December 28, 2006

i decided to throw subversion onto urbandictionary to see what came back. here are the picks of the litter:


(-ly) adv.–something done subversively, sneakily, and with no small amount of luck and cleverness.

adj.–One who is subversive, but not with any particular goal in mind

Paul sleptigariously moved the spatula behind the toaster.

unfortunately, i think the word may be too forgettable to really catch on, but it’s a pretty perfect word.


A bunch of subversive and seditious communist lovers who claim to be safeguarding rights when in fact they are only interested in promoting the socialist agenda and hugging up to dangerous people and ideals.

The ACLU should be outright banned as a subversive organization from the United States!

bill o’reilly submits to urbandictionary?

so netflix sent me the “naughty” version of “National Lampoon’s Pledge This!” and i’m having a hard time trying to decide what to make of it. so far it’s mildly funny, which is quite surprising. after the American Pie: Band Camp debacle, i didn’t know whether i’d ever watch another 4th rate teen sex comedy. i actually decided to rent Pledge This when I was in best buy a few weeks ago and noticed that the film had the aforementioned “naughty” version. while i don’t believe a non-naughty (is nice the binary for naughty?) version of said film is extant, i started to wonder whether every film should be released with a naughty variant. it would certainly make me more agreeable to seeing “Happy Feet.”

i can’t help but wonder who still writes “National Lampoon’s” movies. even though they’ve ceased being a credible comedy organization, does National Lampoon still employ Harvard Lampoon graduates? is this what has become of America’s elite universities?

perhaps this film was written by a quasi-intellectual. Unlike the recent coterie of NL flicks, Pledge This! appears to have achieved a highly acute self-awareness of its standing and plays with the tropes of its genre. watching the opening, the word subversion was on the tip of my tongue. but is that fair? are self-consciousness and self-criticism the same thing as subversion, or simply staid intertextuality?

let’s find out…

Pledge This! certainly has nothing to do with “1. Overthrow, demolition (of a city, stronghold, etc.)” but that definition is obsolete anyway. nor does it refer to the now rare “The turning (of a thing) upside down or uprooting it from its position; overturning, upsetting (of an object).” if the movie’s caliber degrades, i may find it refers to, “Med. subversion of the stomach: nausea.” again, this definition is obsolete, but like “merry-sorry,” i’m taking it back.

2006 hammerskjold “the merry-sorry seas caused a pronounced subversion of Dr. Schneider’s stomach”

who said studying vocab hurt creativity?

the current definition of subversion is suitably broad enough to include everything, and nothing. “In immaterial senses: Overthrow, ruin. a. of a law, rule, system, condition, faculty, character, etc. b. of persons, countries, peoples, or their lives or fortunes.”

the emphasis on “immaterial” is the most interesting part of the definition. whereas previously subversion was a physical act, subversion is now confined to the effect. one no-longer subverts a city with a fire, one disparages the firefighters and subverts their authority. unless, of course, one is a subversive.

btw, the verb subvert also has the rare variant “subverse”. i’m sure you know which one i’ll be using.

as to whether or not “Pledge This!” is subversive, i should probably watch the whole movie before I attribute greatness to it–it’s 4 netflix stars not withstanding.

Drink of the day

December 28, 2006

Hello, Readership. Herein follows my first posting to Yesterday’s Salad, courtesy of a generous invitation from Mr. Hammerskjold. As per his request, here is the first drink of the day, appropriate for holiday-time, the Smoking Bishop:

5 unpeeled oranges
1 unpeeled grapefruit
36 cloves
1/4 pound of sugar
2 bottles of red wine
1 bottle of port

Wash the fruit and oven bake until brownish. Turn once. Put fruit into a warmed earthenware bowl with six cloves stuck into each.

Add the sugar and pour in the wine – not the port.

Cover and leave in a warm place for a day.

Squeeze the fruit into the wine and strain.

Add the port and heat. DO NOT BOIL!

While this recipe can be found elsewhere on the internet, it is worthy of note that modern knowledge of the drink (which has long since fallen out of vogue) stems from Cedric Dickens’ excellent Drinking with Dickens, which contains recipes for all of the drinks mentioned in the books of his great-grandfather, Charles Dickens.

Having tried this last year in good New Years’ company, my personal recommendations for a good bowl of bishop are to heat the mixture to a *very* low temperature, and to serve immediately. Adding a small amount of higher-proof spirits, such as applejack, kirschwasser, or even rum (stay away from vodka, gin, tequila, etc.), gives the beverage an additional kick or can compensate for being slow with a ladle, as the alcohol in the beverage can boil away very quickly if you are not careful.

So when you are ready to indulge the holiday spirit in a decidedly non-Pumblechookian manner, pour yourself a mug of smoking bishop.

“A merry Christmas, Bob!” said Scrooge, with an earnestness that could not be mistaken, as he clapped him on the back. “A merrier Christmas, Bob, my good fellow, than I have given you, for many a year! I’ll raise your salary, and endeavour to assist your struggling family, and we will discuss your affairs this very afternoon, over a Christmas bowl of smoking bishop, Bob!”