No. 333: "In No Sense"

No. 333: "In No Sense"

No. 333: "In No Sense"

Testing your knowledge of what happened this week
Nov. 9 1999 3:30 AM

No. 333: "In No Sense"

Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, Tenn., has announced the March release of a book with the working title The Death of Innocence. Name the author and subject. (Question courtesy of Jon Delfin.)

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Send your answer by noon ET Tuesday to newsquiz@slate.com.

Friday's Question (No. 332)--"Believe It or Else":

In a TV commercial debuting this week, the spokesperson says: "It made people believe again, feel free again." Who’s pitching what?

"Does Cher really need to publicize that song anymore? It's a hit, a triumphant comeback, we get it."--Matt Sullivan

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"The New York Times: now with zero percent Abe Rosenthal!"--Daniel Radosh (Tim Carvell had a similar answer.)

"At last, they've published the Singer/Songwriters of the '70s Almost-Rhyming Dictionary!"--Jon Delfin

"Whatever it is, if that's James Earl Jones doing the voice-over, I'm buying!"--David Lofquist

"I don't know all the answers, fella. But I do know that the guy ... the Taiwanese guy ... the guy over there, in charge, in Taiwan ... his name is ... Lee. No ... Chang ... No, Lee... either Lee or Chang or Wong. Did I say Lee? I meant to say Wong."--Chris W. Kelly

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Click for more answers.

Randy’s Wrap-Up

Many respondents conflated feeling free and feeling fresh. The distinction between the two is apparent in Martin Luther King Jr.’s eloquent and moving, "I Have a Dream" speech, which would have been much less effective had he concluded, "Fresh at last, fresh at last, thank God almighty, I’m fresh at last."

In American history, "feeling free" refers to ridding the nation of an oppressive monarch, a view expressed in the Declaration of Independence. In American advertising, "feeling fresh" refers to ridding oneself of vaginal odor, a view expressed by a fashion model clad in white who has plucked every hair from her body and then painted in some artificial eyebrows and perhaps drawn a silhouette of Thomas Jefferson to replace her pubic hair.

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It’s like aromatherapy as political expression: "We have nothing to fear but … is there a funny smell in here? Is it me?" That’s the slogan Naomi Wolf was paid $15,000 a month to provide Al Gore. Or was it "The Sweet Smell of No Sex!" Or the rule-of-three, "Odorless, Colorless, Tasteless!" Or perhaps it was alpha-malevolent: "Now With Real Beef Aroma." Somebody stop me. Was it "Scents and Fiscal Sensibility"? Hang on. Do I smell smoke? Yes, it’s me. I’m hot! And menstrual. Somebody turn a hose on me!

Little Me Answer

New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is pitching himself.

In a spot running only in upstate New York--the mayor is particularly popular with those who’ve never lived where he governs--he touts his economic policies. Just before he delivers his toothy slogan, the narrator says: "Rudy Giuliani got to work, creating a record 341,000 new jobs. Cutting taxes over $2 billion. Leading people off welfare and requiring those on it to work. Rudy has made New York the safest large city in America."

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What the narrator does not say is that one fourth of all New Yorkers live below the poverty line, a number that has not improved under this mayor, even after nine years of economic expansion. But maybe that will be on the bumper stickers.

B&N Extra

Below, excerpts from a Barnes & Nobel ad describing books whose authors will be appearing at various New York City branches of the chain. Can you identify each book and author?

Ad Copy

1. "insights on the power of music from a wide swath of people ranging from Henry David Thoreau to Billy Joel"

2. "reams of astute and acerbic correspondence"

3. "a stirring look at a man unafraid to stir things up"

4. "entertainment for your whole mouth"

5. "a tender look at childhood"

6. "a father-son bond involving a majestic tree"

7. "a super rich gel that will give you the most comfortable shave ever"

Answers

1. Spirit Into Sound, by Mickey Hart

2. Sincerely, Andy Rooney

3. Gore Vidal, by Fred Kaplan

4. Not actually a book; this is the tag line from a pack of Pop Rocks which also includes the sub-head, "more action" neither of which would be an entirely inaccurate blurb for the Vidal biography.

5. The Blue Spruce, by Mario Cuomo

6. That Cuomo book again. And I’m sure writing it was much more rewarding than being president of the United States.

7. More father-son bonding from Mario Cuomo? No. A tender passage from the back of a can of Edge Pro Gel.

Common Denominator

Fire down below.