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August 05, 2012

Sunday Morning Book Thread 08-05-2012: Agony of Defeat Edition [OregonMuse]


Warning: those women don't look like real athletes to me.

Good morning morons and moronettes and welcome to the witty and urbane book thread. Sorry about the hiatus last week, but my father had passed away at the end of June and Mrs. Muse and I went to be with my mom for a few days and help her with the administrative details and to tie up some loose ends.

Apropos of the London games, How To Watch The Olympics looks like a fun book. It's subtitled 'The Essential Guide to the Rules, Statistics, Heroes, and Zeroes of Every Sport'. It sounds like you can just pick it up and read bits and pieces of it, which suits my ridiculously limited attention span.

I've never seen a Kindle book for $87.36, but if you want to spend that much, A Brief History of the Olympic Games is for you. I bring this up only to relate the author's observation that

"The term Olympic Games is...a bad mistranslation of Greek Olympiakoi agones." The problem is that agones gets converted into [Latin] ludus, ludi, ludicrum, ie, diversions and games. The Romans did not take Greek athletics seriously.

But the Greeks did: “the Greek word agones can never refer to ‘games.’ Rather, it means ‘struggles’ or ‘contests’; or even ‘pains.’ Our word “agony’ derives from it. The word ‘play,’ as well, has no application at all to Greek athletics. The Greek word for ‘play,’ paizein, comes from the word pais, ‘child.’” This is not what the Greek Olympiad was about: “When Greek boys competed in athletics, they were acting like men, not the reverse, as in other cultures."

So there you are. Talk about your agony of defeat; it wasn't defeat that was agonizing, it was th games themselves. Hat tip: Peter Leithart

Books By Morons For Morons

Moron Steve Poling, author of The Aristotelian, has a new book out. It's an anthology of time travel stories which, as he says:

...are written in the spirit of Human Wave science fiction (life doesn't suck, humans win, we're not all doomed). They follow a pair of time travelers who rescue lost treasures and bicker.

Its web site is here and trailer is here.

Huh. Who knew books had trailers?

And it's only $2.99 for the eBook edition, so how can you go wrong?

I feel remiss in not having mentioned long-time moron commenter Christopher Taylor's book Old Habits before now. It has received many favorable reviews by other morons in previous book threads. It is available in both paperback and Kindle editions.

Also, if any of you have progressive friends or acquaintances who are proudly boycotting Chik-Fil-A because the owner dared to express his agreement with views that have been held by approximately 99% of the people who have ever lived, Gene Wilder has a question for them:

Gene Wilder-1.jpg

Also, here's a book written by the evil bastard Chik-Fil-A CEO himself. Apparently, the man is so depraved that he uses his evil Chik-Fil-A profits to fund WinShape Centre Foundation, which operates foster homes for more than 1,600 children and has provided scholarships for more than 16,500 students.

What a horrible person he is.

So that's all I have for this week.

As always, book thread tips may be sent to aoshqbookthread@gmail.com

Hopefully, you all have been reading some good stuff this week.

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posted by Open Blogger at 11:11 AM

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