Son of a Raskol!

Pejman links to a valuable psychological self-examination in which you can determine which Dostoyevsky protagonist you are.

Me?

You are Raskolnikov of “Crime and
Punishment”. You are a student who has
dropped out of college, cosumed with your
ideas, much to the concern of your family and
friends. What’s interesting you the most right
now is your idea of surpassing morality, and
becoming a “superman”. However, your
love of a religious prostitute, your concern
for your sister, and your guilty conscience
indicates that there is morality. Watch out for
urbane police inspectors!

Which Dostoyevsky protagonist are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Whew! Thankfully. Crime and Punishment is the only Dostoyevsky I’ve read, although I have a paperback collection which includes Notes from Underground, Poor People, and Friend of the Family among my hundred or so volume “To Read” library (and as a Russian novel, it’s tied with War and Peace and only slightly before or after the incomplete 14 volume set of History of Philosophy for the title of Last Thing To Read). I would have been lost if Quizilla had determined I was a Karamazov.

First, I would like to apologize in advance to my elderly neighbor. Please understand, I am a victim of circumstance:

  • I am Ubermensch.
  • Quizilla told me to do it.

Also, I would like to apologize to my hot conservative chick on a bike for calling you “Sonia” in an inappropriate moment in the near future.

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When Suburban St. Louis Municipalities Attack!

Those of us who live in the St. Louis area can easily get inured to the absurdity that passes for politics in the area’s dozens of postage stamp municipalities, where high school drama kings and queens can ply their cliquish fantasies decades beyond graduation. The spectacles tend toward comedies, in the sense that life is a comedy to those who think and a tragedy to those who feel or own land about to be eminent domained for a new Wal-Mart.

Typically, it’s the powerless home owners against the slightly less powerless municipal Powers-That-Pose-To-Be in their own government. However, the regularly-scheduled development brouhaha takes a novel twist when it’s the citizens of neighboring communities who try to dictate development in a neighboring community.

To sum it up in a nutshell for those of you who don’t want to click the link, a tony suburb called Town and Country (whose very name conjures up visions of failed Warren Beatty movies and Lincoln-Mercury minivans) wants to throw in one of those strip malls guaranteed to bring in $2.4 million in sales taxes every year until the next development siphons half or three quarters of the sales next year. However, residents in neighboring communities whose lots abut the development site have annointed themselves to determine what’s best for not their communities, but Town and Country. That land would be better used as a park to raise their property values than anything the duly elected government of Town and Country could approve.

That sets off my special Rant-Sense. You see, it’s bad enough when municipal governments and the fascist power of the majority gets to infringe on the property rights of owners, whether homeowners who don’t want to sell or developers who want to build, but for unelected and un-asked-for people from different communities to start their a-clamoring and a-litigating…. Well, it’s so very wrong and against many principles upon which this country was founded. Self rule. Property rights.

I wonder if these same “activists” think that the United States government should submit to the will of its neighbors before making decisions in Minnesota or Arizona. I’m not sure which would trouble me more: hypocrisy, in which they would say, “Of course not!” or eager belief that a single world government is a good idea, and that Luxembourgers could best determine where to put a Target.

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Reporter’s Feelings Apparently Hurt

Drudge links to this story in the Washington Post about the two soldiers who some Iraqis had claimed to have captured. The Pentagon, in this story, points out that the soldiers aren’t missing at all.

But the story points out:

LBC broadcast close-ups of the cards: one carrying the name of Capt. Katherine V. Rose of the 142nd Corps Support Battalion from Fort Polk, La., and a Pennsylvania driver’s license with the name Andrew C. Peters, 37. A call to the address on the driver’s license was answered by a person who hung up.

Why in the wide, wide world of sports did the reporter include that sentence? What sort of pavement-pounding (or Internet-searching-and telephoning) petulance prompts someone to point out that he or she got the abrupt brush off when he or she called the family of a serviceman reported as capture by probably psycho enemies? He or she’s probably lucky he or she only phoned; a slamming door might have bruised.

By putting the sentence in the story, the reporter wants our sympathy. He or she was trying to do his or her job, when this person out of Pennsylvania showed a lack of cosmopolitan sensibility and good breeding by refusing to emote publicly for Associated Press. Something our intrepid reporter thinks he or she has, and assumes we share.

Not likely.

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I Can’t Believe She Watched The Whole Thing

Rachel Lucas watched Bowling for Columbine all the way through, which is more than I have, since I haven’t watched any Michael Moore since The Big One. Ms. Lucas describes her thoughts on it here.

My sympathies, Rachel. You can’t throw a DVD or a television like you can a paperback copy of Stupid White Men.

Also, Ms. Lucas, as someone recently outed as a Milli Vanilli cassette owner, I’d like to point out that you’re too harsh on Milli Vanilli. Someone made that catchy pop music, even if it wasn’t Rob and Fab. Werd.

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Called for Backup

Song Sung By Backed Up By
Don’t Forget Me When I’m Gone Glass Tiger Bryan Adams (for Heaven’s sake!)
My Life Billy Joel Peter Ceterra (from Chicago, you damn kids! No, not that Chicago)
Stormfront Billy Joel Richard Marx (the only act I have seen twice on the same tour, werd!)
Put On Your Little Brown Shoes
C’est Le Bon
Supertramp Ann and Nancy Wilson (partying Heartily, no doubt)

That’s what I could think of off the top of my head.

I have so much good bar bet trivia roaming in my head, I should go to bars and bet more frequently.

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Mistress Says: Join the Summer Reading Club, Slave!
It’s Always the Quiet Ones
The Secret of Leatherbound Books Revealed

Sorry, I couldn’t go with a single headline to describe this story about a Washington librarian who was discovered to be into S & M. She even had a Web site, but Google’s not caught on yet in non-technological industries’s recruitment habits.

Within any profession, including librarians, teachers, and even certain presidents, you’ll find a swath of lifestyle choices, including some sexual practices which some people would find unaesthetical at best and an abomination at worst. But like this lady says, she’s a reasonable person who can keep her hot side hot and her cool side cool and can separate work from play. I’m a firm believer in the public face/private face dichotomy since I like to project a strong, firm image to the people I meet and only when I get to know people do I admit I have cats.

My quickly-leaping mind has landed upon the conclusion that this reflects the proper culmination of the “let it all hang out” philosophy of the unbridled and paradigm-dumping youth movements of our country. Now that those youths have let out enough to be hung with, the peers who encouraged it can tighten the noose. So be it. And in twenty years, the only people that the baby boomers will have left to vote for and to hire for any position requiring public trust will be six guys and eight woment who have lied about their pasts.

Or maybe the rest of us will grow up by then.

(Link seen on The Meatriarchy, which is not as sexual as it sounds.)

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Light Posting

Okay, I have been posting lightly lately. I’ve been out of town, and I have started a new job which involves business hours and a suburban commute. When I get used to it, and when I figure out how to take an afternoon nap when I don’t get home until the evening, posting will get back to abnormal.

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Wisconsin Busybody State Law Thwarted

The Mighty Wisconsin Legislature (and its governor), Took Firm Action against hoteliers who would gig their customers. Wisconsin State Statute 254.83 states:

Every hotelkeeper shall keep posted in a conspicuous place in each sleeping room in his or her hotel, in type not smaller than 12-point, the rates per day for each occupant.

Amid some other conditions.

Of course, hoteliers are happy to oblige by posting rates higher than their actual prices on the doors of the rooms into which you have already checked in. For example, the room at the Milwaukee Hyatt Regency, where I stayed this weekend, cost me $139.00 a night. The rate posted on the door: $300.00 a night. I’ve stayed in a number of hotels and motels in Milwaukee, and the practice is the same. Inflate the rate for the door, and give anyone who actually books the room a great discount.

Even if you factor in the “Welcome to our friendly town/state (sucker) tax rate of 15% on the room, you’re not going to pay the posted rate in Wisconsin, ever. But their state legislators cracked down on someone, sometime, and made a new law that’s easily dodged by everyone in the industry. But taxpayers pay for its enforcement, assuming its enforced, and hotel guests pay for its avoidance. Good work, legislators!

I mean, I would never pay over $300 for a room in Wisconsin unless it included a private indoor swimming pool with waterfall, a sauna, a bidet, and a complimentary bottle of California Sparkling White Wine.

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Addresses on Emergency Notification Forms

I started a new job today, and as part of the mound of personnel Human Resources department paperwork, I had to fill out an Emergency Notification Form. Just in case something were to happen to me while I am at work. Such as a developer finally snaps under the nihilistic blizzard of defects I am logging and staps me with a black Bic right through the spot where the bones of the skull have knit together. And then, once he or she realizes that ramming a writing instrument into my “brain” has not harmed me, stabs me through the neck.

I tried envisioning the emergency scenario wherein the address of my emergency contact would become relevant….

“Simpson! Something has happened to Noggle! Send out the Died in His Cubicle postcard, and try to get his next of kin to schedule removal sometime this week. Oh, and turn up the air conditioning.”

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Battle of the Voices: Tara Reid Versus Joey Lauren Adams

This month’s Barron’s asserts that the cover girl mutual fund Tara Reid has a sexy voice. I performed a bit of due dilligence so that I could properly compare her voice to another luminary of the field: Joey Lauren Adams.

Both have a whisper quality to them, which conveys an immediate intimacy. You have to pay attention (of course, it helps that both Tara and Joey rate highly on the *.that scale) to their words.

However, in head-to-head (or larynx-to-larynx) competition, Joey’s voice is a little smokier, a little huskier, a little more babada-babada-boom (sorry to borrow your expression, Mrs. Griswold, but understand you are not up for consideration tonight). Advantage: Joey Lauren Adams!

Thankfully, though, both women have chosen to use their powers for good (acting) and not evil (telemarketing). If they had chosen the dark path, undoubtedly they could have wreaked havoc. Undoubtedly, men’s households would have more Time-Life Books and the back windows of their vehicles would have more law enforcement association stickers on them.

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