hey pretty

Ceci n'est pas une "dating blog."

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Nomadic Reader

One of the many joys of unemployment, apart from sleeping until noon, living off of compensation checks from Uncle Sam and having sympathetic friends buy you lots of beers, is having the time to read the New York Times from back to front without having to justify it to your boss as part of your "public affairs research". There were many interesting nuggets of information in today's edition that would make anyone a surefire hit at any cocktail party. My favorite however, is this gem about the influence of elves in modern Icelandic culture. It seems that these mythic (or not so mythic depending on who you ask) creatures have come to dictate the development practices of the Atlantic ocean's favorite icy isle. According to the article, the majority of the nation's population believe in elves, bestowing enough reverence on them to tailor development plans to their existence, dutifully planning new building sites around them in order to not disturb their environs.

Such deference to the careful balance that exists between man and nature is foreign to those of us who live in the land of large scale development, sky scrapers and strip malls. Considering how beholden natives of Iceland are to extreme weather patterns however, such a way of thought makes a certain amount of sense. Apart from indigenous North American cultures that are now basically extinct (or extremely marginalized) our country offers no parallel mythology, which is kind of a shame. I would love to imagine a society in which ground could not be broken to build a new Target for fear of upsetting whatever friendly folkloric creatures inhabit that land. Less Todd Oldham plastic patio dining sets could mean room for a popular psyche inhabited by benign, earth-loving fairies. Gosh, I just said "fairies". All renaissance fair-speak aside, an appreciation for the mystery and oddities possible within nature could be just what we need to mend the rift that we've created between man and nature. Even if you don't agree, the article is worth checking out, even for a few giggles.

After that, mosey on over to the editorial section to read Sarah Vowell's take on presidential speeches. Today's irreverent column is a refreshing break from the sometimes tedious journalistic stylings of Maureen Dowd, who is currently on vacation.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man - New York Times, front to back? Can that be *done* in an entire day? I'd likely spend an hour or so working on that damn So-Do-Ko game everyone seems addicted to.

I think we could use a little more mythology in the US, but knowing us, it wouldn't be "don't hurt the earth - or I'll strike you down with lightning, or steal your lawn furniture" type stuff... it would inevitably turn into "Follow the fairies wishes - don't have premarital sex" or "Buy a Honda, or the lawn gnomes will terrorize your garden while you sleep."

So have you taken to hanging around the city enjoying the fine weather while you read?

- D.S.

11:20 PM  
Blogger Hey Pretty said...

what on earth is so-do-ko? is that an office worker thing?

4:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's like a cross-word puzzle, except it just has numbers. You have to logically think out which numbers go where.

Pretty simple concept actually - (each box has to have the numbers 1-9, as well as each horizontal and vertical line) - but it is a fun challenge.

The Washington post just picked it up - I wish I had time to actually do it daily.

- D.S.

4:52 PM  
Blogger Hey Pretty said...

hey pretty doesn't do numbers.

5:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Hey Pretty" is crazy smart - maybe she'd enjoy it.

- D.S.

5:26 PM  
Anonymous Erin said...

Icelanders are cool. I spent spring break of my sophomore year in college in Rejkjavik and it was one of the more awesome experiences of my life.

1:55 PM  

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