The UK National Environmental Research Council’s has closed its online poll to choose a name for its new polar research vessel, and the winner is Boaty McBoatface. That name beat out Shackleton, Endeavor, and David Attenborough by a landslide, because it’s a hilarious joke. See, it’s a boat, so the name “Boaty” is fatuous. And “Mc” is a common component of names, while “-face” is not and therefore a comically inept/lazy construction. Boaty McBoatface us the “insert witty comment here” of gag names: it never gets old, no matter how many times you see it. That’s why this blog is called “Bloggy McBlogface” now, and when I put in for a table at brunch I tell them my name is “Diney McDinerton,” and I call my car “Carface O’Kelly”—just to give everyone a good, hearty laugh. Today is Friday, and I’m not worried about the effect of democracy on ship-naming so much as on joke construction. Won’t you despise the vulgarity of the mob with me?
Bad news for business travelers: Missoula’s Historic Preservation Commission has put off deciding whether to let developers knock down the Missoula Mercantile Building and build a Residence Inn. It met for four hours last week. In addition to public comment that compared HomeBase Montana to ISIS, the commission addressed the recommendation of City Attorney Jim Nugent, who advised four members to recuse themselves for bias.
“I am still in shock that somehow we’ve been found guilty without any due process whatsoever,” commission vice chair Steve Adler told The Missoulian. I find him guilty of exaggeration. Nugent issued no verdict, because he held no trial. He did tell four commissioners that the city could be vulnerable to a lawsuit if the they didn’t recuse. Nugent’s office discovered that Adler, an architect, worked on his own plan to develop residential condominiums in the Mercantile building. He also signed a Save the Merc petition and liked various postings from a group of the same name on Facebook. So did commission chair Mike Monsos and commissioners Kate Kolwicz and Cheryl Cote.
First of all, alliteration on the Historic Preservation Commission has gotten way out of hand. Second, and perhaps even more importantly: Did you guys think signing petitions and liking Facebook posts from parties to a permit dispute that you’re adjudicating was appropriate? I am scared the answer is yes. Now’s a good time to remember that Missoula’s commissioners of historic preservation are all volunteers, and we’ve asked them to stop putting plaques on mansions just long enough to intercede in multimillion-dollar development deal.
This may not be a job for amateur government, but it has fallen to the amateurs’ lot. We installed these people, and we will foot the bill if their predictable errors in judgment trigger a lawsuit. You can read all about it in this week’s column for the Missoula Independent. Official motto: Your local newspaper that has an editor.
Combat! blog was going to be about some dumb Hillary shit today, but Conor McGregor stepped in and saved us all. “I have decided to retire young,” he tweeted yesterday at a reasonable hour. “Thanks for the cheese. Catch ya’s later.” Did you know you can almost always delete the last sentence of any tweet? Regardless, Twitter is binding, and the UFC has duly removed him from UFC 200 on July 9th in beautiful Las Vegas. Props to Agent Foxhole for the link. And thanks to the Ultimate Fighting Championship for announcing this dramatic change to their most important event of the year ten weeks in advance, just as soon as McGregor “retired,” so we’d all have time to change our plans.
It’s callow to laugh at Donald Trump for misspeaking, especially when he says so much risible shit on purpose. But there’s something pleasing about this flub:
I think what I want to do is I want to talk just for a second. I wrote this out, and it’s very close to my heart because I was down there. And I watched our police and our firemen down on 7/11, down at the World Trade Center, right after it came down. And I saw the greatest people I’ve ever seen in action. I saw the greatest people I’ve ever seen including the construction workers, including every person down there. That’s what New York values is about.
As Rudy Giuliani will tell you, New York values are about running for president of September 11. Trump almost does that competently here. He declares police and fire fighters the bravest people on earth, and then expands that superlative to everyone in his field of vision. He makes heroes of us all. He almost never forgets. But then he says that thing about 7/11 and the whole edifice comes crashing down. Questions:
- Is this the first time America laughed at 9/11?
- Is this the first time Trump admitted to writing down a speech?
Neither of my planes crashed today, so the photo above is funny to me. Now if you showed me a picture of a cab stopped at a green light while the driver looked at his phone, that would offend me. Around 5:45am, I got in an off-duty on Third Avenue and negotiated a flat rate to LaGuardia. After a polite silence, the driver informed me that his first child had been born Sunday afternoon. “She’s my angel” he said, showing me a picture on his phone until the driver behind us honked. He had a lot of pictures, but each was important. “That’s beautiful,” I said. “You’re lucky to have each other. Green light.” At one point, he missed the go-ahead from a traffic cop. He was so happy I had to tip him immensely. “It’s a beautiful day,” he said, letting me out in the terminal through lane. “You can just run across there.”
Now I’m in Missoula, where the cab drivers don’t give a shit about their kids. It’s spring here, and my fear of missing the lilac bush proved unfounded. The air is crisp and under hot light from a low angle. As I took my dinner at Veselka last night, John the waiter remarked that he hadn’t seen me lately. It’s been about seven years since I ate there regularly. “I’ve been out of town,” I said. “Living out of town, actually.” As soon as I said Montana, he asked if I was in Missoula. “Lucky,” he said.
He was right. I am lucky to have such a friend as Stubble to let me stay in his apartment for two weeks. I’m lucky to know the woman who gave me occasion to go to New York, and the friends who gave me reason to stay. We’re all lucky I’ve been reunited with my electric personal groomer. And once I take a shower and unpack my bags, I’ll be lucky to make it to my bed before I pass out. Good night, eastern time zone, who governs my workings once more. I shall sleep you off.