May 21st, 2024
Poseur Alert

The preeminent German poet-philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe famously described architecture as “frozen music,” opining that “the state of mind produced by architecture is similar to the effect of music.” Over 150 years later, Frank Zappa—a somewhat less august personage, perhaps, but nevertheless prescient—reframed Goethe’s meditation on the corporeal and the ethereal: “Music, in performance, is a type of sculpture. The air in the performance space is sculpted into something,” Zappa professed. One wonders what type of music might be frozen in the bold volumes and interwoven planes of the Jamaican pleasure dome created by Grammy-winning celebrity DJ and producer Thomas Wesley Pentz, better known as Diplo. 

May 16th, 2024
Everyone’s got WHAT to say about Christ’s Kicker…

Including Dave Zirin.

Yes, the NFL wants female fans, and yes, they want fans of color, and yes, going soft on Butker risks that. But above all else, NFL executives exist to appease the whims of billionaires in the owners’ boxes most of whom—judging by their bankrolling of Donald Trump—agree with Butker. The destruction of Black bodies for white consumption and profit is an ugly business. Normally the NFL wants to keep the underlying ideology of its owners under wraps. The biggest problem with Butker is that he vomited it up for everyone to see.


SOS grudgingly concedes that Butker’s speech displayed, Zirin notes, impressive concision.

Butker managed, in just a few minutes, to be homophobic, anti-abortion … and racist… He cried out against, “Things like abortion, IVF, surrogacy, euthanasia, as well as a growing support for degenerate cultural values and media, all stem[ming] from the pervasiveness of disorder.”

Given the size of Butker’s … vomit, you’d expect a great deal of difficulty coughing up a few tidy paragraphs, but he did the deed. He got it done. And now all of America is talking about it.

May 15th, 2024
Just kidding about the not business!

A sign in Rehoboth Beach. Scathing Online Schoolmarm remains fascinated by the idiotic things people do with quotation marks.

May 6th, 2024
‘Despite being made of metal, Dr Foyle also points out the object is surprisingly fragile.’

SOS says: Good on Dr Foyle for being able to point out anything.

May 3rd, 2024
‘Kristi Noem’s damage control tour is in full swing. It appears destined for the same fate as her late dog Cricket: dead in a gravel pit somewhere near Pierre.’

Scathing Online Schoolmarm says: Good writing!

March 21st, 2024

For the second time, Scathing Online Schoolmarm has caught someone using exuberant when they mean exorbitant. The first one was

Rehoboth Beach is Delaware’s most overrated destination mainly due to the cost of parking and its exuberant enforcement of parking meters.  

I think the writer probably had excessive in mind along with exorbitant. Whatever.

And there’s this.

Ball told him that was “a felony,” but she wouldn’t report it. She just kept prescribing him exuberant amounts of oxycodone. 

February 29th, 2024

“It is dismantling white epistemic logic, removing the centering of the oppressor’s historical lens, and lifting the Black perspective voices. To be clear, I am not arguing for an essentialization of African culture and Blackness; Blackness and Black people are complex and multifaceted, but I am interested in the historical narratives that throw away the Eurocentric ways we think about Black people throughout history.” 

It’s not that this has been plagiarized. It’s that it was ever written in the first place. The worst thing about the ongoing march of DEI plagiarism stories is toppling undefended into this prose. Reader, beware.

February 27th, 2024
‘Florida health officials flaunt CDC public health guidelines as measles outbreak spreads’

Datz right. The headline writer meant FLOUT, not flaunt.

February 4th, 2024
‘After sitting empty for several decades, the current owners bought the property…’

Took them a long time to decide to buy. But they were feeling empty.

October 18th, 2023
Rep Jim Jordan and the Absolutely Fucking Flaming Triple Asshole …



[R]arely are [politicians] as instantly and unambiguously repellent as the odious Jordan. He’s so unlikable that even ideologically radical Republicans like Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) who have no meaningful policy beefs with him are lining up to torpedo his bid. [SOS SOS: Beef and torpedo? Really?] He would be, in every possible way, a gift for Democrats to run against next year, not just because of his sordid antics but also because of the insanely unpopular policies he backs, like a national abortion ban.

October 4th, 2023
‘In interviews with friends, associates and former aides, the consensus was that, more than wholly transforming Mr. Giuliani, his drinking had accelerated a change in his existing alchemy, amplifying qualities that had long burbled within him: conspiracism, gullibility, a weakness for grandeur.’

Burbled! To see ‘burble’ burble up in this NYT Annals of an Alky is such a pleasure! The word is amusingly close to ‘bubble,’ and indeed seems to find its origin in ‘bubble.’

The alchemic metaphor is nicely maintained, with Giuliani’s enigmatic chemical “transformation” burbling up from a no-doubt Soros-spiked brew.

Burbled. So close to ‘bourbon.’


Like all great words, this one boasts a distinguished poetic lineage.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,

      The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,

Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,

      And burbled as it came!

July 20th, 2023
The Tragedy of Mixed Metaphor

Out of all this summer’s blockbusters that have had film buffs chomping at the bit, few (really just one, actually) have elicited hype as visceral and sustained as Universal’s Oppenheimer biopic from director Christopher Nolan. With its sizable fleet of A-listers doing mid-20th-century accent work, a complicated historical figure at its center, and a respected auteur steering the ship, Oppenheimer has all the making of a summer blockbuster destined to continue dominating this year’s film discourse for months to come.

Okay, so it’s not a tragedy. But when your first paragraph throws bombs (“blockbuster” derives from powerful WW2 bombs, so it’s appropriate here), and then swerves to horses (the correct word is “champing”), and after that ships, the result is kind of a mess, kind of a confusing stew. Smaller problems (it should be ‘makings‘; cliches abound; summer blockbuster is used twice; you don’t need ‘really’ and ‘actually’; it should probably be ‘sizable crew‘ if it’s one ship being steered by one person) don’t help matters.

July 5th, 2023
Scathing Online Schoolmarm Says: Nice writing.

Expect [,post-affirmative action on campus,] more antiracist action plans, more vaporous decolonization, more mandated training, more huckster consultants, more vacuous reports, more administrators whose jobs no one can explain, more sleazy land acknowledgments (“Sorry I stole your house!”), more performative white self-flagellation, more tokenization of minority faculty members.

June 5th, 2023
‘It wasn’t clear which rival gang would be the likely target of a revenge attack by the Bandidos. The Waterdogs have only six members and appear to be a club focused on riding motorcycles, instead of flaunting the law…’

As we await the next biker gang mass shooting in America, let us recall the all-important distinction between FLAUNT and FLOUT.

Flaunt is a verb that means to show off or display proudly, often in an ostentatious manner. For example: She likes to flaunt her wealth by driving a flashy car.

Flout is a verb that means to openly disregard or disrespect a law, rule, or convention. For example: He was arrested for flouting the city’s curfew.

I think we can agree that the writer in my headline meant FLOUTING.

April 2nd, 2023
SOS says: Nice writing.

… Satan carries Jesus onto a high mountain, below which are spread all the kingdoms of the world, and says, “All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.”

In the gospel myth, Christ passes the test. But how many of us mortals would? Some Republicans seem to have made it—Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers—but many did not. Consider William Barr, formerly a respected figure who reduced himself to vile toadyism and outright deceit to defend Trump from legal danger; consider Lindsey Graham, formerly, like his late friend John McCain, a figure with a reputation for independence who now crawls in Trump’s wake croaking “my precious”; consider Rudy Giuliani, once presidential timber but last seen by history as Pagliacci, hair dye dripping as he stumbled through a parody of legal argument on behalf of Trump. 

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