Archive | December, 2016

Mr. Blog’s Party Advice (Imponderable #133)

27 Dec

December 27, 2016

happy-new-year

Dear Mr. Blog:

I am throwing a big New Year’s Eve soiree and I am inviting the crème de la crème of society. Nearly the entire Wayne Rogers Junior High marching band will be there! But I have a problem that I hope you can help me with. I don’t want to be a laughingstock at my next algebra club meeting. 

How is a combination of cake and ice cream to be served? On a dessert plate or in a bowl? How is it eaten? Fork or spoon? Is it ever proper to eat from a plate with a spoon?

HELP!

(Signed) Bruin Z. Othello, AKA Myron from the Block


Dear Myron

This is just the sort of letter I’d toss in the trash over to Mr. Know-It-All’s desk but he’s been locked in the men’s room since last week. However, Myron, I found a good substitute. This is an actual answer to your question from Miss Manners. Yes, she is still alive… sort of.

GENTLE READER: Have you ever tried to eat ice cream with a fork?

You needn’t. Contrary to what many people believe, Miss Manners assures you that etiquette is not out to trick you. When dessert is both textured and runny or gooey, both a spoon and a fork should be available.

It would also be too much of a challenge to have to eat cake from a bowl. The ice cream is properly placed on top of the cake, so that any melting will be absorbed before getting to the plate.

“Too much of a challenge to have to eat cake from a bowl”??? Seriously? Miss Manners’ dictionary must have a different meaning of the word “challenge” than mine does.

Is it too hard to put the cake in a bowl, plop some ice cream on top of it, and eat it all with a spoon? If you can’t eat a piece of cake with a spoon and need to break out a fork to do some heavy lifting, you are A: serving the wrong kind of cake or B: clearly doing something wrong with your life.

Myron, what kind of a person can’t figure this one out?
The question is Imponderable.

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And in case anyone was wondering, that was an actual letter to Miss Manners from just last week. Sigh, I weep for the world. Somewhere in Europe there are starving kids who would eat a piece of cake with their bare hands out of a tiger’s mouth and people here worry about which utensil to use? This is why I hate people.

.

 

Happy Hanukkah Ben Grimm!

23 Dec

Updated December 23, 2016
from December 15, 2012

The 1976 Jack Kirby family Hanukkah card

The 1976 Jack Kirby family Hanukkah card

I am a big fan of The Fantastic Four and of them, I am first and foremost a fan of The Thing. He is easily in my top five, possibly top three comic book characters. And speaking of the First Family of Marvel Comics, Ben Grimm was created by two men who surely were members of the First Family of Marvel Comics, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

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And while many of the legends of the comic industry, like Superman creators Joe Siegel and Jerry Shuster, Will Eisner, Stan Lee and Jack “King” Kirby were Jewish, it doesn’t necessarily follow that their famous creations are Jewish. Superman is not Jewish, The Spirit is not Jewish.

But Benjamin Jacob Grimm is.

And here's his bar mitzvah to prove it.

And here’s his bar mitzvah to prove it.

From wikipedia, oy vey!:

In keeping with an early taboo in the comic superhero world against revealing a character’s religion, the fact that Grimm was Jewish was not explicitly revealed until four decades after his creation, in the story, “Remembrance of Things Past” (in Fantastic Four, vol. 3, #56, August 2002). In this story, Grimm returns to his old neighborhood to find Mr. Sheckerberg, a pawn shop owner he had known as a child. Flashbacks during this story reveal Grimm’s Jewish heritage, and he even recites the Kaddish, the Jewish prayer often recited over the dead and dying, over the dying Sheckerberg, who eventually recovers. In a later story, Grimm even agrees to celebrate his Bar Mitzvah, since it has been 13 years (the age a Jewish boy celebrates his Bar Mitzvah) since he began his “second life” as the Thing. To celebrate the ceremony, Grimm organizes a poker tournament for every available superhero in the Marvel Universe.

The story of the Thing was unusual for another religious reason, as well: the fact that the Thing was actually brought back to life in one story not by science, magic, or alien power or technology, but by the hand of God.

It is a fact that The Thing is in many ways just Jack Kirby writing himself on the page. While The Spirit may be what Will Eisner wished to be, in many was The Thing is who Jack Kirby really was.

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Remind you of anyone?

 

Some personality traits of the cantankerously lovable, occasionally cigar-smoking, Jewish native of the Lower East Side are popularly recognized as having been inspired by those of co-creator Jack Kirby, who in interviews has said he intended Grimm to be an alter ego of himself.

So as we approach The Festival of Light, it is only appropriate to wish both Ben Grimm and Jack Kirby a very

hanukkah_happy

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This has been

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