I’m not sure what to think of last night’s fever-dream Mad Men. I am certain, though, that this was one of the most awesome moments ever in the show:
Maybe he should’ve just told her about the erogenous zone some women have in the back of their throats.
Seriously, I don’t know what surprises me more: that a California doctor prescribed blow jobs to help a woman get over her gag-reflex problems or that a blogger could write up this bizarre-news item without making the obvious reference.
But suddenly the Great North is getting mucho attention…for its crack problem. Or, specifically, for the alleged crack problem of the mayor of Canada’s largest city, Toronto. Rob Ford supposedly has been caught on video lighting up.
I can figure out what’s the strangest part of this story. That the mayor of a major Canadian city is caught in a drug scandal. Or that Gawker cares enough to initiate a kickstarter campaign to raise money to buy the video.
When you call a company and get a recording that your conversation may be monitored, did you ever think it was to assess your politeness?
Me, neither, but it seems that a mobile technology firm did just that, examining more than 600,000 phone calls to businesses for words like “please,” “thank you,” and “fuck off.” Their analysis showed that Ohioans cursed the most, roughly once every 150 calls. Washingtonians — the folks from the left-hand corner of the country, not from here in the capital — cursed at a rate half that. Carolinians, North and South, meanwhile, are the most courteous.
Back in February, the Times notes, New York police officers reporting for roll call were given instructions: If you encounter a topless woman, do not arrest her. Apparently, officers had been wrongly charging women in the city for public nudity. But cops can arrest any people who gather around gawping at said bare-breasted woman and ignore an order to disperse.
Topless. In February. In New York. I’d stare, too.
For Mad Men fans, a constant bete noire of the show is its way obscure “next week on” promos, which typically reveal people frowning, sittinng, opening doors, closing doors, frowning…basically nothing.
Handily, someone’s gone ahead and imagined what it would be like if “previously ons” were equally unenlightening.
A good headline writer is a treasure indeed:
From My Cold, Wet Hands: Libertarians Plan Water Gun March.
The summer before I turned 14, I fell in love. You might think that a little young, and I promise you that it was quite unrequited.
The object of my affection was Sylvia Plath.
I had mono that summer, which spread to my spleen, leaving me feverish and exhausted. Shifting from bed to couch, and couch to bed, left me little to do besides indulge my already-bookish tendencies, and I decided to read my way through a list of 100 books one ought to read when applying to college. The compilation definitely skewed mid-century American – Kerouac and Hemingway, The Great Gatsby and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – and I liked a lot of it, much more than the dreary British lit I’d been reading. But it was Plath, The Bell Jar, that demanded my attention, and affection.
I’ve read the book a dozen times – honestly, probably dozens – since, but I can still recall how immediately I was sucked in, by the hot shame of the Rosenberg execution in the opening lines and Esther’s struggles to seem cool, by the narrator’s displacement and engagement, her near-death and resurrection. At the time, I barely went a few hours without napping, but I read The Bell Jar deep into the night, finishing it in a single sitting. Then I read it again. And Plath’s poetry and every bit of fan-girl lit-crit, the tawdry biographies that revealed more about author than subject.
It’s the 50th anniversary of her death this year, and so Plath is in the zeitgeist again, if she ever left. This time, the debate is brought by a group of women who believe too much ink has been devoted to the tragedy of Plath’s personal history and that a greater focus ought to be on the college summer Plath spent as an intern at Mademoiselle. Of course, that is the setting of The Bell Jar and of course, she made her first suicide attempt right after – but no matter.
It’s hard to know, but I imagine that Plath, intelligent and impatient, might’ve rejected all these meta-readings of her story. I do know that I object to the notion that all of us who read Plath before were black-clad cutters, seduced by her myth of death. I loved Plath because, like me, she was a smart girl and a writer. Because in The Bell Jar she sounded like the voice in my own head, self-critical and scornful and unsure and sometimes a little silly. Because in Ariel she sounded like the voice I’d never permitted myself to have, angry and powerful, wielding words like weapons.
Please do not try to redeem her. She was my young love.
When enduring two-week, 300-amendment markups of legislation, one has to look for a little levity. Today’s is courtesy of Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who, as an argument for immigration reform (or at least not building a wall at Niagra Falls), noted: “We’re not being overrun by Canadians.” Of course, Senator Graham then had to backtrack and clarify that he was slandering Mexico.
Even if more of us were inclined to head south, I’d have to think we wouldn’t be “overrunning” anything, not with its Genghis Khan-like undertones. We’d more likely be inquiring politely if we might swing by.