Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Five questions

Busy week. Let me throw five questions out there and see what your thoughts are:

  • Does the Grateful Dead have any artistic merit?
  • Vast numbers of Americans devote a large percentage of their thinking to spectator sports trivia. Would we be better off if all that mental energy were devoted to something else? If so, what?
  • What's your favorite group name? (Mine is an unkindness of ravens. Thanks to my colleague Melanie Spiller for this list.)
  • Studies show that e-mail is often misunderstood. Plenty of anecdotal evidence backs this up. So how do we fix this?
  • Does peeing in public bathrooms make you nervous? If so, do you have a way of dealing with that? Doing mental math problems usually works for me.


Steve S said...

1 - Since I am listening to "Dire Wolf" as I write this, I would have to say yes.

2 - I'd say there are a few diseases and a few social ills that warrant a bit more attention, but then again it would most likely make little difference.

3 - dray of squirrels

4 - Generally, if it is a particularly important subject matter I try to follow emails up with some other form of communication (phone, in person) with a bit more emotional content.

5 - Heh, can't say that it does.

Melanie Spiller said...

1. Very little music written after 1750 has artistic merit. It is noisy, though, I'll give it credit for that.
2. I have two: a pelaton of bikers and a skulk of foxes.
3. I don't get mad about much. Not traffic, not irate e-mails, not fools declaiming endlessly. The nice thing about e-mails is they make this satisfying "snick" sound when you delete them.
4. Yes, I do. I hold it. For hours, if need be.

cybele said...

1. hmmm. to me, something with "artistic merit" provides people with a means of viewing or understanding something differently, and/or provides them with a transcendental experience. i think that the dead has done those things for a number of people. in this case, though, i'd have to say that artistic merit is in the eye of the beholder because i think the dead suck.

2. sport trivia, movie trivia, tv trivia, shopping, working, sex...they're all ways that we distract ourselves from things we don't want to see. i think that if people actually saw those things, they would have no choice but to make the world a better place.

3. charm of goldfinches

4. without facial expression, voice inflection, hand gestures, etc. it's easy to misinterpret the written word. especially because many people are such lazy & careless writers.

5. empty public bathrooms, especially BIG ones like at the movie theater, are terrifying to me. who or what is lurking in those other stalls?? i avoid those situations if at all possible.

Kristina said...

1. artistic merit or not, ick. I don't like it. (does Ian know you linked to his cool essay? I'm sure he'd be pleased.)

2. I like trivia. I think you can amuse yourself with pop culture and still think deep thoughts. my brain is agile enough to do both.

3. bouquet of pheasant

4. I think if we keep in mind the limitations of email, we'll be fine. in my experience (and mistakes), it's usually a bad idea to express anger or frustration over email.

5. when I was a kid, I was paranoid that the toilet water would whirlpool the wrong direction and shoot out at me. this was a bigger danger, I figured, with public toilets (because they flush so loudly and violently). I got over that, but I still prefer the safety of my own bathroom.

Bliss said...

1) Seattle Friend and I used to open his radio show with a song called "I'll Be Grateful When They're Dead."

2) Nah - it'd end up being wasted on debating the merits of Real Becky versus Fake Becky on Rosanne (Fake Becky, right here).

3) Murder of crows. Always. :)

4) Video emails - we need the facial cues.

5) Hell yes. Today, I had to pee standing next to a judge.