A fool, a fool! I met a fool i' the forest,
A motley fool; a miserable world!
As I do live by food, I met a fool
Who laid him down and bask'd him in the sun,
And rail'd on Lady Fortune in good terms,
In good set terms and yet a motley fool.
As You Like It, Act II, Scene 7
L'homme y passe à travers des forêts de symboles
Qui l'observent avec des regards familiers.
Les Fleurs du Mal, “Correspondances”
Freedom of Choice
As Noel Coward has it, "Strange how potent cheap music is."
Thanks to modern technology, it is your right as an American (or as the reader of an American weblog) to choose between two videographic interpretations of Electric 6 performing the raucous and not entirely tasteful "Gay Bar."
In this corner, the flying Viking Kittens and their fluffy friends. [So potent is this performance that I have forgotten who first called it to my attention.]
And in this Corner (literally, since the link comes via one of Those Wicked Conservatives, Rod Dreher to be precise, at The Corner on National Review Online), the same tune as interpreted by the acknowledged leaders of the free world.
Decisions, decisions. . . .
Fleurs du Malbec
In Slate, Mark Mazzetti spills the beans on one of the wine world's best secret bargains:
Malbec from Argentina.
Sadly, I cannot offer an exemplar as the first installment in my "best inexpensive wines at Trader Joe's" feature, promised here,* because the Malbecs I've encountered there, while acceptable and really cheap, do not approach the quality of which this grape in that county is possible. The generalization that "Argentine wine is better than Chilean" is true, in my experience, though that's not meant as an insult to the oft-worthwhile Chileans.
Take Mazzetti's tip, citizens, and find yourself some Argentine Malbec before their economy recovers and they start charging what it's really worth!
[*Aha! My first instance of the infamous and aggravating Blogger Archive Bug! That link will take you only to an error page. Scroll down to July 8, infra, if you want to read the as-yet unfulfilled promise to which I meant to refer.]
Shiver Me Timbers
Any number of other bloggers have noticed and praised the newly-minted group effort Crooked Timber. It is worth your while, ranges widely in its interests and will be added to my own list of links at any moment.
Timber member Henry Farrell contributes a post today jumping off from this remark by the screenwriters of the new Disney cross-marketing film version of Pirates of the Caribbean:
We wanted it to be a very classic, Jane Austen-style, bodice-ripping romance.
Now, I cannot for the life of me recall a single bodice coming to harm in Miss Austen's ouevre (though perhaps some such thing was imagined by the heroine of Northanger Abbey. Nor can I imagine salty old pirates concerning themselves with who snubbed whom at the most recent gathering at Lady Foofaraw's. I do recall that the National Lampoon in its mid-1970's golden era ran a piece consisting of sex scenes in the styles of famous literary works [for better or worse, seemingly unavailable online] that included a racy encounter between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy in the conservatory: Darcy falls to his knees to declare his affections then ducks beneath Miss Bennet's skirts; climactic rapture ensues.
Perhaps the Pirates writers should have sought inspiration from The Crimson Permanent Assurance.
Thank You, Professor Volokh
As noted in the left margin, this is a personal sort of blog and an outlet for non-legal topics that interest this lawyer (and that would likely interest him whether he was a lawyer or not). Plans are in the works for a rather more sophisticate weblog relating directly to my professional pursuits. [Again, one must stay tuned for further details, which will follow -- although they won't necessarily be as interesting as the promised inexpensive wine recommendations.]
Wearing my professional cap, however, I really must send up a heartfelt "thank you" to Eugene Volokh -- of my very own alma mater, UCLA School of Law -- who invokes Oliver Wendell Holmes and gives this lawyer reason to soldier through another day.
If a Link is Placed in the Forest, and No One Clicks It, Does It Exist?
Since he has been kind enough to write a perfectly swanky description of what this whole blogging thing is about, and since he admits that it his doing so is a shameless pitch for fresh links from other bloggers, what is a neophyte such as myself to do except direct you, gentle reader, to this post by a pseudonymous fellow Californian, Lonewacko? [Link via Justene Adamec, aka Calblog.]
In Praise of Trader Joe
The Los Angeles Times today touches on many, though not all, of the virtues of Trader Joe's. Can't quite make up my mind, though, about that comparison to Episcopalianism . . .
Meanwhile watch this space for an expected new feature, spotlighting my opinions of which are the most notable Good Inexpensive Wines currently on show at the Trader's fine establishment. (I'm feeling parched just thinking about it.)
Danger! Striking Mimes!
European labor unrest reaches a crescendo, naturally enough in France.
Not Buying What They're Selling
One of the dismaying side effects of being viewed by one's friends as a conservative is being stained by association with the louder and frequently contemptible examples of the species, the Pat Buchanans and Ann Coulters of the world. Let me take this opportunity to reject them and their works.
Today, Buchanan comes in for a calm but thorough shellacking by Professor Eugene Volokh on the subject of his [Buchanan's] troubling fondness for the Old South. Meanwhile, Ms. Coulter receives what-for in the Wall Street Journal, of all places.
Of course, P.J. O'Rourke on Hillary Clinton's autobiography is funnier than any of the above . . . .
Eureka! We Have Found Them!
Yep, I've got your Weapons of Mass Destruction right here . . . .