Wednesday, September 13, 2006


The Joplin Globe reports that Danny Hensley has kicked off a write-in campaign for Jasper County Presiding Commissioner. Hensley, who held the job for 16 years, was defeated by Chuck Surface four years ago. Then all that DWI stuff came out and Surface lost the primary, though the Mailbox can neither confirm nor deny that those two things are actually related.

Here's the part that shows the feathery sheen and vulture-like neck of Hensley, as written by Susan Redden: "Hensley, who lives in rural Carthage and is an auctioneer and land developer, held the commission job for 16 years before losing to Chuck Surface four years ago. He said he did not file to run in the August primary 'because the time wasn't right.'"

The time wasn't right because Surface was still running. The guy that Hensley allegedly supported lost, also. So, why is he running now? Again?


Michael Crichton announced the publication of his new book, "Next," on his Web site. According to a press release, it takes readers into the fast, furious, out of control world of genetics.

It's a swing from his last book "State of Fear," which is currently a choice in the Mailbox's Book Club. It's a book about how the theory of global warming is challenged, and how it's really nothing to worry about. So, MC is going from "Nothing to worry about," to "HIDE THE WOMEN AND CHILDREN! IF THEY REALLY ARE YOUR CHILDREN, THAT IS!" Huh?

The Mailbox still thinks MC is a great writer, and will continue to buy hardbacks of his books. Though MC has been painted inaccurately as a global warming naysayer, the appendix of "State of Fear" is worth the read.

Monday, September 11, 2006


Just when the Mailbox is basking in the audial goodness of Dream Theater's Score, it finds out that Rush is putting out a new album, according to Billboard. It should be out in the first part of 2007.

The Mailbox has rediscovered Rush recently, especially Hold Your Fire and Permanent Waves (those two albums alone made high school survivable). Though they have eschewed their more proggy sound over the years, they have continued to make great music, doing whatever they feel like doing.

Hopefully, Rush will feel like doing some more proggy, epic songs. The Mailbox is not going to argue that their technicality, proficiency and complexity haven't waned since Signals. But sheesh...Geddy can only do so much at a time! The Mailbox dug the Show of Hands phase of their music. Though Vapor Trails, their 2002 release, wasn't a masterpiece, it was pretty cool. And the CD liner notes have tarot cards in them.

ANYWAY...can't wait.

And if you haven't seen Score from Dream Theater yet, for crikey's sake watch it! It's like Metallica's S&M. Except good.

Friday, September 01, 2006


There's a lot of B.S. that floats around a newsroom that the average person might not care about, but the more literate among us find fascinating. A lot of said B.S. comes from language and proper usage. Here's a debate that floated around the newsroom, based on the following hed:

Brangelina staying involved with rebuilding effort in New Orleans

Staying was our way out of having to decide if it should be stay or stays. The subject in question is Brangelina; however, we couldn't agree if that is singular or plural. Just in case you've been living in a cave, Brangelina is a colloquialism for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. They had a baby recently, who has been strangely silent for a few months now. And the Mailbox thought it was a slow poster...

The AP Stylebook has this to say on couple: "When used in the sense of two people, the word takes plural verbs and nouns." Meaning that "The couple were married..." is correct, "The couple was married..." is not. So, correct would be "Brangelina stay involved..."

However, colloquial speech is not often grammatically correct. A night of listening to Entertainment Tonight will tell you that. They and many others often refer to a couple as a singular unit, ignoring AP's two-person exception. With that logic, it'd be "Brangelina stays involved..."

The Mailbox will live and die by the AP use, but thinks it is absolutely moronic. There is no good reason a couple should be referred to as a plural. When two people get married, they become one, in a manner of speaking. Why does a word meant to reduce a multiple to a singular still treated like a multiple?

As society becomes crowded with more and more Bennifers and Brangelinas, it will tear down this tired variation of couple. It's one of those cases where the option that sounds wrong is correct. The incorrect way will slowly invade our written word, getting Lynne Truss' panties in an even firmer wad.

Sorry, Lynne. The Mailbox loves you. Really.

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