Monday, March 31, 2008

Fagels

Rage--Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus' son Achilles,
murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaeans countless losses,
hurling down to the House of Death so many sturdy souls,
great fighters' souls, but made their bodies carrion,
feasts for the dogs and birds,
and the will of Zeus was moving toward its end.
Begin, Muse, when the two first broke and clashed,
Agememnon lord of men and brilliant Achilles.


The opening of The Iliad. Read it next to other translations; Lattimore seems strained and Pope mere doggerel.

RIP, Robert Fagels.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Cross Reference

I was going to write a post this evening, but instead I ended up writing a long comment on a post that FranIAm wrote as part of a discussion with me. Please see that comment if you're interested in what I have to say today.

A couple of other minor tidbits:

The baseball team formerly known as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays changed their name this season simply to the Tampa Bay Rays. Presumably the change was made in order to have greater appeal to the conservative Christian section of their (potential) fan base that did not like "Devil" being in the name. I'd suggest they consider increasing their appeal even more by fielding a team that doesn't suck - though in fairness, the new ownership group is making progress in that direction. More entertainingly, the team is reportedly fining any member of the organization who uses the word "Devil" in connection with the team. Very amusing.

I am curious whether this situation may become one of those in which banning something makes it more popular.

I am also contractually required to publicly congrulate Davidson on their run through the NCAA tournament, and to encourage everyone to cheer for them to upset Kansas tomorrow (Sunday, 5pm Eastern on CBS) to get to the Final Four.

-- Satan

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Starless and Bible Black

(Disclaimer: the post title is borrowed from a King Crimson album, and is only tangentially related to the post itself.)

Distributorcap recently gave his take on some advice for bloggers, originally from a New York Times article. Here's my own take.

New York Times:
1. Don't expect to get rich.
2. Write about what you want to write about, in your own voice.
3. Fit blogging into the holes in your schedule.
4. Just post it already!
5. Keep a regular rhythm.
6. Join the community, such as it is.
7. Plug yourself.

Satan:
1. Rich? Why would I need money? If I need it I can just take it from somewhere. Or create it. Somewhat like the government.
2. Oh, I do write about what I want. But my own voice? I use different voices depending on who I'm talking to. Just like everyone else. I think my own voice might not work out so well. I'm reminded of a line from Broadcast News: What do you think the Devil's going to look like if he's around? C'mon, no one's going to be taken in by a guy with a long, red, pointy tail. C'mon, what's he gonna sounds like? Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarch?"
3. Holes in my schedule? What holes? If I waited around for holes in my schedule I would never post at all.
4. More or less what I do.
5. What is this, sex advice? Doesn't a regular rhythm conflict with posting in holes the schedule?
6. Ok. Nice cheap shot at the bloggers you're pretending to advise, by the way.
7. No. I'm sorry, but having a lot of people read whatever I write here in not my goal. If people like it to read it, that's nice, but I'm writing here for my own reasons, to amuse myself, not them.

Ask Satan is published irregularly per questions received. (And schedule permitting -- I have a great question pending but I just haven't had time to do it justice...) Have a question for Satan? Email it to Satan or post it in the comments.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Careful Where You Look

Trying to catch up a bit here. Spring training is almost over and I've hardly written a thing about it - the battles for roster spots, the injuries, the triumphant return of amusing Steinbrennerisms, helmets and an ad-hoc strike for the benefit of coaches, etc. But here's one story on which I do want to comment: per his father and the girl herself, Red Sox rookie Clay Buchholz is apparently romantically linked to Penthouse Pet of the Year Erica Ellyson. (Though the polite euphemism seems somehow wrong. Can I just say they're fucking? Allegedly, of course.)

This story is a nice contrast to another one, about how Barry Bonds can't get a job. Chicks did the long ball? Have the Mitchell report and Clemens' lip-licking at Congress turned tastes away from supermuscular home run hitters to skinny dorky-looking kids who throw no-hitters?

Of course, maybe we shouldn't read too much into the judgement of Ms. Ellyson. Try a Google image search to see what Buchholz' flame looks like, and you are likely to focus on her denuded labia rather than her face. Most women, I think, prefer to conduct themselves in ways that keep these images off the top hits. But who knows, perhaps Ellyson is just insecure about her nose or something.

In other sports news, I notice that I neglected to give the final NCAA tournament answers yesterday. Kansas over Memphis.

Ask Satan is published irregularly per questions received. (And schedule permitting -- I have a great question pending but I just haven't had time to do it justice...) Have a question for Satan? Email it to Satan or post it in the comments.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Look Here

I haven't been posting much recently. Hopefully the busy spring season will slow down soon. The NCAA tournament picks rush is slowing down (next is the actual tournament), as is most of spring training; school and job applications are ongoing. I have a list of things now I want to write about; hopefully closer to sooner than later.

I did find time to browse the blogs late at night here, though. A truly hilarious post and comments section chez Übermilf -- it made my day.

For those of religious faith, or also those who care to think, FranIAm has a very thoughtful and eloquent post. My job would be very different if more than a minority of those who claim to be strongly religious felt this way. Harder, and also more interesting.

Fran, I did not want to despoil your comments section, so a comment here. Whatever you might think about washing Dick Cheney's feet, or mine, I can tell you one little story about the actual person Jesus whose story you ritually recall (through a mirror, darkly) these three days. He washed my feet. And I washed his.

As for that NCAA tournament, in case you haven't made your picks yet, here are the answers -- though keep in mind that, as in the Superbowl, I may change them if the right deal comes along.

East:
1st round winners: North Carolina, Indiana, Notre Dame, Washington State, Oklahoma, Louisville, Butler, Tennessee
2nd round winners: North Carolina, Washington State, Oklahoma, Tennessee
3rd round winners: North Carolina, Tennessee
Final Four: North Carolina

Midwest:
1st round winners: Kansas, UNLV, Clemson, Vanderbilt, Kansas State, Wisconsin, Gonzaga, Georgetown
2nd round winners: Kansas, Clemson, Wisconsin, Georgetown
3rd round winners: Kansas, Wisconsin
Final Four: Kansas

South:
1st round winners: Memphis, Mississippi State, Michigan State, Pittsburgh, Marquette, Stanford, Miami, Texas
2nd round winners: Memphis, Michigan State, Stanford, Texas
3rd round winners: Memphis, Texas
Final Four: Memphis

South:
1st round winners: UCLA, Texas A&M, Drake, Connecticut, Purdue, Xavier, West Virginia, Duke
2nd round winners: UCLA, Drake, Xavier, Duke
3rd round winners: UCLA, Duke
Final Four: UCLA

Ask Satan is published irregularly per questions received. (And schedule permitting -- I have a great question pending but I just haven't had time to do it justice...) Have a question for Satan? Email it to Satan or post it in the comments.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Ask Satan

One Mr. Labooziak asked:

Question for Satan- Is this hell and is it freezing over because it's not getting any warmer here in the Chicago area any time soon!

Nope. Well, the center of Hell is already frozen over, of course -- just check the travel guide, there's a description in the "Ninth Circle" section. But if all of Hell were freezing over there'd be obvious signs. In particular, the Cubs would have won the World Series. But as I'm sure you know, Dustiny got in the way of that, now all the apoplexy Sweet Lou can muster won't help with the karmic fallout once Sam Zell gets the naming rights to Wrigley auctioned off to the highest bidder. One hundred years may look like a drop in the bucket. (Who knew Sam Zell would be instrumental in forestalling the apocalypse?)

Digression aside, it's no big deal, it's just the weather getting more extreme as global climate change drives larger weather fluctuations. Worst in the middle of continents, actually. You may want to head for the coast. Well, a coast that doesn't get hurricanes.

It's still no 1979, though.

-- Satan

Ask Satan is published irregularly per questions received. (And schedule permitting -- I have a great question pending but I just haven't had time to do it justice...) Have a question for Satan? Email it to Satan or post it in the comments.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Different Things

I'm taking a brief break from the seasonal overload I mentioned a couple weeks ago to share some thoughts about one of the different approaches people have been known to try. Perhaps it's even one of the things Diane was wondering about in the comments section.

One seasonal event that makes this time of year busy for me is that students are applying for college and graduate school - or to be precise, they have applied and are now hoping they'll get in. Some turn to me for help, others try to tilt the scales with messages like this (names changed to protect the guilty):

Dear Admissions Committee,

Sorry to trouble you, I am Cinnamon Spitzer, who has been admitted with full financial aid, but my boyfriend William Kennedy has not get any news from you. We are very worried about this now. If you cannot offer William admission with financial support, I have to be with him and join another school.


Or this:

I am very interested in your school because my girlfriend works nearby in Springfield.

Ok, just a little feedback:

1.) What the hell are you thinking? Do you think the admissions committee gives a flying fuck about your sex life?

2.) In reality, not a bad idea. Admissions is trying to fill a quota. If you convince them you will actually take their offer you have a better chance of getting in.

Just some thoughts, back to work.

-- Satan

Monday, March 3, 2008

Whiny Nitpicking

Since Ɯbermilf so enjoys what she calls my nitpicky whining, I figured I may as well bring something up that annoys the hell out of me.

Why the fuck does the Gay Pride rainbow flag have only six colors?

Real rainbows have seven colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. ROYGBIV. Kids learn this in grade school.

The use of the rainbow is allegedly meant to symbolize the inclusive nature of the Gay Pride, or LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered) movement. All orientations are deserving of equal treatment and all should be included. But the flag (shown flying over the Castro in San Francisco) always leaves out one of the colors – I’ve seen either blue or indigo omitted.

How is that inclusive? It seems to me that the omission completely inverts the meaning, making the six-tone flag symbolize exclusion rather than inclusion.

Either that, or it means that gays can’t count. (Which is clearly false, as I personally know quite intelligent gay, lesbian, and transgendered people.)

Any ideas?

-- Satan

Have a question or want advice? Ask Satan is published irregularly as questions are received. Email Satan or post your question in the comments.