I'm not keeping up with the snow shoveling and exam reading, as the last post shows. I also cannot properly keep up with my email. I lost my grip on it yesterday. The only other time I lost my grip on all the email from my readers was when I was debating the relative merits of keeping my Beetle (seen, kept, in the photo just below) or replacing it with either an Audi TT Coupe (the car I really want) or a Corvette (an absurd fantasy brought on by a brochure that came in the mail that many readers decided to encourage me to plunge insanely into). Yesterday, I lost my grip on the email because of two posts that were, apparently, highly provocative.
The first was the little thing about "crazy old aunt in the attic." I've done two updates, and really, that's that. I don't know why it provoked people so much. Maybe, they've been saying "crazy old aunt in the attic" and they need to feel that it's a good expression and here I am forbidding it, repressing them. But then James Taranto is repressing people who want to have fun mixing metaphors like mad. People who write safirically about language are such party poopers. Okay! I'm sorry!
The second thing that unleashed the email was the set of posts yesterday about beauty, and it's easy to see why these were provocative. I appreciate all the comments, but can't answer all the email personally. I'll post on this subject again in the future. I know it is something people really want to engage with. The feminist position that everything is patriarchal culture is offset by an extreme sociobiologist position that everything is evolution. I'll just say for now, in answer to all the people who emailed to tell me the sociobiology side of the story: I find both extremes highly implausible. Quite aside from email: I liked reading responses to those two posts in other blogs, especially this one in The Sheila Variations (which, speaking of beauty, is a really nice looking blog).