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Lars Vilks konstnären konceptualisten målaren skulptören

Del 432: Pakistansk händelse

24 kommentarer

Oskyldiga drabbade kan man konstatera i en norsk tidning.

Det finns ett återkommande problem eller hur man nu vill se det mellan konstprojektet och den politiska diskussion som skapats. Konstvärlden säger inte något om saken just nu. Detta kan man förstå genom att det inte är aktuellt eftersom konstprojektet måste komma lite längre och eventuellt presenteras i en form som är tillgänglig för konstvärlden. Yngve Rådberg kan dock sägas att kommentera saken med konsten som referens. Att jag talar om möjligheter för röstfiske är inte någon högdiskursiv utläggning utan sådant som gäller utanför konsten, den pragmatiska världen som inte är alltför benägen för djupgående filosofiska analyser.

Konstprojektet betraktas exempelvis inte som seriöst utifrån Engelbreth Larsens artikel i DN.

Tack för tipset Yngve. Jag sitter lite trångt med överblicken i Barcelona. Hur som helst han intar ståndpunkten ”narcissistiskt konstnär”, alltså en bedragare som åstadkommit någon som man lärt sig hantera. Men helst sluppit.

Vi vet inte svaret ännu, om konstprojektet kan ros iland och bli något annat än ”onödigt” och ”narcissistiskt”.

Som det också önskats här, att jag skulle gå ut och ta ställning. Jag menar att jag inte skall göra det. Jag vill hålla fast idén om konsten att ställa frågor och vänta med att dra slutsatser och gå in i någon bestämd position.

Publicerat av Lars Vilks

2007, 25 oktober kl 16:11

24 kommentarer till 'Del 432: Pakistansk händelse'

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  1. Att kristna människor boende i Pakistan råkar illa ut pga att någon lever efter den provocerande principen att alla religioner skall kunna tåla skämt, är knappast ett skäl till att bedriva självcensur. Det är ett obehagligt faktum att just människor i muslimska länder ofta saknar frihet i en vid bemärkelse. Om demokratins fundament yttrandefriheten tillämpades mer och konsekvent även i förhållandet till islam skulle världens muslimer slippa mycket av dagens muslimska förtryckarstater, eftersom stater som Iran, Saudiarabien eller Sudan kräver religiös och politisk censur för att överleva. Att våga granska och kritisera Koranens alla våldsuppmaningar, Muhammeds blodstörst och islams övriga regler om kvinnorförtryck är knappast att missbruka yttrandefriheten. Tvärtom skulle islam må gott av en starkare debatt om hur dess lärosatser skall tolkas. Vi behöver mer frihet, inte mindre.

      (Citera)  (Svara)

    Dumle

    2007, 25 oktober kl 19:24

  2. Den gamle gråsossen Yngve Rådberg,
    som inte haft något sexliv värt namnet sedan han fingerpullade storasyster i våningssängen på hennes begäran, då han var sju år, undrar vad svensk kultur är!

    - Svensk Kultur är

    Hedersmord
    Könsstympning
    Självmordsmassmord
    Tågsprängning
    Flygkapning
    Slöjtvång
    Mödomshinnelagning
    Halalkött
    Minareter och böneutrop
    koranskolor
    Handhuggning av misstänkta tjuvar
    Stening av kvinnor
    Prygling av homosexuella
    Stekning av oliktänkande
    Lammslakt av konstnärer
    ”Döda Stympa Döda Stympa”!
    Musikförbud
    Dansförbud
    Konstförbud
    Teokrati
    Diktatur
    Censur Censur
    ……..
    Allah Akbar

      (Citera)  (Svara)

    Islamofob

    2007, 25 oktober kl 21:18

  3. “Den som har makten över SVT, Sveriges ojämförligt största och mest effektiva opinionsbildande medium, har makten över Sverige“!

    “Majoriteten av svenska folket litar blint på sitt kära SVT och har det som sin enda informationskälla”!

    “SVT sätter normen för vad som är politiskt korrekt i Sverige“!

    “Sent ska syndaren vakna! SVT sänder en programserie under rubriken: Varför demokrati? Gott!
    Men hur demokratiskt och rekorderligt är SVT i övrigt egentligen?! Nedan följer första delen av en granskning av det skumrask som alltjämnt pågår på SVT”!
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    Del 1
    SVT plus GUILLOU är lika med SANT!

    Bor Guillou-helvetet i SVT-huset?!
    Varenda jävla gång man slår på helvetesdumburken, så sitter den där satans barbaraben där och babblar!

    Hur kan en sådan barbarab som har ägnat hela sitt liv åt att försvara diktatorer och terrorister (från Saddam till Bin Laden) få så mycket TV-tid (mer än någon annan svensk någonsin) på en TV-kanal vars uppgift är att befrämja demokratin?!
    Till på köpet får han nästan uteslutande sitta där och basunera ut sin antivästliga, antidemokratiska, probarbarismiska propaganda helt oemotsagd!
    Vad är det som kvalificerar denna dåre till detta privilegium?!
    Är han folkvald på demokratisk väg; månntro?!

    Det är inte klokt!!!

      (Citera)  (Svara)

    Hur demokratiskt är SVT?!

    2007, 25 oktober kl 21:55

  4. I Hans Höga Namn

    God afton herr Vilks!

    Om du minns mig hade vi en tämligen intressant diskussion på tåget härom dagen?

    Du bad om min blogg där jag även skrivit en resumé baserat på min subjektiva upplevelse av vår diskussion. Jag hittade inte din email för att maila dig adressen privat så det får väl bli i form av en kommentar på din blogg istället.

    Du finner min blogg på: http://majnun313.blogspot.com

      (Citera)  (Svara)

    Ehsan

    2007, 25 oktober kl 22:33

  5. Ehsan: Jag läste ditt meddelande till Lars Vilks och skildringen på din blogg av era möten.

    Världen rör sig mot något bättre, när människor medvetet väljer dialog istället för aggression.
    Och dessutom delger andra de gjort så.

      (Citera)  (Svara)

    Cecilia

    2007, 25 oktober kl 23:40

  6. Dumle. Just precis!
    ______________________________

    En något dramatisk citat-samling: http://ajnorge.0catch.com/Spesial/Sitater.htm

    Fridrikzon: oroa dig inte, – samlingen kommer inte att sätter din kritiska sans på arbete åter – for här är inga citater misbrukt av Trykkefrihedsselskabet, inga ”krigshetzende-Hirsi-Ali”-citater og inga DF-citater.

      (Citera)  (Svara)

    gerd

    2007, 25 oktober kl 23:46

  7. Ehsan, jag har läst din blog, du har en helt annan utgångspunkt, den är intressant och bör följas upp. Tack också för att du för diskussionen på en civiliserad nivå.

      (Citera)  (Svara)

    Joanna

    2007, 26 oktober kl 00:01

  8. Ehsan

    God afton! Jag har med intresse läst på din blogg om ditt möte med Vilks. Men jag studsar till när jag läser:

    ”De alternativ jag hade i tankarna var: att döda honom, att misshandla honom, att inte göra något alls eller att gå fram och prata med honom.mDe första två alternativen uteslöt jag då jag tänkte att om jag skulle göra något sådant skulle pressen på och förföljelsen av muslimer att öka markant och jag skulle vara ansvarig för detta.”

    Det är ju bra att du trots allt valde att ta initiativ till ett samtal. Det är så det ska gå till. Men menar du alltså att du avstod från de två första alternativen därför att det skulle ge negativ PR för muslimer? Inte för att det enligt svensk lag faktisk är tillåtet att rita en bild som driver med religiösa symboler?

      (Citera)  (Svara)

    Fredrikzon

    2007, 26 oktober kl 00:06

  9. IRA MALLIK om Metro och yttrandefriheten
    Den svenskägda tidningen Metro i New York har vägrat att publicera två betalda annonser som kritiserar president Bush. I dessa tider då en yttrandefrihet under attack ständigt diskuteras är det extra anmärkningsvärt att det är så tyst när en svensk mediekoncern (Kinneviksgruppen, den så kallade Stenbeckssfären) som Metro börjar utöva politisk censur i ett västland.
    http://www.aftonbladet.se/kultur/article901313.ab

      (Citera)  (Svara)

    jazz

    2007, 26 oktober kl 00:09

  10. Fridrikzon? Fredrikzon var namnet.

    Fint att numera även Norge, tack vare sina danska vänner, slipper leva i okunskapens mörker vad gäller islams sanna väsen.

      (Citera)  (Svara)

    Fredrikzon

    2007, 26 oktober kl 00:17

  11. Ehsan,
    Du skrev på din blogg ”Jag undrade också ifall han (Lars) hade någon att sitta med, vilket han inte hade. Följaktligen undrade jag om vi kunde sitta tillsammans och diskutera lite och det gick bra.” Ehsan, svenskar på resa lämnar andra människor i fred med sitt. I synnerhet var det din skyldighet att som muslim och gissningsvis innehavare av mellanöstern-utseende att hålla behörigt avstånd till Lars. Klart han hade anledning bli rädd för dig. Din sort gör att han måste vara vaksam i resten av sitt liv.

      (Citera)  (Svara)

    mellis

    2007, 26 oktober kl 00:49

  12. Mellis:

    Gillar att du uppskattar Vilks, för det gör jag med!

    Undrar bara om vi har samma politiska infallsvinkel?
    Jag har deklarerat min, men kan du berätta lite om din?

      (Citera)  (Svara)

    Christer Eriksson

    2007, 26 oktober kl 01:00

  13. Nya kränkningar, nytt hot mot yttrandefriheten

    http://www.expressen.se/nyheter/2.540/stockholm/1.893459/rfsl-vill-stoppa-annonskampanj

    Sverige är fantastiskt ! Här känner sig nu yttrligare en ”svag minoritets grupp” KRÄNK, därför att
    någon religiös grupp vågar hävda att gällande lagstiftning är korrekt och inte bör ändras.
    Det ”normala” beteendet i samhället har plötsligt blivit Politiskt inkorrekt, TYSTNAD !!
    Vi får absolut inte trampa de sexuellt avvikande på tårna, då blir ju flera mininstrar ledsna och sårade.
    Men Pride festivalen då, är den INTE lika Kränkande för hetrosexuella ?

    Det finns många olika sätt att försöka begränsa jordens överbefolkningsproblem
    Kina försöker med max ETT barn per familj. Sverige går ett steg längre NOLL barn per familj, med hjälp av ny ”könsneutral” äktenskapslagastftning. För att kompensera bortfallet av nyfödda så uppmuntar våra politiker nu invandring från länder med helt andra idéer om antal barn per familj.
    ofta gäller då 5 eller fler. (Snacka om att inte veta viket ben man skall stå på)

    Men det skiter sig nog det oxå, Krav kommer snart att ställas på att ALLA äktenskap skall ha möjlighet att skaffa barn. Så samhället måste då rimligtvis även bekosta ”konstbefrukning” och
    ”surugat mammor”. ALLA har ju rätt att bli föräldrar, Vad som är bäst för de ofödda barnen, räknas väl inte då. eller ?

    Med förändrad könsneutrallagstifning, kommer då två homosexuella muslimer (finns nog sådana oxå) att får ingå äktenskap förrättad av en Imam i en Moské ? Lagen skall väl gälla lika för allah ?
    Något för Moderaterna att ta ställning till på kongressen. Muslimska bögar och flator får ingå äketenskap ?? Eller blir det undantags lagstiftning för muslimer. ?

    Så i Yttrandefrihetens tecken Plockar nu SL ner de kränkande annonserna om fördelen
    med ”normala” äktenskp !! Sorgligt.
    Vad blir nästa kränkande reklam som måste stoppas ?
    Bregotts KOR i margarinfabriken ? dom är ju ett hot mot mijön och klimatet.

    Info, det ligger ingen homofobi bakom detta inägg, bara en intressant notering om vad som är
    politiskt korrekt i Sverige idag, och att allt fler grupper känner sig kränkta av ANDRAS yttrandefrihet.

      (Citera)  (Svara)

    stefan peterson

    2007, 26 oktober kl 01:14

  14. http://www.islamguiden.com har antalet inskickade protester mot publiseringen av Lars Vilks nidbild av profeten Myhammed nått upp till beundransvärda 1425 stycken.

    Presumtiva röstare uppmanas först betänka fölande ord från profeten: ”Men på dem som talar illa om Guds sändebud [väntar] ett plågsamt straff” [Koranen 9: 61]

    Då man av allt att döma gör den bedömmningen att den kränktes instinktiva reaktion blir densamma som for genom vännen Ehsans huvud – det vill säga ”att döda honom, att misshandla honom” – försöker man gjuta olja på vågorna och uppmanar därför:
    ”alla muslimer i Sverige att ta sitt förnuft till fånga och inte gripa till våld, det är precis det som media och andra som försöker provocera muslimer är ute efter, de vill ha stora nyhetsrubriker nästa dag om hur ”vilda” muslimerna är.

    Det låter ju betryggande och ansvarsfullt men till slut kan man ändå inte avhålla sig från att avslutningsvis sticka kniven i Vilks rygg genom att uppmana till att:
    ”gör mycket Du’a i varje bön och be Allah (swt) – Den Mäktige – att Han ska hämnas för sin profet.

    Jag vill minnas att när en annan profet utsattes för den ultimata kränkningen – att berövas livet – så bad han gud att förlåta, för dom visste ju inte vad dom gjorde.

    Alltså, kära muslimska vänner. Varför inte be Allah att han skonar Vilks, för han förstod ju inte bättre.
    (eller gjorde han kanske det?) /Mvh Jazz :)

      (Citera)  (Svara)

    jazz

    2007, 26 oktober kl 01:17

  15. Bäste Fredrikson

    Ditt inlägg 2007/10/26 00:06:39 adresserat till Ehsan!
    För första gången läser jag ett inlägg av dig som är genomgående sunt! Trevligt!
    Jag har inte gått in på den där Ehsans blogg och jag tänker inte göra det heller! Namnet “Ehsan” sänder mig otrevliga vibbar! (Kalla det fördomar! Men det handlar om lång erfarenhet av och kunskap om den här världen)!
    Ehsans text fick dig att studsa till. Den fick inte mig att göra det. Eftersom den inte kom som någon överraskning för mig! Den fick mig “bara” att vämjas ännu en gång!
    Denne Ehsan har blivit hjärntvättad i en islamisk kultur sedan barnsben! Därför förstår han inte hur illa det låter i våra öron när han avslöjar sina tankar om att DÖDA och MISSHANDLA människor! (Obs! därmed är det inte sagt att ALLA som föds in i en sådan kultur nödvändigtvis blir som Ehsan! Undantagen är många, men de flesta blir tyvärr förstörda för livet!)
    Detta är nog bara en förklaring. Om Ehsan dessutom har en våldsgen inom sig eller inte är det olönsamt att spekulera i, eftersom vi aldrig med säkerhet kan veta det.

    Fredrikson

    Vi har ju haft våra schismer, små och stora skärmytslingar, som kanske kunde undvikits om vi hade träffats och diskuterat under andra former. Konflikter människor emellan handlar inte sällan om språkförbistring och kommunikationssvårigheter. I grunden är man ofta överens om det mesta.
    Jag hoppas att du även i fortsättningen håller dig till samma linje och att vi kan sluta fred under parollen: NOLLTOLERANS mot BARBARISMEN!

    Slutligen vill jag dedicera dig en liten dikt av Fröding. Hoppas den faller dig i smaken:

    Skumögt i mörkret vi treva
    Dräpa sig själv är att leva
    Håll den du hatar kär
    Var den du icke är
    Gör det du icke kan
    Så varder du man!

    Puss Puss

    Din gamla polare Islamofob!

      (Citera)  (Svara)

    Islamofob

    2007, 26 oktober kl 01:26

  16. Ehsan,
    Om jag av obetänksamhet handlat så att någon blivit rädd för mig så skäms jag och ber om ursäkt. Skulle inte som du nämna en sådan pinsamhet på en blogg. För det är ociviliserat och en hel del annat.

    Christer,
    Du undrar om min politiska infallsvinkel. Men den är lite flytande, föga pk och ibland ironisk så det får bli någon annan gång. En del av mina meningsfränder skriver i alla fall på sajten http://www.motpol.nu/

      (Citera)  (Svara)

    mellis

    2007, 26 oktober kl 01:39

  17. Stefan Peterson

    ”Info, det ligger ingen homofobi bakom detta inägg, bara en intressant notering om vad som är
    politiskt korrekt i Sverige idag, och att allt fler grupper känner sig kränkta av ANDRAS yttrandefrihet.”

    Alla har rätt till sin frihet, men det är ingen ”frihet” att förespråka dogmer som leder till andras ofrihet.

    Om du sätter dina barn på en religiös friskola hoppas jag i varje fall att du ger dem dessa ord med på vägen!

    Evolutionsteorin vilar på en fast vetenskaplig grund. Däremot är kreationismen ren ovetenskap och okunskap.

    ”All naturvetenskap bygger på modeller av verkligheten. Så länge modellen stämmer med de observationer man gör och ger riktiga förutsägelser av utgången av nya experiment använder man den.”

    För deras egen skull!

      (Citera)  (Svara)

    Christer Eriksson

    2007, 26 oktober kl 01:44

  18. jazz,
    Förstår inte varför Metros vägran att i USA införa en annons som är starkt kritisk mot president Bush skulle ha någonting med yttrandefrihet att göra. Metro skulle väl helt enkelt förlorat läsare på att införa den för en stark minoritet stötande annonsen där (”Who’s the real nuclear threat?”). Däremot hade annonsen nog kunnat bli införd i svenska Metro. Även om en majoritet svenskar gissningsvis tycker det är mer bekymmersamt med Pakistans kärnvapen än med USA:s.

      (Citera)  (Svara)

    mellis

    2007, 26 oktober kl 10:03

  19. Mellis
    Jag förstår att företag gör ekonomiska överväganden i sina beslut om vad de publicerar. Men om yttrandefriheten i praktiken bara skulle innebära rätten att gå ut i skogen, ställa sig på en pall, och framföra sina åsikter till de allerstädes närvarande träden, så kan vi lika gärna göra oss av med den. Media är en av de viktigaste platserna att utöva yttrandefrihet, och om ”det fria ordets anslagstavla” i allt för hög grad styrs av ekonomiska, politiska och religiösa särintressen så utgör de i praktiken en inskränkning av yttrandefriheten. / Mvh Jazz

      (Citera)  (Svara)

    jazz

    2007, 26 oktober kl 10:24

  20. Jazz,
    Makthavarna sätter gränser för yttrandefriheten. Så har det alltid varit och så kommer det att förbli. Tyskarna måste antagligen spärra in denne man http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernst_Z%C3%BCndel och hans meningsfränder för att slippa betala nya skadestånd till judar och Israel. Inte så snyggt men ”makt är rätt”. Statsintresset är viktigare än några tusen extra i fängelser.

    Strunta i den annonsvägrande tidningen i USA. För nätet är ett viktigare organ för yttrandefrihet än någon gratistidning.

      (Citera)  (Svara)

    mellis

    2007, 26 oktober kl 11:04

  21. Guardian Unlimited October 25, 2007:

    ”Danish election ad reignites Muhammad cartoon controversy

    A Danish political party is using a drawing of the prophet Muhammad on election material, in a move described as a ”provocation” by at least one local Muslim organisation.

    A Danish political party is using a drawing of the prophet Muhammad on election material, in a move described as a ”provocation” by at least one local Muslim organisation.

    The far-right Danish People’s party today unveiled an election advertisement showing a hand-drawn picture of the Islamic prophet under the slogan ”Freedom of speech is Danish, censorship is not”, followed by the words ”We defend Danish values”.

    The material will be used during the campaign for next month’s general election, which was called yesterday by the prime minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

    The DPP is the third-largest political force in Denmark. It is a key parliamentary ally for the centre-right, minority government of Mr Fogh Rasmussen.

    The row comes two years after the Muhammad cartoons crisis, when the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten printed 12 caricatures of Muhammad after an author of children’s books said he could not find an illustrator for his book on the life of the prophet.

    The drawings sparked violent protests across the Muslim world, culminating with the burning of the Danish embassy in Damascus and its consulate in Beirut in February 2006.

    ”[The ad] is a part of an election campaign centring on Danish values, which we want to push forward,” the DPP leader, Pia Kjaersgaard, told the newspaper Nyhedsavisen. ”Among them are gender equality and solidarity. The ad clearly falls under the issue of freedom of expression.”

    Asked why she chose to use this ad in the light of the Muhammad cartoon crisis, Ms Kjaersgaard answered: ”Why shouldn’t we? Is it forbidden? Self-censorship is bad.”

    The ad has been condemned by at least one Danish-Muslim organisation, which called it a ”provocation”.

    ”We work all the time for calm and peace on both sides, and the Danish People’s party is pulling us back with this kind of provocation,” Ahmed Harby, a spokesman for the Islamic Faith Society, a loose network of Danish-Muslim organisations, told Guardian Unlimited. Islam forbids the depiction of its most important prophet.

    ”We want respect and calm. This is a step back,” said Mr Harby.

    Last July, a Danish court acquitted Ms Kjaersgaard of libel after she accused some members of the Islamic Faith Society of ”treason”.

    The representatives had travelled to the Middle East to publicise the publication of the cartoons in Jyllands-Posten. The court said the word ”treason” was not libelous because it had often been used in public debate.

    The Muhammad cartoon crisis has continued to cause controversy in Scandinavia. This summer in Sweden, the artist Lars Vilks received death threats after one of his drawings, depicting Muhammad’s head on a dog’s body, was published in the local daily Nerikes Allehanda.

    The Danish general election will take place on November 13.”

      (Citera)  (Svara)

    The Guardian

    2007, 26 oktober kl 12:47

  22. Newstex October 16, 2007 Tuesday 10:32 AM EST

    ”Internet Vigilantes” Attack Islamist Website, Post Pornographic Images of Mohammed

    Oct. 16, 2007 — Some internet vigilantes I’d like to meet. Since we were once the victims of a cyber-attack from Turkish Islamists, I can’t say I’m not more than little satisfied.
    The Local:Swedish hackers have retaliated against their Turkish counterparts following an attack earlier this month on some 5,000 Swedish websites.
    ”We have chosen to leak these user details in response to the many recent attacks on Swedish web hosts and websites following the publication of a satirical drawing by Lars Vilks portraying the Muslim prophet Muhammad as a roundabout dog.” … The Swedes also broke into the e-mail and MSN accounts of Turkish web users and sent messages using the stolen identities. Among the images in circulation was a pornographic illustration of Muhammad and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the modern Turkish state. more than just a bitch, it’s blasphemy. H/T:Dinah Lord>

      (Citera)  (Svara)

    War In (Cyber)Space

    2007, 26 oktober kl 12:56

  23. Washingtonpost.com October 16, 2007 Tuesday 12:00 PM EST

    ”Chatological Humor;
    aka Tuesdays With Moron

    Gene Weingarten, Washington Post Staff Writer, washingtonpost.com

    Gene Weingarten’s humor column, Below the Beltway, appears every Sunday in The Washington Post magazine. It is syndicated nationally by the Washington Post Writers Group.

    Gene Weingarten’s humor column, Below the Beltway, appears every Sunday in The Washington Post magazine. It is syndicated nationally by the Washington Post Writers Group.

    At one time or another, Below the Beltway has managed to offend persons of both sexes as well as individuals belonging to every religious, ethnic, regional, political and socioeconomic group. If you know of a group we have missed, please write in and the situation will be promptly rectified. ”Rectified” is a funny word.

    On Tuesdays at noon, Gene is online to take your questions and abuse. He will chat about anything. Although this chat is updated regularly throughout the week, it is not and never will be a ”blog,” even though many persons keep making that mistake. One reason for the confusion is the Underpants Paradox: Blogs, like underpants, contain ”threads,” whereas this chat contains no ”threads” but, like underpants, does sometimes get funky and inexcusable.

    This Week’s Poll.

    Important, secret note to readers: The management of The Washington Post apparently does not know this chat exists, or it would have been shut down long ago. Please do not tell them. Thank you.

    Weingarten is also the author of ”The Hypochondriac’s Guide to Life. And Death” and co-author of ”I’m with Stupid,” with feminist scholar Gina Barreca.

    New to Chatological Humor? Read the FAQ.

    P.S. If composing your questions in Microsoft Word please turn off the Smart Quotes functionality. I haven’t the time to edit them out. — Liz

    ____________________

    Gene Weingarten: Good afternoon.

    You know what sickens me? Inaccuracy in the comics. Have you seen the grotesque and obviously erroneous assertion in today’s Frazz? Jef Mallett is a man of letters; he should know better. I immediately sat down and wrote a poem in protest.

    My little Liz was quite a whiz at readin’ and at ritin’,

    But ‘rithmetic my little girl just didn’t find excitin’.

    ”I’d rather play with puppy dogs than numbers,” she would say.

    It was ”doggie this” and ”doggie that” every single day.

    Her grades in school were plummeting; I had to act with speed–

    And so I bought her sixty dogs of varied size and breed.

    To track them all, she has to count up tails and ears and buttocks.

    And now her grades are very good, thanks to mathemuttics.

    ———

    I want to thank Michael Rose for this intriguing link.

    It is one of the more remarkable illusions I’ve ever, and it resulted in a spirited discussion in my house about whether it is a fake. It purports to tell you if you are right-brained or left-brained, depending on which direction you see the dancer move. I and my family see the dancer irregularly shift from clockwise to counterclockwise and back again, and I simply do not know if this is an odd felicity of our brains or chicanery of the illusionist. Please observe and report back.

    —–

    On the issue of the annoyance of slow walkers, Muireann Greely sent in this link from England. The question becomes: Is shooting these people excessive punishment? I’m thinking about it.

    (A ”zebra crossing” appears to be a charming Britishism for a striped pedestrian-right-of-way crosswalk.)

    ——-

    My friend Caitlin Gibson submitted this remarkable link. Caitlin’s comment was: ”Who says white boys can’t dance?”

    Today we celebrate the second birthday of Ms. Hope Riester, the official baby of Chatological Humor. I think we can see from this progression that Baby Hope is growing up splendidly under the guidance of mom Holly. Holly, you need to understand that you are not Hope’s mother so much as her designated caregiver. Her true parents are the men and women who participate in this chat and whose Hopes for a better Tomorrow rest on the comically carrot-topped head of this felicitously named child. If she winds up a Nobel prize-winner, so shall we all be. If she winds up on 14th Street, well… There’s a lot riding on this, Holly. It’s a profound responsibility.

    Hey, wait, I just realized something! Hope is even more representative than I knew of the ethos of this chat. Riester rhymes with kiester.

    —–

    Please take today’s poll. As promised, The Empress will explain the correct choices midway through the chat.

    The CPOW is yesterday and today’s Pearls Before Swine, which are just, as a package, wonderfully mean-spirited. First Runner Up is Sunday’s Pickles, which is, conversely, completely charming. Runner-Ups are Saturday’s Nonseq and Sunday’s Big Nate.

    _______________________

    Gene Weingarten: I almost forgot: I saw something remarkable on TV last night, during MNF. An iconic shift. A moment of semiotic drama in popular culture.

    It happened in one of those annying ads for some Texas Instruments high-tech product, the ads featuring that repulsively pretty little girl, who says, ”It’s the MEEERS.”

    She doesn’t say that anymore. She says ”MIH-rers.” This never would have happened before the Web, where those ads were constantly being ridiculed for her annoying syllabic parsimony.

    _______________________

    Arlington, Va.: The spinning dancer goes clockwise for a while and then she switches and then switches back again. The whole thing looks like a fraud of some sort to me.

    Gene Weingarten: Okay, now read the next post.

    _______________________

    Providence, R.I.: I saw that link to the dancer yesterday and I can tell you that, when my secretary and I looked at it on the same computer screen, she initially saw it going clockwise and I saw it going counterclockwise.

    Gene Weingarten: What do we make of this?

    _______________________

    Optical Illusi, ON: Like your family, I saw the dancer change directions. Rather than decide that this is a hoax, I think we should take it to mean that we are all incredibly skilled at using both sides of our brain.

    Gene Weingarten: I am beginning to think that it’s real, and that is what is happening.

    _______________________

    Used to be D.C.: Gene, what’d you think of the essay by Stephen Hunter this morning, mourning the passing of ”flesh season”?

    Yeah yeah yeah, I know your feelings on skirt-and-boot season, and as a woman, of COURSE I know that men do this, and I think it’s harmless. Fine. But REALLY? THAT’S what the Style section is devoting precious column inches to? REALLY? You’d never know that the section was run by a woman and not some ginormous sexist geezer.

    I’m not humorless; I promise. I am not easily offended. I can talk like a sailor with the best of them and I have incredibly high threshhold for jackholery. But time after time Hunter writes stuff like this, or peppers his movie reviews with gratuitous ”appreciations” of women (”Jodie porn”? Anyone? REALLY?), and not only is it enough to put me off my lunch, it’s getting to be enough to put me off the Style section altogether.

    I get that you accommodate a Pulitzer Prize winner. And I’d never suggest someone’s speech be censored — that’s an anathema to everything I believe in. But I can’t help but feel I now know a LOT more about Style’s priorities based on the fact that this stuff is published. And as such, I’m doing the only thing I can do: pull my subscription and avoid reading him.

    Now. YOU go ahead and talk about skirt-and-boot season until the cows come home.

    Gene Weingarten: Now, now, now. You misunderstand the Style section. Part of its mission is to be nakedly provocative. If Hunter writes a fifty inch story about how he is a fat, horny old geezer, it does not mean that management approves. It means that management found it intriguing and likely to cause a lively stir.

    Like everything Hunter writes, this was beautifully crafted and interesting. I found it funny, if somewhat desperate; really ladies, do you realize what magnificent violence you could do to this guy’s pressure-cooker psyche merely by walking past him on a windy day?

    I am not sure Hunter quite nailed (as it were) the generational thing here. He is merely five years older than I, and most of my formative sexual years were spent during the sixties, when women were not corseted and cosseted and particularly reluctant to bare flesh. I feel as though I lived through a cornucopia of available voyeurism. Mr. Hunter seems to have been more repressed, and this has created certain volcanic urges in him. These mirror mine and other men’s in general form but not, I think, in intensity.

    I would also argue, as an enthusiastic appreciator of women, that less clothing does not necessarily mean less sexuality. A woman on a ski slope, cherry-cheeked, excited, when viewed correctly, can be among the most alluring creatures on Earth.

    I’m not sure why you are so offended, really. This essay was essentially a joke. Yes, he is quite startlingly objectifying women, but he is being hilariously honest about it. The butt of the joke seems to be his sorry-ass, fat-bottomed, drooling, panting, bulge-trousered, comically lascivious self.

    Gene Weingarten: Also, I don’t know what he was talking about with the ”pool of limpid viscosity.”

    _______________________

    Washington, D.C.: The link of the dancer turning has me puzzled. The description of left-brained fits me to a T, but for the life of me I can only see the dancer turning clockwise. What’s wrong with me?

    Gene Weingarten: And it doesn’t switch, right?

    Wow. This is really interesting.

    _______________________

    WTF?: The dancer is spinning only one way! Clockwise.

    Then my colleague comes in sand says ”no anti-clockwise, no wait she just changed, look. Now she changed back look, look, she changed again…” My brain hurts, I’m sorry I can not read any more of your chat. Possibly for a long long time.

    Gene Weingarten: Zackly.

    _______________________

    Greenbelt, Md.: About the dancer – when I first looked at it and wasn’t focused completely on it, it seems to switch directions. But once I actually stared at it, it began spinning clockwise and I couldn’t get it to change directions. I’m definitely a feelings/big picture person through and through. So I believe that its accurate.

    Gene Weingarten: We will now leave this subject. I believe the thesis has been proved.

    _______________________

    Wuntuma, N.Y.: Etiquette question: A couple (the husband is a co-worker, known for three years) is invited over to watch a football game. He brings a six-pack of lower-tier canned beer. Said friend puts his six-pack in the fridge, and then says, ”Ooh, you have Guinness, mind if I have one to start?” His wife then says, ”That sounds good, could you grab me one too?” There are four Guinness in total. The husband , in response to his wife, says, ”Honey, ask (host) if it’s alright with him.”

    Relevant data: 1. Guinness was purchased by host for the host, and was sort of ”hidden” in the fridge behind a gallon of milk. 2. The beer that was brought was, in the host’s mind, undrinkable. 3. A twelve-pack of decent bottles was purchased by the host and in the fridge as ”guest beer.” 4. This was maybe the sixth or seventh time convening with these friends outside of work.

    What is the acceptable course of action at this point?

    Gene Weingarten: It depends. How much did the Guinness cost, and did you have the receipt? How much did your guests spend in gas or whatever to arrive at your house, and did they dress up especially for this occasion, incurring dry cleaning costs?

    Dude — get a life. This was the pettiest question ever received on this chat.

    _______________________

    Philadelphia, Pa.: Hi Gene. I just read the chat about The Washington Post intern program and it dashed my hopes and dreams. Mr. Downie said that The Post ”generally” doesn’t hire anyone who has worked in partisan or ideological positions. Do you know how strong that generally is? Is that a pretty strict rule in journalism as a whole?

    I love The Post and aspire to contribute to it someday, but I’m still figuring out my career path and have worked on political campaigns and supported ideological organizations. Should I give up on my journalistic aspirations now? I thought reporters would be trusted to be professionals. I can understand wanting to be diligent and make sure that the writer’s are ”beyond reproach” as a friend put it, but this policy also seems very limiting (though, of course, The Post can be extremely discerning). It is just disappointing to hear I may have already ruined a possible career path.

    Thanks for your perspective. Oh, and if I shouldn’t give up, and you have any beginning writer tips, please share them.

    Gene Weingarten: You have to remember that Len Downie does not vote, because he considers that (at least for him) a sign of bias. He is a major purist on this subject.

    My sense of this question is that each case would be judged on its merits. If you worked for ten years for the Democratic National Committee, you might be hired as a repoter who covers the schools or fashion, or pop music, but you’d never ever be allowed anywhere near politics. It’s not so much that you wouldn’t be trusted to be unbiased — it’s more that it would forever open you up to charges that you were biased. Anytime you pissed off a Republican in your coverage, he or she would have a pretty convincing sounding complaint that your views are slanted.

    Opinion writers are different, obviously. The Post op ed page regularly carries the work of Michael Gerson, a former speech writer.

    Gene Weingarten: Er, a former Bush speechwriter.

    _______________________

    Tatto, OS: Gene (and Liz),

    I seem to have missed the bus. During the last week or so’s chats, I’ve learned that Liz has tattoos!!! And I’ve also missed how all of the chatters except me seem to have seen them somehow.

    Please, please, please, tell me where these pictures are. I was also thinking, maybe a poll about tattoos is in order.

    I heart you, Gene. And you too, Lizzie.

    washingtonpost.com: You can see the tats in This here video.

    Gene Weingarten: To see the tats, you can fast forward to the middle. Hey, Liz, do you also have one of those base of the spine tats popular in the 80s? Can you link to the great SNL video on this?

    washingtonpost.com: Video: Turlington’s Tattoo Remover ( SNL)

    _______________________

    New York, N.Y.: If these poll results hold, you people are idiots.

    Endacious, maybe not the best, is CERTAINLY in the top three. First of all, it’s probably the only word that I might actually draft for use in real life. Second of all, it brings to mind a picture of that which it defines, and that’s great.

    Gene Weingarten: You are the idiot.

    I am confident that The Empress will not agree with you. It is among the least of these. Not particularly clever at all. Obvious, direct, unimaginative, and it relies on an unclear link to an existing word.

    _______________________

    Herald Sun: Perhaps even better than the dancer optical illusion is this headline on the same page: Urge to Vomit Ends in Death on West Gate.

    Gene Weingarten: Indeed.

    _______________________

    Sp, IN: Gene, you ninny. Go look up sampling theory and Shannon’s Laws. The reason the spin direction ‘changes’ is because it’s being sampled at a rate that’s close to a harmonic of the refresh rate of your screen. Same reason that car tires spin ‘backwards’ on TV and in the movies.

    I’m an electrical engineer, I know of what I speak.

    Gene Weingarten: Huh? So why isn’t it doing this for everyone?

    _______________________

    BOOO Stephen Hunter: Gene, I hope you get a lot of comments on this one. We don’t like Stephen Hunter because all his writing comes off like its written by, an admittedly smart, but still gross fat old horny man on the bus who is leering at you in a creepy way. Seriously dude, keep it to yourself.

    Gene Weingarten: Laughing here.

    _______________________

    What’s that sou, ND?: Gene, I need your help. I’m a longtime lurker but I never fail to participate in the polls. Hopefully that’ll make you charitably inclined towards me enough to explain Sunday’s Pearls before Swine.

    I’m profoundly deaf, don’t wear hearing aids, have a limited understanding of how some words may sound when they are spoken, and I’m sure that the punch line has something to do with the way it sounds – what is it supposed to sound like ?

    I’ll be crushed if you tell me it has nothing to do with the way it sounds and that I just don’t understand Pastis’s sophisticated humor.

    Gene Weingarten: This a dreadful pun. You are confused because Pastis screwed up. ”Ferret’s elf” and ”fear itself” are too distant in sound to make the pun work, whether you can hear or not. Also, ”fair” is a stupid word to use in describing the hue of a paint.

    washingtonpost.com: Pearls Before Swine, ( Oct. 14)

    _______________________

    Britishisms…: are lovely. ”Whilst” dating a Brit years ago, who nicknamed me ”petal” (I’m not at all that girly-feminine and soft), and bought me ”track-suit bottoms” (sweatpants) for my birthday and, when driving, he said, ”I don’t like all of these sleeping policemen” in the road. (Speed bumps)

    Gene Weingarten: My favorite Britishism, I think, is their word for a baby’s pacifier. A dummy.

    _______________________

    LeftOrRight: What does it mean if the dancer doesn’t move at all?

    Gene Weingarten: It means you are blind.

    _______________________

    Dancer explanation: Here.

    ”It is unclear exactly how this illusion works, but it probably has something to do with the brain’s representation of an ambiguous object. The silhouette is two-dimensional, but because almost all the objects we encounter are three-dimensional, the visual system reconstructs it as such. And the silhouette is not actually spinning – that is one of the assumptions made by the visual system. So, we perceive it as spinning in one direction one minute, and in the other the next.”

    For the record, I see it both ways.

    Gene Weingarten: I don’t understand this. And why do some people see it never changing?

    _______________________

    British Accent: I’ve been meaning to clear this up for you — the words are ”in this ever changing world in which we’re livin.” You’re welcome.

    Gene Weingarten: No they are not.

    One day, many years ago, I played that line 20 times on a great sound system, with headphones. There is no hint, not even a breathy hint, of an ”r” in the critical place. And Neil Armstrong screwed his line up, too.

    _______________________

    Washington, D.C.:”Dude — get a life. This was the pettiest question ever received on this chat. ”

    So not petty. The answer is obvious. You let the guest and his wife drink the Guiness but then never invite them again.

    They were obviously trading-up, have no morals, and are only slightly above left-lane slow drivers.

    Gene Weingarten: Is anyone else, beside the poster and this person, who gives a rat’s ass about who drinks the Guinness?

    _______________________

    Washington, D.C.: Re: guinness question. Wait. Was that a real question?! Hahaha. I hope that person was in college and not, say, 35. Or 25 for that matter. What an idiot.

    Gene Weingarten: Boy, it didn’t read like a joke, did it?

    _______________________

    Style Q.: ”If Hunter writes a fifty inch story about how he is a fat, horny old geezer, it does not mean that management approves. It means that management found it intriguing and likely to cause a lively stir.”

    I’m sorry but this is the lamest excuse for an editorial decision there is. Why not just turn over your pages to Ann Coulter if controversy is what you want?

    Gene Weingarten: Well, c’mon. It has to be within limits. I find this within limits. It ain’t Hate Speech.

    _______________________

    Santa Rosa, Calif.: Gene,

    I just want to say how much your chat means to me. Your comic acumen is extraordinary.

    Stephan Pastis

    Gene Weingarten: I bet you sent this in before I savaged your ”pun.”

    _______________________

    It’s a fake: Clockwise, she’s on her left foot, counterclockwise, she’s on her right.

    Gene Weingarten: I don’t think this is true, is it?

    _______________________

    Hunter’s article: I’m with the other commenter. The joke’s on him, yes, but it’s really ALL about him and his repressed issues and I’d really rather not know. It’s icky. Though it does help explain why I think his movie reviews are terrible.

    Gene Weingarten: His movie reviews are genius.

    The thing is, his views are an exaggeration of what goes on in most guy’s head. He is telling a truth through exaggeration. It’s satire, though one suspects it is also his truth.

    _______________________

    Stout fellow: Yes, there is one other poster. I give a rat’s ass — to me the Guinness-drinkers are what we Noo Yawkuhs call shnorrers. They bring undrinkable crap and drink the host’s good stuff. Feh.

    Gene Weingarten: Jeez.

    _______________________

    Washington, D.C.: I am an extreme liberal, and have no good words or thoughts for Ann Coulter (sic.)

    Would you considering interviewing her to determine what the hell her ”good business model” is? thanks

    Gene Weingarten: Liz, can you link to the column I did with Ann?

    washingtonpost.com: Below the Beltway, ( Dec. 28, 2003)

    _______________________

    Kevorkian Kat Lady: Dear Gene, I’ve been going to the vet for the past couple of weeks. I’ve been preparing myself to euthanize my 18-year-old cat, but just got word that the cat seems pretty much physically okay, with only kidney function declining slightly.

    However, I still am inclined to consider euthanasia because I am having a hard time taking her new behaviors which led to the vet trip. She’s been going outside the litterbox (on occasion), so I’ve had to sleep in the wet spot a couple of times for her. She also cries a lot in the early mornings, which inteferes with my sleep. The crying may be from dementia, because she’s apparently in no pain. I’m also reaching my limit on how much I can afford to pay for tests and care.

    Basically, if I let the vet know my situation, would the vet understand? Maybe they could find someone to adopt her and care for her like she’s at a vet hospice?

    I would appreciate any thoughts, maybe from Molly.

    Gene Weingarten: I just got off the phone with Molly, and took dictation. Here’s what she said. Brace yourself:

    ”Realistically, no one will take in an 18-year-old cat. There are no cat hospices. This post sounds like the wishful thinking of someone trying to avoid a difficult decision and hoping someone else will make it for her. It doesn’t work that way.

    ”However, these facts do not add up to a frivolous case for euthanasia. The cat’s age matters; the cat’s behavior matters; signs of kidney disease matter; financial realities matter. Euthanasia may not be the only decision, but it is a reasonable decision and any reasonable vet is going to respect it and withhold moral judgment.

    ”But it’s a judgment that this lady has to make herself. No one else can absolve her if she doesn’t absolve herself.”

    _______________________

    Washington, D.C.: In today’s essay Stephen Hunter reduces women down to their body parts, which is also what pornographic magazines and films do. It is demeaning to a human being (any human being). And the fact that Stephen Hunter is an ugly old troll is immaterial, really.

    washingtonpost.com: Hey — it’s not as if he’s done this before.

    Gene Weingarten: I’m happy to hear more dissent.

    _______________________

    Dentistry is Ic, KY: Gene –

    I had the unmitigated joy of novocaine yesterday, something I had avoided for more than a decade. I was reminded of something I have never understood: why is it, when you can’t feel your lip and tongue, they suddenly feel like they have expanded to the size of water balloons? I would have bet you $20 I looked like super-collagen-shot chick (certain species of ape spring to mind). Yet when I caught my reflection in the mirror, I looked completely normal (if partially paralyzed). What gives?

    Gene Weingarten: I have noticed this, too, and I can’t explain it. Anyone?

    _______________________

    Hunter: If Robin Givhan had written this piece straight up (describing the male fantasy/leer part in the 3rd person), she could get a Pulitzer for describing a generational change in fashion and male psyches. Nothing wrong with Hunter’s column.

    Gene Weingarten: Okay.

    _______________________

    Snar, KY: So, your son and you are developing a comic strip. He doesn’t have any formal training in sequential art? Yet, he may soon become a published cartoonist?

    Hmmm. Whom does he most resemble — Jerry’s son Gary Lewis, or Frank Sinatra, Jr.?

    Gene Weingarten: I have said for about 12 years, since he was 11, that he is the funniest person I know. He is contributing at least as much to this strip as I am.

    But neither of us is drawing it. The cartoonist is David Clark of Luray. This three-person collaboration assures none of us will ever make any real money.

    _______________________

    Tons, IL: Gene, I just wanted you to know that I hacked up my very first tonsilith this morning; rather than being simply disgusted, I was disgusted and thought of you.

    Gene Weingarten: Thank you. The very is ”hawked.” One ”hawks” up a tonsillith. The vocabulary of bodily functions is quite demanding.

    One ”hawks” a loogie. One does not ”hock” or ”hack” a loogie.

    I’ve always wanted to set people straight on this.

    Gene Weingarten: I meant ”verb” not ”very.”

    _______________________

    Hunter: Look Gene, I know he’s your colleague and all, but his film reviews stink. The reasons they stink are (1) they’re written in this faux hardboiled style that strains to be clever but fails miserably; and (2) Hunter always, always, gratuitously reveals some major plot twist or other aspect of the movie that one would be better off discovering for oneself while watching the movie itself.

    Plus, his right-wing views always creep into his film reviews. Ugh ugh ugh.

    Gene Weingarten: The Pulitzer Prize committee respectfully disagrees.

    _______________________

    Greater Pottsville-Kettletown:”One day, many years ago, I played that line 20 times on a great sound system, with headphones.”

    And you’re saying the beer guy needs to get a life??

    Gene Weingarten: Hahahahaha.

    _______________________

    Washington, D.C.:”So not petty. The answer is obvious. You let the guest and his wife drink the Guiness but then never invite them again.

    They were obviously trading-up, have no morals, and are only slightly above left-lane slow drivers.”

    And you so didn’t get the sarcasm in my post.

    Gene Weingarten: It was poorly framed sarcasm. There was a sarchasm between your intent and the effect of your post.

    Haha. Score.

    _______________________

    Richmond, Va.: I never read Stephen Hunter: I don’t think he’s a very good writer nor critic. I DO like Desson Thomas [Thompson. -- Liz], he’s very insightful and open to learning new things.

    Gene Weingarten: Thomson — Gene.

    _______________________

    Newton Centre:”I don’t understand this. And why do some people see it never changing?”

    It’s about perception, I’d guess that some people maintain a very fixed understanding of the dancer… while the two dimentional quality actually allows two three dimentional interpretations.

    But if you concentrate on one of the arms and realize that it could be passing in front of OR behind the dancer you will find the that the direction of rotation changes (the legs are much more difficult for doing this).

    Gene Weingarten: Thanks, I think this is right.

    _______________________

    Loserdom, Dublin, Ireland: Hi Gene,

    A zebra crossing is a pedestrian crossing in Britain and Ireland. Also there is also such a thing as a ”humped zebra crossing”, a raised pedestrian crossing, which requires the driver to slow down, but only when he’s nearly on top of you.

    These humped zebras are sometimes called ”dromedaries”. Then there are ”sleeping policemen”, a.k.a. speed bumps. If the driver, as in Moscow, shoots at you as you cross the zebra or the dromedary, after passing over the somnolent cop, can it be termed ”crossover fire”?

    Gene Weingarten: Yes.

    _______________________

    Hunter again: Gene, just because his columns magnify what is going on in men’s heads doesn’t mean anyone cares or wants the read it. Why doesn’t the Post just publish porn then? It would be more interesting. It feels like Hunter spends his time getting off on his own description of women anyway. Ugh, I need a shower just writing this. He is so gross.

    Gene Weingarten: Okay.

    _______________________

    Miss Manners: You invite folks over for the game, you’re hosting them. That means you provide beverages and food. Would you say to the same people, ”Snack on the velveeta all you want, but I bought the good cheese for myself”?

    Gene Weingarten: I know.

    _______________________

    Fairfax, Va.: What do you think if the cartoonist Lars Vilks and his cartoon depicting Mohammed? Why is it that people get so excited when the Muslims are offended but could care less if its Jews, Christians or the Pope in a cartoon? Why can’t religious people have a sense of humor? I sometimes forget why I am an atheist. If only I had some artistic skills I would create my own cartoon, it would be Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, L. Ron Hubbard, and they would all be Jackasses. Or donkeys, if you prefer to call them that.

    Gene Weingarten: I think I said this before, but ”Cartoons of Mohammed” would be a great name for a rock band.

    _______________________

    Old Possum’s Cat: The woman with the 18 year-old cat should consider her issues in light of the Golden Rule: If she was annoying someone with her incontinence and noisy moaning at night, but still semi-healthy, would she want her kids to have her euthanized to spare them the bother and expense? If she can answer ”Yes,” she should put her feelings in a Living Will, have it notarized, and give it to her kids or whoever is her designated old age caretaker. Then she can have her old cat euthanized with a clear conscience.

    Gene Weingarten: Honestly, I think this is too harsh. I agree with Molly; euthanasia is a reasonable decision, but not the only decision.

    _______________________

    Gene Weingarten: The next post is from the Empress, explaining her answers. You guys did pretty well, collectively.

    _______________________

    The Empress of The Style Invitational: Wow. The poll results mirror my own picks, almost entirely. Although I didn’t hate any of these 21 neologisms — in fact, during the early judging I’d pulled them out for consideration against the rest of the week’s maybe 4,000 entries — my choices for both the three funniest and three least funniest among this little group were the three highest-tallying responses as I write this Monday night at 11:30.

    For the funniest I chose Riminal, Iarrhea and Riskies; for the least funny, XY-moron, HRifty, Inneapolis.

    Note: It’s not as if y’all were of one mind on these entries. The highest-scoring for Funniest, Riskies, was chosen by fewer than 15 percent of you for ANY of the three top spots — in other words, at least five out of six voters didn’t choose it at all.

    But it’s true that hundreds more of you liked a certain few of the entries more than a certain few others. Why were they funnier? Let’s look, for example, at ”Riskies.”

    First, the idea of Riskies as a brand of Chinese-made dog food is a joke you can read and get immediately. You don’t have to wade through a long description, look back at the word, and finally say ”oh.” It’s elegant!

    Second, the definition relates in a funny and clever way to the original word, the pet food brand Friskies. This isn’t required in Style Invitational neologism contests, but it’s a definite plus. (I think the funny word ”ickpocket” would have been a bigger winner had the definition related somehow to ”pickpocket.”)

    Third, Riskies is simply a funny idea as the name for dog food: You get a funny mental picture of the name on a bag or can. It’d be a cute cartoon.

    Fourth, it’s fresh and timely, playing off the news of tainted pet food; it’s not something you’d come across in an old joke book. (Also, you readers couldn’t have known this, but I haven’t yet seen any other entries this week with the same idea — a great achievement in a contest with thousands of submissions. There are zillions, on the other hand, playing off ”pharmacy/harmacy.”)

    The other two top entries, ”Riminal: A man who fails to clean up what he has dribbled onto the toilet” and ”Iarrhea: Running on about oneself,” are also easy to understand (though Iarrhea is a bit hard to read). Both also relate cleverly to and are easy to connect with the original words, ”criminal” and ”diarrhea,” (That both are in the venerable Style Invitational tradition of toilet humor is a factor but not a huge one.)

    And while neither is topical humor, both have a quality that Riskies doesn’t have — each could be used humorously in real life, in a situation you can relate to. You might call your husband a riminal. You can say your boss suffers from iarrhea. For Riskies to work this way, you’d have to use it in a generic sense as any Chinese-made pet food, and that’s not what the entry said. Again, this quality isn’t a requirement, but it’s often a prime source of a neologism’s humor.

    In addition to gut-funniness, the Iarrhea entry also has the clever pun ”running” in the definition. Its one weakness is that the word concept is dangerously close to an existing term that’s funny in itself, ”diarrhea of the mouth.” The only problem I had with Riminal is that the wording could be a bit punchier: ”A man who dribbles onto the toilet and doesn’t clean it up,” or even ”A man who doesn’t clean up his toilet dribble.”

    Okay, so what’s wrong with the entries most often voted ”least funny” (and, fortunately for the rigor of this poll, least often voted ”funniest”)? Let’s take No. 21 on the Funniest list: ”HR-ifty: When a company’s human resources people nickel-and-dime you during salary negotiations.’My company is so HR-ifty that the toilet paper I use is monitored, and the cost deducted from my paycheck.’ ”

    Obviously, there’s a huge contrast between that long, involved entry and the three fairly terse winning ones. That’s not to say long entries CAN’T be funny; it’s just harder to write them. This entry’s strength is that it describes (by humorous exaggeration) a situation that people can relate to, cheapskate management. But it clearly has several weaknesses in the funniosity department:

    First, the word itself is awkward; you can’t say it out loud easily. Second, the wording of the definition is slow and a bit tedious. Also, it defines an adjective with a noun phrase, beginning ”-the situation] when.” Nononono. Third, playing on ”thrifty” to complain about someone doesn’t really work because thrifty is a positive word; it’s the flip side of miserly. Compare that with ”Riminal/criminal.” Finally, while using the word in a funny sentence can enhance a definition, this one isn’t funny because of the turgid writing (this entrant, I know from experience, is capable of much better), even though it’s citing a funny idea. Maybe if it had said, like, ”My company is so HRifty they deducted the cost of 112 sheets of toilet paper from my last paycheck.” Well, maybe not.

    In the cleverness category, the only place you poll voters went wrong was to neglect ”Nowplow: An entirely fictitious device for residents of the District of Columbia.” While it’s not gut-funny because it’s a somewhat awkward word to say out loud, and it takes a moment to understand it, there’s a very clever connection between the original word and the new one, with the twist of a change of pronunciation; and it uses timely humor about a pet peeve of many Washingtonians, the inability to get their streets cleared for days.

    I wish the poll had included a couple of entries more characteristic of the 97 percent of the stuff I get that I toss at first glance. So just to share, here are a random unedited few featuring the Absolutely Lethal Almost Every Time flaw of echoing the word in the definition:

    Hatter-proof — a room or house which has been made safe from makers or sellers of hats.

    Ratuitous –adj. of or related to the unnecessary addition of a side dish of ratatouille to a French entree.

    Goraphobia. An irrational fear of Al Gore.

    Tip-u-late: To run back in a restaurant to leave a tip.

    So you see, the Empress does really engage in an actual thought process when choosing Style Invitational winners. She doesn’t just pull out her Invite Dartboard with the names of her 20 favorite entrants on it.

    Well, I guess it would be nice if I actually finished judging this contest, now that the deadline for the NEXT week’s has already passed. You can see the neologism results Saturday, Nov. 3, on Page 2 of The Post’s Style section, or at washingtonpost.com/styleinvitational. By the way, Riminal is by new-to-me Deanna Busick of Knoxville, Tenn.; Iarrhea and Riskies are by regular Losers Jack Held and Tom Witte, respectively.

    Gene Weingarten: Thank you, ma’am.

    _______________________

    Liquid Visco, City: When Hunter says ”liquid viscosity,” he’s talking about perspiration. Not, as Kornheiser would have it, schvitzing like an airedale, but the healthy perspiration that makes a healthy, active female all the more desirable.

    That, or he’s using water as an extended metaphor for bare flesh (to go along with the ”tides” and the ”shallows”), in which case he means… um, patches of skin.

    Gene Weingarten: Sweat is not particularly viscous. Other things are viscous.

    _______________________

    Hunter’s toes: The really repulsive part of Hunter’s essay might not have been his fault — it was illustrated with a photo of five female feet in flip-flops. Five GIRL’s feet in flip-flops — you can tell from the rows of lockers in the background that the photo was taken in a high school. That made a sort of pathetic piece really grotesque.

    Gene Weingarten: I am a little surprised at the intensity of abreaction, here.

    _______________________

    Tysons: Stephen Hunter rocks. He’s the only film critic who reviews movies from a guy’s perspective. He doesn’t get wishy-washy and frilly. That said, he is a little creepy sometimes. I just don’t read those parts.

    Gene Weingarten: He does fancy guns, doesn’t he?

    _______________________

    Silvermine: I was disappointed to see so many Sarah Silverman haters on one of Chatwoman’s blog entries last week. I admit to being male and therefore effectively rendered breathless by SS — for me, she is beyond hot, but smart, funny, irreverent, just the kind of woman I like to feel inferior to. (While the rest of you are planning mind melds with Dick Cheney, I’m going to be plotting the takeover of Jimmy Kimmel’s body.)

    But, ya know, Sarah Silverman really is funny.

    What’s your take on her?

    Gene Weingarten: She is really funny. She is also a terrific actor: This talent helps inform her humor.

    _______________________

    Falls Church, Va.: It’s sad that a day after your column ran about dying newspapers, the larger paper to never win a Pulitzer has cut its foreign/national desk.

    Gene Weingarten: Which paper is this? You lost me.

    _______________________

    Dancing Lady: Who cares which way she is going – she’s naked!

    Gene Weingarten: And the room seems to be chilly.

    _______________________

    Hunter challenge: Are there ANY women out there that like Stephen Hunter or think his article today was OK? He doesn’t respect us and we know it.

    Gene Weingarten: Okay, let’s put this question out there. Good question.

    _______________________

    Fairfax, Va.: The bright idea you described in your column this Sunday suffers from one fatal flaw (well, several, actually, but this is the biggest) — it doesn’t work.

    The new headlines you suggested are in the same style as those long used by the Weekly World News, which, as you must certainly know, is no longer a ”print-on-paper” offering.

    washingtonpost.com: Gene Voted Sexiest Man Alive, ( Post Magazine, Oct. 14)

    Gene Weingarten: You’re right! My God, what was I thinking? My whole thesis was conceptually flawed.

    _______________________

    Mike , London: A find the quaint Americanism/euphemism ‘pacifier’ more amusing than the matter-of-fact ‘dummy tit’ to give it its proper title.

    Gene Weingarten: It’s dummy tit? Ha.

    Actually, I think just dummy works better.

    _______________________

    I dunno, Gene…: I can see the Post wanting to provoke a ”lively” reaction to an article, but there wasn’t anything particularly revelatory or even poetic about Stephen Hunter’s bald (so to speak) desire for women showing more flesh. I just felt sort of embarrassed for him, reading it.

    But more than that, I felt embarrassed for MYSELF, as a woman. I don’t care how repressed a childhood you had, it’s damn uncomfortable and sometimes even scary for women when you ogle them in public. Everyone has the impulse to stare at attractive members of the opposite sex, ok? But understand that women are treated as sex objects in society much more often than men, and show a little restraint. When Hunter said staring at girls on a street corner could cost you a job today, he almost said it like a lament.

    Put yourself in the shoes (or ok, sundresses) of young women. We have enough to overcome without a major newspaper tacitly condoning strange men ogling us on the subway.

    Gene Weingarten: You know, I do not ogle women, at all. I cannot be busted for that. I look at your eyes. I do not believe I make women uncomfortable. But I appreciate everything that Hunter spoke of; which means I look, I am just careful how I look.

    Why can’t we give him the same credit?

    _______________________

    NW Washington vet: Hi Gene,

    Really liked Molly’s response.

    No, women don’t like Hunter. At least obnoxious dogs can be muzzled…..

    Gene Weingarten: You do that with Hunter you have serious First Amendment issues.

    _______________________

    Alexandria, Va.: I sent in a long post defending Hunter 10 minutes ago!! I am a 36-year-old female!

    Gene Weingarten: Resend it.

    _______________________

    Unfun,NY: I had to pick some of the poll answers as unfunny because I quickly thought of better descriptions. If their entries make _me_ think of better ones, they couldn’t have been all that funny to begin with.

    Mnesia: Forgetting… something

    Er-biage: The rambling debates of Willy Nelson and Snoop Dogg

    XY-moron: Genetically redundant expression

    -Kim Gandy, NOW President

    Gene Weingarten: Only that last one is good. I’m not sure it is better than the original, but it’s quite good.

    _______________________

    Alexandria, VA: I am a 36-year-old female. I found Hunter’s essay simply lovely, poignant, and generally wonderful. I even noted that to my husband. I am also a very liberal, independent woman but one who can tell the difference between what Hunter wrote and leering and ogling (like the guy with the ”cute chick” neighbor who wrote in before). I knew people would complain about Hunter’s piece, just as they do to Givhan’s. There are a lot of people who simply do not get that there are nuances in life, that human bodies are lovely in all their shapes, sizes, and colors, and that some men look at women out of love for women and not out of misogyny. (Roxanne Roberts did a piece a while ago on flirting and how there is a clear difference between true, meaningless flirting and piggish behavior. You should dig it up because it is very on point).

    End of rant.

    Gene Weingarten: Ah. Thank you.

    _______________________

    Washington, D.C.: Remember a couple of weeks ago we were talking about Ahmedinejad being kinda hot? Well, does anyone think the same of Erik Prince (uber-creepy right-wingnut guy who owns Blackwater)?

    Gene Weingarten: He was on 60 Minutes Sunday. Looked hot to me, but what do I know.

    _______________________

    Olney, Md.: I haven’t yet read Hunter’s piece on ogling, but even if I found it distasteful, in my mind he has no further need to justify himself since his review of T3, where he likened the fire truck chase scene with the out-of-control ladder to a ”dreidel of destruction”. That beautiful turn of phrase made up for anything horrid he could possibly write.

    Gene Weingarten: See, that’s my point. ”A dreidl of destruction” is a gift to the reader. One writer in a million thinks of that.

    _______________________

    Pat the Perfect, ME: Hunter didn’t say ”liquid viscosity,” as the poster misquoted him; he said ”limpid viscosity.” While something can’t be both liquid and viscous, he didn’t say that anyway.

    The problem was that he probably meant ”limpid” to be soft, a kind of positive word for ”limp.” It’s not — it means clear, like clear water. ”Your eyes are limpid pools” does not mean that your eyes are soft pools; it means they’re light and clear.

    Gene Weingarten: I think he meant limpid. It’s the viscosity I question.

    _______________________

    WAIT! WHAT?!?: Andy Roddick didn’t win with a frying pan!?!? Based on the book title I’ve been telling people just how good Roddick must be. Seriously. I feel so ashamed….

    Gene Weingarten: It’s stunning, isn’t it? I deliberately left this out of the poll a couple of weeks ago, so I could write a column about it.

    _______________________

    ”restidigitation”?: Um, what the hell was the original word?

    Gene Weingarten: Prestidigitation. Magic.

    _______________________

    Hollywood, CA.: I have finally figured out the war in Iraq is not going well. You know how I can tell? By the first war movie made of this war. Viet Nam had a war movie starring John Wayne. Desert Storm got a movie starring George Clooney. The Iraq War has now had itself ingrained in our cultural minds as the war of Larry the Cable Guy. That’s how I can tell this war is not going well.

    Gene Weingarten: Speaking of Clooney, ”Michael Clayton” is a terrific movie. World class thriller, and very smart.

    _______________________

    This Weeks Poll:1. Yawn.

    2. If I wanted to read entries from Egotists Invitational… oh sorry, ”Style” Invitational…, I’d go to that link instead.

    3. None of the Poll entries are remotely funny or clever. But then, very little in the ”SI” has been, for years. (Of course, that’s merely an assumption… I stopped actually reading it months ago)

    Gene Weingarten: If you don’t get it, you don’t get it. And if you think there was nothing funny or clever in these entries … you don’t get it.

    _______________________

    1st and Constitution: No, women don’t like Hunter. At least obnoxious dogs can be muzzled…..

    Gene Weingarten: You do that with Hunter you have serious First Amendment issues.

    ==============================

    With Hunter I’m afraid you’d have even more serious 2nd Amendment issues!

    Gene Weingarten: Hahahahahaha.

    _______________________

    Neil Armstrong: I don’t think you should be dissin’ Neil Armstrong. Go ahead and do it to a Beatle, but Neil? Very bad.

    Gene Weingarten: Why? He screwed up the greatest moment of his life!

    _______________________

    Hunters article, again: Hunter’s article didn’t really bother me. It kinda reminded me of something Jean Shepard might write.

    So guys notice women’s bodies, it that some sort of surprise?

    - oh and I’m 26 and heart you.

    Gene Weingarten: Well, I see the complaints. I just think people aren’t attributing enough humor to it.

    _______________________

    Are we the new oppressors?: I’m embarrassed that the president of NOW (and you) think it’s funny to call all men morons (as if that were self-evident). She of all people ought to be sensitive to the fact that bashing men is a self-defeating way to promote women’s causes.

    I’m a woman, and yes, I have a sense of humor, but that one just made me embarrassed for my gender.

    Gene Weingarten: LIGHTEN UP, PEOPLE.

    The Style Invitational once ran an entry to a contest dividing the world into two types of people. One of the winners, purporting to be from NOW (like this was purported), said ”women, and rapists.”

    _______________________

    Elderly Cat: I am 53, and I’ve had cats and dogs all my life. I consider incontinence as a valid justification for euthanasia. You can’t put diapers on a cat or dog, and their quality of life would be pretty poor if you locked them in a cage 23 hours a day.

    Gene Weingarten: Yes. We just have to be reasonable about this.

    _______________________

    Guest Beer: This is not a petty question, you must drink cheap beer. If you are going to partake of the group beer, you need to bring a comerable beer to the party. The host (I knowledgable beer drinking, because he chooses to drink the Liquid Love that is god’s gift to man, otherwise known as Guineus) should mildly chide the offender once about his low quality beer. Next time, should be a little blunter, thrid time tell him to drink his swill and be thankful that you are allowing it in the fridge.

    Gene Weingarten: Good grief. We are talking about items costing $7 a sixpack.

    _______________________

    Rockville, Md.: All this fuss over Hunter only reinforces my notion that anything goes and we should be the ones to decide what we want to read. I don’t recall any reports of people being forced at gunpoint to read Hunter this morning. I read it and thught ”Now I know who they buy those shoes for.” Do people expect to make points for not liking his writing? How could that happen?

    It is a marketplace of ideas. Let them all have a hance. Even some of the other Style writers, who do seriously offend me. But they win prizes.

    washingtonpost.com: By the way, Stephen Hunter will be online Friday at 1:30 p.m. ET. Mark your calendars.

    Gene Weingarten: Ooooooh. Load those magnums.

    _______________________

    C’mon, it was poetry: For the record, I’m female and in my 40s and (of course) totally hot. I object to the objectification of women, true. BUT I have to agree with you, Gene — I thought Hunter’s writing did a marvelous job of … what’s the word I’m looking for — exalting? beatifying? making almost holy, anyway — the female form. Granted, there was a leer there, but leers can be complimentary, too.

    Gene Weingarten: Thanks.

    _______________________

    Hey now!: I believe Hunter DOES respect women. You can see it in his novels. And he’s not shy about expressing that respect in film reviews, although the number of respect-worthy female characters in movies is not that high (ask any serious actress). He likes women with integrity, loyalty, brains, and beauty. That may or may not be the list of traits for which women themselves seek respect, but you can’t say the man doesn’t respect women.

    Okay, I’ll shut up, and hope some woman comes along to agree with this interpretation.

    Gene Weingarten: This has the makings of a late-chat backlash.

    _______________________

    Commenta, RI:10 bucks for three pounds of Chicken. I’m never letting my husband shop again.

    Gene Weingarten: Noted.

    _______________________

    Britishisms: I remember a touching story from the late chef Craig Claibourne. He was a GI in England and wanted to go a nice restaurant. But there was a sign on the door that said ”No prams allowed” and he didn’t know if he was a pram or not.

    Gene Weingarten: I have, in my home office, a sign showing the silhouette of a woman about to sit on a stool, with a line-with-circle through it. It says ”Women will not be seated or served here.”

    It is real, from Saudi Arabia.

    _______________________

    The Empress of The Style Invitational: Hunter’s essay today is beautifully written humor. The humor in a nutshell is: I am sick. I am debilitated. My handicap results from a terrible situation that existed during my youth.

    And here is what it’s like for me to live with my terrible condition …. and then it’s 50 inches of gorgeously crafted drooling abouv having to look at women everywhere! Come on, people!

    Gene Weingarten: Thank you, ma’am. May your reign be long, and you have many healthy male babies.

    _______________________

    Alexandria, Va.: Beer snobs are morons. Fighting over which beer tastes better is like arguing which Jackson Pollock painting is most lifelike. They’re only lifelike if you’re already drunk.

    Gene Weingarten: Well, this is totally backwards. It is only after the third beer that all beers taste alive.

    _______________________

    Stephen Hunter: If his article today is truly just an expounded version of what all men are thinking, then I just might cry. Please tell me you’re not all this creepy.

    Gene Weingarten: Honey, you really don’t want to know.

    _______________________

    Washington, D.C.: I think it would have been funnier as XY-moron: A man. Though, that’s more redundant than oxymoron.

    Gene Weingarten: Possibly the best of these, yes. Conciseness.

    _______________________

    New York, N.Y.: Didn’t they still need that sign in Saudi Arabia? If you stole it, won’t they take your hand?

    Gene Weingarten: It was stolen by a Post reporter who gave it to me, during the first Gulf War. It is contraband, I admit it.

    _______________________

    Animals are not people: Is there some expression like Godwin’s Law for people who raise the stakes on questions like euthanasia for ancient pets? Once someone says, ”would you do that to your child?” no more useful information will be exchanged, only name-calling.

    Gene Weingarten: Good point!

    _______________________

    Neil Armstrong: He did NOT screw it up! Perhaps the many miles between here and the moon and 1969 video/audio was to blame. New audio agrees with him. Plus! He says he said it and that is good enough for me.

    Gene Weingarten: New audio agrees with him? This I need to see. Send me proof.

    _______________________

    Washington, D.C.: What is Hunter took the opposite tact and wrote longingly for the days of the corset to hide the belly rolls and back fat that (mostly younger) some women proudly show off by wearing clothes that may be ”fashionable” but certainly aren’t flattering?

    I mean no disrespect, or course.

    Gene Weingarten: I’m not touching this post with a fork.

    _______________________

    Old cat: Hi Gene,

    It’d be nice to get the opinion of Molly or another professional here, but I had a cat that, at age 20, exhibited similar symptoms (incontinence, howling) which turned out to be early symptoms of kidney failure. Once he was treated with subcutaneous fluids and other medications (fairly cheap), the symptoms went away and he lived another healthy happy 2 years! Perhaps cat lady can get a second opinion? I agree that euthaniasia isn’t a bad option, but it isn’t the only option…

    Gene Weingarten: I think that’s very true. Molly made an observation about cats and kidney failure, but asked me not to print it because she has no right to be practicing medicine yet.

    _______________________

    Invitation, AL: Am I crazy, or would fixing less-than-hilarious SI entries be a great idea for a contest?

    In fact . . . this is TOO good an idea. It must’ve been done before. Nevermind.

    Gene Weingarten: Empress? You listening? This is a great idea.

    _______________________

    Frustrat, ED: I know we’ve moved on, but dammit, I’ve been staring at that spinning girl for 45 minutes, and she is only turning counter-clockwise. I also cannot see those ”hidden pictures.” Could this be related to that? And not an indication that I only have half a brain?

    Gene Weingarten: See? This is not a fraud, though I suspect the left-right brain interpretation is hooey.

    _______________________

    Neil Armstrong: Can you explain to me how he screwed up the words? I’m assuming it’s the ”One small step” sentence.

    Gene Weingarten: He said (or the world believes he said) ”That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

    That makes no sense. ”Man” and ”mankind” are synonymous.

    He meant to say, obviously, ”One small step for A man.”

    _______________________

    North McLean, Va.: I just wanted to point out that I thought Liz looked really pretty in that video.

    washingtonpost.com: Thank you, Stephen.

    Gene Weingarten: Stephen wouldn’t have used the word ”pretty.”

    Okay, we’re done. This was an excellent chat. See you in the updates, where there will be some intriguing videos.”

      (Citera)  (Svara)

    Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, L. Ron Hubbard, and they would all be Jackasses.

    2007, 26 oktober kl 13:03

  24. Lika fräckt som amerikanska TV-serier…

    En highschool ”outwitting”… för det är det väl? Även om de som skriver väl har gått ut för några år sedan? :-)

      (Citera)  (Svara)

    Cecilia

    2007, 26 oktober kl 19:08

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