Archive | July 19, 2009

Sub, Ex, & Dep

ALLWhile I’m half a year late in pointing it out, Gary Chartier has some good discussion of left-libertarianism here and here. I especially like the idea that part of what makes left-libertarianism “left” is a focus on opposing subordination, exclusion, and deprivation.

Gary’s recent post on socialism is relevant also.

Krankheit: The Way It Was

The main thing I’ll miss the late Walter Cronkite for is his charming yearly New Year’s concert broadcasts from Vienna. Still, when I heard of Cronkite’s death it was the following two anecdotes that came to mind:

  • He's thinking about your teenage daughterOnce when he was asked how he’d like to die, creepy old man Cronkite said “I’d like to go out the way Errol Flynn did – on a 60 foot yacht with a 16-year-old mistress.” His wife, sitting beside him, quickly put a damper on this fantasy by adding, “You’ll be lucky to get a 16-foot yacht and a 60-year-old mistress.” (Reports of his death have thus far not specified which it turned out to be.)
  • A friend of mine for whom Cronkite recorded some historical narratives on tape once told me that Cronkite seemed to have surprisingly little idea of the meaning of anything he was reading; he also read “King George III” as “King George Three,” and had to be told that the preferred rendering was “the Third.”

There’s also a certain irony in the fact that just last month Cronkite’s people were informing the media: “His condition is being grossly exaggerated. … It is not true that he’s gravely ill.”

Go Ape

Everyone knows what the “Tarzan yell” sounds like in the version popularised by Johnny Weissmuller (and unlike most of his successors he actually makes it sound scary, especially if you’re not expecting it):

But what did Edgar Rice Burroughs intend it to sound like? That’s much harder to say.

Burroughs simply described it as the supposedly terrifying “victory cry of the bull ape.” Unfortunately, there is no particular sound in real life that this description picks out: when apes are fighting, they mainly grunt or screech – not in an especially terrifying way (and once a fight is over they’re usually quiet):

There’s one particular sound – the word mangani or tarmangani (in Burroughs’ fictional language, meaning “ape” and “white ape/white man” respectively) yelled with a rising pitch – that was used in the 1932 Tarzan radio serial and the 1935 movie New Adventures of Tarzan. Burroughs himself was heavily involved in both productions, leading some to speculate that this is Burroughs’ intended sound; you can hear it at 14:14 here:

But it’s not especially prepossessing.

If one wants a sound that seems like it might actually involve an ape, I’d suggest something like this:

That one sounds like a cross between a lion’s roar and a gorilla’s grunt, which might be about right. But who knows?

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