Inhuman Swill : Page 170
Why is my blog called Inhuman Swill? Because you can unscramble the pieces to make William Shunn.
            

LDS Manhattan New York Temple
Tuesday evening I entered a Latter-day Saint temple for the first time in over a decade.

Don't have a stroke—it wasn't a religious relapse. The LDS Church has taken its blocky, six-story meetinghouse near Lincoln Center in Manhattan and hewn from its rocky heart a new temple. (I've touched on the subject of this construction project in earlier writings.) This edifice is open to the public, more or less, through June 5, after which it will be closed to heathen, given a final hard spit and polish, and dedicated to Elohim, as God is known to His friends. My wife Laura and I, along with three intrepid friends, were fortunate enough to attach ourselves to a tour this week.

Having returned, I shall soon report. (If you happen ever to have experienced a Mormon temple endowment ceremony and possess an evolved sense of irreverence, you are busting a gut at that line. Otherwise you're either scratching your head or reaching for a firearm.) But first, a brief word about temples.

A temple-building people

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Celebrity sighting

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Donald Fagen, emerging from an apartment building on East 32nd Street. There was a moment there when I forgot to walk. I wanted to say hello, but had no idea what to say.

This was on a walk from my office to the Kips Bay Petco. Why I keep going there, I don't know. It only took their poor selection of dog toys and the utter absence of cashiers at the check-out lanes to quash the good feelings from my Donald sighting.

But bless this weather. The walk back was "Hey Nineteen" all the way.

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Bilmo is a Grass-Eating Zombie Monkey

...with a Battle Rating of 2.0


To see if your Food-Eating Battle Monkey can defeat Bilmo, enter your name:
Courtesy o' [info]bobhowe the Fire-Eating Samurai Monkey.

UPDATE: Bad news for Homo sapiens

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Binary elimination

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In reference to queries about what the dog may or may not have done in the backyard, we've come up with a shorthand designation: "Number Three." This, of course, encodes success for both "Number One" and "Number Two," which are themselves informational bits.

A completely unproductive session is "Number Zero."

Ella, by the way, is suffering from irration of the right ear, and possibly an infection. Every morning and evening for seven days, we must clean both her ears and then put drops in the right one. This is not a fun activity for us or her.

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What the "h"?

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I haven't been keeping exact count, but the word "Fahrenheit" seems to have been misspelled in at least half of the professional media references I've seen to the new Michael Moore film, Fahrenheit 9/11. Everyone seems to want to drop that first h.* The latest culprit is A.M. New York, page 12, column 2.

UPDATE: A pair of interesting reports on Fahrenheit 9/11 by Roger Ebert, from Cannes:

http://www.suntimes.com/output/eb-feature/cst-ftr-cannes18.html http://www.suntimes.com/output/eb-feature/cst-ftr-cannes19.html

* I also wish the first h had never been dropped from "George H. W. Bush."
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The two (or three) C's

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While I am capable of carrying on a cellphone conversation in public with only minimal cringing, I do not have the chutzpah sufficient to permit me to initiate a speaker-cellphone call in a coffee bar. However, I apparently also lack sufficient cojones to keep one from happening at my table and being compelled to join it. Such are the perils of modern man.

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Just do her! haplessly

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I added Google ads to my web site in January. Over the weekend my earnings from running the ads tipped over $100, so I should be getting a check by early July. Woo-hoo! I'm rich! Gimme some more of that Internet cash!

Early on, I spent a lot of time trying to customize my ad settings so that pro-LDS products would not be advertised on my site. After a couple of months, though, realizing that I was fighting a losing battle, I gave up and quit trying to block ads from certain domains. I decided it was more subversive to let DearElder.com pay me a few dimes for running their ads than to try to keep them off my site. I'm laughing all the way to the Penny Lane change-counting machine at the Commerce Bank around the corner.

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Random observations

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The Petco at Kips Bay has the slowest checkout line in the known universe. I could be the only person in line and it would still take twenty minutes to get through.


Why on earth would you walk briskly up the escaltor on the left-hand side, just the way custom dictates in our country, and then stop dead and ride off the last four steps to the top?! Come on, lame-o, there are people behind you, and you don't have brakelights.
Don't bug me about secondhand smoke or anything like that. The big problem I have with smokers is that they are almost invariably litterers. What smoker finishes a butt on the street and then looks around diligently for an ashcan in which to stub it out? No, he'll just toss it on the sidewalk—perhaps grinding it out with his heel or toe, if he is a particularly conscientious smoker.

Yeah, I'm the guy who can't walk past a burning discarded cigarette butt without stepping on it. Yes, the compulsion is entirely my own problem. But I'm not the bastard lighting it on fire and rolling it down the street in the first place.

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Tattoo you

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I sat across from Shelley Jackson at dinner at Spring Street Natural once night a few months ago, part of a large group that had schooled off to dinner after a reading at Housing Works Used Book Cafe. I listened in amazement as she described her project to print a short story entirely in tattoos on other people's bodies, one word per participant. No one would know his word in advance, and only participants would ever receive a copy of the full text of the finished story.

I kept my mouth shut at the time, but I had never heard of a literary project so exclusionary and elitist. Experimental fiction is all well and good, but this is a case where a participant cannot access a work of art without permanently becoming a part of it. I'm not surprised there are two thousand people so eager to belong to something "important" that they would agree to this. But with a secret text available only to the initiated, this strikes me as less a literary statement than the makings of a cult.

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The Accidental Terrorist 30th Anniversary Sale

Signed editions
that even a
missionary
could afford.

Order yours now!

William Shunn

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