Tupac is still upper-class

  1. Got a stalker? Carry a stealth pepper spray cellphone!
  2. Here’s another reason to be terrified of birds: you can get eye cancer from them. Not that psittacosis was a fun disease to start with, but this is really icky.
  3. William & Mary College has posted a delightfully contorted letter defining their reasons for keeping their team nickname “Tribe”. As Veronica Geng once said, I love the sound of anxiety being rationalized. (via Bobby Isosceles). Personally I’d settle for a ban on “tribal tattoos” and a good caning for anyone who uses the word as a noun, as in “the dude had a tribal on his arm”. What the fuck is a “tribal”? Which tribe? Cherokee? The Jews? BOO-Yaa?
  4. Not only do I dislike the principles behind the Amy Foundation Writing Awards, I really really really wish they wouldn’t use “disciple” as a verb.
  5. I don’t much care to hear that our nuclear bombers are getting an “unsatisfactory” on their report cards.
  6. Wow, I can date a WHAT? (Thanks, exploding aardvark!)
  7. So, we, like, dumped a bunch of chemical weapons? In the ocean? Until 1972 or so? And they’re totally, like coming up on shore now? (Thanks again, vark!)
  8. Local alert: does anyone else know this Italian market/deli in Tustin? I just read a good review of it on the interweb and I like me some Italian sandwich.

11 thoughts on “Tupac is still upper-class

  1. Speaking of tribal, har de har, you were in my dream last night, and we went to this beautiful and hyperabundant Jewish feast. We both felt pretty out of place, but we managed to scarf some good food nonetheless. I tried to explain Passover food rules to you, but my left brain doesn’t work when I’m asleep and I can never remember anything that I file under “organization” in my head.

  2. I loooooooove Claros Italian Market. They have a couple on my side of town. Their meatball sandwich on their fresh baked bread is to die for and their selection of imported cheese is sinful. Mmmm, fresh buffalo mozarellaaaaaaaa.

  3. Personally I’d settle for a ban on “tribal tattoos” and a good caning for anyone who uses the word as a noun, as in “the dude had a tribal on his arm”. What the fuck is a “tribal”? Which tribe? Cherokee? The Jews? BOO-Yaa?

    Contracting an adjective/noun phrase into just the adjective when the noun can be inferred from context is not exactly an unusual thing in English. Not sure why this particular case of that contraction should be grounds for punishment.
    What is a “tribal” tattoo? It turns out I know something about this, because I have one. A real one. Five years ago, I went to the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia, hired a tattoo artist and got a big, old moko on the side of my calf.
    Why did I do this? For all the traditional reasons: 1) big life change (I had just gotten married), so I needed a tattoo to mark it; 2) I wanted to help the Marquesans recover some of their lost tattoo craft by providing some non-Marquesan skin to one of their artists with which to practice (at the height of Marquesan tattoo culture centuries ago, they had plenty of people who pretty much voluntarily handed themselves over as a living scratch-pad so artists could develop their skills before taking the needle to somebody important).
    If you’re a pedantic asshole: tribal tattoo design, as a distinction from more “Western” designs, comes from the traditional art of any of several cultures with a predominantly tribal orientation that have used, or continue to use, tattoo art. More often, the phrase “tribal tattoo” means some design that looks like it was inspired by such traditional designs. Typically, these designs use black ink exclusively.
    You’re right, though— the word “tribal” should probably not be used alone in any sentence that begins with the word “Dude” unless you are planning to follow through with a particularly clever sardonic quip.

    1. Okay, but if I asked you what your tattoo was, you’d say something like “It’s a moko I got from an artist in the Marquesan Islands” and I’d say “Wow, cool! Tell me about its significance!”
      I snark at “tribal” for the same reason I snark at “world music”. The people who use it almost all mean “some brown people far away who are, like, primitive and stuff”, the same way they’d say “I heard some primitive tribe does this thing where…” It’s the attitude that assumes that brown people in insufficient clothing in Faraway-land are a featureless conglomeration of comic strip loincloth ‘n’ skull-necklace caricatures.
      I am, in fact, a pedantic asshole. So things like this make me something something, even though they probably don’t matter. That’s also why I don’t like the nouning of “tribal” as short for “tribal tattoo” both because it’s a clunky neologism and because it’s part of the same assumptions above that make me feel all wedgied.
      It also resonates for me with the 80s-90s slang for poor people, who were referred to as “a homeless” without anything to humanize them, even gender. Which is unfair to the tribal tattoo people and is only in my own tribe that lives in my skull.

      1. ok ill buy that….
        …whole argument, but what about the “offensiveness” of the word “Tribe” to represent a school’s teams (athletic and scholastic)? Redskins and maybe Chiefs (Washington and Kansas City) I can see as offensive, but Tribe (W&M), Utes (Utah), Seminoles (Florida St.), I really can’t see that as offensive.

      2. Fair enough, but there exist a collection of people who actually like the “tribal” style of tattoo art that explicitly isn’t using any of the traditional designs from various historic tattoo cultures. The word refers to a modern, um— what’s a polite word?— fusion of various techniques common to many traditional designs of multiple tribes. It is art, and it looks like the traditional stuff.
        I don’t think I’m annoyed with the neologism of contracting the noun phrase into its modifying adjective. I do wish there was a better word for this style of tattoo art. I guess I’m willing to accept “tribal” because I can imagine worse.
        NB: I have hated the phrase “primitive tribe” since having a very nice Norwegian anthropologist who specializes in Polynesian cultures explain to me that “primitive” is a deprecated word in that context.
        p.s. Moko is the Marquesan word for the little green gecko/lizard critters that run all over the place there.

  4. Hope You Are OK

    I’m sorry, I hate to be pest, but on a blog, when you say “I just read a good review of it on the interweb and I like me some Italian sandwich.” The word you want is “sammich”. That sentence should read:
    I just read a good review of it on the interweb and I like me some Italian sammich.
    I wouldn’t point it out but your execution of blogger style is generally flawless. You are a L337 Bloxor, so I have to wonder if you are sick or something.

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