Thursday, November 01, 2007

Word up

Found on Soho.

  • Free Rice

    If you go there you can guess at the meanings of words and whoever is sponsoring this site will donate rice to starving people somewhere, a truly ghoulish arrangement for the Halloween season. If they've got rice to give away, why don't they just give it away?
    Instead of playing games
    Statistics say something between 10,000 and 30,000 children die of starvation every day around the world, and we oleaginous (means fat assed) types want to be cute about it?
    Why rice?
    Why not cake?
    Yesterday, while on my weekly metropolitan peregrinations it intruded upon my consciousness that more than usual of the denizens of that civic habitat were contorting their faces into the configuration known to the common parlance as a "smile".
    I, of course, resisted this particular and somewhat infra-dig manifestation of public display of emotion but nevertheless did wonder the motivation for such outward fascio-muscular manifestations of internal psychological disturbance.
    It did occur to me , however, that as many of these libertines were wearing clothing that transcended the usual and proper modes of accoutrement, that is to say, they were "in costume" that it was possible they felt somewhat uncomfortable dressed in this unseemly and attention attracting garb and that self-consciousness might have been causation.
    I, myself, fell victim to this all too human weakness due to the density of the heels of my new shoes which made a clicking sound with every step.
    I did not, however allow myself to go so far as to contort my visage into that unseemly grimace.



    Blogger butch said...

    Kind of cool thought, but a bit absurd to be sure:

    Obscure twenty-five-cent words, wasting valuable work time, and feeding the hungry? Free Rice is three of our favorite things, in one convenient website! Idly test your vocabulary, and for every one you get right, ten grains of rice are donated to the United Nations World Food Program. Waste a couple hours on the job, and you can help someone else's economy while undermining your own! Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to work larboard and clapperclaw into my everyday conversation.
    (From SOHO THE DOG)

    Rice, like salt, is a big deal in many places of the world. It sustains and preserves life. And I suppose any sense of cajoling is acceptable if it gets people to write. Writing is a salve on the spiritual sores we all carry around. As to "playing games", remember as we age that activity in itself is good for the old gray matter, cortical massage equals conjical bliss or some such nonsense, sir.

    Well it between 10,000-30,000 children starve to death every day somewhere on this globe, how many are born to take their place? How many adults starve to death as well? How many children are raped, battered, and otherwise abused because no one gives a shit about them, didn't want them in the first place, resent and revile them? How many strapping young American boys and girls are having their legs blown off, and their minds blown to bits by a roadside bomb today, yesterday, tomorrow? When we attack Iran? When will we get tough, really tough with Korea?
    Why in God's name does gas have to cost over 3 bucks per gallon, and ink for your damned printer costs a $1,000 per gallon?

    Then we have Lane Antoinette telling them to eat "cake".
    "Let them eat cake."

    The origin of many phrases in English are unknown. Nevertheless, many people would say that they know the source of this one. It is widely attributed to Marie-Antoinette (1755-93), the Queen consort of Louis XVI. She is supposed to have said this when she was told that the French populace had no bread to eat.

    The original The French is Qu'ils mangent de la brioche. It has been suggested that the speaker's intention wasn't as cynical as is generally supposed. French law required bakers to sell loaves at fixed prices and fancy loaves had to be sold at the same price as basic breads. This was aimed at preventing bakers from selling just the more profitable expensive products. The let them eat brioche (a form of cake made of flour, butter and eggs) would have been a sensible suggestion in the face of a flour shortage as it would have allowed the poor to eat what would otherwise have been unaffordable. It's rather a mouthful, so to speak, but if the phrase had been reported as 'let them buy cake at the same price as bread' we might now think better of the French nobility.

    Two notable contemporaries of Marie-Antoinette - Louis XVIII and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, attribute the phrase to another source. In Louis XVIII's memoir Relation d'un voyage a Bruxelles et d Coblentz (1791) he states that the phrase 'Que ne mangent-ils de la croûte de pâté?' (Why don't they eat pastry?) was used by Marie-Thérèse (1638-83), the wife of Louis XIV. That account was published almost a century after Marie-Thérèse's death though, so it must be treated with some caution.

    Jean-Jacques Rousseau's 12-volume autobiographical work Confessions, was written in 1770. In Book 6, which was written around 1767, he recalls:

    At length I recollected the thoughtless saying of a great princess, who, on being informed that the country people had no bread, replied, "Then let them eat pastry!"

    Marie-Antoinette arrived at Versailles from her native Austria in 1770, two or three years after Rousseau had written the above passage. Whoever the 'great princess' was - possibly Marie-Thérèse , it wasn't Marie-Antoinette.

    Her reputation as an indulgent socialite is difficult to shake, but it appears to be unwarranted and is a reminder that history is written by the victors. She was known to have said "It is quite certain that in seeing the people who treat us so well despite their own misfortune, we are more obliged than ever to work hard for their happiness". Nevertheless, the French revolutionaries thought even less of her than we do today and she was guillotined to death in 1793 for the crime of treason.

    So, Sir Savant, if what you were saying between the lines was why not distribute bread rather than just rice, I guess because many folks can make bread, paste, soup, and other vittles out of rice alone.

    Gosh, thanks for the vocabulary building. "Peregrinate": to walk or travel over, to traverse. Yeah, I can dig it. "parlance": manner or form of speech. Yup, that works too.

    As to the peculiar facial tick called a "smile", remember that is just an upside down frown. Nice to see that you, too, got into the spirit of the holiday --no wait a sec, Halloween is not a holiday, even I guess it is a big part of the holiday season. That is messed up when you cogitate about it.

    Our Sumner neighborhood has not reaped many kiddie treat-or-treaters over the last few years. Downtown turns on all the lights, and so do the local malls, and parents prefer to take their kids to those climes. So anyway we end up with a ton of candy we really do not need, and should not consume, but do. This Halloween we drove separately to the movies, and met up, and watched RENDITION; an interesting flick on terrorism, its roots, and its consequences, with Jake Gyllenhaal, Meryl Streep, and Alan Arkin. Then we found a Chinese restaurant and knocked down some Won Ton soup, getting home just after the last kiddy goblin and goul had vacated the streets. Were we ashamed of ourselves; hell no.

    My IVIG treatment went OK yesterday, leaving me shakey and sick to my stomach and heart, but I always reward myself with buying some DVD's for my meager collection on the way home. Yesterday I picked up Tarantino's DEATH PROOF, Rodreguez's TERROR PLANET (Nice that although both were screened as one movie, GRINDHOUSE, they brought them out separately; more commerce.), SURF'S UP, HOME OF THE BRAVE, TRANSFORMERS, 1408, 28 WEEKS LATER, MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM, and a couple others. I still buy faster than I can view them, and over the last year I have over 100 to watch; about half that I buy I have already seen in the theatre, and the others I missed, or couldn't get to. More things to do that first year of retirement coming up soon, in 2010, the year we made contact according to the movie poster.

    So, here comes a terrific Friday, just a short morning, three students, and then off to Group Health for my date with the needle, the bag, and the recliner. Melva says I go there "just to sleep with the nurses." The nurses, of course, got a kick out of that. Most of the nurses are skanks, sweet skanks, but not centerfolds of naughty nurses like in my spank bank.


    6:43 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I agree; that is why I volunteer at the UNICEF card table over here.
    I'd rather do something for starving kids than for fat-assed capitalists, including those on the Sea Symph board.
    -- Anonomann

    1:42 AM  

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