inessential by Brent Simmons


You've heard of "damning with faint praise," right -- when someone who, for instance, thinks the Mona Lisa sucks, they say something like "DaVinci's choice of color was appropriate for the subject matter."

There's also such a thing as "praising with faint damns." Usually that's what you do when talking about your own stuff.

Jane says: "Jim, I really like your [painting, novel, song, whatever]!"

Jim says: "Thanks Jane, that means alot to me. But I was frustrated at not being able to achieve [super-impressive sounding] effect right here."

Watch for it: you'll notice this all the time.

Yes, thank you, I'm glad you like my weblog, but I'm frustrated at not being able to insert a witty quip right here.

Continuing a thread from yesterday, more slow things Americans do:

Golf. Fishing. Gardening.

Gardening is huge. More than baseball, gardening is the nation's past-time.

We also read alot of books. Books are big.

I'm tempted to list car racing as an example of slowness. Yes, the cars themselves are moving fast, but if you watch a race you'll note that the relative positions of cars can remain static for long periods of time. It's Wagnerian. Glacial. Like baseball, an hour can go by where nothing happens.

When the history of sitcoms in the '90s is written, it will record that NewsRadio, not Seinfeld, was funniest.