Subject: Driving With Cell Phones—Caveat Emptor
From: Kevin Riggs
Date: Thu Apr 20 03:17:12 p.m.
"All [these studies] suggest that if you take the trouble to get a hands-free cell phone for your car, you should stilltrynotto form a mental image of anything being said to you during the conversation. … It also means not trying to picture your wife or husband in the nude. … If you're listening to Ian McKellen recite The Odyssey, pay more attention to the sound of the word 'Cyclops' than to what [the] monster would actually look like. ... If you're listening to Daniel Schorr on NPR, try not to wonder how much spittle he's getting on the microphone."
I enjoyed the article. My wife, who was sitting next to me in the nude as I drove through rush-hour traffic, read it to me out loud, and I in turn recited it to my mistress over my hands-free cell phone. I drove off the road and across an embankment. Then, when I visualized a nude Cyclops drooling over a microphone, I crashed into a billboard of Monica Lewinsky giving a surprised Bill Clinton a peck on the cheek. (She was wearing a red dress, and her left leg was kicked fetchingly behind her as she leaned forward.)
Subject: Lady Reno, British Prig
From: Peggy Brister
Date: Thu Apr 20 01:11:13 p.m.
I enjoyed the analogy drawn by Chatterbox between the Elián drama and E.M. Forster's literary tale, Where Angels Fear To Tread. I think, however, that Forster's priggish character Harriet is now personified not by conservative journalists but by Janet Reno. Ms. Reno, who has not bothered to meet Elián or to appreciate his human dimension, has allowed her interpretation (albeit flawed) of INS regulations and her fear of being countermanded to run roughshod on the well-being of this living, breathing child and his caregivers. Her self-righteous philosophy, that federal laws dictate this custody matter, must reign supreme. Harriet's obsessive need to impose her views resulted in a baby's death in a carriage ride; hopefully, Ms. Reno will stop short of making that carriage ride by not forcibly removing this child from his home. [Editor's note: Too late.]
Subject: Heritage for Stooges
Re: " Movies: The Three Stooges"
From: Fan of the Stooges
Date: Fri Apr 21 03:27:01 p.m.
I was warned by my parents not to watch the Three Stooges: too much violence. Since my life proceeded without urges to poke eyes, swat others with pipes, or pinch noses, I have concluded that the feared effect did not occur. As a divorced father, I have scheduled visits with my youngest daughter. After discovering that she knew nothing about the Three Stooges I found a home video to help her with her education. She was 10 or 11 at the time and enjoyed Larry, Moe, and Curly, as I did when I was her age. Other than both of us trying to do the Curly Shuffle, she is growing up to be a pretty good person.
In life the people who played the Three Stooges probably deserved more than the studio gave them. As far as giving the memory a happy ending, I don't think we are done making memories yet.
Subject: Clinton's Confederate-Flag Problem
From: Tim Conaghan
Date: Thu Apr 20 01:05:35 p.m.
Recently, the national news media and the Gore campaign have made a big fuss about South Carolina's state flag. And while I believe South Carolina and other southern states should probably retire those flags in deference to those citizens who find them offensive (as if anyone anywhere could convince them otherwise), even more shameful is the hypocrisy of national Democrats, specifically the Clinton/Gore crowd, in dealing with this issue. For example, Saturday, April 22, the day before Easter, is Confederate Flag Day in Arkansas, the home state of Mr. Clinton.
(To view the operative Arkansas State Code section, click here and scroll to the bottom.)
Subject: Defending the New York Stock Exchange
Re: " Assessment: Nasdaq"
From: Steven Levy
Date: Fri Apr 21 07:21:56 a.m.
I believe Mr. Plotz is confusing commodities markets, such as CBOT, with the NYSE when he refers to "arcane hand symbols." The only hand signals in a NYSE floor trade would be the occasional pointing of a finger to ensure, when multiple folks are trying to take an offer, that the counter-parties are clear on who's just traded with whom. (It's less confusing in practice than it sounds.) There can indeed be lots of yelling, in part because there can be no private deals; each deal must be announced publicly and heard by either the specialist (a stock's market maker) or an NYSE official in the crowd at a busy trading post. NYSE isn't perfect, and Nasdaq does offer its own advantages, but I believe Mr. Plotz does NYSE a bit of a disservice by mischaracterizing the trading floor.
[To read an unedited version of this post, or to reply, click here.]