sorry i’m late, professor. im disenchanted with the human experience and waking up every morning thrusts me into an instant existential crisis
"Do you remember the saddest moment of your life?"
"The time I got closest to my dream, and had it pulled away."
"I was down to the final two in an audition for the lead in a major TV show pilot. The network flew me out to Los Angeles. They put me up in a nice hotel and they introduced me to all of the executives. Everything felt perfect during the screen test. I thought I nailed it. Then right before I got on the plane back to New York, I got a call from my manager. He said the network thought I was ‘too nice’ for the role."
Friendly reminder that how you mix things also changes the outcome! (It depends on the utensil you use and the amount of mixing done.)
Believe or not, 30% of my finals was studying this kind of shit.
Would you like to read a book in which this happens?
It’s one of my all-time favorite books. It’s called Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn. He describes it as an “progressively lipogrammatic epistolary fable.”
It is written in the form of letters between the citizens of the fictional island of Nollop, an independent nation off the coast of South Carolina and home of Nevin Nollop, who invented the phrase “the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.” That phrase is written in tiles over a statue of Nollop in their town square, and when one night a storm causes one of the tiles to fall, the council decides that it’s a sign from Nollop that they are no longer allowed to use that letter, in speech or writing, on pain of progressive punishments including public beating and up to banishment.
Then another tile falls. Then another.
The citizens, who are all very attached to their words and writing, mount a campaign to come up with a phrase that uses all 26 letters but is shorter than Nollop’s, thus proving that he was not divine and negating all the edicts.
Because the novel is told in the form of letters the citizens write, and this is the genius part…the author must also stop using the letters as they fall. So the book gradually stops using letters until at one point I think they’re down to just five.
The resolution literally made me get up and dance around the room.
It’s clever, creative, and a not-really-veiled-at-all parable about monotheistic oligarchy. It’s not a long book, you can read it in an afternoon.
GO READ IT RIGHT NOW.
I strongly endorse Ella Minnow Pea. One of my absolute favourite books, which definitely influenced my love for pangrams/lipograms, epistolary novels, and books that do interesting meta things with the narrative. You can read a sample here.
Or for an even more ambitious example of a lipogram, there’s Eunoia, a book which uses only a single vowel per chapter.
My dogs tried to trade me a hibiscus flower and a tennis ball, for the snack I was eating
Now try and tell me women overreact and that we have nothing to be afraid of. There are people supporting what this guy did, he killed innocent people because women had rejected him, because he wasn’t popular, because he was a virgin at 22. People are making excuses for him and his actions, women are being told that murder is what they should expect when they reject unwanted sexual advances. I should not be afraid for my life because I say no.
This makes me so sick