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timberline
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Postby timberline » Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:19 am

Chase, I'm glad to find a kindred spirit. In fact, my Dylan Thomas-ish childhood days inspired me to write "Brace Beemer, Please Come Home," published by Good Old Days magazine last fall. It's posted at http://home.att.net/~w.giersbach/

Shepherd's "mill-in" in NYC's Union Square and his suggestion that thousands of people request a non-existent book, I, Libertine, contributed the core theme to a short story I wrote recently, "Astroturfing Benjamin's Books." (Ask for a copy of Cruising the Green of Second Avenue at your favorite bookstore.)
 Cruising the Green of Second Avenue is available at Barnes & Noble and other online book sellers. More good stuff at http://allotropiclucubrations.blogspot.com
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timberline
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Postby timberline » Sun Sep 23, 2007 3:37 pm

Bumping this topic forward after two and a half years....

I’m reminded by Michael Quinion that Sept. 19 was the 25th anniversary of the smiley face. In his weekly online newsletter (available at http://www.worldwidewords.org) he wrote, “The :-) symbol, necessarily created from standard keyboard characters, was invented…by Scott E. Fahlman in a post on a bulletin board at Carnegie Mellon University. It formed part of a thread on the way humorous remarks could be tagged to avoid misunderstandings. His message was brief, though a tad ungrammatical: ‘I propose that the following character sequence for joke markers: :-) Read it sideways.’” Mr. Fahlman, Quinion writes, is these days the Research Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon.

I remember being in New York City in 1982 when I first saw this innocuous, bulbous, caricature with two dots for eyes and a quarter-circle smile. (This was before I got a company PC without a hard drive, Wang word processing, and limited Internet access.) The word emoticon hadn’t been invented, and an icon was something you’d find in a Russian Orthodox church.

The smiley face has taken over as an icon of inanity. I was walking on the National Seashore at Wellfleet last week and stooped down to find, not a stone or shell, but a yellow rubber ball the size of a quarter. It had a smiley face on it. And one word: “China.”

At this quarter-century mark, we can all pause and think of Percy Bysshe Shelley writing, “My name is Ozymandias, kind of kings: / Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!” / Nothing remains: round the decay / Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, / The lone and level sands stretch far away.

It would be ironic and sad if, centuries from now, we were remembered by little more than a vapid pie-face. On a non-biodegradeable ball from China.
Last edited by timberline on Mon Sep 24, 2007 1:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.
 Cruising the Green of Second Avenue is available at Barnes & Noble and other online book sellers. More good stuff at http://allotropiclucubrations.blogspot.com
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Mlou
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Postby Mlou » Mon Sep 24, 2007 1:17 pm

Well, who's to know what spacemen might find extraordinary, should they land here in some future. Maybe they'll think ol' Smiley was one of our ubiquitous gods.
nothing is ever simply Yes or No. There's always a But...


GINGERBREAD MAN by Mary Lou Healy at Amazon.com http://www.publishamerica.com/shopping/ ... ogid=16658 at Publish America
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pengwenn
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Postby pengwenn » Mon Sep 24, 2007 2:07 pm

There might be a "What if" challenge in that. Thanks Mlou!
Is this my reality or yours?
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timberline
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Postby timberline » Mon Sep 24, 2007 4:37 pm

Aliens? I'm visualizing something like Mars Attacks! or Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. But with lots of yellow Technicolor.
 Cruising the Green of Second Avenue is available at Barnes & Noble and other online book sellers. More good stuff at http://allotropiclucubrations.blogspot.com

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