Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").
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Friday, December 5 1997
moticons. All of us who have been online for any amount of time have run across them time and again. They're those little sideways faces constructed out of bits of keyboard punctuation. They were invented, we're told, to convey emotion and subtleties that are otherwise inexpressible in normal English text. We're left to conclude that authors from Shakespeare to Dickens to Twain to Steinbeck weren't fully exploiting the possibilities of expression when they stuck to standard English typographic constructions. Of course, this simply is not true. Emoticons have all the subtlety of an unflushed toilet. They completely destroy the experience of reading by creating something akin to a raucous textual laugh track. I hate them. If someone can't make his point in English, he should probably learn how to instead of wasting his time assembling colons and parentheses into smiley faces.
While I usually strongly caution against their use, I think, however, there are a few applications where emoticons might still prove useful. These are mostly in cases where an author's prose would otherwise be utterly devoid of meaning. Here are a sampling of some useful emoticons for people suffering from the not-infrequent academic malady known as unintelligible over-literitis:
he Paducah Funeral for the girls gunned down by a psychotic 14 year old atheist. It's scary to see the fomenting fundamentalist backlash. "We need to bring God back into the schools!" one pastor menaces. Where do they think the shooter got his alienation from in the first place? We are not all the same. Some of us do not subscribe to the McSpiritualism you bring. Quit hitting us over the head with your pink flamingo religion. Even Jesus recognized that the least sincere form of prayer is the kind one does in public.
atthew Hart came by briefly to use the phone (there is no phone at Angela's house). I could hear him talking to Johnny Boom Boom in Malvern about Shira's tragic death. I guess Deya must have told him about it last night. Tensions are evidently high between Matthew and me because when he was done with the call, he just left without talking to me about anything. It was insulting, given the circumstances. He's too much of a coward to deal with me about the housing situation. Actually though, I was happy not to talk to him; I'm a coward too and don't want to deal with my anger about these issues quite yet.
Shira's death has put an indescribable evil quality in the air. I think it's affecting my mood in subtle ways. Having to do all the work of tracking down a new housemate is also contributing to my overall crankiness. I wonder if Matthew was one of those kids who needed his parents to wipe his ass for him unusually far into his childhood. That's a mean thing to say, but I actually had that thought today.
Today Jim, a university student and regular reader of these musings (howdy there!) came by to check out Kappa Mutha Fucka as a possible place to live. He's being evicted from his current abode because of his cute little dog. Deya was just talking the other day about how it would be cool to get a new housemate who had a dog. She likes dogs but wouldn't want to be responsible for one.
y mother Hoagie arrived from Staunton for tonight's art openings. We sat around in my room while I played with my computer. She's very excited about this internet thing. Just imagine how impressive things like email and search engines can be to the uninitiated and you have an idea of what she's going through. She even wants to learn HTML.
After Deya came home from work, my mother, apparently in a generous mood from having decided not to spend the night at the Downtown Mall's Omni Hotel, offered to treat us both to dinner.
First though, Deya drove us up to Barracks Road to get a half gallon of vodka (again, my mother was the one doing the buying). Then we went to the Downtown Mall to attend the Downtown Artspace opening.
The place was packed. They were holiday shoppers, though of a decidedly non-Walmart character, looking at walls groaning with photographs, flipping through discount bins, talking, flirting and drinking. I like hanging out with youthful culture-appreciating types. It gives me hope in an increasingly tasteless cheeseburger world.
I was drinking the warmed spiced vino and talking to people as I ran across them. I found myself being involuntarily arrogant, and though I hated it, I could not find the strength to steer towards humility.
Meanwhile, Jen Fariello was forced to cope with a flurry of checks from merry photography purchasers. When the warm spiced vino ran out, I started drinking vodka.
There were other openings to attend. I went into Higher Grounds to have a look around. It was crowded too, but not with anyone I really knew. I was pretty drunk by this point.
Even so, when my sandwich arrived, I began to eat it. It wasn't very good, and I had no appetite, so my mastication gradually ground to a halt. I felt so bad that I actually lay down on a bench.
After Deya had returned Hoagie and me to Kappa Mutha Fucka, I checked my email, made some musings corrections and dove into bed. I was too ill to do anything else. That was unfortunate, since Tyler and his Haunted House were throwing a big party tonight.
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