhood who is so devoid of self-respect that she’ll submit to all manner of abuse and manipulation because the guy’s rich. Or do you really think she’d put up with all of the front-end stalking and other creepiness were its perpetrator Franklin, the night manager at the Super Target?

I’m sad this is such a sensation simply because of the “relationship” dynamics. There’s certainly nothing emulable by decent people here. A lot of what gives erotic submission its charge is that the person submitting has power/respect/standing that s/he is deliberately setting aside to enter the situation. Submission entails forfeiture of strength, and Ana (I looked the names up) has no such strength to forfeit. She’s basically a mouse in a cage. I don’t like thinking about a lot of readers and/or moviegoers identifying with either one of these people.

Consider that it might be a much more powerful story, and not nearly so repugnant, if it were the wealthy and successful person submitting to the college student.

 Posted by at 3:00 pm
Feb 092015

On February 9, 2015, committed gay couples married in Alabama for the first time. I hope we will look back on this date as the moment we began to feel this page turn in earnest. I hope outspoken conservative leaders recognize the harm in continued resistance, and realize that if they can’t agree, they should […]

 Posted by at 2:20 pm
Feb 062015

Mr. President, the Crusades ended over 700 years ago. Furthermore, their causes, effects, and methods generate intelligent disagreement and discussion. Reasonable people can defend polemic territory all over the ideological map. ISIS is lighting people on fire now. ISIS is cutting people’s heads off now. ISIS is stoning women to death now. It is unambiguously […]

 Posted by at 10:45 am
Feb 052015

Please note: there is no N in restaurateur. There are two Ms in accommodate. There is no X in asterisk. Ryan Parris, a senior and long snapper at James Clemens, is a committed walk-on at Alabama. He’s also the grandson of my fourth-grade Alabama history teacher (1979), and the son of an Oxford High School […]

 Posted by at 8:01 am

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