Inhuman Swill : Page 185
Why is my blog called Inhuman Swill? Because you can unscramble the pieces to make William Shunn.

Our big brothers Nick and Norm

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I saw a pair of new commercials from the Office of National Drug Control Policy during 24 last night. Anyone else see them?

http://www.mediacampaign.org/mg/television.html

Watch "Ploy" first, then watch "Okay." This is the most blatant example of doublespeak I've ever seen in television commercials. The message of these commercials is basically "It's true because we said it's true." It almost doesn't matter to me whether or not drug money actually does fund terrorism. What terrifies me is the technique the government is using to make its point.

This is what the government thinks of us, that we should believe what they say because they say it. Subtler forms of this have been going on in America since its founding, of course, but this is the first time I've been literally chilled by an example of it on my television screen. I had the feeling last night that I was watching a line being crossed. I had the feeling I was looking Big Brother in the eye, or vice versa.

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Plus ça change

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Nearly 1100 quarters, over 1200 dimes, about 700 nickels, and more than 1600 pennies. It weighs about 40 pounds, it comes to $446.73, and it's what I hauled to Commerce Bank this morning, where you can cash in your coins without a fee at the Penny Arcade machine. And that's not all of it—Laura hauled in $300 and change on Saturday.

Thank God there was no transit strike this morning.

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Technical difficulties

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According to this quiz, I'm really Frank Herbert, which frankly explains a lot.

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Yes!

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From the Steely Dan newsletter:

We wanted you to be the first to know: The next Steely Dan album is all but in the can. Total recording time came in at a little over a year.

We've started a page for the little beauty at http://steelydan.com/newcd.html
That'll be the place to go for further details as they become available.

I'm so excited I can barely cope—I'm sizzling like an isotope.

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Switch

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Ill aura

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Laura received a piece of junk mail over the weekend that was addressed to "Aura" rather than "Laura." She quite liked that, but I immediately realized that the same sort of typo would render me "Ill." I think I shall be keeping my "B," thank you.

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Words kill

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If you're a skilled typist, for God's sake do not start playing Word Shark. You'll be at it all day.

My high score is 1,582,741 at level 18 (75 wpm, 95% accuracy).

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A new installment of the Mormon "Mad Lib" game "No Man Knows My Pancreas":

The Origin of the Endowment
Funnier if you've actually been to a Mormon temple, I would say.
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Radio blackout

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I'm embroiled in this silly email exchange with a poet named Susan Montez, who wrote me yesterday out of the blue to attempt to subtly discover whether or not the "Radio Free Queens" feature at my Web site was named for her book of poetry of the same name. When I asked her about the book, she told me that it should be required reading for everyone who lives in Queens.

I challenged her to back that statement up, and here's the best she's done so far: "If nothing else--how many books of poetry are out there about Queens? Hello. It's one of the more forgotten areas of the 718."

Oh, right. The it's-the-only-one-of-its-kind-so-it-must-be-worthwhile argument. I'll have to remember that one for the next editor I meet.

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