Saturday, August 4, 2007

Ice Cream, Pear Vodka, and Insomnia

Who invented ice cream? Because I'd like to shake her/his hand.

Also, pear vodka, by itself, tastes like perfume, and not in a good way. Pear martinis need some other sort of pear-flavored thing in them to taste anything like pear. That may be the most times I've ever typed the word "pear" in my life. Pear.

I was lying in bed, not sleeping, wondering these things just about five minutes ago. I should be somewhere else, and it's making me tired-but-not-tired-enough-to-rest-in-a-healthy-way. So here are some ideas for papers I might write soon:

1) Something about capital punishment. The recent rash of movies/TV shows about vigilantes is a side item view of capital puniushment--a justification of killing people as long as they're the "right" ones. Some examples: that HBO show, "Dexter" about the would-be murderer turned CSI investigator. "24"--fascist Jack Bauer. "Boondock Saints." "The Brave One"--Jodie Foster's new movie. "The Hitman"--Timothy Oliphant's new movie. I guess there are probably several comic book movies to list here--will have to check them. The goals of this paper would be to (a) investigate whether or not there is some thematic relationship/homology between these stories and (b) interrogate their rhetorical justification of state-sponsored/individually-performed killing. Is there some clear rhetorical connection between the trigger man and the state's definitions of "bad guy"? Actually, now that I think about it, every "Die Hard" might be one of these. This may not be a recently developed thing, but I think it's worthy of study. If we continue to find evidence (via DNA and eyewitness testimony) that the death penalty, as activated by the states, is killing innocent people, then why are there so few people trying to change it? Is there some other cultural phenomenon keeping it either under the radar or justifiable? People like Kenneth Foster and Rodney Reed are losing precious time.

There are a couple others I want to write about heroes and ambient intimacy, and I need to re-work the cultural aphasia one (to include more simulation and less civil war blather), but I can't remember them right now. Think I'll try to sleep again...


Nuge said...

On vigilantes - here's one for you: Batman's bad guys are usually legally insane residents/escapees of the fictional Arkham Asylum.

We have laws protecting insane people because we view insanity as a sickness, yet in the Batman realm, they are the bad guys.

And the death penalty? Wasn't it the Freakonomics guys who simply said a person is less likely to be put to death as a death row inmate than die as a street gang member?

In other words, capital punishment is not a deterrent of serious, violent crime, unless you commit the crime to get on death row in order to save yourself from the risk of being killed walking to your mailbox.

These are interesting topics. I went to Wikipedia and learned ice cream might have been invented in Persia around 400 B.C.

The hand of the inventor might be a little crusty for shaking.

james said...

Is that statistic about the deathe penalty vs. gang member thing for real? Where did you get that stat?

Also, I always knew there was something delicious about Persia.