Apparently "avant-garde" is now a synonym for "shitty".

And the act should probably be billed as "O DEAR GOD NO".

[Thanks to Angela for the giggle.]

In which Michael Moore is eviscerated once more.

Screedy goodness from James Lileks.

Addendum: Dean Esmay gleefully links to Lileks with the further observation that anyone who finds Moore even remotely defensible is a scumbag by association. Personally I wouldn't go that far; I prefer to cut the ignorant a certain amount of slack.


De gustibus non est disputandem.

Ian Hamet points me to Terry Teachout's Teachout Cultural Concurrence Index (TCCI). I respond not because I necessarily agree or disagree with Teachout most of the time, but because of my Pavlovian need to respond to lists of things from which to pick.

1. Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly?
2. The Great Gatsby or The Sun Also Rises?
3. Count Basie or Duke Ellington?
4. Cats or dogs?
5. Matisse or Picasso?
6. Yeats or Eliot?
7. Buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplin?
8. Flannery O’Connor or John Updike?
9. To Have and Have Not or Casablanca?
10. Jackson Pollock or Willem de Kooning?
11. The Who or the Stones?
12. Philip Larkin or Sylvia Plath?
13. Trollope or Dickens?
14. Billie Holiday or Ella Fitzgerald?
15. Dostoyevsky or Tolstoy?
16. The Moviegoer or The End of the Affair?
17. George Balanchine or Martha Graham?
18. Hot dogs or hamburgers?
19. Letterman or Leno?
20. Wilco or Cat Power?
21. Verdi or Wagner?
22. Grace Kelly or Marilyn Monroe?
23. Bill Monroe or Johnny Cash?
24. Kingsley or Martin Amis?
25. Robert Mitchum or Marlon Brando?
26. Mark Morris or Twyla Tharp?
27. Vermeer or Rembrandt?
28. Tchaikovsky or Chopin?
29. Red wine or white?
30. Noël Coward or Oscar Wilde?
31. Grosse Pointe Blank or High Fidelity?
32. Shostakovich or Prokofiev?
33. Mikhail Baryshnikov or Rudolf Nureyev?
34. Constable or Turner?
35. The Searchers or Rio Bravo?
36. Comedy or tragedy?
37. Fall or spring?
38. Manet or Monet?
39. The Sopranos or The Simpsons?
40. Rodgers and Hart or Gershwin and Gershwin?
41. Joseph Conrad or Henry James?
42. Sunset or sunrise?
43. Johnny Mercer or Cole Porter?
44. Mac or PC?
45. New York or Los Angeles?
46. Partisan Review or Horizon?
47. Stax or Motown?
48. Van Gogh or Gauguin?
49. Steely Dan or Elvis Costello?
50. Reading a blog or reading a magazine?
51. John Gielgud or Laurence Olivier?
52. Only the Lonely or Songs for Swingin’ Lovers?
53. Chinatown or Bonnie and Clyde?
54. Ghost World or Election?
55. Minimalism or conceptual art?
56. Daffy Duck or Bugs Bunny?
57. Modernism or postmodernism?
58. Batman or Spider-Man?
59. Emmylou Harris or Lucinda Williams?
60. Johnson or Boswell?
61. Jane Austen or Virginia Woolf?
62. The Honeymooners or The Dick Van Dyke Show?
63. An Eames chair or a Noguchi table?
64. Out of the Past or Double Indemnity?
65. The Marriage of Figaro or Don Giovanni?
66. Blue or green?
67. A Midsummer Night’s Dream or As You Like It?
68. Ballet or opera?
69. Film or live theater?
70. Acoustic or electric?
71. North by Northwest or Vertigo?
72. Sargent or Whistler?
73. V.S. Naipaul or Milan Kundera?
74. The Music Man or Oklahoma?
75. Sushi, yes or no?
76. The New Yorker under Ross or Shawn?
77. Tennessee Williams or Edward Albee?
78. The Portrait of a Lady or The Wings of the Dove?
79. Paul Taylor or Merce Cunningham?
80. Frank Lloyd Wright or Mies van der Rohe?
81. Diana Krall or Norah Jones?
82. Watercolor or pastel?
83. Bus or subway?
84. Stravinsky or Schoenberg?
85. Crunchy or smooth peanut butter?
86. Willa Cather or Theodore Dreiser?
87. Schubert or Mozart?
88. The Fifties or the Twenties?
89. Huckleberry Finn or Moby-Dick?
90. Thomas Mann or James Joyce?
91. Lester Young or Coleman Hawkins?
92. Emily Dickinson or Walt Whitman?
93. Abraham Lincoln or Winston Churchill?
94. Liz Phair or Aimee Mann?
95. Italian or French cooking?
96. Bach on piano or harpsichord?
97. Anchovies, yes or no?
98. Short novels or long ones?
99. Swing or bebop?
100. "The Last Judgment" or "The Last Supper"?

Total of 91 responses, with 57 in concurrence with Teachout, giving me a TCCI of 62.6.

I really can't imagine choosing the Who over the Stones. The Mercer vs. Porter choice was much harder, as was Steely Dan vs. Elvis Costello. Batman vs. Spiderman is only valid if we're talking about campy 60s Batman; otherwise count that as a non-response. Oh, and I loathe--LOATHE--"Chinatown" with a passion scarcely to be borne within woman's breast.


Maraschino ice cream.

Stir 1 cup of sugar into 2 cups of heavy cream and bring nearly to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Cool and add 2 more cups of heavy cream, the juice of 1 orange, and one of the following:
1/4 tsp. almond extract, or
1/2 tsp. wild cherry extract, or
2 drops angostura bitters
Drain the liquid from a 16 oz. jar of maraschino cherries (without stems) and add the liquid to the cream mixture. Chop the cherries roughly (about 3 seconds in the food processor) and add to the cream. Chill until quite cold, at least 2 hours or overnight, and freeze according to the directions peculiar to your ice cream maker.