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Greetings, my fellow port swillers!
It would seem that Peej O’Rourke has got a new book coming out in which he examines the Baby Boom generation in that calm, mild, subtle, caring manner we’ve come to expect. The WSJ printed an article-lenght excerpt the other day which brought a slight smile to my lips and a gentle lift to my eyebrow. A sample for you, in case you haven’t seen it already:
We are the generation that changed everything. Of all the eras and epochs of Americans, ours is the one that made the biggest impression—on ourselves. That’s an important accomplishment, because we’re the generation that created the self, made the firmament of the self, divided the light of the self from the darkness of the self, and said, “Let there be self.” If you were born between 1946 and 1964, you may have noticed this yourself.
That’s not to say we’re a selfish generation. Selfish means “too concerned with the self,” and we’re not. Self isn’t something we’re just, you know, concerned with. We are self.
Before us, self was without form and void, like our parents in their dumpy clothes and vague ideas. Then we came along. Now the personal is the political. The personal is the socioeconomic. The personal is the religious and the secular, science and the arts. The personal is everything that creepeth upon the earth after his (and, let us hasten to add, her) kind. If the baby boom has done one thing, it’s to beget a personal universe. (Our apologies for anyone who personally happens to be a jerk.)
Okay, I fibbed a bit just now. I actually collapsed into howls of derisive laughter, Bruce. Not only do I delight in the riff on Genesis in this passage for its evident theological erudition, I also feel my general derision for these people flaring up again because Peej has Absolutely. Got. It. In. One.
Go read the rest. I’ll wait. Shifting away somewhat from the imagery quoted above, Peej goes on to break down the Boomers into four classes – senior, junior, sophomore and freshman – and gives an impressive summary of the shaping environments, experiences, goals and expectations of each, citing famous class members to illustrate his points. It’s all teh funny and it’s all teh awful truth. And I say “awful” because I’ve an idea this Universe of the Self is about to enter the Burning Times. And to quote ol’ Fred:
But back to the article. While it’s is only a small sample of the larger tome, it reminds me of Peej’s Glory Days back in the 90′s. (I still think All The Trouble In The World is his finest book.) He’s been somewhat, well, inconsistent the past few years, but I’ve a feeling this latest book may recapture some of the earlier vitriolic goodiness.
Anyhoo, it’s certainly worth twenty bucks to take a chance, so why don’t you do like me and nip on over to the devil’s website and pre-order your copy of the book, The Baby Boom: How It Got That Way…And It Wasn’t My Fault…And I’ll Never Do It Again.
Greetings, my fellow port swillers!
I hope each and every one of you, after stopping to reflect and give heartfelt thanks for all the blessings in your lives yesterday, proceeded to stuff yourselves to the gunn’l's with food and drink and sink without a trace. I can report that despite the alarums and excursions at Port Swiller Manor reported below, we managed to achieve this up to a point, Lord Copper, and that all appears to be well again.
As for today, when Robbo becomes Emperor of the World, one of his very first reforms will be to make use of the term “Black Friday” a flogging offense. From a religious point of view, I find the crass commercialization of what ought to to be the beginning of a season of preparation, purification and anticipation to be loathsome. From an aesthetic point of view, teh very idea of teh nightmarish squash around teh malls is appalling, as are the media ad blitzes. As Han Solo said, “No reward is worth this.”
So I pretty much spent the day loafing about, reading, drinking tea, fooling with the cats and dozing in front of the fire.
* A non-sequitor nod to a ridiculous teevee moovie that caused so much stir in the lib world in anticipation of its airing that “crisis counselors” were on stand-by lest people were so traumatized by the premise that they might be thinking about taking their own lives. At the time of its broadcast, I was a freshman at the People’s Glorious Soviet of Middletown, CT. There had been much pre-showing ballyhoo on campus among the usual bed-wetting suspects, but all I know is that, by about 45 minutes in, the crowd in the lounge in which I was watching had grown bored and were starting to laugh, cat-call and critique.
* Also a nod to the fact that I particularly cannot stand the employment of the word “after” as a dangling preposition. I’m always reminded of Judy Holliday testifying about her no-account husband in Adam’s Rib: ”So I asked him, ‘Aintcha comin’ home aftah?’” Dunno why, but that usage always causes my gears to grind.
Amidst all the lamentation over the 50th anniversary of the death of St. Jack of the Blessed Bay of Pigs FUBAR, I feel it important to note that another man who died, albeit under very different circumstances, on the same day was Clive Staples (“Jack”) Lewis.
Regular friends of the decanter used to ol’ Robbo’s religious pretensions may be surprised to know that, until I was a first year law student way back in the winter of 1988, I’d never even heard of C.S. Lewis. But that Christmas, my then-girlfriend (from a solidly conservative South Texas Catholic family) gave me a copy of The Essential C.S. Lewis.
Well. Flipping through this book, I came across, for the first time, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, after which I immediately had to gobble up the rest of the Narnia series, reading them over and over again because I loved each and every new story. I also read Perelandra, the middle book of Lewis’s sic-fi trilogy, which I thought pretty cool but rather weird. (I still do after many readings of the entire trilogy.) But beyond that? Eh, at first, I didn’t really explore much.
A few years later, even perhaps after Mrs. R and I had tied the knot, something compelled me to fish out this volume and peruse it more deeply. To that end, I found myself sampling some of Lewis’s apologetics. At that point in my misspent young adulthood, I seem to remember a general dissatisfaction with the world as I found it. So shallow, so empty. So upon revisiting Lewis, my reaction (to quote Ted “Theodore” Logan) was an emphatic, “Whoa.”
Here was a fellah for whom Christianity emphatically was not just a matter of being nice to people and going to church on Sundays when one felt like it. This was real meat. This was real Christian substance. This was not the proverbial counting of angels dancing on the head of a pin (which for some reason always especially irritated the Old Gentleman any time the subject of organized religion came up), but instead bloody dispatches from the Front in the perpetual war between Good and Evil. I especially grew to love Lewis’s obvious WWII analogy of Jesus as an agent parachuted into occupied territory in order to prepare and organize the Resistance in advance of the main Allied invasion landing.
I’d had none of that kind of teaching up to this point in my life. What with one thing and another, I grew up with a vague (and sad) sense of Church history as battles fought long ago and far away, but of no real relevance to the here and now, what I have long called the Uncle Owen attitude (“It’s all such a long way from here.”). To me, Lewis said, “No! Not true! The battle goes on, and you’re in it whether you like it or not! To arms! To arms!”
Over the following years, I tried to apply Lewis’s call to arms in the context of my cradle Episcopalianism. Once Mrs. R and I found a Palie church we both liked, I tried to set about fighting the good fight under its banner in the way that Lewis had outlined. It took a few years of denial, apology and explanation, but eventually I could not resist acknowledging the fact that, carrying on the WWII metaphor, the army I had thought myself fighting for on the side of Goodness was, in fact, Vichy.
It was this realization, more than anything else, that prompted me to jump into the Tiber and swim across to the true Resistance.
So I was amused today to read this article over at Aleteia about Lewis being a “gateway drug” to Catholicism. I think the piece makes the same point I do, but I also think
my Lewis’s own imagery is preferable.
So God bless you, Jack, and may you rest in peace.
Greetings, my fellow port swillers!
Friends of the decanter may not know from the sort of content that ol’ Robbo offers up here these days that, in fact, he is keenly, keenly aware of the great struggle currently being waged for the heart of our Republic and which will determine its future course either into (pace Winston) broad, sunlit uplands or the abyss of a new dark age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.
Well, frankly, I’m just a bit too close to the center of things for comfort. If it were just me myself, I’d say damn it all and sing out from the rooftops. But I’ve got a family to think of and must keep in mind what effect a late-night visit from the New NKVD would have on them. So, like Queen Bess, I take the motto video et taceo.
Anyhoo, I begin with this rayther elaborate preface in order to cushion somewhat the frivolity of the following observations:
♦ Last week, I participated in an outreach event with the current third year law class at Dubyanell, my old alma mater. Idly thinking about the math, I suddenly realized it has been twenty-three years since I myself was in their shoes. Good God Almighty, how did that happen?
♦ Something that drives me crazy? When drivers sitting at a long light or in traffic turn off their engines and only turn them on again when things start to move. It’s not so much the start-up time involved, it’s more the knowledge that such practice actually causes more wear and tear on a car’s engine than does patient idling.
♦ This one is really for all of Robbo’s fellow Nats Fans: There are rumors that the Nats are considering dealing Denard Span and/or Anthony Rendon. Jumpin’ Jehosaphat, why? WHY ON EARTH??
♦ I may not have mentioned before that I am once more plowing my way through Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin novels, having decided to go right the way along to “21″ even thought I’ve always felt the series tailed off in quality and spirit after The Wine-Dark Sea. Anyhoo, I pass on for your consideration an observation made by the Mothe: As far as female characters go, she is willing to accept Sophie as plausible. However, she maintains that there is no such real world person as Diana Villiers, and that she is instead the product of male fantasy. I would go further and suggest that Christine Wood is even more so.
♦ Speaking of literary cycles, I have been working my way slowly through the Beeb’s An Age of Kings, the cycle of Shakespeare’s historickal plays running from Richard II to Richard III. All in all, I quite liked it despite the extremely heavy editing. Solid casting all around. Sean Connery made a great Hotspur, Robert Hardy made a Churchillian Henry V and the fellah who played Falstaff was quite good, too. But when I looked at the DVD of all those episodes of Henry VI, parts 1, 2 and 3…..I just couldn’t do it.
♦ We’ve entered the season of that most dreaded of social gatherings, the Office Holiday Party. How it makes me shudder. More than once I’ve used urgent calls with Time & Temperature to waive off office mates who wonder why I’m not headed to the conference room at the appointed time.
♦ Speaking of seasons, my work garage is no great way from Dee Cees’ Verizon Center, home of the NHL Capitals and NBA Wizards. When either team is playing at home, there is an ugly evening crossover of wage-slaves trying to get out while fans are trying to get in. I have observed that when the Caps are playing, piloting the ol’ Jeep up out of the depths takes on the feeling of being a salmon trying to battle upstream to its mating grounds and being confronted by rapids, hungry grizzlies and occasional mountain-slides. When the Wizards are playing? Not so much.
And finally, because it never gets tired, there’s this. Enjoy!
Greetings, my fellow port swillers!
In case you are wondering, as I type the current temperature on the porch at Port Swiller Manor is 41.3 ºF.
I know this because I recently purchased a La Crosse Technology WS-9133U-IT 915 MHz wireless weather station, and since mounting it this weekend I’ve been sort of geeking out over checking the stats whenever I go through the kitchen. I know this model isn’t particularly sophisticated – no actual barometric readings, a very limited forecast function, no wind speed and direction, no relative humidity – but it’s a pleasant gadget nonetheless.
I reckon that in my retirement, I’ll get into something more closely approaching serious weather-watching. Indeed, one of the sure signs that ol’ Robbo is beginning to enter the shoal waters of Mid-Life Crisis is a recent brooding on what on earth I’m going to do with myself when Life throws me on to the beach. In addition to said weather-watching, I’ve come up with some other preliminary ideas, which include:
- Actually reading all those classics I should have done earlier but didn’t get round to (yeah, I’m looking at YOU, War and Peace)
- Various religious devotionals (Eucharistic Adoration in the middle watches, for example)
(This list, so far, does not include travel. Frankly, I’ve no wish to travel. Mrs. Robbo, on the other hand, is passionately fond of the idea. This might cause some problems.)
But anyway, back to the weather station. Friends of the decanter may recall from some posties from way back that when ol’ Robbo was but an elementary school tyke, his great passion was to some day become a meteorologist. As Calvin was to dinosaurs, I was to weather. Indeed, I doubt very much there have been many such kiddies who knew as much as I did about high and low pressure, frontal boundaries and cloud types.
I still recall a story I wrote in second or third grade about various manifestations of the weather, from set fair to stormy. Actually, I don’t remember what the story actually was, but I do remember being sent to the principal’s office about it, where I actually was congratulated on my imagination and knowledge.
I also remember being asked by one of my teachers whether a squall line bearing down on the school one afternoon was anything to be worried about in terms of assuming the cover-up position out in the hall. Armed in my self-assurance, I took a look at the sky and assured her that there was nothing to worry about.
I further remember an educational kit (from NOAA, I suppose) offered by one of the local teevee stations during the annual spring storm season for which I wrote away. It consisted of a large chart of the various kinds of weather, together with a phonograph record. (This was, like, 1973. Shut up.) The record was a dramatic rendering of a guided tour of a meteorological station on a stormy day somewhere (I think) near St. Louis. The narrator, a meteorologist, described the various weather phenomena depicted on the chart. (You see, he was supposed to have the same chart in his office.) The climax of the story was a sudden, direct hit of a tornado on the station. Everyone survived, of course, but the Full Fury of Ma Nature meme was expressed with all the subtlety of, oh, a sudden tornado hit on a weather station.
That record scared the beejeezus out of me. Indeed, I brought the kit into class for a presentation one day and literally had to hide when the voice offstage yelled, “TORNADO!!”
The other thing I remember about that record? The musick accompanying the thing was the overture from Glinka’s opera Ruslan and Ludmila:
To this day I get a little sweaty-palmed when I hear it on teh radio.
Yes, I’m a bit odd. I know that. What I’m not sure of is what happened to my interest. Heck, I could be out-mimboing Jim Cantore right this very instant if I had stuck with it.
Oh, well. Maybe when I retire……
*Spot the slightly-mangled quote
Today’s mail brought to Port Swiller Manor (astonishingly fast, I might add), a new book by John Eliot Gardiner entitled: Bach: Music In The Castle Of Heaven.
Regular friends of the decanter will know that ol’ Robbo has from time to time hooted at Sir John for his showmanship, often referring to him as “John Eliot Full-of-Himself”. Let me state that in posting here, I in no way back down from this opinion. I must say, though, that publicity aside – and hey, we all gotta eat – the man knows what he’s talking about. It was some Gardiner recordings of Purcell operas – acquired by Self back in the early 80′s – that first really sparked my enthusiasm for period performances . Since then, I have had nothing but profound respect, nay reverence for his treatments of, well, every composer I have heard him take on, from Monteverdi through Rameau, Bach and Handel, Gluck, Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven and even, gawd help us, Schubert and Schumann.
(And the fact that Gardiner founded the Monteverdi Choir, of whom teh middle gel’s musickal director down the Cathedral is an alum, is a mere bonus.)
So I look forward to reading this book immensely.
I was tipped off to it by Michael Potemra’s review over at NRO. And I particularly wanted to post about it here because of a quote Potemra gives from the book by the Hungarian composer György Kurtág (and no, I’d never heard of him before, either):
Consciously, I am certainly an atheist, but I do not say it out loud, because if I look at Bach, I cannot be an atheist. Then I have to accept the way he believed. His music never stops praying. And how can I get closer if I look at him from the outside? I do not believe in the Gospels in a literal fashion, but a Bach fugue has the Crucifixion in it — as the nails are being driven in. In music, I am always looking for the hammering in of the nails. . . . That is a dual vision. My brain rejects it all. But my brain isn’t worth much.
This. A thousand times this.
Of course, as I’m sure from your collective eye-rolling, you know that I am no atheist myself. But following up on this quote, I would posit to even the most dogged of rationalists the simple proposition that the musick of Johann Sebastian Bach simply cannot be explained away by any laws or combinations thereof of our physical universe. The shear volume of his output. The staggering intricacy, subtlety and profundity of the thought embodied in damn near every note of it. The unquantifiable effect his musick has on our heart and soul and mind. Under the regime of a strictly humanist perspective, reduced to the simplest of formulae, you cain’t git there from here.
Pondering this quote, I was reminded of the author Douglas Adams, creator of the great Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy.¹ Adams has caused ol’ Robbo a considerable bit of agitation because, although he had the gift to see God’s thumbprints all over Creation, he always steadily denied their existence. His Salmon of Doubt is a great example of this, but for purposes of my argument here, his Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency is even better. Without trying to explain the plot, I will say that in this book (one of Adams’ best, IMHO), the author paid a back-handed compliment to the celestial underpinnings of Bach’s musick, embracing all the elements I mention above. However, to do so, he had to invent a hyper-sensitive super computer, a permanently-stationed alien survey spaceship in orbit above Earth, a vengeful alien ghost and a Cambridge don with a time-travel machine.
As it happens, tomorrow is All Souls’ Day. I like to think that people like Kurtág and Adams, who get it without getting it, are included among those who may be saved. I certainly will pray for them.
Anyhoo, I intend to plunge into this book right swiftly, and will let you know what I think on the other side.
¹ Yes, I know that there are actually five books to this series. I maintain, however, that the last two were sad hack-work, done to fulfill contractual obligations, and I dismiss them from my thought.
Greetings, my fellow port swillers!
Recently, the local classickal musick station has been running ads for some kind of wimmins health issues seminar up to Johns Hopkins featuring teh key-note speaking talent of Katie Couric. The title of this gab-fest is A Woman’s Journey.
There is something about the use of the word “journey” in what, for lack of a better term, I will call such an Oprahaic manner that sets ol’ Robbo’s teeth right on edge.
Look, as far as I’m concerned, Xenophon and the Ten Thousand went on a journey. Marco Polo went on a journey. Bilbo Baggins went on a journey. Katie Couric standing at a podium yapping about her medical conditions? Not so much.
When I become Emperor, the use of this word (and others on a list I intend to publish later) in anything other than its literal sense as illustrated by the examples above will constitute a flogging offense.
Greetings, my fellow port swillers!
I believe I mentioned it before, but I will do so again: The Beeb put out a series in teh early ’60′s called An Age of Kings, the cycle of Shakespeare’s plays running from Richard II up through Richard III.
Let me emphasize again that, if you have any interest in teh historickal plays of teh Bard, you should go get this set (available from Netflix). It represents teh Beeb at its zenith, back in the day when it was concerned with broadcasting the best and the brightest of Brit culture, rayther than either denying or destroying it.
Let me also emphasize again to those of you perhaps more interested in teh…um….acting quality of teh talent: Teh series features Sean Connery as Hotspur and Robert Hardy as Prince Hal.
Must I spell it out for you? Beefcake!
Greetings, my fellow port swillers!
Yes, as the title implies, ol’ Robbo took the weed-whacker to Da Beard this morning. I didn’t do so because it looked bad or because Mrs. R made me. (Indeed, when I finally got her to comment, she actually gave it her qualified approval.) In the end I suppose I decided that I just wasn’t really that guy looking back at me in the mirror. Regular friends of the decanter will be well aware of Robbo’s aversion to change and his utter lack of interest in novelty for its own sake. Some people might be apt to label this “boring”. I prefer the term “constant”.
Anyhoo, I got a few compliments and had a bit o’ fun, but it was time to come home.
Speaking of change, our Maximum Leader, commenting t’other day on the upcoming statewide elections here in the Great Commonwealth of Virginny, noted his general dissatisfaction with all the candidates on offer this time around. I must say that I’m getting that same vibe from many, many people including Mrs. R, who I always turn to as my non-politickal weathervane. I won’t go into endorsements here except to remark that, as I’m something more of a cultchah warrior than Maxy, the choices are easier for me. I will say that there is at least one state-wide candidate who, in a healthy republic, wouldn’t even be on the ballot but instead would be in jail.
Also speaking of change, may I remark here how much I hate this bloody Apple i-Whateveritis on which I am currently typing, particularly this goddam wireless mouse? In its apparent quest to anticipate what I want it to do, it’s forever suddenly magnifying the page or flipping it into the trash if I even go so far as to sneeze at the wrong moment. Grrrrr…..
Speaking of manipulative technology, the devil’s website got me again yesterday. On a Columbus Day tip from the Puppy-blender, I had sauntered over to pick up Samuel Eliot Morrisson’s Admiral of the Ocean Sea: A Life of Christopher Columbus. While on the page, I heard a small voice whisper, “Psst! Hey! Look down a little….You know you can get a copy of Columbus’s own logs and dispatches from his voyages while you’re at it, don’t you? You know you want to, right? It’s sooooo easy. Go ahead!”
My friends, there are some temptations which I am able to avoid quite easily. There are others to which I fall equally easily. (And lest you think this particular one fairly petty, let me assure you that reading books of this sort will be more than enough justification to send me to the reeducation camps, if not the wall, in the upcoming purges.)
One temptation that I wrestle with more or less constantly is to try living the gels’ lives for them. This is a trap the Old Gentleman fell into in my own misspent yoot, and one that I swore scrupulously to avoid when it became my turn to deal with teenagers. My friends, it’s a whole heck of a lot harder than I ever imagined to stop myself from dashing in and trying to micro-manage, and then losing my temper when my efforts are either ignored or resisted. Saint Joseph, ora pro nobis.
Oh, speaking of age….I saw Lee Majors, of all people, on the teevee last evening hawking a “bionic” hearing-aid. For some reason, this made me feel very old. The Six-Million Dollar Man was a fixture of my misspent yoot – I can’t recall whether I actually had a Col. Steve Austin action figure, but I rayther think I did – and to see him badly reading a cue-card in a mumbly voice really hit me.
Well, enough of that. It’s a beautiful mid-October day and I do believe that this will be the last lawn-mowing of the season. Here’s a question for you: The back yard of Port Swiller Manor is enclosed in a white rail fence that, after twelve years or so, could really do with a new coat of paint. Somebody told Mrs. R that we really ought to power-wash it before painting, given that some of the rails are a bit grungy, but I’m inclined not to a) because of the additional work and expense, and b) because I worry that directing a jet of water at some of the boards will cause them to disintegrate. Is this a short-cut to nowhere?
Greetings, my fellow port swillers and happy Columbus Day!
Owing to disruptions in the Port Swiller Manor shopping schedule caused by weekend travel (and probably also by furlough-induced mental trauma; shouldn’t counselors be made available like they were back in the 90′s?), ol’ Robbo woke up this morning to discover a hideous state of affairs: There was not a single coffee bean in the house, not even one of Mrs. R’s silly Keurig Kaffee Kups.
I’m not saying I’m addicted or anything. I just like my cuppa of a morning. The fact that when I don’t get one I tend to kick the cats and beat the children is merely coincidental. Besides, they generally deserve it anyway.
Anyhoo, losing not a minute, I leapt into the Wrangler and hied me to teh store. Fast forward to teh present and I am now sitting at my ease in the study with two-thirds of a cup already down the hatch and teh mellow spreading about my person. Only three or four more cups and I will be nearly human again. (Indeed, I will almost be able to endure the youngest gel practicing her recorder. Almost. God damn the man who came up with the idea of mixing school-children with plastic recorders.)
I don’t pretend to be anything of a true connozoor of these things, but I would remark that the coffee I am drinking at the moment is perhaps my very favorite of the numerous blends that I have tried, namely the Mayorga Cafe Cubano.
Mayorga is a local outfit based somewhere in the wilds of Murrland. I dunno how far afield you can pick up their beans in stores but you can certainly order online. They make a big deal about their organic/sustainable/fair-trade/yadda-yadda business model, which is all fine and good for those who worry about such things. All I know is that they make a damn fine tasting coffee.
The Cubano, as I say, is especially yummy. Very dark and bold, but smooth, too. Which, IMHO, is what a coffee ought to be. We hates those thin, “light” brews. May as well be drinking tea.
I was mildly worried the first time I tried this stuff that I might somehow be aiding and abetting the Castro regime by buying it, but a quick glance at the marketing copy on the bag allayed my fears. The company states in no uncertain terms that it has absolutely nothing to do with those rat-bastard commies and not a dime do they see from its products. It seems that the founder, who spent some time in Nicaragua in his yoot, got first-hand experience of Glorious People’s Soviet Paradises – Latin American Edition, and wants no further truck with them. He got the Cubano taste by rubbing shoulders with ex-pats in Miami.
So there you are. For what little it might be worth, ol’ Robbo recommends giving this stuff a try.
As for me, time for another cup. Especially as I can hear the sound of a recorder floating down from somewhere above-stairs.
UPDATE: GroovyVic’s comment about coffee and beards brought to mind a completely random question which I pose here without Googling it and thereby potentially exposing the ignorance that lurks just below the thin veneer of Robbo’s supposed knowledgeability: Remember the beginning of “Trash”, the second Firefly episode in which Saffron appears? When Mal meets up with his old pal Monty, he suddenly notices that Monty is missing his beard (although Monty retained a mustache). Mal blurts out something like, “The soup-strainer! You shaved it!”
Well, for some reason, I always thought “soup-strainer” was a slang term for a mustache, not a beard. And it would make sense: Soup flowing from the spoon into the mouth would pass through a longer mustache rayther like a weir in a river, with bits and pieces of ingredients potentially getting trapped in it.
Am I mistaken about this?
UPDATE DEUX: Well, prompted by teh Gripping Hand, I went back and checked and, at least according to IMDB, the word used was, in fact, “soup-catcher” and not “soup-strainer”. If so, then my bad. Evidently I should drink moar coffee before starting out on a rant.