Blog of a fellow Alabamian

I just found and added to the blogroll Charles W. Johnson. He describes his blog as:

Pretentious culture-trawling, heavy-handed political growling, nerd-boy technology, philosophic essays, and general geekery from a bisexual radical feminist geeky white computer nerd boy in Alabama!

Isn't it obvious why I think he is fabulous? He's 21 years old and a senior at Auburn majoring in philosophy and computer science. See, this is what I try to tell people--not all people from the south are racist, sexist, and otherwise bigoted. Lots of us grew up seething in the face of the ignorant rantings we heard all the time, did some reading and, if we were lucky, had some good teachers, and turned out like Charles. Becky might back me up on this.

Public Speaking Tips

Yesterday, in a meeting for instructors of Rhetoric 1223, Oral Presentations in Professional Settings (which I'm teaching in Spring 03). I've been going to lots of teaching workshops lately. This afternoon, Richard Graff, the Course Coordinator for 1223, sent the 1223 instructors a link to public speaking tips from The Onion. Here are my favorites:

It's probably best to leave unverified allegations that Saddam Hussein tried to obtain uranium from Africa out of your State Of The Union address.

"Weird Al" Yankovic performs in front of large groups of strangers all the time. If that freak can do it, you ought to be able to manage.

Posts that strike me

A couple of things from my blog-reading:

NATIVES GRINDING RICE IN A MORTAR OWNED BY ALL (and more) from This Public Address


Public Diaries from Alex Halavais.

That first one has really stuck with me.

You gotta suck da head on dem der crawfish

Yay! I can now use that phrase with impunity. Mystikal was recently absolved of some ridiculous copyright charges. Mystikal used some Cajun phrases in "Shake Ya Ass," and it turns out that a company called Emanation Inc. "makes a hand-held toy called "Cajun in Your Pocket" that plays several Cajun phrases, and got a copyright for the word arrangements on Dec. 13, 2000."

That's wrong on at least two levels--cajun in your pocket?! How incredibly offensive. And then getting a copyright on colloquialisms? Please. The article goes on to say that

The appeals court agreed with a district judge, ruling that the sayings - "We gon pass a good time, yeah, cher," and "You gotta suck da head on dem der crawfish" - are not original and therefore are not protected under copyright laws.

Well, laissez les bon temps rouler!

Cross-posted to Kairosnews.

AbFab Trivia Challenge

Take the quiz! I got a perfect score.

Blogging Across the Curriculum

Cyborg Mommy has created an online resource about blogging. It's designed for students, but I think it's good for anyone who's new to blogging.

Cross-posted to Kairosnews.

Awww... the KEIs are all grown up.

Feministe has blogged about KEI, or "Kids with Entitlement Issues," who often throw god-awful tantrums. I think they grow up to be like Adrienne Samen, a Connecticut bride who went ballistic on her wedding day:

Restaurant managers had trouble keeping some of the 80 or so guests from repeatedly raiding the bar Saturday when it closed after the agreed-upon four hours, said Helmar Wolf, 58, co-owner of the converted gristmill.

But the real drama didn't begin until the newlyweds got into a screaming match in the idyllic restaurant's parking lot.

Samen - who sports a tattoo on her right arm and one above her left breast - "spit on her ring and smashed her wedding cake on the ground," Wolf said.

Then she took out six or seven flower-filled vases, he and cops allege.

The bridegroom "started driving off and she took a run at the car and, like an eagle, spread herself on the hood in her wedding gown and fell onto the ground," said Wolf, who noted he had never seen anything like it in his 19 years as a restaurateur.

What a comment on class, both in the economic and mannerly senses. Ugh, and they just had to point out that she has a tattoo. She must be a reprobate!

Bestselling classics and the public domain

The Shifted Librarian has a post reviewing Book Magazine's list of the bestselling classic novels of 2002. Per the Shifted Librarian's request, Eliot Landrum enhanced the list to reflect each book's public domain entrance status. The Great Gatsby will enter the public domain in 2020 if F. Scott Fitzgerald's estate doesn't file for an extension--but of course they will! Right now I'm trying to imagine works of literature, postmodern literature and any other 21st-century literature that isn't "postmodern literature," that are being inhibited right now by practically-perpetual copyright laws. Gah.

As an addendum, I have to wonder about Book Magazine's definition of "classic." The Red Tent by Anita Diamant is on there, which is a very new book (other newbies are on there too). Don't get me wrong; I loved the book and really think you should read it if you haven't, but is it already considered a classic? I'm proud to point out that The Red Tent is a brilliant derivative work of a public-domain text: the Bible.

Cross-posted at Kairosnews.

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