Hermits Rock

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The language of protest

A linguistic stem from the stem cell bill the House of Representatives passed last week is the precious euphemism, which Kathy brought to my attention last night, "snowflake babies." It's times like this I wish I had a Lexis account (in spite of the risk): with Lexis I could more easily trace such a neologism to its origin. As far as I can see today, however, the term didn't exist in the public sphere as a reference to frozen zygotes before last week. Snowflake babies remind me of the Hans Christian Andersen story, The Snow Queen, which I read many years ago and think I'll read again; the poor, cryogenically-frozen children lost in a world of freezer burn and frostbite. President Bush's first-ever veto awaits the House's bill once it passes the Senate, and for what? Certainly not for the sake of intellectual consistency, although perhaps for realpolitik will he make his stand. (Will he manage to show Dr. Senator Frist how it's done?) Meanwhile, although some of those kids have found happy homes, many of those shivering thousands snowflake babies are still awaiting adoption; meanwhile, most of these shivering millions are too. Sadly, no one will ever call them snowflakes for the sake of a photo op.

posted by Greg at 10:13 PM

to pull apart; to break down to its constituent parts

Bush has apparently learned a new word. He is so proud of having learnt this new word that he decided to use it as his coup de grace against Amnesty International's latest charge of American detention practices being the modern gulag.

The LA Times reproduces his entire response to AI's accusation:

"It's an absurd allegation. The United States is a country that promotes freedom around the world," he said, adding: "We've investigated every single complaint against the detainees. It seemed like to me they based some of their decisions on the word of and the allegations by people who were held in detention, people who hate America, people that had been trained in some instances to disassemble that means not tell the truth. And so it was an absurd report."

posted by Jeremy at 4:24 PM

Sunday, May 29, 2005

sunday tv

as i watched the end of today's indianapolis 500, i got a little weepy when it looked like danica patrick, the lone female driver, looked like she was going to win. i have long been a pretty egalitarian guy (or else m.b. would not have married me), but now that i am an egalitarian father of a daughter, there is an added layer of emotion to gender-related accomplishments and disparities. not that i have any specific desire for r. to drive indy cars and/or pose suggestively in maxim or fhm or whatever either.

in other auto racing news, as i write this, the nascar drivers are driving 600 miles. i feel like m.b., r., and i are the only people not driving anywhere (except to church) over the long weekend. we are the little old lady stereotype.

posted by Chris at 9:23 PM

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

not HAL, but pretty darn impressive

"The spacecraft knows nothing about what is going on," Stone said. "It is just sending us the data."


posted by Jeremy at 10:31 AM

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

wing, and a test

What follows? Nonsense for the sake of a test. My work of late has made me aware of how efficacious it can be to highlight some specific amounts of text. So I thought I might try something similar here at hermits. The color that is supposed to show is the complement of our normal pink. What's nonsense about it all? I've had strange daydreams latelyusually while traveling in a carof mutilation. Often it involves the question, "What would my arm look like if I stuck it out to hit that pole?" It reminds me of the horror story my mom (who is all about providing horror stories these days), who was at the time my bus driver, read to everyone on the bus one day. Little Johnny wouldn't stay in his seat, and one day he stuck his head out the window and he was DECAPITATED!

posted by Greg at 10:09 PM

local crime updates

won't say where, won't say when...but at a recent party an attendee as victimized.
She reported that her gun was stolen from her purse during a party at a relative's apartment. Missing is a .45 cal semi-auto handgun.

again, won't say where, won't say when...but someone's riding lawnmower which had been left in their fenced yard, with the keys in the ingntion has been stolen.

posted by Jeremy at 8:58 AM

Monday, May 23, 2005

sensitive metrosexuals

tom cruise, being the sensitive metrosexual that he is, has recently said:

"When you talk about postpartum [depression], you can take people today, women, and what you do is you use vitamins. There is a hormonal thing that is going on, scientifically, you can prove that. But when you talk about emotional, chemical imbalances in people, there is no science behind that. You can use vitamins to help a woman through those things."
Articulate, sensitive, and very scientific about it all.

In fact, he blames the current state of Brooke Shield's career on having taken drugs. [Not that she did the Blue Lagoon; but Paxil]

Of course, he criticizes her in today's fashion. I say this because I care...because she has talent that has gone to waste.

Tsk, Tsk, women...and you thought that birth was emotionally traumatic...and you thought that hormones were chemicals...tsk, tsk.

Be quiet and chew your Flintstones...

posted by Jeremy at 2:29 PM

Kindred Spirits

Although art news doesn't usually make the list of most-circulated stories, it is in fact a major story that Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton has purchased Asher B. Durand's painting Kindred Spirits from the New York Public Library. (You'll recognize the painting from the cover of the Norton Anthology of American Literature. It depicts Thomas Cole and William Cullen Bryant surveying the Hudson River Valley with the respective "transparent eyeballs," which aren't transparent at all, of literature and painting.) The painting itself has an iconic significance with the Hudson River School, and for that reason it's both a very important piece of American art, but more locally, is also a very important piece of New York art, so it's remarkable that the NYPL would let it goeven for such a rich price as > $35 million. (BTW, Kathy & I toured Thomas Cole's house a couple of years ago.) What do you think Walton's going to do with the painting? Will this museum she's creating be truly publically accessible? Has anyone heard of the prospective museum before? Do you think there be sufficient acess for art historians to study the painting? Sometime today or tomorrow I'll write more on my thoughts, but wanted to register this story with y'all.

posted by Greg at 8:45 AM

Friday, May 20, 2005


george lucas couldn't write a love scene even if the fate of the universe and the balance of force depended on it. but, we've always known this and love isn't why we go see his movies...no, it's fight scenes and really bad dialogue about the force, and the way, and the dark side, and harnessing or not harnessing anger and fear.

tonite, we packed up the little girl and went to the drive in to watch the last installment...really, we went for closure. we knew how it was going to end, but like the last five bites of a pint of ben and jerry's you eat it anyway, even if you already know how it tastes and know that it won't do you any good. though, of course, ben and jerry's tastes so much better than the prequels.

anakin rushes to padme amidala's side in a dark corrider. somehow he, the hero of the expedition, has been able to slough off into the dark without the delegation welcoming him noticing his absence, or that he is going to join the princess whose name reminds me of the spanish word for tonsils so that they can kiss and smooch behind a column, despite her always being followed by an entourage the size of the population of a small island nation.

he holds her and here is a stellar moment of razzie dialogue:

ANAKIN: Are you all right? You're trembling. What's going on?
PADME: I'm just excited to see you.
ANAKIN: That's not it. I sense more . . . what is it?
PADME: Nothing . . . nothing . . .
ANAKIN: You're frightened. (a little angry) Tell me what's going on!
PADME begins to cry.
PADME: You've been gone five months . . . it's been very hard for me. I've never felt so alone. There's . . .
ANAKIN: . . . Is there someone else?
PADME: (peeved, angry) No! Why do you think that? Your jealousy upsets me so much, Anakin. I do nothing to betray you, yet you still don't trust me. Nothing has changed.
ANAKIN: (sheepish) I'm afraid of losing you, Padme . . . that's all.
PADME: I will never stop loving you, Anakin. My only fear is losing you.
ANAKIN: It's just that I've never seen you like this . . .
PADME: Something wonderful has happened.
They look at each other for a long moment.
PADME: (continuing) I'm . . . Annie, I'm pregnant.
ANAKIN is stunned. He thinks through all of the ramifications of this. He takes her in his arms.
ANAKIN: That's . . . that's wonderful.
PADME: What are we going to do?
ANAKIN: We're not going to worry about anything right now, all right? This is a happy moment. The happiest moment of my life.

Now, every other Jedi in the movie that comes within 3 rooms of Padme knows she's pregnant and knows that the father is Anakin. Plus, she's freakin' five months pregnant!!!! our dear Jedi is blind in more than one way.

have a good evening

posted by Jeremy at 11:55 PM

it's not the semester wrap up that keeps me from writing

with the birth of child, who is growing by leaps and bounds...(she measures in the 95% for length and weighs in somewhere between the 80-90%, at three months she's wearing her sixth month clothing. in fact, we've had to pack up a few outfits that she never even put on.)...and constantly worrying...at the moment it hasn't gone beyond worrying...about articles and book projects, i find i have little creative energy to write for hermits.

it's not that there aren't things to write...i could, and get in trouble with my home institution, divulge all the gossip about how petty my colleagues are, but everybody knows that academics vie with politicians as to the pettiest persons on the planet. also, we've become netflix memebers and watch movies, my problem is that if i don't write something up in the next day, i won't ever write it up.

so enough of excuses...while trying to stay on top of tenure, i came across this fascinating conference that i think we should all send papers into, plus it'll give us an excuse to go to london.

Title: Toilet Papers: The Gendered Construction of Public Toilets
Date: 2006-01-15
Description: Call for Papers Toilet Papers: The Gendered
Construction of Public Toilets Editors: Olga Gershenson
(University of Massachusetts-Amherst) Barbara Penner
(University College-London) "You know what they say about men
who hang around women's lavatories. They're asking to have
their illusions shattered. ...
Contact: Gershensonjudnea.umass.edu
Announcement ID: 145705

in other news, crime is rampant in our neighborhood:

1600 Moreland Ave, 5/01, larceny. Suspect placed two honey buns in his
coat and attempted to leave the store. Suspect was arrested at the

posted by Jeremy at 10:04 AM

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Tiny Tongue

Tiny Tongue
Originally uploaded by jt paden family.
More post later. Moms and Pops are leaving today. They came out for the hooding, which was nice, more about that later, should people want to read about my boring life. Irrespective of my rather boring academic existence. Evie continues to shine. Mom left for work today...it's been a sad night and morning in Atlanta-land.

posted by Jeremy at 9:06 AM

Monday, May 16, 2005


What a fine movie is Millions! I know y'all are all strapped to home by children, but if you can steal a few hours away, and if it happens to be playing nearby (more likely in GA than AR, I know), this one's worth the time, and as it happens money. Money is what it's all aboutno, rather, it's all about why money is not what it's all about. A sweet boy, Damian, who has visions of saintsincluding Ambrose and Peter, and for that reason alone singlehandedly rescues the name "Damian" from cinematic hellhas a bag of cash (pound notes) fall on his head. The pound notes fall about a week removed from Great Britain's switch to the Euro, so he and his entrepreneurial brother seek ways to use the money. Damian's own visions of saints remind him that such gifts are not made for the self, so he seeks ways to give the money to the poor, which include a household of Mormon elders who live nearby, a tableful of transients he invites to pizza, and the poor in drought-starved Africa. In respect to Africa, the film's post-imperial in what I'd argue is the best way: it calls attention to the problem of northern wealth and southern poverty, expresses a desirean obligation, evenfor the north to work to counteract such poverty, and it does it without being paternalistic. Like all good stories, however, Millions works to such large issues through smaller conflicts. In Damian's case, those conflicts surround the death of his mother and his family's coping with her death. Go see it if you can.

posted by Greg at 4:28 PM

Thursday, May 12, 2005

The Continuing Adventures of Capt. Sodomy in Christendom

This could also be called the "Anal Sex Chronicles," fast becoming a regular feature of Hermits. There are too many uncanny parallels to Chris's recently-linked study about anal sex, Jeremy's explorations of Jesus/Power, and Ayelish McGarvey's thorough, devastating, and (probably, sadly) ineffectual hit piece on David Hager in The Nation to leave it by the wayside.

posted by Greg at 10:39 PM

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Happy Mother's Day!

As the only Hermit family still childless, in honor of Mother's Day, Kathy and I present the conversation we had with my mother this evening. When I called today, mom said, "How's Kathy?" Our conversation began when Kathy picked up the extension.

Mom: I thought your cousin was going to bring her baby here for mother's day. I missed them. I have grown quite attached to that boy!

Greg: Those babies are pretty appealing!

Mom: Yes! And I want to make it clear to you that I am waiting for grandchildren. Greg's almost thirty [Not yet 29! -ed.]; what are you guys waiting for Kathy?

Kathy: Well, we're hoping sometime in the pretty near future, after we've paid off some bills, gotten full-time jobs. . .

Mom: You can afford it! But first you have to have them. When you have the baby, you just afford it. But you have to have it first. I'm beginning to wonder, Kathy, do you have sex?

Greg and Kathy: [Unintelligible.]

Mom: Because you know you don't have to worry about the kid. I'm going to steal it anyway. Your baby will know me! I haven't decided yet what I'll be called. To everybody else I'm G.A.B.Great Aunt B-. My sister's called Grams. My mother has become GramZ. I think I might just take "Granny." Nobody else seems to want it. My grandmother thought granny was offensive.

Kathy: You could just pick a name from a foreign language.

Mom: Oh! Why don't you guys do some research and make a list?

Greg: You could be grandmére. Or Au pair.

Kathy: Au pair? That sounds like work.

The conversation quickly moved to talk of work, of pets, of jury duty. Mom was excited about exercising her civic obligation. Her father gave her good advice: "Keep an open mind," he said. Eventually, as all conversations must, this one came to a close.

Mom: Kathy, it has been more than a year since I last talked to you! I think, as daughter-in-laws go, you are awesome. We really should talk more.

Kathy: For some reason it always seems as though we call our mothers when one of us is out of the house.

Mom: You two are definitely individuals.

Greg: That is why we bought another phone, actually, so that we could talk to our parents together. But we never use it.

Mom: We definitely should meet this summer at Lake of the Ozarks. My friend lives there. It'll take some coordination, but we can do it.

Kathy: Definitely.

Greg: Definitely.

posted by Greg at 11:03 PM

Thursday, May 05, 2005

a companion piece to lil'c's ???

it's rather long, but it's fascinating

has anybody else ever heard of the family? of doug coe? of ivanwald?

posted by Jeremy at 10:09 PM