Thursday, January 20, 2011
Overheard on Poe Toaster or 'faux toaster'?


Reply of the day: "Yeah, either that or he was on a bender because the Ravens lost and he drank the cognac." --jonas


Edgar Allan Poe's cognac-carrying admirer fails to materialize again


The famed Poe Toaster has failed to show up for a graveside glass of cognac for the second year in a row, spawning more than a few theories as to what might have occurred. Our commenters love a good mystery. Poe Fan claims to have been among those waiting outside, and shared this account about some Poe Toasters and faux toasters:


"I saw two guys try to impersonate the toaster with only flowers. How can one 'toast' without alcohol, you ask? To which I reply: good question. They were the faux toasters. Unbelievably, one woman showed up in a stretch Hummer limo: flowers, cognac, the whole bit, except the cognac was Hennessy (an inferior label, to be generous) and she never went anywhere near the grave, leaving her two-bit tribute at the Poe monument instead. ... Only one comer among them stood out. In the wee hours, around 2 a.m., a spry young woman in a clouche hat, with roses and cognac of excellent label tucked in her coat, made her way deftly through the crowd. And, without any pretension she delivered her tribute to the grave. Then, without a word, she was gone -- was whisked away in a passing car and disappeared into the night."


Both kmetal balmer and Nikki said the toaster could be afraid of being caught, although the latter did admit, "There is still the possibility that the person has passed away." Evolution suggested others "pass the torch" since people are interested. Nancy in WA said she would "venture to say that the person has died. Assuming they started placing things on his grave at the age of 18 (conservatively low), they would be 78. Realistically, the person was older when they started." BawlmerNative noted that if there was a second toaster, we don't necessarily know their fate. "So, even though it is entirely possible that the Poe Toaster is dead, it would most likely not be from old age."


Hmm. Zach says the toaster was an English teacher who died in December 2009. "He was so respected that when all 20 of us got back together at our high school reunion, we vowed never to reveal who he was because of the ultimate respect we had for him." kevin conway said it was writer John Updike, Jay said it was local poet David Franks, and commenter ben linus said there is a "badly guarded secret" in Baltimore: "Not to shock or surprise any of you but I can guarantee you that curator Jeff Jerome is the one who plants the cognac."


'Tiger Mothers' leave lifelong scars


Commenters let out a collective roar about a story already unleashing a striped firestorm from the caged abyss. Psychologist Lac Su responded to an article in the Wall Street Journal about "Tiger Mothers" who use a harsh parenting style. Most posters were supportive, and some were critical about American parenting.


ClavdeGothic said, "I commend the author for his bravery in writing this article and saying what needed to be said. How can anybody say it's EVER a good thing to tell somebody else they're worthless? Perverse cruelty is no substitute for loving parenting." AlteredEgo noted, "This kind of parenting is for adults too lazy or unwilling to change. At least this guy's father apologized. My mother's still doing the same thing ... at least she was the last I checked ... 20 years ago." sam69 said it's "no joke," opining that the Philippines and other Asian countries have similar attitudes toward education. "Kids study from sun-up to sun-down and, by middle school, are fluent in their own language as well as English. It all starts with the parents setting goals and expectations for their kids."


DGarcia17 gave a teacher's perspective: "In my experience, the one thing my Asian students fear most about doing less-than spectacular is their mother's reaction when the grades arrive. I couldn't tell you how many times I've had 18- and 20-year-old students come to tears over an A-." But ... ask2wice said, "American women feed their kids garbage! That's why they, and their kids, are so unhealthy and obese! Go walk around your average superstore and see all the obese women! American! Not so Chinese women here, or in Asia! They are not all 60 to 100 pounds overweight!"


For those looking to move forward, KPseattle45 offered this advice: "American parents never want to be told they're not doing it very well, but kids need love and boundaries. Tiger moms give lots of boundaries and maybe 'different' love, but we all grow into adults with a certain amount of baggage, whether raised by Tiger moms or Hippie moms who don't care what we do. The important part is that you can check your bags at the door and open them again when you have your own kids, so you can figure out how to do it better."


How porn is changing our sex lives


Made you look! No, but really, people have lots to say about porn's effects on real-life loving. CNN's story argues that men are masturbating exponentially more, and women are forced to compete with the, if you'll excuse me, boob tube.


steve says: "Whatever floats your boat! Nothing matches real, though." Meh wrote, "There's nothing like the feel of real, but at least the internet will never nag you, unless you were dumb enough to pay for something." Of course there are risks, says C. Smith. "Ah, but it also introduces a whole new realm of STDs: the digital kind. Enjoy your Trojan, just don't get a trojan."


Wzrd1 said, "Bleh, my wife and I enjoy watching some movies from my collection, zero problem. Sometimes, we'll watch a show, others we go get to it. But then, while we did not write the Kama Sutra, we DID add a few chapters to it over our more than 29 years of marriage. And it all started real simple, we TALKED to each other and still do. Now, if you'll excuse me, it's time for a nooner and we have to figure out whose turn it is to hang from the ceiling fan ..."


Is the flesh oh-so-2010? Frank Opinion doesn't think so, with a caveat: "American women have extremely unrealistic expectations. Generations of girls bought up to believe they will be Cinderella princesses, and demanding high wage earners, devoted husbands, expensive cars, accoutrements and vacations, big houses and status items. With them it is all about 'me, me, me.' Work on yourself, be less superficial, please your partner, don't be hideous. Then you might deserve all of the attention."


Why America is growing tired of Palin


Quick footnote: This opinion article was definitely one of the most-talked-about today. The more than 2,000 posts thus far were largely not in support of Palin. zombie2718 had this to say: "Think of Sarah Palin as the Justin Bieber of politics. Came from nowhere, does not possess much talent, but photogenic, then a stroke of luck got them the right attention at the right time, made famous by media propaganda for inexplicable reasons, and has a crazy loyal fan base." But there were some fans and gatorbaby01 wrote this: "I am not tired of Sarah Palin. I think she is a breath of fresh air in the sea of politics."


YOUR TURN: Now that you've read what other people are saying, do you find that your views align with theirs? Who is the Poe Toaster? Seen any faux toasters? Post a comment below or sound off on video.


Compiled by the moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

January 20, 2011
Click to view t3chsupp0rt's profile

"I think she is a breath of fresh air in the sea of politics."


Yeah, go take a breath in the sea, see how that works out.

January 24, 2011
Click to view jonesee's profile

What happened to the good old fashion days MAN rules, yes our society has surcome to the women runs the home, but the home has changed not the family its still the same just the GOD has become jesus christ. I was raised GOD was a man like the captain of a ship and the women takes care of the house like a Master of Arms which maintains the inside of the ship. Yes I am a female sailor which loves my male husband and my male GOD which both command me, I dont believe white man rules but MEN UNDER RULE GOD.

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