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May 25, 2005

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You would also think that the yearbook editor could contact the teacher who is the NHS sponsor (or whatever term is used by the school) and ask that teacher.

Wasn't there something similar to this a couple years ago where the name used was much, much worse?

Lorem ipsum, kids. No one sues for being named Lorem ipsum. or mvmvmvmvmvmv.

Have a great summer!

If anyone is Google-impaired, then.

This constitutes a FoaF story, of course, but...

Back when I was a technical writer, a software engineer I worked with told me about a friend of his who worked for a big bank with headquarters in the same city as us.

The friend had been tasked with setting up template letters for mail merge. One such letter was intended to be sent to the customers who always had at least 25K in their current accounts each month. He named the placeholder which would, in the mail merge, be replaced by the customer name, "Rich Bastard".

The field was faulty. The first thousand letters sent out using this template went out addressed to "Dear [Mr, Mrs, Ms, or Miss] Rich Bastard".

With respect to the story above: I bet all the kids working on the yearbook were white.

That's a great story, Jes. On a smaller scale...I always forget to have my picture taken for the school yearbook. Pictures are taken in the fall which is a very busy time for me. The yearbook is printed in the spring. The first year I forgot to have my picture taken the yearbook advisor inserted a picture of the school mascot in the spot above my name. Which would have been OK, except our mascot is a dog.

Having just seen Crash, I find myself more than usually unable to care about America's racial neuroses...

...but I do hope that the girl gets some kind of recognition or (emotional) restitution.

And now that you've seen Crash, you can see Crash!
(And after you see Kicking & Screaming, you can see Kicking And Screaming.)

I've actually seen about half of the Cronenberg Crash. [It came on HBO or something late night while I was working on something else.] I'd really like to see the movie in its entirety so I can get some context for what I saw. Looked compelling and interesting in a Cronenbergian sort of way, and yes, I do mean to damn with faint praise there.

And while the 1995 Kicking and Screaming looks inoffensively pleasant, the 2005 one looks offensively unpleasant and so I must decline your kind offer. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm away to watch my fourth movie of the day. Catch y'all on the flip side!

Having read the novel on which Cronenberg's Crash was based, I have to say it ranks as among the better book-to-screen adaptations I've seen; it lacks a bit of the humor of the original, and dumps some extraneous plotting, but it gets quite a bit of the character of the source material. But I'm a major Cronenberg fan and always have been, so I grant him a lot of leeway even on his failures.

More on the topic of the thread, I recently finished reading Shirley Taylor Haizlip's The Sweeter The Juice, about her experiences growing up as what she considered a middle-class black person, her mother's experiences as a biracial child whose family abandoned her to move away and "pass" for white, and America's racial legacy and inability to come to terms with things as of the mid-to-late 20th century. No matter how many of these accounts I read, it's still hard for me to conceive of the hardships American blacks were suffering even in my parents' lifetimes. Great book, though, and I highly recommend it. (Most revealing anecdote: In the course of studying her family's genealogy, she overhears a white couple also trying to track down a relative, and the husband says, "This doesn't make sense -- the address is right, the name is right, and it's the right time period, but this guy is black. We'd better go back and start over.")

I'd say it was more accurate to describe myself as someone who has followed Cronenberg's work with interest than as a "fan." I respect him, but I don't squee with pleasure at the anticipation of seeing his work.

I am a fan of Ballard, and always have been, but these days I'd recommend some of his later work, such as Empire of the Sun and The Kindness of Women and some shorts, to readers new to him, as more accessible to new readers, before sending them back to his classic, early, more abstract, compressed works (much as I admire them).

My own experience with our high school yearbook left me with a rather dim view of yearbook staffs.

At one point in my senior year, we got a half day off from classes so they could take pictures of all of us in fancy clothing for our senior pictures in the yearbook. Fair enough. But I was sick and missed the whole thing.

Instead of scheduling another day for mine so I could try and wear something decent, they just hauled me out of class one day when I was wearing shorts and a D&D t-shirt and snapped a picture of me.

So our yearbook of my senior year has 434 people in suits and dresses and me in a t-shirt and shorts.

Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if this was just raw idiocy at work.

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