November 19, 2017 ... Central U.S. Time

A bit of this, a bit of that

Posted or updated 10.10.08 by Bill Lamb

Lions Club Burger Update

The Lions Club’s annual hamburger stand at the Red River Valley Fair has come and gone, and it looks as if we did well again this year. The costs haven’t been tabulated, so our net is a moving target as yet. But it looks to be in the neighborhood of $6,000, or about what we did the last couple of years.

We’ll take it without complaint.

Pretentious Stuff

Like everyone else, I make fun of lots of things — sometimes to myself, sometimes in front friends or family — but I noticed recently that the butt of many a derision is really pretentiousness. To be clear: “attempting to impress by affecting greater importance, talent, culture, etc., than is actually possessed.”

This being Silly Season top to bottom, there has been no shortage of victims of my little inquisition. But I try to stick to those that are around all the time and tend to permeate our culture.

Like books with two titles, as in, “Squishy Red: The High Art & Science of Smashing Tomatoes.” Yeah, I made that up, but you get the idea.

I just checked five titles, randomly, on the New York Times’ non-fiction bestseller list, and four boasted double titles like: “Hot, Flat and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution — and How It Can Renew America.” You can always find double titles in the non-fiction section, far less often in the fiction section.

Double titles are just pretentious. Generally, I don’t read books with double titles. (I make exceptions, of course, for books that really interest me, despite the pretentious silliness. Hey, I’m human.) If the publisher can’t explain to me what the book is about with a simple title, you could probably chop 30 percent of the text and never miss it. I say choose one or the other, whichever is better. Can’t they make up their minds?

Or maybe they can charge more if it’s so important it has to have two titles.

Then there are other kinds of titles, like in the workplace. A favorite of mine is “fellow,” as in: “John Doe, Senior Fellow at the Minnow Institute for Advanced Fishing Techniques, joins us tonight to ...”

An announcement like that is usually my cue to change the channel. I’d love a look at such a job description. Somehow I see it as the kind of job that qualifies as retirement without actually being retired. You sit around and think, occasionally getting up to talk a bit, and folks send you money in the mail.

Heck, I guess I could be pretentious for the right money.

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Glenn Miller

About Bill Lamb

Air Force veteran Bill Lamb served in Rimbach from January 1974 until December 1975. After a 25-year career in journalism, he now handles online communications for Paris Junior College in his hometown of Paris, Texas. He blogs about a little of everything.

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