Meanwhile, over at the Post …

I usually link to my weekly Saturday Evening Post column over there in the sidebar on the right, but because I know some eyes don’t drift over there when they visit this site (or they have an aversion to sidebars for some reason), I sometimes like to link to it here.

This week: autumn notes, Superman’s new motto, Halloween costumes, Betty Lynn, the new movie about Lucy and Desi, the history of the CBS Eye, a Thanksgiving dinner made entirely from candy corn, and The Case of the Yahoo! Yodeler.

Clifton Fadiman on privacy (1957)

(A repost from a few years ago, corrected.)

Communication starts by being an aid, a convenience. It grows, grows, grows – like a tree if you like it, like a cancer if you don’t. In any case, it ends as a way of life. The transmission and reception of messages, almost irrespective of meaning, becomes an activity fascinating in itself. It can be deeply satisfying to certain temperaments that are outgoing, social, manipulative, present-minded. But it yields its last measure of satisfaction only if pushed to the last degree of development. This involves an ‘assault on privacy,’ or rather, as I believe, a common unconscious willingness to be assaulted.

… I think intrusion is here to stay and I think most of us want it that way. That is what I must remember when momentarily I am irritated by the shutter-snapping of the street corner photographer … He is part of a gigantic communications system by which many of us (and more of us all the time) live, continually taking in each other’s publicity …

None of this is imposed on us. We made it.

– “Who Wants To Be Alone?,” from Any Number Can Play

Sock it to me

So I did laundry on Saturday morning. (Wow, there’s a thrilling intro to a blog post.)

For some reason I only had two different clean socks left, a white athletic sock and a blue/black checkered dress sock. So I put them on when I got dressed and planned to put on another athletic sock when my clothes were done.

I put my clothes away and two hours later I went to sit in my reclining chair. I sit and put the leg rest up and I look down and notice that I still have on the mismatched socks. I sigh, irritated that I forgot and that I now have to walk to the other end of the apartment to get a sock, but I stop and think, “Why do I have to change it?” I’m staying in all day, no one is coming over, so why can’t I just leave these on?

So the socks don’t match. Who’s going to say anything? If I wear two different socks will some sartorial crimes unit of the police department come and break down my door to arrest me?

(By the way, Sartorial Crimes Unit just got a 13-episode order from CBS.)

Anyway, I wore the mismatched socks all day long and they worked just fine. Maybe I’ll start a new fashion thing, like sleeveless hoodies or wearing a headband with a suit.

This has been a laundry update.

Autumn, at last

And here we are, in the season of falling leaves, chilly mornings and pumpkin spice everything. The time of school work and better holidays, hot tea and comfort foods, when the soul-crushing humidity of the summer months gives way to sweater weather and renewed ambition.

(There’s a longstanding scientific fact I just made up that says more gets done in the colder months of the year than the warmer months.)

I put away my fan this weekend. It’s something I look forward to every year, right up there with early sunsets*, buying a new planner, and lighting the first balsam fir candle in the living room, another thing I did this weekend. I’m not entirely convinced it even smells like a balsam fir, but it does smell like fall and I like it.

Perhaps the best thing about October is that after four months I can finally wear pants again.**

* I actually like it when it gets dark really early. Your mileage may vary.

** Don’t be funny, I mean I’ve been wearing shorts.