Mostly Nomads and Sheep

From The West Wing, “The Leadership Breakfast”


I was reading an article the other day that listed some of Roman Polanski’s most prominent films: “Repulsion, Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown.” And my first thought on that last one was, “Wait, the one with Kurt Russell?” No, see, that’s Big Trouble in Little China.

Several times a day, I catch myself in imaginary conversations with people I’ve never met, and in those convos I suddenly confuse two similar-sounding titles or terms or people, which means that whatever little daydream intellectual chat I was imagining is derailed by my fantasy person thinking I’m an idiot. (Yes, this is often how my daydreams go.)

Years ago, I got into an actual argument with someone stemming from confusion over actors John Heard, John Hurt and William Hurt. (John Heard and William Hurt have similar looks; John Hurt, rest in peace, looked like neither of them.)

I live in fear of the moment my daydreams come true and, in trying to speak eloquently and intelligently, I am instead revealed to be a complete idiot by talking about, I don’t know, Orson Wells as a pioneer of 19th century science fiction literature, or how H.G. Wells depicted the perils of communism through barnyard allegory, or I’ll make a joke about George Orwell’s beloved sled, Rosemary.*

*(All of these things are wrong.)

Here are some other idiotic moments waiting to happen:

I cite fraught family dynamic of The Little Foxes by playwright “Katherine Helmond.” (Nerp: That playwright is Lillian Hellman; Helmond was in Who’s the Boss?.)

I wax poetic on the influence of 19th century celebrity and feminist “Sandra Bernhard.” (Wrong-o: I’m thinking of Sarah Bernhardt; Bernhard is a current-day stand-up comedian.)

I wax poetic on the influence of 20th century celebrity and feminist “Simone Bolivar.” (Yeah, no, I’d be aiming for Simone de Beauvior there; Bolivar put an end to 19th-century Spanish rule in, like, all of South America.)



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2 responses to “Mostly Nomads and Sheep

  1. Gertrude Stein vs. Gloria Steinem is another one. Basically I’m shit at literature/feminist history, turns out.

  2. I’m actually in awe of the connections you made, I think messing up literary icons of that caliber say a lot for your level of intellectualism. The verbal missteps I make in the nerd world are Daredevil vs. Deadpool (in my defense they both wear red) and the White Witch vs. the White Queen (the first being C.S. Lewis’ allegory for Satan or possibly original sin, and the second being an X-Men villain who wears a corset.) I think even if I got those right I’m not going to come off as being as smart as the ones you got wrong. :/

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