Posts Tagged ‘the suburbs’

Sunday Sundry

Posted in General on July 13th, 2008 by Eugene Finerman – Be the first to comment

Musing I:

The University of Chicago, where the idea of fun is to translate Wittgenstein into Vulcan, is in the throes of controversy. The University has announced that a new research center will be named for Nobel laureate Milton Friedman. Friedman was a champion of the Free Market; he believed that World War II could have been more efficiently resolved by the forces of the marketplace. (He had graphs to prove that he was more valuable as an economist than a lampshade.) However, a number of the University’s faculty members object to Friedman’s name on a research center, saying that it is an implicit endorsement of a short, ugly version of Marie Antoinette.

Here is a compromise. Honor Dr. Friedman with an institution whose role at the University would complement the practical value of his ideas: the University of Chicago’s Milton Friedman Gym.

Musing II:

To celebrate our 16th wedding anniversary, Karen and I went to a fancy North Shore restaurant. It really is not my kind of place. For all my esoteric erudition, I have the taste buds of a 16-year-old. I could happily subsist on soda pop, pizza and ice cream. None were on the menu. I would describe the food as Seurat cuisine: dots of food priced as if they were masterpieces. At a nearby table, a woman was nursing her infant. That child was the only one in the restaurant who received a full meal. I wonder if the management charged the mother a corkage fee.

When I got home, I ate a quart of ice cream.

Musing III:

I am surrounded by Gaelic-sounding communities: Highland Park, Braeside, Glencoe, Bannockburn. I can assure you that Nostradamus was not on that zoning committee. Someone definitely confused the two types of Jacobites. My type would have asked, “Do you vant cuffs on your kilts?”

Nonetheless, this Scottish motif–however misdirected–continues to influence the realtors on the North Shore. A new development of luxury homes is called “Tarns of the Moor” and it actually advertises its Scottish legacy. Perhaps the kitchen is only large enough for a kettle of oatmeal or the doorbell plays all eight verses of “Will Ye No Come Back Again”. My knowledge of Caledonian architecture could be faulty, but I don’t think that most 18th century Scottish cottages had three car garages. In fact, those cottages were not as large as these garages. Perhaps a truer evocation of “Tarns of the Lake” would have three Scottish families living in the garage, and an abusive English landlord in the main house.

If only the local realtors chose their developments’ names with demographic accuracy, they would be advertising the suburban charms of Shtetl Fields, Pushcart Promenade and Rhinoplasty Lane.

Musing IV:

I suddenly realized why William Kristol seems so familiar. That gasping laugh at his own jokes, the rigor morted smile, the bulging creepy eyes: William Kristol is Peter Lorre without the accent.