<= 2002.05.03

2002.05.05 =>

tiptoe through the

From the comments box:

well sure, as long as he's not using humanity's emotional response as an ethical argument. there's clearly an ethical gap to cross from controlling rodents in this manner to wiring up humans in the same way.

And Paul Burkhardt brings up the disturbing possibility that the remote-controlled rats may acquire an Aibo-like droopy head syndrome.

Yesterday: Pella Tulip Time. This little Iowa town is the sort of deeply Dutch place where all of the landmarks are marked with irresistibly comic names. The eastern gate is "Oost Poort." There is a Kinderwinkel and a Giftwinkel and a Klompenwinkel. And then there was the old guy operating "Goliath," the giant automated calliope that played a rousing version of "The Blue Danube" off the sort of huge cardboard punch cards that ENIAC might have used to store math problems.

They have a big-ass windmill in Pella, and an organized tour of its various floors. The first floor looks much like the second floor, which looks much like the third floor, which looks much like the fourth floor. It was like one of those terrible acid experiences where although you think you are moving, you keep entering the same room. The only thing that changed was the different elderly people explaining aspects of the mill's construction—though we still managed to leave the mill knowing little more about its operation than we had when we entered. Fresh meal was being ground at the top, but you couldn't eat it because it was full of dirt. Marlowe was ready to put a stick through his eye.

The closing parade presented a bewildering array of floats, including this year's Tulip Queen and Tulip Court, the Tulip Queens of Yesteryear (average age: 60), the Tulip Queens of Tomorrow (average age: 6), a great neon sparkly unicorn float with the enigmatic legend "Happy" (we assumed it was the Big Gay Float), a giant Radio Flyer wagon with a giant teddy bear who waved a mechanical arm and had the soulless expression of the Marshmallow Man in Ghostbusters, and a giant glowing yellow tulip that actually engulfed a entire carriage in its petals as it passed us. Marlowe couldn't get over the pagan symbolism in that last one, but there was pagan symbolism everywhere you looked. Before the parade, as a sort of coming-of-age rite, all the young man of the town dipped buckets into cisterns and emptied them over the road, and all the young women of the town scrubbed it clean.

Today: mint-julep white-suit Kentucky Derby party. Sadly, Buddha is out of the race.


<= 2002.05.03

2002.05.05 =>

up (2002.05)

The Warm South
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