At Home He's a Tourist

He fills his head with culture/ He gives himself an ulcer.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Guitar Chords for Steely Dan, "The Fez"

Brought to you by Carlos' Close-'NuffTM Guitar Transcriptions. No warranty is given or implied--use at your own risk. All chords subject to change without notice.


C#7 F#7 B7 E7 (listen to the record for the picking pattern)


Am7 Fmaj7 Dm6 Em11

No I'm never gonna do it without the fez on
Oh no
No I'm never gonna do it without the fez on
Oh no
That's what I am
D9/6 C#7#9
Please understand
Cmaj7 C#maj7 Ebmaj7 C#maj7 Bmaj7
I wanna be your holy man

B7 E7 (omit before the instrumental break)

Instrumental Break:

Ebmaj7 Dmaj7 Ebmaj7
Dm C B7

Cmaj7 Em11 Cmaj7 Em11
F13 E7 F13
Am7 G13 F#7
F#m/B Em/A Dsus4 Csus4 Bm7 Cmaj7/6
B7 E7

Verse and fade

Some chord definitions:







Please drop me an email if you find this useful or if you have suggestions.


I'm thinking of jumping ship from Netflix to Greencine because of the latter's foreign/indie emphasis. Has anyone used Greencine? Are they reliable?

Friday, June 25, 2004

So the Plain Layne blog turns out to be fictional. Had me fooled, I have to admit.


"Wholesale elimination of poems by women and minorities"? Not quite: Bloom includes plenty of Emily Dickinson and deems her to be tied with Walt Whitman for the title of premier American poet. Christina Rossetti and Elizabeth Browning are represented too. The exclusion of minority poets probably has more to do with the time frame of the anthology (pre-1900) than racism.

Bloom, Harold, ed. The Best Poems of the English Language: From Chaucer Through Frost. HarperCollins, $34.95.

Publishers Weekly: “Bloom’s strongly held, and deeply felt, preferences for the most productive misreadings in the language come to the fore brilliantly…while the selections that follow are significant, many are predictable; it is the headnotes that make the book indispensable…The book is filled with hundreds of taste-making turns and asides…sure to be a formative book for experienced readers and neophytes alike.” National Review: “Understandably, the vast majority of the poems in this anthology will not be unfamiliar, but the selection is generous and Bloom’s commentary is provocative.” Library Journal: “An eccentric editor (offering only four pages of George Herbert’s hard radiance while granting an inexplicable 20 to Lewis Carroll’s charming nonsense), sometimes exasperating in his smugness, Bloom rarely bores, and at this best he achieves a cogency worthy of the poets he so deeply admires.” Booklist: “However one feels about Bloom’s focus, every serious reader of poetry really must begin with the works he so ardently loves and champions, and this comprehensive anthology is an ideal starting place.” Kirkus: “The absence of Rexroth and MacDiarmid and others is puzzling. And so, too, is the presence of writers such as John Brooks Wheelwright, Walter Savage Landor, and Trumbull Stickney. Serious readers of poetry will find much room for argument in Bloom’s pages—which, in fairness, are plenty rich.” Virginia Quarterly Review: “What Bloom has done in this curious collection is to combine idiosyncratic preferences in tone and subject matter with large exclusionary categories. The glaring omissions that will immediately strike most contemporary readers derive from Bloom’s scorched earth policy toward women and minority writers. Bloom’s wholesale elimination of poems by women and minorities is disgusting and deplorable. A number of Bloom’s additions to the company of the blest are clunkers. Bloom in not fond of poems so visceral, so recklessly material. He likes philosophical platitudes refracted through layers of frenzied imagery and high rhetoric.”

Thursday, June 24, 2004

A pleasant day spent going through bags of books donated by a Methodist minister who is retiring. Maybe the most interesting item is Krafft-Ebbing's Psychopathia Sexualis. It's full of charming case-studies like the following:

CASE 97. L., labourer, was arrested because he has cut a large piece of skin from his left forearm with a pair of scissors in a public park. He confessed that for a long time he had been craving to eat a piece of the fine white skin of a maiden, and that for this purpose he had been lying in wait for such a victim with a pair of scissors; but, as he had been unsuccessful, he desisted from his purpose and instead had cut his own skin...Imagining that it was a piece of the skin of the girl whom he had pursued, he would whilst masticating his own skin obtain orgasm and ejaculation.

Hmm, I wonder what sort of search engine hits I'm going to start getting now.

Among the donations there's also a fun coffee-table book from 1951 called Protestant Panorama: A Story in Text and Pictures of the Faith that Made America Free. The authors claim that "the American heritage is the Protestant heritage" and Protestantism is "inevitably cast for the role of chief adversary of communism."

Wednesday, June 23, 2004


I always wondered about this: How to calculate the calories in alcoholic beverages. (Scroll down.)

Black tea aids circulation.


The Dubbing of The Simpsons: Cultural Appropriation, Discursive Manipulation and Divergences, by one Eric Plourde of the University of Montreal. "France and Quebec have different linguistic contexts, and this has an influence on dubbing." You don't say? "In fact, analysis reveals that the main divergence of the practice is that Quebec cartoons target a young audience, resulting in censorship or mitigation of some subversive discourse, a strategy not apparent in French dubbing." One thing that struck me watching the VFQ of "Homer the Heretic" is that Quebeckers must not know much about the peculiarities of American religiosity: "speaking in tongues" was rendered as "speaking a foreign language" and "snake handler" as "snake charmer."

Marge as Maxim girl.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004


Freeman, Charles. The closing of the Western mind: the rise of faith and the fall of reason. Knopf, $30.00.

Choice: “one of the best books to date on the development of Christianity…Beautifully written and impressively annotated, this is an indispensable read for anyone interested in the roots of Christianity and its implications for our modern worldview. Essential.” Kirkus: “vigorous…lucid, accessible contribution to intellectual history.” Booklist: “impressively erudite” Library Journal: “stimulating…convincing…This book will appeal to the general educated reader. Highly recommended for all libraries.” Publishers Weekly: “fascinating, frustrating and flawed…Freeman fails to show that faith became totally dominant over reason…While Freeman tells a good story, his arguments fail to be convincing.” History Today: “The narrative is clear and fluent, nomenclature is studiously precise, and every judgment is supported by appeal to some authoritative historian or quotation of ancient texts…the theological conflicts of the fourth century are analysed with a subtlety that might serve as a model for professional academics…At the same time, while the errors are few, they are not confined to the innocent misspelling of ‘Libanius’ or the fashionable caricature of Origen as a Platonist who disowned the literal meaning of the scriptures…The atrophy of the western mind between Leo and Aquinas is made to seem all the more acute by the omission of Boethius, Bede, Eriugena and Anselm—a quartet that could probably not be matched by any four pagan writers from the period between Trajan and Theodoric…Freeman seems to subscribe to the erroneous syllogism that since tolerance is rational and paganism was tolerant, paganism itself was rational.”

Monday, June 21, 2004


Paxton, Robert O. The Anatomy of Fascism. Knopf, $26.

Publishers Weekly: “Paxton, the author of seminal works on Vichy france, now sums up a lifelong reflection on fascism’s myriad forms…This study has several virtues (and few defects): the writing is free of some of the theoretical jargon that threatens our understanding…This is sure to take its place among classics in the field by Stanley Payne and Roger Griffith.” Economist: “A deeply intelligent and very readable book. Paxton moves through the scholarly minefields with sharp eyes and historical good sense. He is alive to the complexities of politics without for once making them an excuse to avoid clear judgments. Not the least of his achievements is to make the over-written subject of fascism fresh. Historical analysis at its best.” Library Journal: “The culmination of a lifetime’s study, this work is based on a thorough analysis of just about every secondary work on fascism and includes a superb bibliographic essay that will guide students and historians for many years to come. While there are countless studies on fascism, readers will be hard pressed to find anything more in depth from a scholar with Paxton’s credentials. Recommended for all academic libraries and for public libraries with strong political science collections.” Foreign Affairs: “The book, based on decades of research and teaching, is likely to prove authoritative. The in-depth bibliographical essay alone will guide scholars and graduate students for years to come.” Kirkus: “Immensely learned. A solid contribution to political literature, and of much interest to students of 20th-century history.” Booklist: “Paxton wants his intricate but readable work to ‘rescue the concept for meaningful use,’ a laudable goal largely achieved.” New Statesman: “Lucid, engagingly readable. The book could have said more about the curious time-warping involved in fascism—-the way in which it is archaic and avant-garde, mythological and technological, at the same time.”

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Went to the Orthodox Presbyterian Church again this morning. I may make it my home church for the (hopefully short) time I'm here. The sermons, though too long, at least employ full-blooded Christian concepts such as sin, incarnation, atonement, redemption, election, etc., unlike the mainline churches where you tend to get vague moralism or pop-psychology. And it's a friendly little community.

My Lubbock excursion this afternoon was largely unsuccessful. Framing my posters, I found out, will be prohibitively expensive ($140 for the largest of the three). The Firestone place didn't have any tires small enough for my Saturn. I didn't see any shoes I liked. And the car wash was out of business. I did, though, get a much needed haircut. Hurrah.

To backpedal a bit, "Homer the Heretic" from season 4 is a classic Simpsons episode, and not only because Lubbock gets mentioned in it.