Post-Holiday Post

Happy Epiphany everyone. I’m just in from an utterly exhausting holiday trip to Rovigo, Louisville and Washington DC, and after yesterday’s 24-hour trip home, I’m too spent to do much other than post this ridiculous 1951 Warner Brothers cartoon featuring Charlie the Dog.

Ah, crude stereotypes of Italians and Ed Butz-like linguistic appropriations! Still, I knew that WB’s typing had to extend beyond Pepé Le Pew and Speedy Gonzalez. Someone obviously had a deeper understanding of italianità, because there’s an obvious homage to the pre-WW1 greats of the Scala in the cartoon — the sign up in the restaurant (“Melba Tetrazzini Gadski Martinelli”).

Otherwise: see the Social Network, if you’re one of the few people that hasn’t already. I fully believe it took large liberties with the Truth in all senses (is Harvard still so good-old-boyish; do programmers really spend so little time coding and so much time partying — these have been thoroughly debunked elsewhere), but it’s good storytelling, and I think must hit on some basic kernel of truth in that Zuckerberg is a brilliant, slightly amoral geek with powerful driving ambitions — much like the world’s last true uber-geek, Bill Gates. (This ascendancy is broadly hinted at in the film — and those who incredibly don’t know who Gates is are those who miss out, although I sincerely doubt that there was one person at Harvard in 2003 who didn’t actually know of Bill Gates.)

Totally unrelated: why does Hemingway, who dealt with the problem of bilingual conversations rather elegantly in A Farewell to Arms, stumble so hard in For Whom the Bell Tolls by using ‘thee’ and ‘thou’ for tu? It seems so basic. I’m not the only one who noticed, of course.

More after I’ve caught up on sleep.

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