July 29, 2003
Wacky News of the Moment
Also from The Guardian, news of a certain Michael Howard of Leeds, who, outraged at being charged £20 for a £10 overdraft, legally changed his name to "Yorkshire Bank PLC Are Fascist Bastards." When the bank asked him to close his account, Mr. Bastards demanded that they pay out the 69-pence balance by a cheque made out in his new name.
--via Planet Proctor in The Funny Times, the funniest collection of cartoons and articles in a monthly newspaper I've ever seen. (It's the only paper I get delivered.)
Philisophical BS of the Moment
The first proposed title for the TV show "Married With Children" was "Not the Cosbys". They were setting themselves up the opposite of The Cosby Show, so to speak. White instead of black, way lower middle class instead of borderline wealthy, mean instead of supportive, bawdy humor instead of Cosby's more family friendly fare. For a second, though, I wondered if "Good Times" (the one with J.J.Walker going "Dyn-o-mite!") would have been an anti-Cosby, since it was also about black life.
I dithered a moment about which one was the better "Not the Cosbys", a comedy with mainly white people or a comedy with mainly black people, but then I thought, what about a drama with white people? Isn't comedy the opposite of drama? But I'm still thinking of TV shows. What's the opposite of a TV series? A radio series? How far do we need to go with this?
It hit me; there can never be any such thing as a "total opposite" for anything, because otherwise there'd be no basis for comparison. Black/White? Both races. Or colors. (Well, not really colors, but you know what I mean.) Tall/Short? Both heights. Both words. Both concepts. You have to find out how things are the same before you're able to see there on opposite ends of a spectrum. And some spectrums don't have opposites, as far as I can tell...what's the opposite of a human? (Other than my fourth grade math teacher, I mean.)
I guess this is similar to how people who insist "more unique" is not a valid construction are so full of it...nothing is absolutely unique (everything falls in some kind of category), or everything is (no two things are exactly the same.) So therefore, it's logical and useful to think of "uniqueness" as a spectrum.
I don't know how "deep" this idea is (probably not very) but Beer Philosopher 101 is always a fun game to play.
Quote of the Moment
"No matter what the shrinks, or the pundits, or the self-help books tell you, when it comes to love, it's luck."
--Woody Allen, Celebrity. I think we saw this film and afterwards Mo said "you know, that felt a lot like Woody Allen flick". (Allen is not actually in it, but Kenneth Branagh does a darn fine impersonation.)