Do you know what I love? I love NSFW. The phrase. The first time I saw it, no one told me what it meant, but I figured it out immediately. And I have a theory that this experience is common.
Okay, here's the scenario. You're at work, you're surfing the web, you see a link for, say, "Adult Engrish." It's ambiguous. Adult could mean developmentally mature or it could mean naughty. You look around you and wonder, Is this link safe for work? And then you see a note next to the link: NSFW. Gotcha. I'll look at it later.
Now there is even a website to streamline the process of sending NSFW links to friends.
What I love about NSFW is what it implies about the work experience and human nature. We all waste time at work. And if you're sitting at a desk using a computer with broadband for eight hours a day, your cursor will wander. The internet invites diversion (and subversion.) Whether it's during lunch hour or before a big deadline, it happens. So NSFW acknowledges the common tendency and answers your question as soon as you ask it. It is a silent wink. You are part of a community--we get you and we are looking out for you.
I am not overstating my point when I say that NSFW makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
Um, so does anyone know anything about physics? Please speak up, because everything I know about physics says that this is not possible: http://mediax.muchosucko.com/movies/512-alan_vegasfunflydemo_2004.mov [copy and paste it. the webmaster blocks direct links to the movie.]
Sunday I tuned in to part of a video countdown on BET and witnessed two consecutive videos that, respectively, epitomized what I hate about rap music today, and what I fell in love with about it 15 or 20 years ago. First, there was "Some Cut" by Trillville from the ATL. Flashing their gold teeth, they informed an imaginary female in the listenership that if she would only shut up and let them stick their dicks in her ass and come on her face she would receive jewelry. I am not exercising much creative interpretation here. See for yourself:
Nine Inch Nails' new album, "With Teeth," will be coming out in May (their first in 6 years), and on Thursday they posted a video for their first single, "The Hand That Feeds," on their website. Not sure if it's headed for MTV--it's really just Trent and the boys performing in a recording studio, apparently filmed in one take. The video kind of mimics the touching 1994 "March of the Pigs" spot, minus the fishnets and awkward moshing. The song isn't breathtaking but it's growing on me. Glen pointed out that they stole the guitar riff from the Kinks' "You Really Got Me."
I recently heard an NPR reporter say that one company had literally cleaned the clock of another company. Now, this reporter was not saying anything about the companies' mutual attention to timepiece hygiene. She was saying that company A defeated company B soundly in the marketplace. So, by literally she meant, well, its exact opposite: figuratively.*
Idiom, metaphor, slang, and overall flexibility are essential to any language. But there must be a safety line, a direct grounding to reality at some point. A way to say, "seriously, I am not kidding." Otherwise, when you cry "wolf," no one will believe you. This is the essential function of the word literally, and no other word has its gravitas.
This week David Edelstein, film critic for Slate, collaborated with his readers to build a list of the top 20 most-idiotic-twist endings to movies. The survey is relatively comprehensive, but includes one glaring omission: the terrible twist in Sphere.
At the end of Sphere, the three surviving protagonists collectively decide to forget—all together on the count of three! (is that even possible?)—all of the unusual events leading up to that point in the movie. And WHAMO! By some alien-endowed mind-manifesting metaphysical stunt, all those events cease having happened! History is erased and the entire movie is nullified. You've just watched an account of something that never happened, even in the fictional universe of the movie. Glad I invested my time.
Oh, and if only it were that clear-cut. The moviemakers make no move to illustrate how the characters will explain their missing comrades. Or the gigantic glowing sphere that comes rocketing out of the ocean in full view of hundreds of Navy cadets.
Maybe if I concentrate and count to three I can forget the whole flick.