Monthly Archives: May 2012

Quote for the Day

Entirely lacking in dignity or nobility (or average integrity) is the well-heeled son of a gold-plated church who wants to assume the pained look of martyrdom only when he is asked if he actually believes what he says. A long time ago, Romney took the decision to be a fool for Joseph Smith, a convicted fraud and serial practitioner of statutory rape who at times made war on the United States and whose cult has been made to amend itself several times in order to be considered American at all. We do not require pious lectures on the American founding from such a man, and we are still waiting for some straight answers from him.

~Christopher Hitchens

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Filed under Hitch, Quotes

Unusually Stupid Primate of the Week

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No surprise here, this week’s prize goes to Donald Trump, who apparently didn’t get enough attention as a child, and therefore has to remind the American public, at least once a month, that he has nothing between his ears except perfectly fresh air. He just can’t let go of the birther bullshit. Donald, do you know what would happen if you somehow managed to unearth proof of this ridiculous accusation? Joe Biden would become President, unleashing six months of endless fucking hilarity and possible catastrophe. Keep digging, my orange-stained friend.

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Filed under Unusually Stupid Primates

Weekly Recipe

Roasted Pork with Smoky Red Pepper Sauce

I made this for dinner last night and it is so yummy! The recipe is mostly from Giada De Laurentiis’ new cookbook, “Weeknights with Giada,” which I highly recommend, but I added a few touches of my own.

Ingredients

A few tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Black pepper and kosher salt

Pork tenderloins (about a pound each, depending on how many people you are feeding)

Small onion, diced

Red, yellow and orange bell peppers (one of each color), cored, seeded and diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

About a cup of red wine

A little over two tablespoons of paprika (preferably smoked paprika)

An 8-10 ounce can of tomato sauce or puree

1 dried bay leaf

A dash of smoked salt (do this if you don’t have smoked paprika)

A handful of chopped parsley

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large skillet on the stovetop, heat a couple tablespoons of the olive oil over medium high heat. Season the pork with kosher salt and pepper and rub another tablespoon of olive oil into it. Add the pork to the skillet and brown on all sides. This should take about eight minutes. Transfer the pork to a roasting pan and roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes. If you have a meat thermometer, 165 degrees = cooked pork. Let the pork rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes when it comes out of the oven.

While the pork is roasting in the oven, heat some more olive oil in the skillet you just used for browning and add the onion, bell peppers and garlic. Let them cook for 8-10 minutes, until soft, stirring frequently. Add the wine and cook the alcohol out for a couple minutes. Stir in the paprika, tomato sauce and bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a boil, them lower to a simmer and let the sauce thicken for 20-25 minutes. Add a dash of salt (smoked salt if you like) and some pepper. Discard the bay leaf and puree the sauce in a blender until smooth. Slice the pork and pour the sauce on top. Garnish with the chopped parsley. Serve with a salad or side dish of choice and some wine.

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Filed under Recipes

The 30 Best Taco-Related Crimes

I don’t think the awesomeness of this can be overstated. The article is like a choose-your-own-adventure, where every outcome is fucking awesome. Because what deserves a high-five more than getting arrested for slapping someone across the face with a taco?

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Filed under Cute and/or Weird

Larkin, Auden, Love and Loss

Slate has a thoughtful article on love, loss and the poetry of Larkin and Auden, which got me thinking. Shakespeare’s Sonnet 66 implies that life is so rotten that only being in love makes it tolerable. I think Philip Larkin believed the first part of that sentence, but couldn’t find either the passion or the courage to practice the second part. Larkin was a bit of a misogynist and didn’t seem to even enjoy sex, except in the form of pornography and masturbation. He wrote at different times that, “if it were announced that all sex would cease…my way of life wouldn’t change at all,” and compared the act of sex to a useless attempt to, “get someone else to blow your nose for you.” Yet, great artists, no matter how melancholy, recognize that, “the soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience,” as Emily Dickinson put it. Nevertheless, Larkin’s primary attitude was that of a cynic; we are in a mean and derelict place, where sex and love are difficult. Great artists need to be immersed in a decent-sized pool of angst, to truly be great and enduring. People who love Larkin, love him precisely because he is devoid of sentimentality. F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “The sentimental person thinks things will last, while the romantic person has a desperate confidence that they won’t.” By that definition, perhaps Larkin had a trace of the romantic in him, which could partially account for his hatred of the idea of marriage and children. Larkin appeared to live by Thomas Hardy’s idea that, “humanity has evolved only far enough to insure our awareness of misery.” The tiny burst of love poetry examined in the article above, still can’t make me reconsider my view of Larkin as having a bit of Hamlet in him, in the sense that I don’t think he ever loved anyone. However, this doesn’t mean he couldn’t imagine love. A poet’s greatest gift is imagination, and one can imagine love without actually feeling it.

I believe Auden, the other poet dissected in the article, felt love in his lifetime and the reason he walked his poetic line back, as he did many others, was his almost manic obsession late in life that poetry should be merely technical in nature and not a form of therapy or propaganda. At a relatively early point in his career, Auden appeared to subscribe to the notion that love can be a great tutor, for moral as well as for aesthetic education.

As for the last question posed by the author of the article, I think the love between people exists in the minds and the memories of others when they are gone. To be an ego without a world is to be nothing. “Heaven” is merely the emotional legacies we leave behind in the souls of those who are still living. Our good deeds and the lives we touch ripple away from us for many years, until there is no one left who remembers how we sounded when we spoke, or what we looked like when we smiled. That is death. To have no yesterday and no tomorrow. It is the one thing that is not open to any doubt.

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Filed under Literature

Your Daily Dose of Cute

A bear being polite and waving.

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May 29, 2012 · 7:55 pm

The History of Bad Words

An interesting article¬†on the history of swear words has me thinking about that old “chicken or egg” question. Is it language that shapes reality or reality that shapes language? I think, building from the meanings of what we hear, we order reality. Words themselves are innocuous; it is the consensus that gives them true power. As the article suggests, once we take power over words, we can either dilute or amplify their meaning.

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Filed under History