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The Monster Entry?

June 30th, 2001 - 2:45 a.m.

I'm Currently Avoiding:

You know when you start composing portions of diary entries in your head that it's time to update and write everything down you'd like to say. Too bad that Diaryland had to be silly and then other things happened to delay this. And it might be delayed further too if I don't....oops, train wreck. Friggin Internet Explorer. It'd better work this time. So yeah, today, or rather, yesterday, the day before that, and today/tomorrow,

June 28 is ........ Paul Bunyan Day (Why would we want to dedicate an entire day to someone whose sole companion is a big blue ox? What do you think they did out in the woods by themselves all the time? (Get your mind out of the gutter!))

June 29 is ........ Camera Day (Smile! You're on Candid Camera! Or maybe it should be digital camera day, those might be more popular now.)

June 30 is ........ Meteor Day (Why would we celebrate gigantic rocks which crash into the Earth and could theoretically kill us all if they were big enough?)

Many Things To Be Learned...

solon (n. SOH-lun or SOH-lahn)

1 : a wise and skillful lawgiver

2 : a member of a legislative body

Solon was a particularly wise lawgiver in ancient Athens who was born in approximately 630 B.C. and lived until about 560 B.C. He was one of the Seven Wise Men of Greece, and he implemented a number of reforms in Athenian law. In English, his name has been used generically to refer to any wise statesman since at least 1625. Contemporary American journalists, with whom the term is especially popular, have extended the meaning even further to include any member of a lawmaking body, wise or not. In fact, today the word is sometimes used ironically for a legislator who displays a marked lack of wisdom, rather than a profusion of it.

interstice (n. in-TER-stuss)

1 a : a space that intervenes between things; especially : one between closely spaced things b : a gap or break in something generally continuous

2 : a short space of time between events

You don't need to read between the lines to understand the history of interstice; its etymology is plain to see. The word derives from the Latin interstitium, the past participle of the verb intersistere, which is itself formed from the prefix inter-, meaning between, and sistere, meaning to stand. Interstices are the cracks and crevices of life, and the word is often used for both the literal and figurative gaps of the world. In modern uses, interstice can even refer to gaps in time or to special niches in the larger expanse of something else. Evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould used it, for example, to say, "Dinosaurs held sway for 100 million years while mammals, all the while, lived as small animals in the interstices of their world."

schadenfreude (n. SHAH-dun-froy-duh, often capitalized) : enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others

Schadenfreude is a compound of the German nouns Schaden, meaning harm, and Freude, meaning joy, so it makes sense that schadenfreude means joy over some harm -- or misfortune -- suffered by another. "What a fearful thing is it that any language should have a word expressive of the pleasure which men feel at the calamities of others," wrote Richard Trench of Dublin, an archbishop with literary predilections, of the German Schadenfreude in 1852; perhaps it was just as well he didn't live to see the word embraced by English speakers before the century was out.

Gormenghast

PBS has turned out to be more interesting than expected. Watched a series called, "Secrets of the Dead" last night (well, sort of). They were doing a thing about witches and looking for a way to explain what happened at Salem and why people were accused of witchcraft throughout the centuries and things. It was really quite interesting. They were pretty convincing in proving that the illness often experienced which were frequently attributed to be "witchcraft" by the doctors since they couldn't find an explanation for it was actually ergot poisoning. Ergot is a type of fungus that produces effects similar to that of a bad acid trip apparently. They went a proved their theory with a town in France that had ergot poisoning from a sackful of flour and a bakery which made bread from it. Oh, and from a 2,000 year old peat moss corpse. Anyway, it was cool. Moving on...

Well, it took me an entire week to get around to finally writing about Evolution, but then again, no one ever gave me a timeline for this or anything. It's not like I have someone nagging at me to do a review of Evolution or anything. So who cares if it takes me forever to get around to writing about it? Oh, by the way, if you haven't seen the movie and you don't want to know anything about it, you might want to skip down a bit. It was pretty much like the review said it was, a lousy updated version of Ghostbusters, only with evolving alien lifeforms instead of ghosts. Oh yeah, and they "updated" the demographics of the foursome. In the new version, there's a woman, a black guy, an idiot who basically stumbled upon everything, and a sort of smart white guy. I was most amused when the three males jammed? in their Jeep on the way to someplace or other to "Play That Funky Music Whiteboy." I can't even tell you why I thought it was hilarious, but it was nonetheless. Some of it was tasteless and idiotic though. Especially the ending. It was entirely unnecessary to end it that way. Tasteless, disgusting, and a bunch of other unpleasant adjectives (you can fill in your own, I'm too lazy to do the rest of the work). I had something I wanted to say about the blond guy, I only wish I remember what. I believe the only time he ever did anything remotely funny was when he was trying to get the flying bird thing to show itself by "cacawing" and then by singing "You Are So Beautiful." But you really have to wonder if that guy has any acting talent at all. It seems like the only role he's capable of playing is that of a complete moron. I mean, this guy was also one of the very brilliant stars from that oh-so-acclaimed film, "Dude, Where's My Car?" (And if you didn't see the sarcasm there, you either need glasses or you were part of the demographic for which that film was marketed.) Who knows, maybe he's like Keanu Reeves and can get other roles and do them for financial success, even if he never really does stop doing dumb, but I really would prefer it if he didn't. Dropping off the face of the planet seems like a good alternative to me, but then again, I don't think the world needs another Keanu Reeves.

I think the main problem I had with this movie had to do with how things evolved. I mean, they gave it a few funky colors, and maybe a few extra legs and things, but basically they followed the pattern of evolution on Earth. Yet they were alien lifeforms with more base pairs to their DNA than anything else on Earth and they weren't carbon-based like lifeforms on Earth are either. So why would they follow the evolutional (is that a word? Well if it wasn't, it is now) pattern of lifeforms here? Well, that and some of the humor being incredibly tacky.

I just saw a Minute Maid commercial, you know, the one where Popeye and Bluto actually get along and do everything together? They even get tatooed with "Buddies for Life" and go around on a bicycle built for 2, ignoring Olive Oyle completely. And supposedly all because they had their Minute Maid today. Somehow, this commercial didn't convey what it was supposed to. I didn't get a message of "Drink Minute Maid and all shall be right and harmonious with the world and enemies shall come together as friends." Instead, I got a message of "Popeye and Bluto Are Gay." Although maybe that was the message they were going for, and I really *did* get it.

Well, that's it for the monster entry, next time...Gormenghast.



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