Sunday, March 30, 2014


By Jim Szantor
Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric, and whimsical observations about the absurdities of contemporary life.
    • No one has ever complained that their Internet connection is too fast.
    • New name for the third month of the year:   Marchuary, owing to its resembling February more than April, the month once erroneously proclaimed "the cruelest" by T.S. Eliot in "The Wasteland."  Please revise your calendars.
    • Redundancy of the week:  "A possible debris field was found in remote areas of the Indian Ocean."  
    • Comment:  Aren't ALL areas of the Indian Ocean remote?  As opposed to those local, easily accessible regions of the Indian Ocean?
    • Speaking of the Indian Ocean, who knew that every network had a stable of 50 or so "aviation experts"?  Where did they all come from, and what do they do between disasters?
    • People who like to experiment in restaurants usually aren't very hungry.
    • jimjustsaying's Word of the Week:  Slurry . . . "a thin sloppy mud or cement or, in extended use, any fluid mixture of a pulverized solid with a liquid (usually water), often used as a convenient way of handling solids in bulk," according to Wikipedia.  
    • And it's a word you may be hearing more and more about:  ("The food scraps are then put into a machine that turns them into a slurry that could be used to create energy."--News report on promising new sources of energy)
    • I don't know why our Secretary of State isn't making more headway in foreign trouble spots.  But, hey, enough about Dennis Rodman . . . .
    • From a Wall. St. Journal story on the movie "Noah":  "With a multitude of animal species, an apocalyptic deluge and biblical proportions, the filmmakers used plenty of computers—and a boat. "
    • Speaking of "biblical proportions," why is that term always pegged to negative scenarios?  As in "A firestorm of biblical proportions . . . a flood of biblical proportions . . . a plague of biblical proportions.   As opposed to: "An idyllic, picture-perfect Sunday afternoon of biblical proportions . . . ."  "She had a flawless complexion and classic features of biblical proportions."  That you never see.
    • "Every man alone is sincere. At the entrance of a second person, hypocrisy begins."--Ralph Waldo Emerson
    • jimjustsaying's substitute word for "selfie":  Narcissipic.
    • I'm not worried so much about registered sex offenders as I am about unregistered sex offenders!
    • Novel ways drug smugglers have devised to smuggle drugs, according to Time magazine:  Inside hollowed-out onions (Pakistan, to foil drug-sniffing dogs); inside frozen squid (Peru); inside a woman's breast implants (Spain); in pumpkins (Montreal); inside hemp shoes (Delhi, India--hashish); and last but not least, stuffed inside roasted chickens (Nigeria).
    • jimjustsaying's nomination for Bad Job of the Week:  Construction zone flag man.  Has to be boring, tedious and dangerous--not to mention the exposure to the vicissitudes of the elements, from broiling sun to bitter cold to  driving rain.
    • “Saying atheism is a belief system is like saying not going skiing is a hobby.”--Ricky Gervais
    • This just in: Archaeologists may have uncovered evidence of the oldest Buddhist shrine yet discovered, dating to around 550 B.C. --a century earlier than dates accepted by many scholars. 
    • Next thing you know, they'll be telling us that Columbus discovered America in 1392 and that Columbus Day can be a personal holiday to be celebrated whenever you feel like it.
    • When is the last time you were asked "Smoking or Non-Smoking" by a restaurant hostess?  I hope someday it will change to "Cell Phone or Non-Cell Phone?"  ("Lady, I'd give almost anything not to be downwind of your banal, shallow, gossipy approximation of what used to pass for conversation.")
    • " . . . [M]ost off-the-cuff advice is useless.  Consider, for example, people who poke you in the chest and say, "A word to the wise."  This expression makes no sense.  If you are already wise, why would you need a word from anybody?  It should be: 'a word from the wise.'  This is the whole problem.  The word never comes from the wise. It always comes from an idiot."--Joe Queenan in the Wall Street Journal
    • Newspaper Obituary Headline Nickname of the Week:  "Buffalo Bill," as in William "Buffalo Bill" Brennan, Green Bay Press-Gazette obituary, Feb 19, 2014.
    • Adding to my list of occupations no child ever dreams about or aspires to:  Seismologist. 
    • Fifty-third Wisconsin Town I Didn't Know Existed Until I Saw It Mentioned in a Green Bay Press-Gazette Obituary:  Forest Junction (R.I.P., LeMeryl Kozlowski, Green Bay Press-Gazette  obituary, Feb. 19, 2014).  Previous entries: Athelstane, Walhain, Duck Creek, Breed, Anston, Sobieski, Amberg, Osseo, Angelica, Brazeau, Waukechon, Sugar Camp, Kossuth, Lessor, Kunesh, Pulcifer, Cato, Florence, Greenleaf, Eaton, Poygan, Hofa Park, Hilbert, Hollandtown, Beaufort, Glennie, Harshaw, Bessemer, Crooked Lake, Tigerton, Goodman, Readstown, Dousman, Butternut, Montpelier, Cecil, Red River, Gillet, King, Laona, Kelly Lake, Glenmore, Tonet, Stiles, Morrison, Dunbar, Askeaton, Wild Rose. Neopit. Ellisville, Pickett and Flintville.  
    • Today's Latin lesson:  Nusquam successio amo redundo.  ("Nothing succeeds like excess.")