A President is well advised to choose his words carefully. This is something the incumbent, left to his own devices, is not always capable of doing. A State of the Union speech finesses that difficulty. The speaker speaks off the teleprompter, not the cuff. And the words that scroll down on the angled reflectors to his left and his right are as carefully—or, at any rate, as exhaustively—considered as bureaucratic thoroughness can make them. Every prepared Presidential address has multiple authors, but a State of the Union is the product of whole buildings full of them. The text that George W. Bush recited last Tuesday night had gone through thirty drafts.
Murray Barr was a bear of a man, an ex-marine, six feet tall and heavyset, and when he fell down—which he did nearly every day—it could take two or three grown men to pick him up. He had straight black hair and olive skin. On the street, they called him Smokey. He was missing most of his teeth. He had a wonderful smile. People loved Murray.
His chosen drink was vodka. Beer he called “horse piss.” On the streets of downtown Reno, where he lived, he could buy a two-hundred-and-fifty-millilitre bottle of cheap vodka for a dollar-fifty. If he was flush, he could go for the seven-hundred-and-fifty-millilitre bottle, and if he was broke he could always do what many of the other homeless people of Reno did, which is to walk through the casinos and finish off the half-empty glasses of liquor left at the gaming tables.
The Catholic Church presumably has enough on its hands right now without worrying about popular fiction, but the Holy See cannot have failed to notice that Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code,” a novel claiming that Jesus was married, has been on the Times best-seller list for almost three years. (Its message will soon spread more widely: the paperback is due out next month, and the movie version will be released in May.) Brown is by no means the first to have suggested that Christ had a sex life—Martin Luther said it—but the most notorious recent statement of the theory was a 1982 book, “Holy Blood, Holy Grail,” by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln. “Holy Blood,” which was one of the main sources for “The Da Vinci Code,” proposes that after the Crucifixion Jesus’ wife, with at least one of their children, escaped to France, where their descendants married into the Merovingian dynasty and are still around today. Nobody knows this, though, because, according to the authors’ scenario, the truth has been kept under wraps for a thousand years by a secret society called the Priory of Sion. The book offers a fantastically elaborated conspiracy theory—involving Leonardo da Vinci, Isaac Newton, Victor Hugo, and Jean Cocteau (all “grand masters” of the Priory of Sion), plus Emma Calvé and various others—that cannot be briefly summarized, but the upshot is that the Priory may now be ready to go public with its story. The authors warn that the organization may intend to set up a theocratic United States of Europe, with a descendant of Jesus as its priest-king but with the actual business of government being handled by some other party—the Priory of Sion, for example.
She sometimes had trouble remembering her own name. Usually this happened when someone unexpectedly asked what it was. She’d be at a boutique, getting the sleeves of a dress altered, and the saleswoman would say, “Your name, Ma’am?,” and her mind would go blank. The only way she could remember it was to pull out her driver’s license, which was bound to seem weird to the person she was talking to. Even if she was on the phone when it happened, the awkward silence as she rummaged through her purse inevitably made the person at the other end wonder what was going on.
Found in Korea: "Brack Power" condoms. "Piece! Respect!"
While traveling in South Korea, Boing Boing reader Newley Purnell happened upon a box of black-colored condoms in a Seoul shop. The copy on the box reads, "Keep it real. Keep on faith. Keep on going. Piece! Stay real! We are all brack people." Link to one photo, and here's another. "There's so much to analyze that I don't even know where to start," says Newley.
Incidentally, french-fry-encrusted corn dogs appear to be popular over there.
Update: As weird as "Brack Power Condoms" are, this could have been weirder: Brak condoms, anyone? They go nice with Space Ghost edible underwear. Also Brak is in it. (Thanks, Mike Outmesguine and Violet Blue)
Reader comment: Jonathan Davis says,
These condoms are actually Japanese, not Korean. That said, you can get them at the Costco in Seoul. But then you have to buy them by the four-pack.
It sort of kills me that they made it onto your site, because I have a long history with the brand. i spent hours trying to and finally taking a good picture of the box to send to engrish.com. But that was more than a year ago and i never heard back from them. then i found them again at Costco a few weeks ago and bought eight packs so I could send a bunch to Viceland and win a free year's worth of the magazine. But now that the brand has been on your site it's less of a "find" and more of a repeat.
The worst part of it is that I ended up getting snaked by some dude who was here for a short time. I've been in Korea since 1999. I'm sure there is a life lesson in here somewhere, but I'm afraid to look.
ps. be careful. the "chips around the hot dog on a stick" routine is a great way to give yourself an oil burn in the shape of a goatee.
posted by Xeni Jardin
Updated: January 3, 2006
First Major International Dada Museum Exhibition in the United States Opens at the National Gallery of Art
February 19 — May 14, 2006
Raoul Hausmann, Mechanischer Kopf (Der Geist unserer Zeit) (Mechanical Head [The Spirit of Our Age]), c. 1920
hairdresser's wig-making dummy, crocodile wallet, ruler, pocket watch mechanism and case, bronze segment of old camera, typewriter cylinder, segment of measuring tape, collapsible cup, the number "22," nails, and bolt, 32.5 x 21 x 20 cm (12 13/16 x 8 1/4 x 7 7/8).
Centre Pompidou, Musée national d'art moderne-Centre de création industrielle, Paris. Purchase, 1974
CNAC/MNAM/Dist. Réunion des Musées Nationaux/Art Resource, NY
© Raoul Hausmann/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris
Washington, DC - Dada, the first major museum exhibition in the United States to explore in-depth this influential avant-garde art movement, will be on view at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, from February 19 through May 14, 2006. Responding to the disasters of World War I and an emerging modern media and machine culture, Dada artists led a creative revolution that profoundly shaped the course of 20th-century art. Over 400 works will be featured in a dynamic media installation that includes paintings, sculptures, photographs, collages, prints, and film and sound recordings. The exhibition will also be presented with variations in Paris at the Centre Pompidou, Musée national d'art moderne, October 5, 2005 through January 9, 2006, and The Museum of Modern Art, New York, June 18 through September 11, 2006.( Collapse )