CRAIG CONLEY (Prof. Oddfellow) is recognized by Encarta as “America’s most creative and diligent scholar of letters, words and punctuation.” He has been called a “language fanatic” by Page Six gossip columnist Cindy Adams, a “cult hero” by Publisher’s Weekly, and “a true Renaissance man of the modern era, diving headfirst into comprehensive, open-minded study of realms obscured or merely obscure” by Clint Marsh. An eccentric scholar, Conley’s ideas are often decades ahead of their time. He invented the concept of the “virtual pet” in 1980, fifteen years before the debut of the popular “Tamagotchi” in Japan. His virtual pet, actually a rare flower, still thrives and has reached an incomprehensible size. Conley’s website is
Featured Book
The Young Wizard's Hexopedia
Search Site

Breathing Circle
Music Box Moment
Cautious or Optimistic
King of Hearts of War and Peace
As I Was, As I Am
Perdition Slip
Loves Me? Loves Me Not?
Wacky Birthday Form
Test Your ESP
Chess-Calvino Dictionary
Is Today the Day?
100 Ways I Failed to Boil Water
"Follow Your Bliss" Compass
"Fortune's Navigator" Compass
Inkblot Oracle
Luck Transfer Certificate
Eternal Life Coupon
Honorary Italian Grandmother E-card
Simple Answers


A Fine Line Between...
A Rose is a ...
Always Remember
Annotated Ellipses
Apropos of Nothing
Book of Whispers
Call it a Hunch
Colorful Allusions
Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up?
Disguised as a Christmas Tree
Don't Take This the Wrong Way
Everybody's Doing This Now
Forgotten Wisdom
Glued Snippets
Go Out in a Blaze of Glory
Hindpsych: Erstwhile Conjectures by the Sometime Augur of Yore
How to Believe in Your Elf
I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought
Images Moving Through Time
Indubitably (?)
Inflationary Lyrics
It Bears Repeating
It's Really Happening
Last Dustbunny in the Netherlands
Miscellanies of Mr. Jonathan
Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led
No News Is Good News
Non-Circulating Books
Nonsense Dept.
Not Rocket Science
Oldest Tricks in the Book
On One Condition
One Mitten Manager
Only Funny If ...
P I n K S L i P
Peace Symbols to Color
Presumptive Conundrums
Puzzles and Games
Letter Grids
Tic Tac Toe Story Generator
Which is Funnier
Restoring the Lost Sense
Rhetorical Answers, Questioned
Rhetorical Questions, Answered!
Semicolon Moons
Semicolon's Dream Journal
Simple Answers
Someone Should Write a Book on ...
Something, Defined
Staring at the Sun
Staring Into the Depths
Strange Dreams
Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out
Telescopic Em Dashes
The 40 Most Meaningful Things
The Ghost In The [Scanning] Machine
The Only Certainty
The Right Word
This May Surprise You
This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea
Two Sides / Same Coin
Uncharted Territories
What I Now Know
What's In a Name
Yearbook Weirdness
Yesterday's Weather
Your Ship Will Come In


October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006


Magic Words
Jonathan Caws-Elwitt
Martha Brockenbrough
Gordon Meyer
Dr. Boli
Serif of Nottingblog
Joe Brainard's Pyjamas
Ironic Sans
Brian Sibley's Blog
Abecedarian personal effects of 'a mad genius'
A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.
March 8, 2016

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
We thought we'd stumbled upon the most scathing satire of prejudice against other cultures when we saw a Vice "documentary" about a gay man and lesbian visiting Japan to criticize that nation's heteronormativity even as they film themselves getting married to each other in an extraordinarly welcoming Buddhist temple.  "This is going too far," we gasped.  "This is too sharp a commentary on gays' embarrassing desperation to be mainstreamed."  
We laughed when the filmmakers decried Japan's attitude toward public displays of affection, as if being inappropriately intimate on the street is somehow a mark of societal freedom and "progress."
We presumed the piece was satire when they purported to depict a typical night in Tokyo's gay club district, when it was anything but genuine given non-hidden cameras and pre-arranged permissions for faces to be filmed (not to mention the ludicrousness of foreigners presuming to witness an underground culture when they're not part of it and when their very presence changes everything).  Here's the elephant in the room: the filmmakers note that in Tokyo there's a gay club for every possible proclivity, which presumes there's at least one gay club for judgemental upstart westerners with cameras to make documentaries about how non-progressive ancient civilizations are.
We thought the piece was obviously a send-up when the newly wedded gay man and lesbian exploited a young Japanese man who was ready to tell his mother about his sexuality — they shoved their camera into the mother's face as she heard the news and then got exactly the reaction they were hoping for: she fled the room in mortification, presumably (and legitimately) insulted that her son had so little respect for her that he'd put her on the spot in front of strangers and a camera.  This obviously wasn't an example of Japanese homophobia but of American-style rudeness.  But here's another elephant in the room: the man ready to come out had hired someone to accompany him from a company that provides actors to fill up wedding parties, funerals, and such, so how do we know that the mother wasn't also a hired actress for the son to practice coming out?  Or what if it was the mother who had hired someone to play a gay son on the verge of coming out, because that's an experience she wished to role-play?  How do we know they weren't all actors (beyond the fact that "all the world's a stage," of course) hired by said company in a paid advertisement spot?  Any which way you frame it, it's unbelievable.
We laughed when the filmmakers scratched their heads over the culture of Japanese heterosexual women who read manga about male lovers (since we all know that heterosexual males are interested in lesbian lovers, so it's a direct parallel to a famous phenomenon).  "Westerners aren't that clueless," we cried in indignation.
We tittered uncomfortably when the filmmakers asked a Japanese trans woman if she was offended that the people at a cross-dressing bar (featuring racks of clothes to try on) are 70% heterosexual.  Why would anyone expect the Japanese to share America's bizarre attitude toward so-called cultural appropriation?  The Japanese woman was delighted that people felt free to experiment with expressing themselves.  Duh.  (Oops ... is our attitude showing?)
Wow -- this documentary calls homophobic a nation with a wildly thriving gay literature market with customers of all sexual orientations, flamboyantly gay actors on television (just pick a show at random; enough said), an extraordinarily long history of institutionalized gay relationships (such as samurai/apprentice, sempai/kohai, Buddhist priests/acolytes [and while we're at it, Shinto sports at least four guardian deities of male-male love]), cross-dressing in both theatrical and hostess settings (kabuki, anyone?) ... and so on and on.  The filmmakers decry marriages of convenience even as they get married to each other for the convenience of their documentary and to experience mainstream heteronormativity.  It would be so very funny, Ellen Page and Ian Daniel, if only it were a deliberate joke.
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

Original Content Copyright © 2018 by Craig Conley. All rights reserved.