Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving


As we enter the back stretch of the holiday season — Slutty Nurse Night, Cranberry-Stained Detroit Lions Jersey Day, Crass Commercialism Month — I take a moment to wish you all a happy Thanksgiving. We have a lot to be thankful for.

And in the spirit of the season, enjoy this.

Friday, November 11, 2011



You may have noted the verticality of today's date, particularly when it's written with pipes rather than slashes or hyphens. Neither is it lost on a New York-based society of fabric aficionados known as the Corduroy Appreciation Club, a shadowy yet friendly social organization with the broad-minded slogan All Wales Welcome.

Its kinship for the "cloth of kings" is such that it meets twice each year: on January 11 and November 11, the dates that most resemble corduroy. Past meetings have included celebrity guest speakers known for wearing corduroy, poetry about corduroy, good-natured debate about vertical vs. horizontal corduroy, and, inevitably, food and drink that resemble corduroy.

As you might imagine, the centennial rarity of today's date has the C.A.C. all aflutter with cottony excitement. To celebrate the "date that most resembles corduroy, EVER," the club is throwing not merely its annual Grand Meeting, but a Grandest Meeting, in New York City. Highlights will include a keynote address by Amy Sedaris and the installation of a Corduroy Messiah, a child who turns eleven today.

The N.Y.C. throwdown is sold out, but the wave of corduroy excitement has spread like a comfortable fabric across the country to Washington, D.C.; Chicago; and, of course, Fromberg, Montana. Unlike the Grandest Meeting, tonight's celebrations in these cities are not ticketed events, so if you want to get your 'roy on, more information is here. While perhaps less elaborate than the Grandest Meeting, these gatherings promise to be as warm and cozy as an old pair of, well, you know.

Corduroy Appreciation Club meetings generally adhere to the Two Item Rule, i.e. that one must be wearing two corduroy items to be granted admission. Tonight's Grandest Meeting in New York will enforce a Three (or as it should probably be called, III) Item Rule.

The last word on this unparalleled yet quite paralleled occasion goes to the New York Times:

Corduroy Fans Prepare for the Fabric's Day of All Days

Sunday, November 6, 2011

It really is YouTube

I've never had a YouTube account. My inclination to shoot video is so negligible that, for example, the game-changing Flip camera was released, became insanely popular, gradually cooled off, and was eventually discontinued — all before I ever thought about getting one.

I recently felt like posting a comment on someone else's video, which required me to register a username on the site. I tried to choose the name "benbass" and here's what happened:

As you can see, YouTube replied that the name "benbass" was unavailable, surely due to my many imitators, but suggested various other options:
  • MsBenbass:  Do they know something about me that I don't?
  • benbassful:  I suppose I am if anyone is, but is that something I want to make into an Internet username? (On a related note, Megan F. and Maria K. in the 3212 Clifton Crew used to refer to me as "benbasstic.")
  • benbassify and benbassification:   Although I am generally in favor of the benbassification of this country (and, indeed, world), all right-thinking people vehemently disagree with me. Again, who would go this route when choosing a YouTube username?
  • SuperBenbass: Thanks for the compliment, but the shameless suckupery is off-putting, and even among people vain enough to name blogs after themselves, this seems obnoxious and preposterous to the extreme.
Apparently, YouTube really is all about you.