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Monday: February 21, 2005

An Unwieldy But Useful Coinage

Filed under: — site admin @ 9:03 PM GMT-0500

Last week, Oliver Kamm posted a long and careful discussion of whether Noam Chomsky is an anti-Semite and concluded that he is not, though he (Chomsky, not Kamm) goes out of his way to defend anti-Semites and attack their opponents. If someone who deplores Communism in a perfunctory way and spends all his energy attacking anti-Communists is properly described as an “anti-anti-Communist” (1,010 hits on Google), surely Chomsky is an anti-anti-anti-Semite? It’s too bad that the human mind draws the line at double negatives, and finds triple negatives way too confusing.

I guess this post makes me not only an anti-anti-Semite, for despising the Faurissons of the world, but an anti-anti-anti-anti-Semite as well, for despising the Chomskies?

Help Needed I

Filed under: — site admin @ 8:49 PM GMT-0500

With Firefox, most of the sites I visit display a tiny logo just to the left of the URL in the same field. Can anyone tell me how to make a tiny logo of my own, without spending any money on new software? Not so much how to make one — that’s easy enough with Paint — but how to get Firefox to display it. I gather (from Googling “tiny logo” nad “Firefox”) that it has to be neither a GIF nor a JPEG, but some format called ICO, whatever that is. It’s also not clear where it has to be loaded, what I need to call it, and whether it needs to be referenced in my template.

Bad Proofreading

Filed under: — site admin @ 8:26 PM GMT-0500

iTunes (previous post) is a very useful piece of software, but the downloadable information on artists, titles, and so on seems to have been typed in by dyslexic baboons who then used search-and-replace to further mess it up. Anything that looks like a Roman numeral is assumed to be one, even in the middle of a word, which produces idiocies like KnoXVIlle Girl. The worst error found so far is in a Louvin Brothers song. The title is What Would You Give in Exchange for Your Soul?, and the idea is that when Judgment Day arrives, many of us will find ourselves wishing we could trade some of our hard-earned material possessions for spiritual credit, if it were not too late to do so. The iTunes database gives the title as What Would You Give in Exchange for My Soul?, as if the singer-persona were Homer Simpson bargaining for a jelly doughnut.

(I wonder if I could trade a couple of CDs for cancellation of that baboon remark? It’s not like I need them as much now that I’ve ripped them.)

Unlikely Musical Pairs

Filed under: — site admin @ 8:08 PM GMT-0500

In the last few weeks, I’ve transferred 8503 musical tracks (35.3 gB) from my CDs to iTunes on my new laptop. Sorting by title, I noticed a few bizarre juxtapositions. Most tunes with more than one version stay within a single genre, or two related genres such as country and bluegrass or jazz and blues. I have quite a few songs done by Ernest Tubb and the Louvin Brothers, and dozens done by both Billie Holiday and Art Tatum. Even Dwight Yoakam and the Grateful Dead is not all that surprising a pair (Truckin’). However, I was very surprised to see that I have one song done only (in my collection) by Ernest Tubb and King Pleasure, and another only by Faron Young and Cecil Taylor. (Of course, with Cecil Taylor, it’s not easy to tell whether it’s the same tune or a different one with the same title, but they sound vaguely similar.) Can anyone name these two tunes? (Comments are moderated, so they will not necessarily appear immediately.)

Doubly Redundant Invective

Filed under: — site admin @ 7:53 PM GMT-0500

During his fifteen minutes of fame, I’ve seen Mr. Gannon/Guckert reviled as a “gay male prostitute” at least a dozen times, for instance, here. Any man who is a prostitute is obviously a male prostitute, and is also, slightly less obviously, a gay prostitute. For whatever reason, men who provide sexual services to women for money are called gigolos or (more ambiguously) escorts, but not prostitutes. Both adjectives are therefore unnecessary.

Anyone who insists on referring to someone we already know is male as a “gay male prostitute” obviously thinks that that is something worse than an ordinary straight female prostitute. I can see why the Pope might think that: if homosexual acts are sinful, and prostitutional acts are sinful, then any act that falls into both categories is (I think it’s safe to assume) more sinful than if it were one or the other but not both. Of course, the Church also teaches that sexual acts between a man and a woman are sinful if they don’t use the usual orifices in the traditional way, so female prostitutes and their customers very often qualify for the two-sins-in-one deal as well.

I don’t see how anyone who insists on the doubly redundant phrase “gay male prostitute” can avoid the imputation that he (and it usually is a he) thinks that gay sex is in itself more depraved, more sinful, more perverted, all around worse, than straight sex. It appears that a large portion of the left today has opinions on homosexuality very different from what they like to pretend.