A Public Apology
Algernon. Do you really keep a diary? I’d give anything to look at it. May I?
Cecily. Oh no. [Puts her hand over it.] You see, it is simply a very young girl’s record of her own thoughts and impressions, and consequently meant for publication.
–Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest
It has occurred to me that no one, literally no one, comes to this site–starting with Barbara Davilman who, as some may know, is its co-author, co-owner, and co-creator.
I blame myself. I have been (is anybody listening? anyone…at all…?) modeling it on the wrong thing, i.e., on p0litical sites, which has prompted me to assume that I have to post lengthy, detailed arguments along with the usual brief, amusing advertisements for our bumper sticker.
That is a misconception under which I will–no; under which I shall–no longer labor, or even “labour.” From now on I shall endeavor, or at least try, to post more spontaneous and less tendentious comments and etc. instead of the usual tendentious harangues. I have used “tendentious” twice because I think I finally know what it means, and I’ve never used it before. So I have to catch up.
I am going to try to post something literally every day. Sometimes it will be short. Sometimes it will be even shorter than that. I’ll publish the tendentious exercises in political tendentiousness on the Huffington Post, like everyone else in the English-speaking world.
Here is the first example of the new, non-tendentious What HE Said:
Our central air conditioning system broke a week ago, exactly when the temperatures hit 103 degrees for three or four days straight. No fewer than five different repairmen came to repair it, although to be fair, two were from the same company, so they should perhaps count as one, since every company is like a family, and every multinational corporation is “a family of companies.” Where was I?
One man put in Freon, or whatever people use these days instead of Freon. He left and the entire system broke an hour later. The next man listened to the unit, felt the warm air it produced, and announced that the whole thing should be replaced. The third man inspected the unit and declared that the problem was that the first man had put a cap back onto a valve the wrong way. He said he’d be back the next day to fix the thing, then disappeared forever and never returned my phone calls. The fourth man, who was the first man’s supervisor, said that the cap had nothing to do with it, and that there was a leak “somewhere” in the system. The fifth man said that the problem was a leak *in the valve itself*. He replaced the valve, put in even more Freon/etc., and the unit was (at least for now) fixed.
If we can send a man to the moon, can’t we fix an air conditioner? But we can’t send a man to the moon. If we could, we would send the first four repairmen. And yet we haven’t. I blame Bush.