Whatever You Say

“Open the pod bay doors, please,” astronaut Dave implores Hal 9000. We command, the machines execute. If they fail, they do so politely: “I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.” W. Wayt Gibbs –Whatever You Say (Scientific American) Yeah, after they have killed our astronaut partner, but that’s not the point the author’s trying to make.

Surrey with the Syringe on Top

Playwright Arthur Miller, on anabolic steroids: “Let’s imagine you’re a young playwright, trying to stay clean… But over at the Virginia you know there’s a writer shot up with more Lasix than a Kentucky thoroughbred and he’s going to take your ticket-buyers, your house, your money, your troubled and needy movie-starlet wife.” –Surrey with the Syringe on Top (Morning News) Thanks, anonymous link-suggester.


“The study of English is whatever people within the community of inquiry known as ‘the English department’ happen to count as the study of English. There is no objective referent, such as “the nature of literary language,” to use as an arbiter among approaches. The foundation has not shifted–it has vanished.” Louis Menand –Unidisciplined (Wilson Quarterly)