Marc Okrand is a God-Tier Bullshitter
From Arika Okrent’s brilliant book In the Land of Invented Languages:
Klingonists are strict about language authority. … [Okrand] handles this responsibility cleverly, especially in light of the fact that he himself is not a very good speaker of his own language. The conceit he uses is that he has sole access to a native Klingon speaker, a prisoner named Maltz (and let’s just be clear that that everyone realizes it’s a conceit). When questions arise… Okrand can claim that the matter requires further research… he has the luxury of waiting to [answer] until the expert Klingonists have fully debated the possibilities.
I tend to vehemently hate bullshit of all types… but bravo Mr. Okrand!
In the introduction to the first edition of his [Klingon] dictionary, he discusses some “dialect differences” in Klingon vocabulary and pronunciation. (The notion of dialect difference has been important, he told me, “considering the difficulty in getting the actors on the show to say things right.”)
Arika Okrent’s book on constructed languages is a fun read from cover to cover.
Someone took a candid photo of a fight in Ukranian Parliament that is as well-composed as the best renaissance art.
“And over here, we have the masterful photographic masterpiece simply titled "Pugilistic Parliamentarians of the Ukraine"
During rehearsals, Brad Pitt and Edward Norton found out that they both hated the new Volkswagen Beetle with a passion, and for the scene where Tyler and The Narrator are hitting cars with baseball bats, Pitt and Norton insisted that one of the cars be a Beetle. As Norton explains on the DVD commentary, he hates the car because the Beetle was one of the primary symbols of 60s youth culture and freedom. However, the youth of the 60s had become the corporate bosses of the 90s, and had repackaged the symbol of their own youth, selling it to the youth of another generation as if it didn’t mean anything. Both Norton and Pitt felt that this kind of corporate selling out was exactly what the film was railing against, hence the inclusion of the car; “It’s a perfect example of the Baby Boomer generation marketing its youth culture to us. As if our happiness is going to come by buying the symbol of their youth movement, even with the little flower holder in the plastic molding. It’s appalling to me. I hate it.”
This person left out the punchline (courtesy of IMDb):
However, Pitt is quoted on the DVD commentary as saying he has since had a change of heart about the new Beetle.
And since the Beetle was originally intended to be the mass-produced “People’s Car” of the Third Reich—which was then appropriated by hippies in the 60s—doesn’t that make the new Beetle and appropriation of an appropriation. … Much like the way the White House design was a ripoff of the Leinster House in Dublin which appropriated most of its design elements from Ancient Roman architecture?
So why do Russians have so many heart attacks, strokes, fatal injuries, and poisonings? …
The most obvious explanation for Russia’s high mortality—drinking—is also the most puzzling on closer examination. Russians drink heavily, but not as heavily as Czechs, Slovaks, and Hungarians—all countries that have seen an appreciable improvement in life expectancy since breaking off from the Soviet Bloc. …
There are even studies that appear to show that Russian drinkers live longer than Russian non-drinkers. [Michelle] Parsons discusses these studies in some detail, and with good reason: it begins to suggest the true culprit. She theorizes that drinking is, for what its worth, an instrument of adapting to the harsh reality and sense of worthlessness that would otherwise make one want to curl up and die.