August 29, 2008

The Weeklies #51

The Weekly Strange But Amusing Display of Geeky Artistic Prowess. 135 Ways To Ruin The Olympics Using Technology.

The Weekly Kick-Ass Ancient T-shirt. Yesterday I got home and threw on my Robert Plant Non-Stop-Go Tour t-shirt. It's amazing it still fits so well since the concert was in 1988.

The Weekly Read. I mentioned last week that I had a book hangover after I finished All About Lulu. At that point, I was only a little way into The Cleaner by Brett Battles. It was just about the exact opposite of All About Lulu which I think it what you need when recovering from a book hangover. Kinda like a greasy burger after a night of heavy drinking. Though I'm guessing. I don't drink heavy nor do I eat meat. So, totally uninformed simile on my part. Sorry. Anyway, I wasn't really digging The Cleaner early on. It seemed silly and shallow but what it evolved into was a pretty strong, surprising spy novel in the spirit of Ludlum or Le Carre. Also a shitty comparison because I've never read Ludlum or Le Carre but I've seen movies based on their books and that has to count for something, right? Bottom line - The Cleaner was good. So much so, that I'm half tempted to buy the sequel in hardback but I know I have too big a pile of books to read so unless I can get it cheap, I'll resist.

The Weekly Music. I was walking through my music room checking out all my CDs last weekend when I realized that I had tons of good stuff I've never ripped into MP3s and plopped into my iTunes library. And some really obscure stuff. Like Richard Wright's Broken China. The second and most recent solo album from the Pink Floyd keyboardist captures the essence of the Pink Floyd sound and expands on it. Camel's I Can See Your House From Here is a little-known progressive rock gem containing the ten minute song Ice which is extremely cool (heh). I found Randy Newman's Sail Away was hidden away on my shelves. And Toy Matinee's self-titled album - which showcased the genius of now-departed Kevin Gilbert is truly a long lost gem I'm glad I found. It was a fun musical discovery (or re-discovery) week.

The Weekly Schadenfreude. I take no joy in this so it's more like Schadenirony this week. Dave Freeman, who authored the mega-hit 100 Things To Do Before You Die, well, died this week. He wasn't gored by a bull in Pamplona, didn't go down in a helicopter over the Amazon, nor was he smashed against pointy rocks whilst cliff diving in Mexico. No, he bumped his head in his house. And died. Bet that wasn't in the book.

The Weekly Best Political Speech Ever. Obama's speech last night accepting the nomination of the Democratic party was, perhaps, the most eloquent, brilliant, and moving speech I've ever heard. I was at a loss for words in its aftermath. Finally something real that could rival anything Aaron Sorkin could come up with.

The Weekly Hypothetical. Would you rather be a person of average intelligence, but a truly good person, or a truly brilliant person, but one of average morals? (Thanks, Alektra)

Posted by Chris at August 29, 2008 6:57 AM

Brilliant, but with average morals...
I like to think that I'd still contribute more.

I mean, you didn't say NO morals. :)

Posted by: caleal at August 29, 2008 7:44 AM

I'll go with average intelligence and being truly good. I already have the intelligence part down!

(and would have proved it if not for spell check)

Posted by: Jeff A at August 29, 2008 8:08 AM

I hope I'm already the former, so maybe I'd try the latter just to change things up ;-)

Posted by: Heather at August 29, 2008 8:20 AM

I was part of a small party last night to watch the speech. It was wonderful although the media was already talking about McCain's V.P. choices. Pawlenti? Yuck.

I'd rather be good than brilliant but I wouldn't mind having both.

Enjoy your long weekend!!

Posted by: Ann Adams at August 29, 2008 8:23 AM

Music: I will have to checkout BROKEN CHINA.

Hypothetical: I'll go with average intelligence, but a truly good person. With hard work, an average person can surpass a brilliant person. (Yes, I truly believe that.)

Have a fantastic weekend!

Posted by: Maria at August 29, 2008 8:50 AM

Brilliant with average morals. I enjoy my moral flexibility. And my brilliance. MUHAHAHA. ha.

Posted by: Poppy at August 29, 2008 8:50 AM

I know a truly brilliant woman. PHD and all. But you know what? She totally sucks as a mother! So no. I am happily average with my overall intelligence. It made me a much better mother yesterday when my daughter needed me. She did have to have emergency surgery and somehow I stayed calm and cool and supportive for her. I did, however, collapse once I got home. Mandy will be okay now, but yesterday it was touch and go.

Posted by: Maribeth at August 29, 2008 8:53 AM

I think I'll just stick with my average intelligence and good person status. It's gotten me by alright so far.

Posted by: sarah at August 29, 2008 9:22 AM

Average intelligence can be turned into brilliance with a little effort, so I'd lean toward being a truly good person.

On the other hand, average morals can be improved on, as well, but those habits die hard, so let's stick with the first one.

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at August 29, 2008 9:26 AM

That's a tough question. I'd like to believe that I am already brilliant with outstanding morals. :D

Though I'd have to go with avg. intelligence/being a great person. I guess that's the angel in me. LOL.

Posted by: claire at August 29, 2008 9:39 AM

Maybe Sorkin is his speech writer?

Posted by: Heather at August 29, 2008 9:40 AM

I'd rather be of average intelligence with great morals, but I think it's a great question and one I did have to think about.

Posted by: Writer Dad at August 29, 2008 9:42 AM

I think I would choose brilliant with average morals. Some people have really great morals and some are completely crappy. I like to think that average wouldn't be that bad.

Posted by: anna at August 29, 2008 10:47 AM

I *am* "a person of average intelligence, but a truly good person". At least I think so. What would brilliance get me if I'm an asshole to everyone else.

Posted by: oakley at August 29, 2008 11:04 AM

What's YOUR answer, Chris?

Mine's the first. I wish I could be a Mother Theresa, or a Ghandi, or someone who truly gets things done because their head isn't turned by the least important crap on earth.

And yes, I think they were both very smart, but it's not their defining characteristic.

I feel so honored! :) I can come up with more if you want!

Posted by: alektra at August 29, 2008 11:25 AM

I'd rather be average than an asshat any day.

Seriously last night, he gave an awesome speech.

Posted by: Issa at August 29, 2008 11:25 AM

I would rather be of average intelligence with good morals. I want to be the best role model I can be to my two daughters and I think being a good person is better than the smartest.

Posted by: Sarah at August 29, 2008 11:33 AM

Ditto Issa. I wouldn't like the guilt. Although maybe that wouldn't be an issue?

What do you think about Sarah Palin? Is she going to attract ALL the Hillary supporters now?

Posted by: MissAnna at August 29, 2008 11:37 AM

I bet Sorkin wrote his speech.

And it was a good speech, moving, inspiring but i noticed some crontradictions in it. I was going to write you an email about it but I figured I will just leave it here.

He spends the first 5 minutes talking about McCain being like bush and the failed policies of the republicans, but then later talks about not looking back and only moving forward. His campaign over the next 60 some days is going to be comparing McCain to Bush...that to me is looking back and not moving forward.

Posted by: william at August 29, 2008 11:40 AM

Wait, what? He bumped his head into his house and died? Huh.
I'd be the average, but good person. And hey, I thought you were coming clean with answering your own questions!

Posted by: Dianna at August 29, 2008 11:45 AM

I think I'd go with average intelligence and truly good person. I think I alerady have average intelligence, and I'm doing alright. I mean... I don't fall down a lot or anything :) I think most of the time being a good person is more important than knowing all the answers.

Posted by: Kate at August 29, 2008 12:07 PM

"Bet that wasn't in the book." *snort*

Neither. I'd rather own my own island and have lots of minions. And pina coladas.

Posted by: GreenCanary at August 29, 2008 1:15 PM

I'll take the brilliance, please. Since morals are all relative anyway, average is probably just about right.

And, it is good to be feeling a bit more politically optimistic today.

Posted by: OS at August 29, 2008 2:07 PM

I'm having trouble concentrating since McCain picked Ms. Alaska runner up for his running mate....

Posted by: k8 at August 29, 2008 2:24 PM

I was in the stadium. It was awesome:)

Average morals sound good enough to me. I mean, if I'm smart enough to conquer the world I need to be kind of an ass so that I want to. Right? Plus then maybe I could cut down on my study time.

Posted by: sunshine at August 29, 2008 10:12 PM

Funny, I thought the Berlin speech was much much better. I guess the Berlin speech was aimed at a non-U.S. market. Still better than most.

What did you think of McCain's choice for VP?

Posted by: Nat at August 29, 2008 11:21 PM

As you are an avid reader, I seek your advice...

If I start a book and feel wishy-washy about it, I tend to let it go - although my instinct is to see it through, and sometimes, there is enough of 'something' to it that doesn't make it all bad, even if it's bad in the end.

What do you tend to do when you start a book and don't get that 'hang-over' book feeling? You started your last book as your post indicates, and weren't thrilled but were satisfied by the end...why did you continue reading?


Posted by: Kelly at August 30, 2008 12:16 AM

As you are an avid reader, I seek your advice...

If I start a book and feel wishy-washy about it, I tend to let it go - although my instinct is to see it through, and sometimes, there is enough of 'something' to it that doesn't make it all bad, even if it's bad in the end.

What do you tend to do when you start a book and don't get that 'hang-over' book feeling? You started your last book as your post indicates, and weren't thrilled but were satisfied by the end...why did you continue reading?


Posted by: Kelly at August 30, 2008 12:16 AM

I might have to check out The Cleaner because I am a LeCarre and Ludlum fan. In nonfiction news, I just finished Three Cups of Tea. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it.

And I'd rather be of average intelligence and be a truly good person.

Posted by: Kelley at August 30, 2008 6:08 PM

I'm going to say average intelligence and truly good. What could you possibly need to know that Google won't tell you?

Posted by: angela at August 30, 2008 11:28 PM

it's less lonely being good rather than brilliant in my experience so I'll plump for that.

Posted by: mamacrow at August 31, 2008 4:10 PM

Freeman bumped his head and couldn't get up in the morning.

Okay that was mean, huh?

Posted by: kimmyk at August 31, 2008 9:24 PM

Music: Don't know if you are a movie person, but I watched Once, and then immediately purchased the soundtrack on iTunes. If his voice doesn't make you cry and her voice doesn't make you want to have sex, then there is something seriously wrong with you. Check it out, fo real.

Obama's speech made me cry.

Average intelligence and good morals. People are remmembered for their intelligence, revered for their morals.

Posted by: mymilabean at September 1, 2008 10:18 PM

I strictly recommend not to wait until you get enough money to order goods! You should just get the business loans or student loan and feel fine

Posted by: FlorenceGOULD at June 6, 2010 8:39 PM