Random links for your mid-weekend amusement

[All links via Kottke.]

one. Jonathan Rauch’s March2003 article, Caring for Your Introvert:

Introverts are not necessarily shy. Shy people are anxious or frightened or self-excoriating in social settings; introverts generally are not. Introverts are also not misanthropic, though some of us do go along with Sartre as far as to say “Hell is other people at breakfast.” Rather, introverts are people who find other people tiring.

two. Jonathan Rauch’s February2006 interview with The Atlantic Monthly, which had originally published the previous piece. On the topic of conversation flow and social chit-chat, he says:

I have no gift for that. I have to think about what to say next, and sometimes I can’t think fast enough and end up saying something stupid. Or sometimes I just come up dry and the conversation kind of ends for while until I can think of another topic. This is why it’s work for me. It takes positive cognition on my part.

three. And this is totally my favorite: A weblog entitled Under Odysseus, ostensibly penned by Eurylochus, a Greek dude who seems to be Odysseus’ administrative assistant or something during the Trojan War.

Check this:

Achilles always acts like that when things get serious. He invariably gets more serious. Achilles is the kind of guy that, if you throw him a ball, will dive into the dust to catch it, even if a dive isn’t necessary. He’s got the kind of attitude that would just make him look like an idiot if he weren’t so goddamned skilled. Yet, Achilles is overflowing with skills, and the girls are really into him and his badass attitude. All of us guys simultaneously resent him and wish we were him.

Anyway, after a last hardy slap from Agamemnon, Odysseus, wearing the biggest shit-eating grin I have ever seen on his face, struts over to me.

“Eurylochus, we’ve got a lot of work to do, my boy.” He beams in an annoyingly General-like fashion.

Trying to ignore the “my boy”, I innocently and somewhat militarily asked, “What’s that regarding, General?”

At this, Odysseus paused. By the look on his face, I thought that he was going to drop the authoritarian tone, but then he sort of shakes that off, and in an even more commanding voice, he belts: “Eurylochus, we are going to build a wooden horse, a great wooden horse that is going to enable us to get within the walls of Troy.”

Fucking Zeus, I almost want to laugh, but I say something like: “Oh, like the thing that we discussed last…”

and this:

This morning, I ran into Elpenor on the way to Odysseus’ tent. Actually, he sort of ran into me. He must have known where I was headed. That sorry guy is such a kiss-ass.

I was just delivering some supply papers, and as I didn’t feel like hiking across the encampment, I gave them to him. I told him that they were very sensitive, and that he shouldn’t stop or talk to anyone on the way. This made Elpenor perk up like a homely girl asked to dance. After accepting the papers in an exaggerated military form, he strutted off like he was the head of some goddamned parade. Although I was just being lazy, it kind of made me feel like I had done a good deed.

Freakin’ hilarious, mon.

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