Happy Thanksgiving to You!
I'm with my extended family this thanksgiving. My sisters-in-law
and my two lovely nieces are going with us to the parade today.
It's still early, and we're in the throes of getting ready
to get out of here, to find a good location along the route.
I'll start with being thankful for the wonderful people in
my life, especially the ones I don't know -- the ones who
have helped bring about important changes, resources, and
programs that enrich all of our lives. That even includes
the ones I don't necessarily agree with at the moment.
How to say things without saying
"I think the most important thing is that he is not able to
function any longer, and we're agnostic as to how that happens.
I rather doubt... just given the circumstances here... I rather
doubt we're talking about a long, drawn-out trial."
-CONDOLEEZZA RICE, on whether United States troops expect
to kill Osama bin Laden or capture him for trial.
My sister-in-law and my nieces came to town to visit for
Thanksgiving. I got into a livery cab this morning for the
trip to the airport to pick them up.
The cabbie was trying to avoid morning traffic, and it wasn't
long before I was marvelling at seeing parts of Brooklyn I
didn't recognize at all. Moments later, the cabbie turned
around and said something like "Where is B.Q.E.?" Yikes -
he's the driver, and he doesn't know... I had a vague idea
that we were headed in the right direction, but that and $1.50
will get me on the subway here in New York.
The cabbie spotted a car ahead, and swung the big car to
the left, seeming for a moment to be heading into oncoming
traffic. As he pulled up alongside the other car, he powered
down the passenger-side window, and motioned to the other
driver to open his window too: He flattened his hand and stuck
it straight out, palm down, parallel to the ground. Then,
he worked his fingers up and down together, waving them like
The other driver shot a slightly confused look, and drove
off. A couple of lights later, we caught up to him again,
and he seemed to have figured out that we wanted directions.
He had his window down already when we pulled up next to him.
The other driver started to answer "...go straight ahead..."
and my driver was already starting to pull away. I heard the
other driver say "...until you get to Meeker Avenue..." and
we were gone. My driver had confirmed what he needed, and
didn't bother to offer thanks.
A few hundred yards later, we cleared a ridge, and the elevated
B.Q.E. was clearly visible.
What to comics, shiny things and beautiful models have in
common? Maybe they're all ways of looking at ourselves; placing
ourselves somewhere that we're not.
In the book Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud demonstrates
that people identify most closely with simplistic images.
A circle with two dots and a line is automatically seen as
a face, and that face becomes a stand-in for ourselves in
comic strip narrative.
We're drawn to shiny objects, and it may have to do with
just the glitter and "alive-ness" of the object, but larger
shiny things allow us to see our reflection, as if we're standing
outside of ourselves. It's an opportunity to detach and view
ourselves, almost as another person.