May 02, 2005

Caesar's Bath

Heidi and Julie have passed me the Caesar's Bath meme: list five things that people in your circle of friends or peer group are wild about, but you can't really understand the fuss over. To use the words of Caesar (from History of the World Part I), "Nice. Nice. Not thrilling . . . but nice." Unlike Heidi, I take the nice-but-not-thrilling part seriously. None of these things are thrilling, but they're all nice.

1) The Beach. I never really understood why so many of my peers love the beach. Sure, there's the ocean, and sometimes sand, or tidepools with little sea anemones and crabs in them. Nice, all of that, but for real thrills I'll always head for the mountains.

2) Liberals. The nicest thing about liberals is that they don't like Tom DeLay or George W. Bush, and vice versa. So they're OK with me. Liberals miss the boat on too many issues, though. The liberal position on consumerism, for example, amounts to the belief that nothing so fundamental to human happiness should ever be restricted to the rich alone. This is why the liberals haven't been able to make any compelling stands against the homogenization and bureaucratization of society, or against globalization's destructive effects on local comunities. To the extent that these things improve efficiency and boost production, the liberals must concede that they're intrinsically desirable, and they must confine their criticism to questions about implementation. If I want to be thrilled, I'll take Wendell Berry or Russell Kirk over the liberals any day.

3) Spicy food. Nice, but above a certain level of spice you stop tasting your food and merely feel it.

4) Golf. I think golf is too sedate. Besides, if I'm going to do something sedate outside, I'd rather not do it in a completely artificial landscape where every hill, lake and tree has been plotted, built, and planted by some guy who wears polo shirts.

5) Polo shirts. Nice for wiping the grime off your mountain bike after a long ride in the hills.

I'll pass this one on to Sarni and the Ulterior Epicure.

Posted by Carey at May 2, 2005 12:26 PM

Chances are the trees on a golf course were not planted by some guy wearing a polo shirt, but by some illegal alien making 2 bucks an hour. Not that this makes it any better, but just saying.

Posted by: Larry at May 2, 2005 01:26 PM

They usually wear polo shirts, though, with a landscaping company's logo embroidered on them.

Posted by: Mark Ashton at May 2, 2005 04:57 PM

We cancel each other out on the beach vs. mountains, except for me, the thing that is necessary is the ocean, not so much the beach. I like the mountains, and we go a few times a year because my husband loves them, but I cannot live more than an hour away from the ocean. It's critical. The times in my life I've lived away from the ocean I've sort of felt like something inside me was shriveled up. My long-term goal is to live on the coast.

Maybe it's because I love to swim and dive. Swimming was my first sport, and remains one of my favorites. Diving, well, honestly, I'd live under water if i could.

Posted by: transmogriflaw at May 3, 2005 02:07 AM

Oops. I sent you the Caesar's Bath thing the other day not realizing Heidi had already sent it to you. ;)


Albert: Coop, about the uniform.
Cooper: Yes, Albert?
Albert: Usually, replacing the quit elegance of the dark suit and tie for the casual indifference of these muted earthtones is a form of fashion suicide. But, call me crazy, on you it works.

Posted by: Julie at May 3, 2005 06:58 PM

I think that's it: I've never been a big swimmer but I've done a lot of great things in the mountains. Had it been different, I'm sure I'd like the beach (and the ocean) much more.

"Harry, I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don't plan it, don't wait for it, just let it happen. Could be a new shirt at the men's store, a catnap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot, black coffee. Like this." -Dale Cooper

Posted by: Carey at May 4, 2005 08:36 AM

I feel the same way about American golf. Relatively primitive scottish golf, on the other hand, especially in the winter, is neither sedate nor artificial. One more thing, sadly, that we've adopted and made, umm, "better".

Posted by: Raffi Melkonian at May 13, 2005 05:21 PM