Back to previous post: Greatest Corporate Press Release in the History of Civilization

Go to Making Light's front page.

Forward to next post: Eggbeater

Subscribe (via RSS) to this post's comment thread. (What does this mean? Here's a quick introduction.)

July 18, 2009

Similes of our Times
Posted by Teresa at 11:37 PM * 110 comments

This weekend, the Schott’s Vocab column in the New York Times is running a competition to come up with similes for our times. Trouble is, Schott’s sample similes are drab—

This weekend, co-vocabularists are invited to nominate new similes fit for the times in which we live. These can be adaptations of classic similes (as good as Goldmans) or novel comparisons (as generous as a stimulus package). It is hoped that co-vocabularists will take to this competition like a politician to pork but, please, keep ‘em as clean as a Prius.
—and the entries in the comment thread are almost all dead lame (vide passim). I felt so bad for them that I posted a batch* of topical figures of speech there. I’ll link to it here if it ever gets out of moderation.

In the meantime, I’ll bet we can play this game a lot better than the NYTimes.

Comments on Similes of our Times:
#1 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 12:02 AM:

The one I left out of the list I posted at the NYT was "It was pointless and self-defeating, like trolling for Jesus."

#2 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 12:26 AM:

As feminist as Rush Limbaugh.

With all the sanity of a Glenn Beck monologue.

He was eviscerated as neatly as if by Jon Stewart.

A Palinesque completion.

With all the kindness of a Cheney.

The speaker was as unruffled as Obama.

#3 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 12:49 AM:

His heart was as if filled with the milk of human kindness, but someone had left the carton out of the fridge for too long before pouring it in.

#4 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 12:49 AM:

Somehow 'another Enron' seems pale.

I suppose a new version of 'met your Waterloo' could be 'met your [Iraq|Afghanistan]'

'More tweets than wit' ?

#5 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 12:55 AM:

"Don't cry for me, Appalachia"

#6 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 01:06 AM:

I shouldn't read this so late. I'm weeping with ineptitude. (or laughter or something like that...)

#7 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 01:07 AM:

I shouldn't read this so late. I'm weeping with ineptitude. (or laughter or something like that...)

#8 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 01:13 AM:

When the bill comes, he's a regular bin Laden.

That Microsoft product uses more resources than a Hummer.

As dead as the midlist.

His death leaves us like the NY skyline after 9/11.

MP3s -- the Wal-Mart of music.

((Hey, nobody said they had to be tasteful!))

#9 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 01:45 AM:

"As dead as the midlist" hits hard.

#10 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 02:27 AM:

"I had to redo all of his work--he's such a Bush appointee."

"If you believe that, I've got some repackaged debt to sell you."

#11 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 02:29 AM:

My favorite from your list is "He's such a drag he couldn't get friended by a spambot". heh.

How about "all tweet and no meat"? I'm not sure that's a real simile, though.

#12 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 07:50 AM:

"He displayed the persistence of Coleman, but she really was not interested in him."

#13 ::: Mike ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 07:53 AM:

The 2004 election seemed particularly fertile for "showing as much self-interest as a hooker who knifes you for stopping her pimp from beating her."

#14 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 08:51 AM:

His advice is like Microsoft tech support - 100% correct and 100% useless - and he's almost as competent as the CIA. That's why he's as popular as AIG these days.

#15 ::: John Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 08:53 AM:

To soar like my 401(k).

#16 ::: John Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 09:08 AM:

As compassionate as Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter visiting a home for unwed mothers.

As much growth potential as the Republican Party.

#17 ::: Mark Wise ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 09:17 AM:

Wow, that engine is as enhanced as a Bush-era interrogation!

#18 ::: Sean Sakamoto ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 09:23 AM:

Hornier than a Christian Senator.

Funnier than a triple A CDO.

Broker than Lehman.

Kookier than a creationist on the campaign trail.

Slimier than a mortgage broker in Florida.

As welcome as the swine flu on Ramadan.

Jumpier than Palin's pet Turkey in November.

#19 ::: Mark Wise ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 09:24 AM:

What a poseur. He's a graceless as a Chinese iPhone knockoff.

#20 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 09:41 AM:

All the warmth and charm of a phone book on a Kindle.

non ironically, there's "As refreshing as a good drink of water."

#21 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 09:48 AM:

Last year around this time, some villain or henchperson in the Dick Tracy strip was uttering a singularly inane and opaque simile, which at least had novelty on its side. I composed a brief list of other equally intelligible similes for their future use. As they have not used them, I feel free to pass them along here:

“Bonus! More similes for Dick Tracy villains! -
• Easy as chewing milk!
• Easy as shoveling wood!
• Smooth as a baby’s resume!
• Fungible as pie!
• Platitudinous as February 3rd!
• It was just like driving a train to the dentist!
• It was just like putting a rubber band around a lava lite!
• Like sand through the hourglass; these are the days of our lives!”

(Reprinted from The Comics Curmudgeon, July 2, 2008)

#22 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 10:16 AM:

One senator short of a scandal.

As spontaneous as political convention applause.

As compassionate as a Purple Heart Band-aid.

As straight as the Appalachian Trail.

His mind was as broad as his stance.

Inevitable as death and sequels.

It would have been twice as funny with the addition of one crutch.

He's solving the world's problems, one Cheeto at a time.

Satisfying as vegetarian bacon.

#23 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 10:30 AM:

Her next blind date was likely to be like a Skiffy Channel movie - promising-looking but ultimately a big bore.

#24 ::: Johan Larson ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 10:54 AM:

As futile as online arguments.

As dated as Usenet.

As productive as blogging.

#25 ::: oliviacw ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 11:04 AM:

As literate as Viagra spam from the Ukraine.

#26 ::: Mike ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 11:09 AM:

...as contrite as calling an "unknown-unknown."

#27 ::: joXn ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 11:38 AM:

Kip, you have a real ear for these. All the warmth and charm of a phone book on a Kindle and He's solving the world's problems, one Cheeto at a time are great.

My contribution: X is the PC to Y's Mac.

#28 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 01:14 PM:

As chewy as a nitro tequila shot.

#29 ::: Rob Hansen ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 01:57 PM:

I always liked this one by Billy Connolly:

"as welcome as a fart in a spacesuit"

#30 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 02:30 PM:

All the scientific rigor of an Oprah segment

All the moral clarity and incisive rhetoric of a Republican Governor

All the cogence of Pat Buchanan on race

All the nuance of a Minuteman on meth

As subtle as Iranian election fraud

As trustworthy as a dollar bill is green

#31 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 02:33 PM:

As useful as a screen door on a submarine.
- a former co-worker about his manager

#32 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 03:00 PM:

He was gone in an instant, like the contents of a hard drive.

#33 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 03:14 PM:

As spontaneous as a Supreme Court confirmation hearing.

#34 ::: candle ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 04:03 PM:

She was cynical and precise, as if butter would not only melt in her mouth but would probably go on to clarify.

(I've been wanting to do something with that for ages.)

#35 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 04:30 PM:

candle @34 wins, as far as I'm concerned.

As frank as the national media talking about torture.

As solid as an Obama campaign promise.

#36 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 04:43 PM:

As comforting as an airport security check.

As honest as a movie studio accountant.

As impressive, in its way, as a wall of laser disks.

A real marksman, provided the target is at the end of his leg.

His brain has a cold solder joint to ground.

#37 ::: hapax ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 05:08 PM:

A co-worker of mine was once described as "A ROM-style brain in a RAM-style business."

That's probably dated already, though.

#38 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 06:12 PM:

As believable as a SciFi Original Movie.

All the durability of am exotic hadron.

That's a Paris Hilton kind of genius.

#39 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 06:43 PM:

Don't worry; another bus'll be along sooner than the next Windows upgrade.

There're more pigeons here than cell phone dealers at the mall!

#40 ::: candle ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 06:49 PM:

Michael Roberts@35 - thanks!

Bill Greenwell once won an Oldie competition for up-to-date proverbs with:

"You can't put a jack in a SCART socket."

That one has stuck to the point that I have started genuinely using it.


#41 ::: lightning ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 06:54 PM:

A couple of tweets short of a blog.

A couple of Cheetos short of a position paper.

A few betas short of a release.

As trustworthy as spam.

As reliable as Version 1.0.

As subtle as the Klingon ambassador.

As subtle as a Limbaugh routine.

As subtle as a slasher flick.

As honest as a mortgage broker.

As honest as an Iranian election.

Makes as much sense as a Palin speech.

#42 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 08:09 PM:

As practical as a war on drugs.

#43 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 08:12 PM:

Aging is like XP. Every day a new "upgrade."

#44 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 09:02 PM:

Maybe some recycled ones, with a new meaning:

Safe as houses.

You can take that to the bank.

#45 ::: Adrian Smith ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 10:21 PM:

As smooth as a breakdancer's bald patch.

#46 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2009, 10:27 PM:

With all the literacy of a college student on deadline.

#47 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2009, 12:45 AM:

He was surrounded by a force field of indestructible ignorance.

#48 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2009, 10:28 AM:

Listen, I say, listen to what I'm sayin', son! I keep energizin', but nothin's transportin'!

#49 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2009, 10:31 AM:

(...He's a good kid, but his intellect ain't exactly set to "stunning.")

#50 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2009, 11:04 AM:

Not the flashiest bling on the block

sea-level property in a global-warming world

as practical as an urban Hummer

the Nigerian spammer business model

the tooth fairy, the Easter bunny, and the paperless office


#51 ::: Paul Duncanson ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2009, 11:22 AM:

If we're going to have so many Palin similies, can we please be a bit more specific or somehow make it clear that, on the Palin scale, we mean that the person referred to is more Sarah than Michael?

#52 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2009, 01:02 PM:

The difference between Michael Palin and Sarah Palin is the difference between "laughing with" and "laughing at."

#53 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2009, 01:03 PM:

All the permanence of Orwell on a Kindle.

As dirty as a Hummer. (Have you ever seen a dirty one?)

As quiet as a teenager's ringtone.

#54 ::: Glenn Hauman ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2009, 01:27 PM:

As permanent as a Wikipedia page.

As relevant as last week's Wall Street Journal.

He's Exhibit A for what's the matter with Kansas.

As crowded as an unemployment line in Detroit.

As phony as a vegan in a leather jacket.

The job security of a drummer from Spinal Tap.

#55 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2009, 01:28 PM:

Has anybody else noticed that by the standard of these "similes for our times," our times are pretty uniformly bleak? There are lots of cynical twists and putdowns. Where are today's equivalents of "a heart as big as all outdoors" or "excited as a kid in a candy shop" or most anything with a positive spin to the comparison?

Not that I'm doing any better, mind you. If I could think of any, I would add them.

#56 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2009, 01:37 PM:

OtterB @ 55:

Being cynical is more fun, but here are a few for you.

As boundless as the internet.

Excited as a geek with an unlocked iPhone.

Happier than a hobbyist in a Chinese electronics market.

#57 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2009, 01:53 PM:

I assure you, "satisfying as a good drink of water" is meant in a positive way. In fact, I'm going to have one now.

#58 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2009, 03:02 PM:

It was as if an electronics store had unquestioningly granted my warranty claim.

I was as pleased as if missionaries on my walk had left without ringing my bell.

It was like dropping an iPod in the street without any harm.

(It's harder to keep these pithy.)

#59 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2009, 03:29 PM:

Spiffy like boing-boing

trenchant as xkcd

Wonderful as "boom de yadda"

#60 ::: pat greene ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2009, 03:32 PM:

They went together like Olbermann and O'Reilly.
Louder than Mythbusters.
With as bright a future as the newspaper industry.
As unflappable as Jim Cantore in a hurricane. (Yeah, I watch waaaay to much basic cable.)
Dead as a Dumbledore.
As asexual as Captain Jack. (Harkness or Sparrow, take your pick. Or both, even better.)
As egalitarian as Prop. 8.
As repetitive as the Sotomayor confirmation hearings.


#61 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2009, 03:59 PM:

As cunning as a Klingon.
(They had Whorf actually say that on ST-TNG.)

#62 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2009, 04:17 PM:

As brutal as Big Brother.
As beautiful as a well-tuned algorithm.
As cold as cryo.
As clear as undocumented code.
As red as retreating starlight.

#63 ::: katster ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2009, 05:07 PM:

It's not a simile, but a modern riff on a piece of conventional wisdom:

"The traffic always moves faster in the other lane."

#64 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2009, 05:37 PM:

pat 60: As asexual as Captain Jack. (Harkness or Sparrow, take your pick. Or both, even better.)

I'm confused. Jack Sparrow is fairly asexual, but to the extent he's at all susceptible it's to feminine wiles, never masculine ones. At least in the two movies I've seen, while he's certainly not butch by any stretch of the imagination, he's never shown any signs of interest in walking on the wild side, as it were.

I mean, it is Disney.

Jack Harkness, on the other hand, is very butch, very highly sexed, and interested in every vaguely-humanoid being that crosses his path. Gender doesn't much matter to him, but he's far from asexual.

Did you mean these to be opposites?

#65 ::: pat greene ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2009, 09:29 PM:

Xopher,

It's interesting, and it may just be my hyperactive imagination, but I do not see Jack Sparrow as asexual. Although, given that it is Disney, it is mostly implied. And it has been a while since I've seen the movies.

So I see them as being both sexual, but with differing orientations.

Although, to tell you the truth, I was thinking of Harkness when I first wrote the comment (which was meant to be sarcastic) and Jack Sparrow just inserted himself in my consciousness. Johnny Depp does that sometimes.

I guess I was simply as confusing as Sarah Palin talking to Katie Couric.

#66 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2009, 09:43 PM:

As closeted as an Idaho senator.

As cold as Cheney's heart.

#67 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2009, 10:44 PM:

Kip W @58: I was as pleased as if missionaries on my walk had left without ringing my bell.

If they're giving you up as a lost cause before they even ring the bell... I want to know what's on your porch (or on your door, or in your yard... whatever).

#68 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2009, 10:56 PM:

Rob...I've always wanted to get one of those little Mary bathtubs, and put Kali-Durga in it, dancing on the corpse of her enemy. Or maybe Aphrodite rising from the ocean.

I know someone who came home to find that her apartment had been broken into. The thieves had been into her bedroom and taken a bunch of her jewelry, into the kitchen and taken this and that...but she found everything they'd taken from those rooms just inside the door of the other bedroom.

The other bedroom was in use as a temple. It had an altar to Kali-ji in it, with a size-XL image, offerings, and associated materials. I guess they decided she was not a lady to mess with.

#69 ::: LMB MacAlister ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2009, 12:03 AM:

As deep as Bush's brain.
As reassuring as Cheney's smile.
As clear as a Sarah Palin policy statement.
As tasteful as Michael Jackson's funeral.
As chilly as a look from Ann Coulter.
As safe as derivatives.
As even-handed as Bill O'Reilly.
As loving as Lou Dobbs.
As welcome as a letter from Nigeria. Or the IRS. Or your POA.
As excited as a kid in an electronics store.
"How did the kids like that new casserole?" "Oh, they gobbled it up like bailout money."
As repetitious as CNN Headline News.

#70 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2009, 12:13 AM:

A critic of the space program, on Colbert:

Until you've seen a toilet back up in zero gravity, you don't know what 'ugly' means.
I'm not going to go there.

#71 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2009, 01:29 AM:

I've seen a basement sump back up in one gee, and that was more than enough.

#72 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2009, 02:13 AM:

LMB MacAlister @69: As repetitious as CNN Headline News.

As schizo as the news crawl.

#73 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2009, 10:10 AM:

Xopher (#68) Slightly mystified by "one of those little Mary bathtubs", I found these blogs: Our Lady of the Bathtub Appreciation Society (with description); bathtub mary. I've seen slightly similar shrines in Sydney suburbs, but never remember bathtubs being involved — perhaps they were all taken for water troughs, OTOH my observations were very limited. Now, however, I can visualize your idea much better.

#74 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2009, 11:09 AM:

Mez @ 73 -- One of the local SCAdians (TSivia bas Tamara, MKA Shelley Rabinovitch) completed a Ph.D. thesis about "bathtub Marys" a few years ago. She'd done a lot of travelling to collect information. And she was surprised when I mentioned that there was one right across the street from my house.

#75 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2009, 12:14 PM:

You can't walk two blocks in a residential neighborhood in Hoboken without seeing one. The bathtub is to keep the rain off the statue, I figure, and it also (usually) gives her a sky-blue background to stand against.

Images of Kali-ji are relatively hard to come by, I'm led to understand. She's not generally considered auspicious to have in your house. I don't have that kind of yard anyway, but someday...man I like that idea. I'd paint the inside of the bathtub blood red, along with Kali-ji's tongue; other than that she'd be coal black except for her necklace of skulls (and her needle-sharp teeth).

#76 ::: rams ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2009, 02:09 PM:

Teresa may remember Stephanie Pearl-McPhee/The Yarn Harlot criticizing a yarn by saying it was as splitty as J-Lo.

#77 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2009, 08:58 PM:

As honest as a chyron on Fox News.

#78 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2009, 08:59 PM:

Esprit de l'escalier here...

As naturally potent as Rush Limbaugh.

#79 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2009, 11:04 PM:

As tasteful as Archie McPhee.

#80 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2009, 04:09 AM:

"Worth its weight in gold" takes on an entirely different meaning when used to describe an intangible thing...

#81 ::: LMB MacAlister sees more spam deriving from the original spam ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2009, 08:51 PM:

Xopher @ #75: You know that I've been a design/build contractor for 37 years, don't you? Now you've done it. When you get ready to build that shrine, indoors or outdoors, just let me know. Mmmmm, what fun!

#82 ::: LMB MacAlister ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2009, 08:52 PM:

Xopher @ #75: You know that I've been a design/build contractor for 37 years, don't you? Now you've done it. When you get ready to build that shrine, indoors or outdoors, just let me know. Mmmmm, what fun!

#83 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2009, 09:14 PM:

The sky was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.

#84 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2009, 09:15 PM:

Erik Nelson @ 83... "Neuromancer"?

#85 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2009, 09:21 PM:

Yes, but it seemed to fit here.

#86 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2009, 09:25 PM:

Erik Nelson @ 85... Heck, go for it. Noir has great similes.

Her mouth was filled with broken promises.
#87 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2009, 09:35 PM:

He was so low-key that the doorknob was in the morgue's sub-basement.

#88 ::: Paul Duncanson ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2009, 12:23 AM:

Erik @ 83: I don't know about yours but when my television is tuned to a dead channel it goes bright blue. I don't think a clear, sunny day is what Gibson was going for.

#89 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2009, 02:33 AM:

As smart as a bag of bricked iPhones.

#90 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2009, 02:37 AM:

Lee #80: "Worth its weight in gold" takes on an entirely different meaning when used to describe an intangible thing...

"Worth its weight in WoW gold" or maybe "As rich as a Chinese gold farmer". heh.

#91 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2009, 02:44 AM:

Paul Duncanson@88: But it was what Neil Gaiman was going for in Neverwhere.

#92 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2009, 09:14 AM:

Paul Duncanson @ 88... Well, the book was written in 1984 and this is a case of technology changing so much that a metaphor isn't valid anymore.

#93 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2009, 10:06 AM:

Serge #92: Back in the 80s people were already pointing out that the high-end colour televisions of the time defaulted to blue rather than snow if there was no signal.

I was, though, much more taken with the Rastas-in-space...

#94 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2009, 10:43 AM:

93: the first time I came across the phrase "hydroponic ganja" was in Gibson; now it's a major law enforcement issue!

#95 ::: Paul Duncanson ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2009, 10:44 AM:

David @ 91: I've seen the TV version but not read the book. (Googles, finds and delights in actual quote.) Time to fix that I think... if I can find my copy. Thanks for reminding me that Neil Gaiman makes me happy and that I should read him more.

Serge @ 92: Well, yes... and that's why is really isn't a simile of our times.

#96 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2009, 01:09 PM:

KeithS @56 and Kip W @58

Thanks for those. It is harder to make the non-ironic ones pithy.

#97 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2009, 01:40 PM:

Fragano #93:

Dead digital channels, otoh ... look like those 2-d bar code squares--and they move/cycle, sort of like a game of Conway's "Life".

#98 ::: el dub ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2009, 04:40 PM:

Her future looks about as bright as the polar bears'. (in bad taste, yes, but "of our times")

#99 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2009, 04:58 PM:

Came up in conversation: "sucks like hard vacuum"

#100 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2009, 05:08 PM:

Paul Duncanson @ 95... Humph. For some of us, 1984 was of our times. Now you kids get off my lawn!

#101 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2009, 06:57 PM:

abi, #99: My partner has an entire Scale of Suckage based on various brands. It runs, from least bad to most:

- Dustbuster
- Kirby
- Hoover
- Electrolux
- Dyson
- Shop-Vac

In practice, the only ones that get much actual use are Dustbuster, Hoover, and Shop-Vac.

#102 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2009, 04:58 PM:

Well, what do you know? When I went to the gym this morning, at some point I noticed that, not long after playing "Johhn B Goode", the monitors all wound up the color of a dead channel. Made me feel nostalgic.

#103 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2009, 09:08 PM:

I confess to a prejudice against the ones involving personalities, even when they're slams on people I don't like. They're facile and maybe feel good, but they're not built to last, and they don't mean the same thing to everyone.

When I was on the paper in junior high, there was a sort of recurring column/filler called "Can You Imagine...?" It was hilarious stuff like "...Dave Black with No hair?" "...Ricky Martinez standing up straight?" "...Sheryl Cobb not chewing gum?" (I made two of those up.) The fossil record may not bear me out on this, but I like to think I killed the genre, at least for a while, with one (that they printed) that basically said: "...any article that starts with 'Can You Imagine' being funny?"

So that's where I'm at on this. The one about Michael Jackson's funeral struck me as amusing. Another time on the same paper, I ran up against the deadline and turned in one that said

"THE MAD REPEATER STRIKES AGAIN
"The Mad Repeater strikes again and again and again and again and again and again and..."
They printed that one too.

#104 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2009, 09:11 PM:

ps: The missionaries. As I imagined it, it was wholly inexplicable by any reference to objects on the porch or visible from the front. What those more reverent than I would call 'The grace of God.'

#105 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2009, 08:06 AM:

"... spiders so big they have health bars ..."

(swiped from a TV Tropes riff on Australia)

#106 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2009, 10:04 PM:

Lee @ 101, I'd put Kirby higher than Hoover on the list, because my vintage Kirby is the only vacuum I've ever owned that DID suck strongly enough to clean carpets. Low-end Hoover uprights of the 1990s were useless.

#107 ::: Leroy F. Berven ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2009, 11:17 PM:

Kip @ 104: Occasionally, justice is served. I remember the time a couple of Jehovah's Witnesses came to the door of a Mormon high priest, as I was working nearby . . .

#108 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2009, 11:43 PM:

David Loovis tells a tale of when some Mormon missionaries came to his house (probably this happened in the late 60s or early 70s) and he said he'd hear them out about LDS if they'd hear him out about homosexuality. They accepted. Result: threesome.

#109 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2009, 11:52 PM:

Rikibeth @ 106... Jack Kirby would say "It's hoovering time!"

#110 ::: Mary Aileen sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2015, 10:35 AM:

Praise spam at #110.

Welcome to Making Light's comment section. The moderators are Avram Grumer, Teresa & Patrick Nielsen Hayden, and Abi Sutherland. Abi is the moderator most frequently onsite. She's also the kindest. Teresa is the theoretician. Are you feeling lucky?

Comments containing more than seven URLs will be held for approval. If you want to comment on a thread that's been closed, please post to the most recent "Open Thread" discussion.

You can subscribe (via RSS) to this particular comment thread. (If this option is baffling, here's a quick introduction.)

Post a comment.
(Real e-mail addresses and URLs only, please.)

HTML Tags:
<strong>Strong</strong> = Strong
<em>Emphasized</em> = Emphasized
<a href="http://www.url.com">Linked text</a> = Linked text

Spelling reference:
Tolkien. Minuscule. Gandhi. Millennium. Delany. Embarrassment. Publishers Weekly. Occurrence. Asimov. Weird. Connoisseur. Accommodate. Hierarchy. Deity. Etiquette. Pharaoh. Teresa. Its. Macdonald. Nielsen Hayden. It's. Fluorosphere. Barack. More here.















(You must preview before posting.)

Dire legal notice
Making Light copyright 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 by Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden. All rights reserved.