Saturday, June 26, 2010

Fill in the -Zona

I've been wondering why the anti-anti-illegal immigration protesters have taken to calling Arizona (which is a border state) "Nazi-zona." I mean, "Aryan-zona" would have been so much cooler, and displayed a greater knowledge of history, while getting the point (?) across just as clearly. Besides, "Aryan-zona" actually sounds kind of like "Arizona", and so by adopting it as their diffemism of choice the protesters would demonstrate a punnish flair for words and a greater sensitivity for language and sound.

But maybe I'm supposing that the protesters do have a "knowledge of history", a "punnish flair for words", and a " sensitivity for language and sound". My mistake.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Secret of Harry

After spending a week reading criticisms and critiques of the Harry Potter series, I must confess myself shocked that the obvious truth behind the books has not so far been stated in any prominent place. It is one of the more astonishing features of this series that it has been able, by dint of some slight and subtle misdirections of the author (aided, one must assume, by a willing media) that these books have not been unmasked before.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Of Pigeonholes and Personality Tests

One of the more pervasive signs of the modern search for self if the proliferation of personality tests available online. From the ice cream personality test (six flavors, pick your favorite) to the chocolate personality test (sorry, only four choices here) to the color test (rank nine colors in order of your favorite; it will describe your love life) to the other color test (answer a couple dozen questions, and you can buy a book telling you all your secrets, including whether you are gold, blue, green, or orange). This doesn’t count the stuffed animals test, the jungle animal test, several car personality tests, an infinite number of Facebook tests meant to compare you to various real and fictional persons (full disclosure: I composed a Jane Austen one), predictions based on the Chinese calendar and the zodiac belt, and the traditional Myers-Briggs type testing.

Yes, They Really Did

Seen recently on two colleges' departmental websites:

"If you like reality TV, you are going to love Sociology!!"

"Donate to the Economics Department."