Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Big Ups to My Dad

‘We Have Never Been STAR TREK’

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Everyone in the world is writing about Star Trek today. Here’s my contribution, at the British Film Institute’s Sight & Sound: “We Have Never Been Star Trek.” A tiny excerpt of a long and somewhat personal piece:

And one of the most remarkable and most vexing things about Star Trek – as someone who cherishes the Idea, who in some basic way grew up on it, and was shaped by it, and who turns to it still as the closest expression of what I think our society ought to aspire to be instead of the nightmare that it actually is – is that this Idea is only sporadically present within the hundreds of hours of film and television and other media that make up the franchise. For my breed of Star Trek fan, our loyalty is to to an Idea that has only barely ever been depicted, and perhaps never truly was at all – but we are loyal, fiercely loyal, nonetheless. The very weirdest thing about loving Star Trek is that even Star Trek isn’t really Star Trek, most of the time.

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September 8, 2016 at 11:04 am

‘Fatherhood can be, if not conquered, at least “turned down” in this generation—by the combined efforts of all of us together. Rejoice.’

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Your true task, as a son, is to reproduce every one of the enormities [committed by your father], but in attentuated form. You must become your father, but a paler, weaker version of him. The enormities go with the job, but close study will allow you to perform the job less well than it has previously been done, thus moving toward a golden age of decency, quiet, and calmed fevers. Your contribution will not be a small one, but “small” is one of the concepts you should shoot for. . . . Begin by whispering, in front of a mirror, for thirty minutes a day. Then tie your hands behind your back for thirty minutes a day, or get someone else to do this for you. Then, choose one of your most deeply held beliefs, such as the belief that your honors and awards have something to do with you, and abjure it. Friends will help you abjure it, and can be telephoned if you begin to backslide. You see the pattern, put it into practice. Fatherhood can be, if not conquered, at least “turned down” in this generation—by the combined efforts of all of us together. Rejoice.

Donald Barthelme, “Manual for Sons.” Via the #nodads MetaFilter thread I put up for some reason. Love you Dad! Happy Father’s Day.

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June 17, 2012 at 10:48 am

Four More

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September 23, 2010 at 12:59 pm

World’s Best Frequent Flyer Scam

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At least several hundred mile-junkies discovered that a free shipping offer on presidential and Native American $1 coins, sold at face value by the U.S. Mint, amounted to printing free frequent-flier miles. Mileage lovers ordered more than $1 million in coins until the Mint started identifying them and cutting them off. I’m a little bit surprised not to see my father interviewed for this article; this sort of thing is where his genius lies. (via Kottke)

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December 12, 2009 at 3:21 pm

Late Night Late Night

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Late night!

* Still more logic puzzles, via the comments.

* My father directs our attention to a disturbing provision in North Carolina state law.

* I mean, we just went from winter to spring. In Missouri when we go from winter to spring, that’s a good climate change. I don’t want to stop that climate change, you know. Yglesias uses this inanity to try and make a serious point, but man. That’s the second-stupidest thing ever said about climate change.

* Michael Pollan or Michel Foucault?

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June 7, 2009 at 6:40 am

29!

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Today I’m older than I’ve ever been: 29. Give or take a few months, I’m now the same age as my father the day I was born, which gives me the peculiar sensation of having lapped myself. (I dare not speculate what he must be feeling.)

I both do, and don’t, feel old.

Stay cool, Scorpios.

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November 16, 2008 at 3:48 pm

Taxing Health Benefits

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Based on a recent survey of one (1) American swing voter, I’ve concluded that talking to parents, siblings, co-workers, and low-information friends about John McCain’s plan to tax employer-based health care benefits is an extremely smart idea for Obama supporters. Joe Klein:

Today’s issue: health insurance. John McCain wants to tax your employer-provided health care benefits. He wants to replace those benefits with an insufficient tax credit–$2500 for individuals and $5000 for families (the average cost per family for health insurance is $12000).

Kevin Drum looks at this issue with an eye towards inflation and concludes it’s even worse than it looks:

…there’s some fine print hidden where McCain hopes no one will see it: his tax credit increases each year only by the normal inflation rate. Your premiums are going to increase way faster — probably around 6-8% per year. That means your taxes are going to go up 6-8% per year too. The chart on the right, courtesy of CAP, shows the gory details: the tax credit doesn’t keep up with the increase in tax payments. In other words, your taxes go up.

If you’re in a somewhat higher tax bracket than the median, the news is even worse because your marginal federal tax rate is higher. If you live in a high-tax state like California, the news is even worse because your marginal state tax rate is higher. If you have a big family, the news is even worse because your premium will be more than $14,000 and the taxes you pay on it will therefore be higher. If your employer decides to ditch group healthcare entirely because there’s no longer any tax advantage to it, then you’re really screwed. And if that happens and you happen to have a chronic illness that no private insurer will touch — well, screwed hardly begins to describe it.

So that’s McCain’s healthcare plan: make it more expensive, make it riskier, and for some people, make it nonexistent.

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September 11, 2008 at 7:09 pm