Archive | May, 2009

Shakespeare Never Dies (except that one time, when he actually died)

29 May

I started rehearsal for A Midsummer Night’s Dream last night and am really excited about it.  The cast and director are great, the show is fun, and I think it’ll be a lovely experience. But that is neither here nor there.  I am writing to remind you that Shakespeare shows up in the unlikeliest of places.  There are the obvious examples- for example Ten Things I Hate About You as a retelling of Taming of the Shrew, or say, Hamlet 2.  But last night during the read through I was struck by a subtler and more nuanced parallel: the referencing of love-weapons as a metaphor for sex and romance in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the recently released Role Models. Now I am fully aware that the parallel is likely coincidental and more the result of me watching Role Models too many times than Shakespeare’s influence on Paul Rudd and David Wain as they worked on their screenplay.  But indulge me.

In Act II, scene i of Midsummer, Oberon the fairy king tells his servant puck about a time he saw cupid pierce a young virgin with his arrow or “love shaft” as he so charmingly calls it:

Oberon:

That very time I saw, but thou couldst not, 
Flying between the cold moon and the earth 
Cupid all arm’d; a certain aim he took(160) 
At a fair vestal throned by the west, 
And loosed his love-shaft smartly from his bow, 
As it should pierce a hundred thousand hearts; 
But I might see young Cupid’s fiery shaft 
Quench’d in the chaste beams of the watery moon;(165) 
And the imperial votaress passed on, 
In maiden meditation, fancy-free. 

Now, a cursory and incomplete search of google books leaves me wanting for more analysis about this passage. I’m surprised there’s not more dramatic analysis talking about the sexual undertones here.  Most deconstructions of this speech start talking about Queen Elizabeth, which I don’t really care about.  But come on. Love shaft???  Maybe it’s too sexual to even point out.  Now to Role Models.

In this scene, Wheeler is hanging out with his court-mandated mentee, Ronnie.  They’ve had a hard time connecting so far, but here KISS’ reference to a “love gun” starts to break the ice between the two of them:

Ronnie notices Wheeler’s KISS pinball machine.
Ronnie: Who are these clowns?
Wheeler: KISS? You don’t know who KISS is?
Ronnie: No. Never heard of them. They look like idiots to me.
Wheeler: No, no, no- dude. These are four of the smartest guys who ever lived. They’re these Jewish guys that grew up in New York, and they put on guitars and make-up to get girls, and all of their songs are about fucking!
Ronnie: I’m listening.                                                                                                                                Wheeler: [Kiss’s “Love Gun” plays on the stereo] You see, Ronnie, his dick is the gun! 

There we go.  Role Model‘s Wheeler, in the last eight words of this scene, provides an eloquent and concise explanation of the use of phallic weapons as a metaphor for male sexuality, which can help modern viewers better understand and the enjoy the works of William Shakespeare.  I knew there was a reason I watched it three times.

USDA- Mmm Mmm Good!

26 May

I happened upon this report a few weeks ago (you know, just browsing the USDA website, like we all do from time to time) and thought I might share it with you.  It chronicles the “Levels of natural or unavoidable defects in foods that present no health hazards for humans,” or as I like to call it, “How many dead insects does it take to make a can of corn illegal?”  It’s totally gross and yet bizarrely fascinating to read through the guidelines of what is allowed in our food.  It makes me wonder how these numbers are determined- how is it decided that 4.5 rodent hairs per 225 grams of mac n cheese are ok, but 5 is just way too much? Some other things allowed in our food:

  •  1 maggot per 100 grams of pizza sauce
  • 924 insect fragments in 100 grams of ground thyme
  • larvae less than 5 mm in canned or frozen peaches
  • 19 whole insects per 100 pounds of peanuts
  • 19 maggots per 100 grams of canned mushrooms
  • 12 insect heads per 100 grams of fig paste
  • 10 rodent hairs per 50 grams of cinnamon 
  • 5 beetle eggs per spear of asparagus

Happy eating!!!

I found this report via Elena Yesner. Thanks!

You Are What You Eat

22 May

In my fridge right now: 10 brown eggs that should probably be thrown out, an unopened carton of ruby red grapefruit juice, celery, spinach, assorted beers, half a jar of pomegranite juice, tomato pesto, assorted delicious cheeses, leftover corn salad, random sauces and salad dressings, and undoubtedly various other sundry items.  So what does that say about me? Check this out

For You Graduates

21 May

“By the time I was your age, I really thought I knew who I was, but I had no idea. Like, for example, when I was your age, I was dating men. So what I’m saying is: when you’re older, most of you will be gay.” 

Thanks to Rachel Fields.

To the lady or gentleman who arrived at my blog by searching “baby owned” on google:

21 May

I’m not sure why the mysterious interwebs directed you to my site.  I have nothing on here about babies getting owned.  I’m pretty positive I can help you, though.  Were you looking for this clip? I’d post it here, but I don’t want my regular readership to think I sit around watching videos of babies getting schooled by break dancers.  This is a classy blog I have going here.  I hope you find what you’re looking for.

Love, Dale

Texts From Last Night

20 May

Straight from the bloggers’ mouths:

Texts From Last Night (TFLN) was founded in February 2009 by two friends for reasons that may or may not include: the tendency to press send more easily as the night turns to morning, friends social habits, Kwame Kilpatrick, exes, law school, closing down bars and leaving tabs open, general debauchery and/or a common disgust for all the negativity surrounding the “sexting” phenomenon.

It’s not the best blog in the world.  Lot’s of the texts clearly are part of larger conversations and are maybe interesting for a second, but once their sheer ridiculousness is noted, it gets a little boring.  But hey, it was either post this or write about my boring trip to the dentist this morning. Some favorite texts:

(610): can you pick up canola oil? she lives by wegmans 
(1-610): who is canola oil? 
(610): you’re an idiot.

(815): I woke up, mistook him for my ex, and started screaming. It was all that chest hair. I don’t think this relationship is going anywhere.

(734): those bitches were sniggering at my man-pris like they were goddesses of fashion!
(269): …dude i pray you are quoting something, someone, anyone…

Sodi Pop

19 May

People really like talking about whether they say “soda” or “pop” or (bizarrely, in my opinion) “coke” when referring to carbonated sugared (or fake sugared) beverages.  For real. Stay at any party where people who grew up in different parts of the country are interacting and it’s bound to come up.  There’s the old cliche about people talking about the weather when they have nothing else to talk about, but really, the weather is fascinating.  It’s unpredictable, it has a profound effect on our daily lives, and sometimes water falls from the heavens. Pardon me if I think that’s interesting.  So in an effort to encourage more talk about the weather and less talk about effing soda pop, here is a map that will hopefully lay that all to rest.  Nothing more to discuss here. Now we all know who says what and where they’re from. OK???????

total-countyThanks, Sam!