Musings from Brian J. Noggle
Friday, August 15, 2008
Right-Wing Polemic Books Are Pornography; Left-Wing Polemics Are Michelangelo's David
Broad-minded St. Louis Post-Dispatch blogger compares Obama Nation and Unfit Command to pornography, building a facile syllogism to support his metaphor.

No comment on McCain or Bush hatchet jobs, and the author says he doesn't read the books because he doesn't like peep shows, either.

Except that, of course, the books offer ideas instead of naked pictures. But the Post-Dispatch intelligentsia doesn't need to actually read books to tut-tut the wrong thinking within them, doesn't need to actually answer arguments when --hey! Look! Straw man!

I don't care for the books myself because they tend to be facile and unconvincing. Kind of like Post-Dispatch analysis.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Good Book Hunting: August 13, 2008
Oops, I did it again.

Today, the J had its book fair in the same room as in past years, but this year the room seemed dimmer. The books certainly were in great disarray, making it hard to browse quickly in the near-dark. However, I managed to find a few just fine:

J 2008 book fair results
Click for full size

I got:
  • The Good War by Studs Terkel, memories of men who served.

  • Back to the Future Part II, the movie tie in. I think I have the first already, but given this pile of books, who knows?

  • A CSI television show tie-in book. It's a surprise gift for my mother. Don't tell her.

  • True Grit, the novel upon which the movie was based or the novelization thereof. I just read True Grit, don't forget.

  • The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, the source for The Sound of Music.

  • Bill McCllellan's book. He's a communist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Oops, did I slip Freudianly?

  • Wilderness Survival and the U.S. Army Survival Manual because that Georgia-Russian War is making me nervous.

  • World of Shakespeare: Plants, a book that alphabetically lists plants and their references in Shakespeare. You know you would have bought it, too.

  • History of the Franks, a paperback about the forebearers of the French.

  • The Wall by Sartre, a collection of short stories including the title piece.

  • Ontological Relativity and other essays, a couple of lectures by a philosopher I'd never heard of.

  • Two Essays on Analytical Psychology by Carl Jung. Since I've had another thin volume by Jung on my shelves for a decade, I thought maybe I'd get it company for the next decade.

  • Life in Medieval Times, one of those books that tries to tease out the day to day in a historical epoch.

  • An uncorrected proof of The Septembers of Shiraz, a book set in Iran near the revolution. Its, not ours.

  • Weeds of the North Central States so I know what I'm pulling.

  • This Way To The Stars, a juvenile book from the 50s or 60s talking about space. Probably launched many a dream and a couple of scientists or astronauts.

  • Foxfire 2, a book in the series about crafts and olden times. See Georgia-Russian War above.

  • Barton Fink and Miller's Crossing, the screenplays by the Coen brothers.

  • Gracie: A Love Story by George Burns. I hope I don't already have this one. With so many, I'm losing track.

  • Monarch of Deadman Bay, a book about an Alaskan Kodiak bear. As opposed to the Californian Kodiak, I suppose.

  • Free Market Environmentalism, a book about applying actual economic thought to environmentalism. Never heard of it? I suppose that means its arguments are valid.

  • In Search of History, Theodore H. White's personal story of being an intrepid reporter.

  • Anglo-Saxon England. It leads right up to the conquest.

  • George F. Kennan's Memoirs. I read his book American Diplomacy 1900-1950 in September, 2005.

  • The Wisdom of Confucious.

  • The Morning After, a collection of George Will columns from 1981-1986.

  • Frontiers II by Isaac and Janet Asimov. Asimov's last nonfiction work details scientific breakthroughs ca. 1993.

  • Always the Young Stangers, prose by Carl Sandburg.

  • The Way Things Work volumes one and two.

  • Relativity by Albert Einstein.

  • Isaac Asimov's Book of Facts.

  • Extraterrestrial Civilizations by Isaac Asimov. Musings on the likelihood of others being out there.

  • America: What Went Wrong. As its title suggests, it will probably offend me.

  • Jefferson Himself, a sort of autobiography of Thomas Jefferson.

  • Anybody's Bike Book, a book about bike repair.

  • Dictatorship of Virtue, which takes multiculturalism to task.

  • America's First Civilization, a book covering the Olmecs.
Heather's 4 books are to the right and on the bottom of the stack. Apparently, the top 3 are not hers; instead, they were a stack on the checkout table too close to the gravitational field of our stack and came home with us.

Depicted to the left is my new copy of Conquest, which I am almost finished reading in a library copy. I liked it so much, I ordered one online.

Man, the book fair next week will probably be about all the books I'll ever need. I was afraid of going to the J because I'm running out of space, seriously, on my shelves. My fears were well founded. I'm going to have to develop modular book-based furniture to fit more books into our home.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Break One Nine
CB says, in a random instant message sent when I was at my dream desk last night: Ah, CB, you need to read the blog enough to earn your own nickname.

Sang-Froid and Roy
Sorry, no post, but I just saw the expression sang-froid in a book and thought of all the wonderful puns I could use as post titles if possible. Since it's looking impossible in the near term, I'll just do a post dumping them for you:

And rest assured I will use it in a sentence today. And a two-year-old will parrot it back, much to my delight.

Sunday, August 10, 2008
Something To Do Shots For
Magazine ranks Milwaukee No. 2 in drinking: released a ranking of America's hardest drinking cities and Milwaukee wasn't in the top spot.

    Austin, Texas got the honors, with the Brew City placing second.
Given what I witnessed in June, Austin must pipe liquor directly into homes.

Never fear: the coming Packers season might be enough to help Milwaukee gain the top spot.

Good Book Hunting: August 9, 2008
So I was saying something about not taking children to book fairs or something, and suddenly I read that the People for the Ethical Treatment of People or the St. Louis Ethical Society or whatever the secular humanists, the moral subgroup of the loft people, call themselves was having its book fair. Last year, it was a pretty small affair but fruitful according to my acquisitive nature. This year, it proved smaller, small enough to go through before the children got too many stroller sores, but fruitful enough:

Ethical Society Book Fair II
Click for full size

I got:
  • Several volumes of the History of Philosophy paperback set. I already owned a number of them but couldn't remember which ones I lacked, so I bought them all. Turns out I only added one to my collection and a large number of duplicates. Gimlet, if you want the dupes, they're yours.

  • Reflections of Friendship, kind of like Be Happy!, but with only landscapes and not 70s people to mock.

  • Countdown to Super Bowl, a book about the time the Jets went to the Super Bowl with Joe Namath at the head. Uh oh, ultimately, this might be a heartbreaking harbinger.

  • The Picture of Dorian Gray and Other Writings by Oscar Wilde.

  • Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, the movie paperback. Because, well, you know me.

  • The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, even though Mrs. Noggle has assured me that it's included in the compendium of C.S. Lewis writing that she gave me which I've obviously not paid enough attention to.

  • Thereby Hangs a Tale by Charles Earle Funk, a fun etymology book.

  • The Outsider by Colin Wilson.

  • My Cat Spit McGee, a book about a guy's pet cat. Masculinity--.

  • Love Poems by Anne Sexton.

  • What's the Matter with Kansas by Thomas Frank.

  • Piers Plowman.

  • One Way to Reconstruct the Scene. A slender volume of poetry, if I recall correctly.

  • Letters Volume I by Matthew Arnold. Brother, if you can buy a 100 year old book by a poet for a dollar, you just do it.

  • The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton. A second printing, it might replace another early printing if I can figure out which is older.

  • Murder at the ABA by Isaac Asimov. I read this, probably in middle school. Still, the man wrote himself into one of his mysteries, but only as a minor character. Amusing.

  • The Elric Saga Part I by Michael Moorcock. I think some people have said this is good. It has to be better than The Black Corridor or An Alien Heat. Doesn't it?

  • Invisible Prey by John Sandford.

  • Dumbth by Steve Allen. A book about how America is dumbing down. By Steve Allen. So you know this isn't a new concern.

  • Looking Good in Print and Publication Design text books about designing for print.
Additionally, I got The Three Amigos and Fletch Lives! on videocassette. Mrs. Noggle scored 15 sets of records in the Beethoven Centennial series, some Cooking Light magazines, another record with trumpet music, and some cassettes.

A good trip again this year, and brief, but not brief enough, really, for J2, who thinks the car seat is a torture device.

To say Noggle, one first must be able to say the "Nah."