Thursday, May 28, 2009

bee season, killing cash in wired and south carolina sleeze

I don't know whether these are really Saddam Hussein's guns, but a friend in Egypt just forwarded me this and other images describing them as such. The guns, and especially their constituent gold, provide a (weak) segue to an update about my recent essay in Wired, in which I discuss killing paper and coin currency. The reader response has been tremendous. Some people enjoyed the piece and found the essay provocative; others even cheered the idea of killing cash. Far more people, however, are calling me an idiot, facsist, liberal, fool, threat-to-privacy-and-the-2nd Amendment moron, and a few other colorful descriptors. Due to travel and deadlines, I'm rather behind on my emailing, but I promise to get back to those of you who wrote me directly (and seemed to want a reply). You can also find a bit of follow-up at The Atlantic.com and here on Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish.
Meanwhile, the shape of words is on my mind again; it's spelling bee season, after all, and we are hours from the final. Inspired by the bee, the 300th birthday of Dr. Samual Johnson, and some caffeine, I recently penned this op-ed about orthography for the Los Angeles Times.

Lastly, Craigslist popped into the news recently, when the classifieds giant announced it would remove one of the more slimy sections of the website. That makes sense, but what I found more newsworthy is the threat of criminal charges from South Carolina's apparently un-busy and clearly prissy attorney general, Henry MacMaster--followed by a countering lawsuit by Craiglist. The best part of all this silliness? According to the Wall Street Journal, MacMaster "said his office would continue to monitor the site." Perfect.