Sunday, August 31, 2014

Yo, Phaedrus

2nd century CE fragment [Wikipedia]
Planning a COMM 250 discussion about Plato's Phaedrus, and I figured it was about time for another Pseudo Script...

Socrates: S’up?

Phaedrus: Stuffed. Just gobbled up some “food for thought,” prepared by master rhetorician Lysias: A chef of the mind, that guy is.

Socrates: Your belly full, is it?

Phaedrus: Oh that delightful Socratic sarcasm.

Socrates: OK, seriously, tell me about this “meal” of yours.

Phaedrus: Well, it was about how a “non-lover” is better than a “lover.” Juicy, huh?

Socrates: I’m guessing Lysias also agrees that short, fat, bald guys are more attractive than tall, thin, hairy dudes, too, right? Then he may be onto something. So, give me a sample.

Phaedrus: Can’t do it, dude. There’s no way I could cook up a semblance of what Lysias laid down.

Socrates: Yeah, like you haven’t been practicing all morning, just hoping I’d walk by so you could show off.

Phaedrus: Well… But I don’t have any of Lysias’ actual words memorized. They were too mind-blowing to repeat. I can just give you a taste, not the whole meal.

Socrates: Say what? You’ve got his entire speech written down. It’s right there, under your cloak.

Phaedrus: No, that’s my – Yes, it’s a scroll.

Socrates: Uh huh.

Phaedrus: By the way, doesn’t this spot remind you of a cool local folk tale?

Socrates: Yeah, but I don’t study that stuff. Well, I do, sometimes, but not seriously. I mean, I don’t even know my own true nature yet. So why should I waste time with fairy tales? And… What a second. You’re trying to weasel out of our agreement! You promised to whip up a meal of Lysias’ brilliant insights on love. And here we are, by this lovely river, under a shady tree. Isn’t this a perfect place to analyze a speech?

Phaedrus: You don’t get out much, do you?

Socrates: Yeah, I’ll work on that. In the meantime, where’s this feast you promised?

Phaedrus: OK, OK. Hold your horses. Here’s the meal. It’s a speech by Lysias about how non-lovers are better than lovers, right?

Socrates: You said that.

Phaedrus: Yeah, so now let me whet your appetite. I’m Lysias, right? And I say that lovers are bad news because they give too much of themselves to those they love, and they demand too much in return. Lovers start out great, but then they get fickle and jealous and, well, d’ya ever see Fatal Attraction? It’s like that. Lovers, I mean. Bad news. Non-lovers, though, like the Honey Badger: “Just don’t care.” I mean, they care and all, but they don’t care so much that they’d hide the truth from you. Like, if your zipper were down. Your lover might ignore it, to not embarrass you. But a non-lover would say, “Dude, your fly’s down.” And isn’t that better? And the non-lover will tell you in public, when you really need to know. Heck, the non-lover can provide an honest reflection of public perception, because he isn’t so tied to your opinion. And then there’s the fact that the lover falls in love with you at a certain point in your life, only to hate that you’ve grown older, for changing and all. The non-lover, however, tolerates your age. And if he doesn’t, so what? You can just get another non-lover? The world’s full of ‘em! Bottom line: It’s better to surround yourself with non-lovers than with lovers.  

Socrates: [Embarrassed silence…]

Phaedrus: I know, right? [Mimics head explosion] Mind: Blown.

Socrates: Mmm-mmmm. That is a tasty burger.

Phaedrus: Mocking me. You’re mocking me, aren’t you? Y’understand, Lysias is, like, this amazing rhetorician. He invents these incredible speeches, so that even the most goofy ideas make sense. And you’re making fun. Dude, do you have any friends?

Socrates: No friends like Lysias, I’ll tell you that. Look, I don’t know much about rhetoric. I’m just a small town philosopher: Wandering town. Having adventures. Challenging assumptions. Pissing off the cobblers with questions like “How do you know you make good shoes?” Stuff like that. So I can’t judge this speech – this meal, I mean – according to the standards of the chef. But I can tell you that Lysias appears to depend on a few ingredients that he slops together in icky combinations. Like Taco Bell.

Phaedrus: Like you could whip up a meal with half the good taste as Lysias.

Socrates: Well, sure, I could. I mean, it’s not that hard. The result, either from Taco Bell or vomited from my own mouth would look about the same.

Phaedrus: Barf away, my good man. And I’ll throw up a statue for you, big as life.

Socrates: Yeah, thanks for that. You know how much I love representations of truth.

Phaedrus: Again with the sarcasm…

Socrates: Look. Anyone can play around with meaningless comparisons: “Lover” versus “Non-Lover.” The topic is meaningless, so there’s no way to judge the oration. There’s no insight; it’s all a matter of technique. The real question is: Can you start from basic principles and produce something true?  

Phaedrus: Uh huh…

Socrates: OK, so there’s no need for me to mimic Lysias then.

Phaedrus: Oh, poor Socrates. Not up to the challenge? Ugh. You’re no better than me. “Oh, Phaedrus, you’re just waiting to wax eloquently.” “Oh, no, not me!” You’re just waiting to philosophize, Socrates. So get on with –

Socrates: OK, you’ve convinced me.

Phaedrus: [Rolls eyes heavenward]

Socrates at the Vatican Museum
(Photo by Andrew Wood)
Socrates: [Joins fingers into a bridge] Yes, yes. Where shall we begin? Ah, of course, with a definition of love. Now, “the power of love is curious thing.”

Phaedrus: “Make one man weep –”

Socrates: – And another one sing,” right. What that means is that we’re devoted to two types of love. One represents our earthly desires; it’s born in us. The other is trained, or remembered. [Awkward pause…] Yes, now that second kind of love leads us toward higher ambitions. It’s like Trivial Pursuit versus Heavenly Pursuit. With me so far?

Phaedrus: I think so.

Socrates: OK, so it seems that Lysias may be right, because a lover will always try to game you. On the one hand, your lover will say sweet things. On the other hand, your lover will threaten to withhold those treats. And your lover will never want you to think of anything else, or to improve yourself. “Exercise so that I may find you attractive,” your lover will say, “but don’t work out so much that someone else might want you.” It’s a recipe for mediocrity. It’s also a quick road to lonely-town, because your lover won’t want you to have other friends, no point of comparison. And don’t get me started on age. Your lover will want you when you’re young but will abandon you later on. He’ll feast upon you. He’ll suck up your innards and then spit out the remains before leaving you a stinking carcass, waiting for the buzzards to sweep down and –

Phaedrus: Dude. Weren’t you a soldier in the war against Sparta? You saw some serious stuff, huh? 

Socrates: [Pretends to be lost in a “thousand yard stare”]

Phaedrus: OK, so “Lover: Bad.” Now what’s so good about non-lovers?

Socrates: You’d “love” for me to answer that, wouldn’t you? I haven’t given you enough? Here I am, standing on a stage for you. I’ve been speaking all afternoon and into the eve –

Phaedrus: Dude. It’s, like, noon. Chill.

Socrates: Ah yes, the sun is sticking straight up. Look, my point is: Yes. I can give as bad a speech as Lysias. I can even give an even worse speech. What does that prove? The fact is: Lysias has taught incorrectly about love. He knows a thing or two about rhetoric, nothing about love.

Phaedrus: And you know more?

Socrates: About love, my dear Padawan? Yes, of course!

Phaedrus: And…?

Socrates: Right. First, we need to understand that love and madness are closely related.

Phaedrus: Yeah, I kinda saw that coming.

Socrates: Well you sure can’t have one without the other. In fact, madness, while something we often mock on Earth, is actually proof of the divine within us. Of course there are several types of madness, such as the experience of prophets or seers, and each of these types are related to a particular god. But the madness that motivates us the most is erotic love.

Phaedrus: No surprises there.

Socrates: But it’s not just about sex. Look, you know about the soul, right? The soul is like… Hey, it’s like what you said before: “Hold your horses.” Yeah, the soul is like a charioteer being pulled by two winged horses.

Dwie Judha Satria [website]
Phaedrus: I think I saw that on a Judas Priest album cover.  

Socrates: Sure, why not. Anyway, the soul is really a combination of the three. The charioteer is immortal and, in a way, never-changing. Then there are those horses. Restless. Ever-changing. Dragging the charioteer in two different directions. The soul is both at the same time.

Phaedrus: Like a –

Socrates: Don’t even try it. The point is, each charioteer follows one of the gods, cruising the universe, savoring delights, stuff like that. Problem is, these human charioteers are pulled by opposing horses. There’s this “noble” horse that leads us toward heaven. Then there’s this “ignoble” horse that drags us toward Earth. The noble horse loves truth and beauty; the ignoble horse prefers opinion and pleasure. So the charioteer tries to manage these opposing forces, hoping to cavort with the gods. Depending upon how close he gets, he will be born as a philosopher, or maybe an artist. Otherwise they’re condemned to be something like a farmer, or a sophist, or – worst of all – a tyrant. So we live and die, trying and trying again. Some of us get closer to wisdom; others just keep crashing to earth. Eventually some go to heaven; others are condemned to live in a horrible place under the earth.

Phaedrus: I was caught in a snowstorm at Denny’s once. Had to eat two meals there, lunch and dinner, before the roads got cleared.  

Socrates: Exactly. Anyway, philosophers who get closest to heaven are reborn with enough memory of their experiences that they can’t quite fit in back on earth. Everything they see looks fake to them. They know that the crap served at Denny’s is not technically “food.” And they wonder why their friends and neighbors wolf it down. To everyone else, though, especially those drawn to the artificial pleasures of earthly existence, these folks are nuts. And in a sense they are crazy. They’re crazy for anything on Earth that reminds them of that which floats above. What’s more, we’re all crazy in different ways, depending on the gods we follow. Along the way, we meet other charioteers, each struggling with horses of their own. Sometimes we’ll give in and allow our bad horses with their earthly desires to drag us together and ultimately down to earth. But occasionally, once we learn to “hold our horses,” we may commune with other like-minded people. In this way, we may love them. Not with the madness that sends us crashing to earth, but rather with a higher love that lofts us ever upward. So you see: it’s a paradox. We must be mad to be drawn to heaven. Yet we must conquer that madness to get there.

Phaedrus: Wow.

Socrates: Yeah. So, you see: Lysias kinda sucks, huh?

Phaedrus: Yeah.

Socrates: It’d be better for him to be a philosopher, huh?

Phaedrus: Yeah.

Socrates: Indeed, that’s part of the problem. With rhetoricians, I mean. They “love” words, and they “love” the sound of applause. But they have no understanding of real love because they have no concern for the difference between good and bad.

Phaedrus: And you think we should talk about that, huh?

Socrates: Well, don’t you?

Phaedrus: Actually, I was thinking that it’s getting sort of late.

Socrates: Nonsense! We shall chat like grasshoppers, never tired to chirp of lovely things.

Phaedrus: Yes. Like grasshoppers. Of course, even grasshoppers need to – 

Socrates: So let us continue!

Phaedrus: Naturally. What shall we talk about?

Socrates: Why, talking, of course! We shall talk about talking.

Phaedrus: Of course we will.

Socrates: Now when it comes to orators –

Phaedrus: – I’ve heard this one. Orators don’t care about truth. They only care about applause.

Socrates: Exactly. Orators can convince you to do silly things. Like, “Definitely, you should get a tattoo of Nickelback. Those guys are timeless!”

Phaedrus: Yeah, those guys suck… But wait a second. Isn’t rhetoric just that stuff that lawyers do to win cases and legislators do to pass laws?

Socrates: OK, let’s presume that you’re right. But what is the real topic of these matters? Legislators and lawyers aren’t just talking about laws and lawsuits; they’re talking about right and wrong.

Phaedrus: Yeah.

Socrates: But when they’re good – I mean effective – they can make the one appear as the other.

Phaedrus: Sure.

Socrates: But don’t you see? That kind of dispute isn’t limited to courtrooms and assemblies. Distinguishing right from wrong is pretty much central to all human life. The problem is that orators, because they can’t tell the difference, can cause plenty of mischief wherever they go.

Phaedrus: This is getting a bit too abstract for me.

Socrates: OK, let’s try a concrete example, then: those speeches we’ve been discussing.

Phaedrus: Let’s.

Socrates: Now Lysias: He presumes that we all agree on certain things, such as the division of terms: “lover” and “non-lover.” But that’s a distinction without real difference. At least it is, unless we first define love.

Phaedrus: Yeah, you did that.

Socrates: And Lysias didn’t. He presumes a definition of love without actually offering one. Then he meanders along a twisted line of thinking, like this river here. His words wander to-and-fro, leading us nowhere.

Phaedrus: Maddening…

Socrates: Ah yes, my speech. Now my speech begins with the argument that love is madness.

Phaedrus: Sometimes it seems that love is a battlefield.

Socrates: Bite me, my good man. I was mostly playing, weaving together a bit of myth and doggerel. But my point remains: I began by dividing madness into different types, aligning them with our different gods. Then I associated “love” with one of those types: erotic love. Remember?

Phaedrus: Yo, I was there. I still am. Where are we going with this?

Socrates: We’re talking about the process of discussion. To speak the truth about anything, sometimes you have to break things down into their parts. Sometimes you have to bring them together into a coherent whole. Ultimately you must be able to see both at the same time: the “one and many.” Folks who do that stuff well are called “Dialecticians.”

Phaedrus: Hmmm, that’s certainly not what Lysias and his rhetoric-pals do. So what is rhetoric then?

Socrates: Well, based on the handbooks I’ve read, it appears that rhetoricians cobble together rules of speech-making. Like, “start with this appeal and then use that trick…” Really, they’re all just cribbing from those old crows Corax and Tisias who squawked out techniques for confusing “long” and “short” so that the only thing we ever measure is convenience.

Phaedrus: Flaccid reasoning, to be sure.

Socrates: You're far too kind. Those rhetoricians may natter about seemingly trivial things, but we treat them like rock stars. No, not like rock stars… like doctors. We ask for their prescriptions and take what they give us, never caring to ask where they got their training. We pretend that they understand our individual maladies, when all they do is sell the same patent medicines to anyone can pay. Or if you’d have us return to the rock star analogy: Rhetoricians are like musicians who can strum a chord, though they know nothing about music.

Phaedrus: Can there be any “true” art of rhetoric then? Or is it all an endless Nickelback concert?

Socrates: Let’s just say that most rhetoric is pretty bad. But some is less bad, like a Pericles oration. Now that guy was OK, but mostly because he was trained by a philosopher. To continue our medical theme, Pericles would be a good doctor because he took the time to study the “body politic” with consideration for the “whole” body.

Phaedrus: Uh huh.

Socrates: And that’s what a good rhetorician should do. He seeks to inspire the soul. To teach his art, he’d begin by explaining the soul and then defining whether the soul is unified or composed of different parts, each requiring a different appeal. Finally he’d explain why one appeal works in a particular case but is inappropriate in another case.

Phaedrus: Yep, that seems like a pretty good job description for a rhetorician.

Socrates: But Lysias doesn’t offer that kind of training, does he?

Phaedrus: No, not as such.

Socrates: But might Lysias reply that we’re being overly strict on the matter? Is not persuasion a game of winning and losing? Is it not true that “history is written by the winners”? That’s what Tisias taught, right? Or Corax, or one of those guys… That truth is a matter of opinion?

Phaedrus: Seems so.

Socrates: Of course it does. But if Tisias were standing here today, we’d have to remind him that all words are merely representations of the truth. And that when we’re stuck with words, we must at least strive to select only the best representations.

Phaedrus: Nothing but the best for us.

Socrates: Yet only one who knows the truth may hope to tell the difference, and that knowledge does not come easy. It takes time and effort. But to be a good rhetorician – those few that may be found – such struggle is necessary.

Phaedrus: I should write this down.

Socrates: No, please don’t. For you see –

Phaedrus: Aren’t we almost done?

Socrates: Almost. You see, there’s just this matter of writing.

Phaedrus: Which is bad because…

Socrates: Because writing demonstrates an even worse application of rhetoric than speaking. You see, writing was invented by this Egyptian god named Theuth –

Phaedrus: You’re making this up.

Socrates: No, really! Theuth was convinced that writing would help the Egyptians remember things. So he explains this to the god of Egypt, a guy named Thamus.

Phaedrus: Oh for gods’ sake.

Socrates: Bear with me. Or is it “bare” with me? Either way, Thamus says, “Like a doting father, you have too much esteem for your children. This ‘writing’ you invented won’t improve memory; it’ll destroy it.” And he’s right. Like, how many phone numbers do you remember right now? How many? And d’ya know why? Because of your cell phone. Get it? Once you write or tap down your information, you know longer have to remember it. What you remember instead, maybe, is the experience of writing or typing. You remember a sensation without truth.

Phaedrus: Seriously, you’re just pulling this out of your cloak, aren’t you?

Socrates: Oh, you don’t want to know what’s under there. And let’s not forget your own limitations. I mean, I tell a tale from Egypt, and you don’t believe me? You don’t get out much, do you?

Phaedrus: OK, I get it.

Socrates: And that’s the point. Writing is like painting. You see an image, but you cannot ask anything of its author. And, like rhetoric, the result offers no special formulation for its audience; it never changes.

Phaedrus: Wait, isn’t truth changeless?

Socrates: Clever boy. But the only “truth” we poor humans can handle arises through philosophic analysis. Give and take. The kind of dialogue we’ve been having, actually. I’m an ugly old man and you’re a frivolous fop, but our souls speak to each other, despite the faults and foul odors of our bodies. In fact, our bodies are built for this kind of intellectual intercourse. I’m merely hoping to plant the seeds of wisdom in you.

Phaedrus: [Awkward pause] So written words are –

Socrates Mere monuments to the folly of a man trying to grab onto his youth.

Phaedrus: You illustrate your point beautifully.

Socrates: So when it comes to communication…

Phaedrus: Yeah, I get it. Oral is better.

Socrates: Pretty much most of the time.

Phaedrus: OK, I’ll pass that message along to Lysias. But what about you? Don’t you have a pal named Isocrates who also fancies himself a teacher of speech?

Socrates: Most definitely, I intend to plant my wisdom-seed in him later today.

Phaedrus: Well OK then. Sprout on, old man. 

More Pseudo Scripts

• Yo, Medea

• Yo, Socrates [based on The Apology]

• Yo, Tartuffe

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Animated Neon: Siesta and Santa Fe

During my recent Devils Tower solo road trip, I shot some animated video of two swell motel signs: the Santa Fe Motel in Tehachapi and the Siesta Motel in Salt Lake City:

Sunday, August 24, 2014

San Francisco Street Art II

More Tenderloin street art...

45 Olive Street [GMap]
150 Hemlock Street [GMap]
100 Hemlock Street [GMap
100 Austin Street [GMap]

Friday, August 1, 2014

Washington D.C. Street Art

Here's some street art found during a recent trip to Washington D.C.

 Karla Rodas [Karlisima]'s presidential mural
Mama Ayesha's Restaurant, 1967 Calvert Street NW [GMap]
Presidential mural [Detail]
Aristide Bruant [reproduction of Toulouse-Lautrec painting]
2431 18th Street NW [GMap]
1817 Adams Mill Road NW [GMap]
Marilyn Monroe, 2600 Connecticut Avenue NW [GMap]
Madam's Organ, 2461 18th Street NW [GMap
Sol & Soul/Jaun Pineda's "A People Without Murals is a Demuralized People"
1817 Adams Mill Road NW [GMap]
Gaia's "Chicken"
1412 P Street NW [GMap]

Monday, July 28, 2014

San Francisco Street Art

Pix from a July 2014 visit to Clarion Alley, Balmy Alley and the Tenderloin...

Balmy Street mural [GMap]
Balmy Street mural [detail]
79-99 Balmy Street [GMap]
79-99 Balmy Street [GMap]
79-99 Balmy Street [GMap]
Carnival - 3195 24th Street [GMap]
"Narcania vs Death" - Clarion Alley [GMap]
"I believe..." - Clarion Alley [GMap]
"Bomb condos" - Clarion Alley [GMap]
"Fear Head" - 56 Golden Gate Avenue [GMap]
18 Sycamore Street [GMap]
~1250 Valencia Street [GMap]
Sirron Norris' "Victorion: Protector of the Mission" - Balmy Street [GMap]
"Victorion" detail
"Victorion" detail
"Victorion" detail
[Check out more pix from August...]

Friday, July 18, 2014

Fixx Pix

Pix from tonight's Fixx concert at the Santa Cruz boardwalk:

Friday, July 11, 2014

Daytime Dispatches - 2014

Today's live-blog (8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Pacific) was dedicated to enduring a Friday's worth of daytime television: droning infomercials, shouting confessionals, courtroom procedurals, and tacky gameshows. Warning: This is a high-typo zone. Feel free to post comments! Oh, and don't forget to check out Year OneYear TwoYear ThreeYear Four, Year Five, and Year Six.

8:00 a.m. (NBC) "These fragments I have shored against my ruins.": Yesterday afternoon was dedicated to The Waste Land, T.S. Eliot's disjointed epic of ennui and footnotes. Naturally today must begin with The Today Show (and pork rinds).

8:05 a.m. A group of Tweens are waiting for a group called Fifth Harmony to begin their demonstration of calisthenics (and music), clearly annoyed that there's so much news and weather to cover.

8:09 a.m. What is the best collective noun for tweens? A Twitter of Tweens, perhaps? I'll be thinking about this all day.

8:12 a.m. Walmart steaks: "Heaping forkfuls of joy." And synthetic hormones!

8:22 a.m. Liev Schreiber is talking about his show "Ray Donovan," showing off pictures of his kids' lemonade stand and talking about the family Guinea pig - as Savannah Guthrie's pointy red shoe drifts closer and closer.

8:30 a.m. Fifth Harmony is coming up, but first, our weeklong celebration of chicken. "We're making roasted chicken thighs with Adam Rapoport." I wonder: Is Adam cooked inside the chicken, or is he served as a side item?

8:40 a.m. Great America amusement park commercial gets philosophical: "Connect with whatever makes you happy."

8:42 a.m. Created by Simon Cowell, meet Fifth Harmony... They perform with a message: 'Be strong. Be confident. And be whoever you are.' So get ready to become a Harmonizer!"

8:45 a.m. A "Twoon" of Tweens [thanks for the suggestion, Jay] clap with North Korean precision as Fifth Harmony reminds them to be individuals.

8:48 a.m. Fifth Harmony praises Girl Power: "You guys are literally awesome."

8:52 a.m. "Boss... Michelle Obama. Purse so heavy gettin' Oprah dollas." So there, patriarchy! And a Hashgaggle of Tweens [Thanks, David!] strive for their very own selfies with Fifth Harmony.

8:59 a.m. Feeling suitably empowered, I'm thinking it's about time to change the channel. Let's see. How about?....

9:00 a.m. (CBS) Live with Kelly and Michael!

9:04 a.m. And now a moment of zen from Kelly Ripa telling the story of a mom who gives birth while driving to the hospital: If you think the baby's in your pant-leg, the baby's probably in your pant-leg.

9:07 a.m. Kelly concludes her baby-born-in-car-and-slips-down-pant-leg story: "Women are amazing." And surprisingly the audience agrees!

9:11 a.m. Nicole Smuts is picked for the Summer Sizzle Trivia Challenge and tells Kelly that she's a middle school teacher. Kelly: "You must be in hell all the time." A twitch creases her brow as she thinks about her life.

9:12 a.m. Nicole fails the Summer Sizzle Trivia Challenge, so there's no free trip for her. The right answer to the question (What was Halle Berry's first movie?) was Jungle Fever. Kelly and Michael look at each other awkwardly as the audience titters. Kelly: "I don't know what this audience is on today, but I want some."

9:13 a.m. Nicole's consolation prize? A food processor. That just seems mean.

9:20 a.m. Michael Douglas is talking about his dad's new book of poetry It could be Verse.

9:27 a.m. OK, Michael Douglas is playing a strip poker version of trivia, but all the questions are about him. Amazingly he's not gotten a single question wrong. I'm not sure I get the point of the game.

9:30 a.m. Local library PSA strives for tween relevance: "I'm so excited, I should tweet it!" All over the Bay Area, a Troupe of Tweens [thanks, Anya] roll their eyes in unison.

9:41 a.m. Now Kelly and Michael are squeezing avocados for some reason. The chef assures them that finding a ripe one isn't too hard: "You don't have to despair." Yeah, we'll see.

9:44 a.m. Kelly: "I've been told I have terrible knife skills by no less than 18 celebrity chefs." Instructed to arrange his avocados into a fan shape, Michael manages to mash his into a fine paste.

It's never too early for white wine.
9:46 a.m. Hannah tells me that an infomercial called "Breaking Bald" is airing somewhere. But where? Where? Where?

9:50 a.m. Sad hashtag of the hour: #foodselfies.

9:55 a.m. Pals in Florida and Texas have been asking me to add the Today Show's Kathy Lee and Hoda hour to my list. Problem is, the local stations insist on switching over to Katie Couric. Instead, in just five minutes we'll switch to…

10:00 a.m. (CBS) The View!

10:04 a.m. The Ladies are now debating whether a bank teller was rightly fired for saying "Have a blessed day." Whoopie makes a compelling argument: "In the bank, all I want to here is 'all your money is here.'" Preach it, Whoopie!

10:06 a.m. Now they're debating whether colleges should teach about dating and relationships. Jenny McCarthy helpfully emphasizes, "Well, lesson number one: Don't date your teacher." Whoopie looks like she needs a cigarette (but she sounds like she's smoked twenty this morning).

10:14 a.m. The current question: "Can women have it all?" Right now I'm imagining that recently hired associate producer pitching this idea. "No, wait, listen! A lot of women are struggling with that question! They just don't know it yet!"

10:18 a.m. "There are lots of things to feel guilty about. ThinkThin isn't one of them."

10:19 a.m. Charmin Ultra Strong features a TSA agent waving his wand over a cartoon bear's ass: "You're clean." And on that note, I'm gonna get some pork rinds.

10:30 a.m. Coming up on The View: Gilbert Gottfried. Read that slowly. Out loud. Gilbert Gottfried on The View. Read it again. Now you have some sense of how this morning is turning out.

10:40 a.m. Next: A six-year-old girl who thought she would never walk again. Guess what she's about to do!

10:42 a.m. "Do what makes you happy - at a price that makes you HomeGoods happy." I'm seeing a trend here.

10:45 a.m. And here comes Little Eden, running toward Sherri Shepherd....

10:48 a.m. ... who asks if she can lick Eden's face. Run away, Little Eden! You know you can!

10:58 a.m. Jenny McCarthy is random people around town to share Stories of Strength. Fortunately each one carries their own whiteboard where they've written the names of their Strength Heroes. And guess what? Tylenol wants to you to share your Story of Strength!

11:00 a.m. (NBC) It's time for Rachael Ray - and a sexy southern cheeseburger!

11:11 a.m. OK, I'm waiting for the sexy cheeseburger. But first, Rachael and Dr. Ian are chatting about summer beach tips by analyzing stuff that rolls along a conveyer belt. Booze, flip flops, and sunglasses. An endless conveyer belt of beach fun. Beach fun that I'm not having.

11:15 a.m. Charlie McKenna explains the secret to a sexy cheeseburger: 85 percent top round, 10 percent brisket, and 5 percent pork. "And it's got a great chew," Rachel observes. So do you, Rachael. So do you.

11:24 a.m. Charlie and Rachael goop one of the burgers onto a plate, slathering it with sauces to produce something that looks like a freshly popped zit. Now it's time for an audience member to try a bite. Awkward pause. She smiles, digs in, and is rendered a speechless, dribbling mess. Another awkward pause. Then she flashes a thumbs up. She's OK, folks!

11:35 a.m. Rachel: "I've got two babies. One of them has got fur. The other one is 46."

11:36 a.m. Rachel's now interviewing Hilaria Baldwin, who's trying instructing the audience how to do a yoga pose. They look nervous. "Does anyone do yoga?" she asks. Two hands go up. Hilaria, by the way, married Alec Baldwin a couple years ago. She's 30. Why do you ask?

11:39 a.m. "American Ninja Warrior: All New this Monday" - "Rachael Ray is brought to you by Cold Stone Creamery!" Look, I've been to Cold Stone a few times, but I've never seen a Ninja Warrior there. Not once. Any Ninja Warriors reading this? Do you ever go to Cold Stone? After missions, maybe?

11:52 a.m. Yoplait Whips, a commercial set to Devo's "Whip It." Time for a sadness break.

12:00 p.m. (NBC) It's time for KSBW Action News in HD! Ah... high definition television: Forcing local news anchors to find jobs as infomercial hosts since 1993.

12:09 p.m. "Later in Consumer Watch. 7-11 is serving free Slurpees." Keep 'em honest, KSBW Consumer Watch. That really is Coverage You Can Count On!

12:14 p.m. I'm reeling with the knowledge that I missed Maury today. The local affiliate switched him to 11. Thanks Obama.

12:16 p.m. Coming up: "A father wears a GoPro camera as he drives his pregnant wife to the hospital as she gives birth."

12:20 p.m. Shrieking Mom is pushing in the parking lot: "Get it out. I'm not kidding!" And now his head is coming out. And there's the "censored" sign, which is probably for the best. Oh, and Dad just tipped the parking valet. And look: the GoPro logo!

12:29 p.m. Still thinking about that Collective Noun question I posed on Facebook this morning. So far my favorite is Michael Dechane's suggestion: "A Giggle of Tweens." Show 'em that GoPro footage, though. They won't be giggling for long.

12:30 p.m. The following is a paid commercial announcement for... Luminess Air!

12:31 p.m. Apparently you can airbrush your flaws away. It's like repainting a car, but for people! Rusty, rusty people.

12:35 p.m. Some of the before-pictures could serve as reminders that, really kids, meth is a hell of a drug. But thanks to Luminess Air, you can "Cover All Your Flaws!"

12:42 p.m. "Luminess Air covers your flaws." All of them. Like, remember that one time when you really needed a fix? You'd promised yourself you wouldn't visit that guy behind the gas station. You promised yourself. But you went anyway. You debased yourself, and that bastard laughed. He laughed at you and then dropped some crumpled bills on the ground! But with Luminess Air, your flaws are history. Luminess Air doesn't just airbrush away your wrinkles, it wipes away guilt. Wipes it all away.

12:45 p.m. I just now realized why they showcase the makeup artist from Desperate Housewives in this ad.

12:47 p.m. And now a Celebrity Dermatologist explains how Luminess wipes away contaminants. Which is a good thing. A necessary thing. A thing that's more than worth $29.95.

12:52 p.m. Sure, "results will vary," but if you apply Luminess properly, if you really apply yourself, "you will hide your flaws, diminish your imperfections." The music for this, I should add, is perfect. The kind of instrumental they'll play when you're crossing a mist-covered bridge to heaven, where your parents are waiting. And your childhood pets. All waiting for you. All forgiven. All forgotten.

12:56 p.m. Oh, and it comes with four free gifts. And now for a limited time, you can try Luminess Air for $19.95! Feeling pretty good that you held you, aren't you? Feeling smart for not paying $29.95. Good for you, smarty-pants. But this Miracle Makeup won't be around forever. The seconds are ticking away. "This is your last chance to get the flawless looking skin you've always wanted." This is your last chance!

12:59 p.m. Just in case any imperfections remain...

1:00 p.m. (NBC) ... It's time to check into General Hospital!

1:01 p.m. Katie Holmes-lookalike asks herself, "Why is everything so wrong?"

1:02 p.m. Ooops. Turns out I'm watching Days of our Lives.

1:06 p.m. "What's the matter honey? That tongue getting too many workouts lately, so now you're a mute?" Yow!

1:10 p.m. Green T-shirt Guy is reading a letter: "This editor read my blog and wants to interview me for a job... Maybe I'll be able to make a living doing what I love after all!" Naturally that news comes from the post office.

1:14 p.m. Uh oh. The special guest has called in sick; nobody's there to emcee the gala. Sparkling Snippy Gal is angry: "Thanks to your help, my precious paintings will sell for peanuts!"

1:24 p.m. Oh no! The auction was supposed to begin ten minutes ago! "We can't keep them waiting. They've already eaten all the cup cakes."

1:36 p.m. "Hate to break it to you, Jen, but the moment [Abigail] had sex with my husband, she stopped being your little girl." Maybe Abigail needs some Luminess Air.

1:41 p.m. Green T-shirt Guy is so excited about the job offer. What he doesn't know is that Blue Dress Shirt Guy set the whole thing up.

1:50 p.m. The auction was a success and blandly attractive people are now dancing. Come to think of it, high definition television hasn't been too good for soap operas either.

1:53 p.m. "Rational toddlers don't exist. Luckily, Skinny Cow Dreamy clusters do."

1:54 p.m. Revlon: "Love for your lips." Earlier I was noticing how few anti-depressant ads I've seen today. Then I realized...

1:56 p.m. Sammie: "I didn't do anything but open your eyes to the indisputable fact that your daughter is a whore. And I can tell anyone what happened if chose. If fact, she and my husband probably did it right there on that sofa." Ewwwww!

1:59 p.m. Oh, that awful Abigail. Where we will find justice?

2:00 p.m. (Fox) The People's Court!

2:01 p.m. OK. Audrey is suing her landlord. The apartment is "terrocious."

2:04 p.m. The problem is that Audrey hasn't paid rent in months.

2:05 p.m. Audrey's complaint: The landlord has the temerity to evict her.

2:08 p.m. "Stop taking Belviq and tell your doctor if you have prolonged erections or if your breasts begin to make milk."

2:13 p.m. Audrey: "Let me tell you something." Judge Marilyn Milian: "No let me tell you something. Verdict for the defendant!"

2:15 p.m. And now Alan is suing Sophia for backing into his mother's car. Alan guides his elderly mother to the stand. Mom is blind and deaf. In contrast Sophia rolls a Lexus.

2:16 p.m. But first a McDonald's commercial geared at those poor folks who have to do drink-runs. Can you guess how this case will land?

2:20 p.m. Ohhhhh. We have dueling mothers. Sophia was taking her mom for a medical check-up on the day in question. She gets a couple points for that one, but I'm still guessing that Sophia's gonna go down.

2:27 p.m. Court's in recess! Judge Marilyn Milian is going out to inspect the van!

2:31 p.m. They're back, and the Judge is packing attitude: Speaking to Sophia: "You have some perceived ideas about how it should look - based on zero facts."

2:33 p.m. Sophia's boyfriend is here to help.

2:34 p.m. He's not helping.

2:35 p.m. Verdict for the plaintiff!

2:37 p.m. Next case: Nofisat Odunsi sues because she got bald spots because the hair stylist pulled her hair weave too tight. Junior Breto countersues, alleging defamation of character. But first, a law firm is trolling for lawsuits against the manufacturer of bad bladder meshes and pelvic slings.

2:42 p.m. Paris the hairdresser isn't in the courtroom. Apparently Junior fired Paris for anger management issues. So how is Junior gonna defend his business?

2:47 p.m. Now we're learning that Paris charged extra and pocketed the difference. Problem is, Nofisat didn't get a receipt.

2:51 p.m. Nofisat's gonna take her wig off - after this commercial for Heald College.

2:55 p.m. OK, Nofisat's gonna get the money back for the weave, but no extra damages. And Paris, that scam artist, has gone free!

2:59 p.m. Ready for a Changing Day in Your Life?

3:00 p.m. (NBC) It's time for Dr. Phil!

3:01 p.m. The marriage of Hawk and Francesca is cracking up. And... Wait a second. Hawk? 

3:05 p.m. Hawk claims that Francesca is physically abusive. Francesca retorts that Hawk is a control freak. She adds that he's manufacturing evidence to get custody of their kid.

3:08 p.m. Francesca once threw a pair of stretchy pants at Hawk. His response? He called the cops. There are two sins here. One, of course, is Francesca's choice to wear stretchy pants. The other sin? Someone named this guy "Hawk."

3:15 p.m. Francesca is explaining that she can't allow Hawk to have any personal time with Baby Wayden because the kid is breastfeeding, apparently, every second of the day and night. Hawk is looking a bit less silly now. But still, his name is Hawk. That hasn't changed.

3:25 p.m. Let's catch up: Hawk convinced Francesca to sign a contract in which she promises to stop hitting him. Then Francesca decides she disagreed with the implications of the paperwork. Problem: Hawk locked the contract in his truck and wouldn't let her see it.

3:32 p.m. Hawk's explanation: Francesca is a bully and a sociopath. His counselor explained it to him.

3:35 p.m. Time for a commercial break for Fungi-nail. Coming up: Francesca's mom is on deck to tell her story. Things aren't looking good, Hawk.

3:40 p.m. Hawk faces off with Francesca's mother - and does an excellent job of trashing any semblance of sympathy he'd earned to this point.

3:46 p.m. Dr. Phil on marriage: "The one you talk home and unwrap is not the same one you put out the door five years later."

3:50 p.m. And now Dr. Phil is dropping the hammer on Hawk. "It looks like you are attempting to build a file on her, and that you are inept because you cannot handle your own home and your own child without calling in armed guards."

3:52 p.m. And now Dr. Phil drops the ball - by recommending more counseling.

3:53 p.m. The moral of this story? Never marry a guy named Hawk.

3:56 p.m. Oh, I get it. Dr. Phil needed to sweep Hawk and Francesca off the stage so that Robin has time to pitch home cleaning and food delivery services.

3:57 p.m. And her own brand of lip gloss!

3:59 p.m. At last, there is only one hour to go. There's only one place to turn...

4:00 p.m. (CBS) ... Judge Judy!

4:01 p.m. Mom rented an apartment for her 23-year-old kid and is now suing the landlord for locking him out.

4:03 p.m. Ooops. It was a "handshake deal" - and Judge Judy is now eviscerating the landlord for failing to get a written lease.

4:09 p.m. Judge Judy's advice to the landlord: "Don't rent to anybody." Landlord loses.

4:10 p.m. Next case: Judge Judy's first question to the Mario the defendant whose wrinkled shirt doesn't impress the court. "Do you know how to iron?"

4:15 p.m. Judge Judy bores in on Mario: "You want to explain to me how a man that has three children doesn't think he has the responsibility to pay rent?" Mario's sweating now, which might help smooth out those wrinkles.

4:26 p.m. El Pollo Loco: "Crazy you can taste!": Tagline of the day.

4:27 p.m. Judge Judy finds against Mario: "Whatever he says about working-working-working-working-working, there are only certain parts of him that work."

4:30 p.m. Let's wrap up with one last episode of Judge Judy.

4:31 p.m. Mom is suing her son for failure to repay a loan. He's claiming that she paid those debts without his permission.

4:39 p.m. Son got tired of Mom's micromanaging and accordingly decided he should not pay his debts. Makes sense. What do you think Judge Judy will say?

4:44 p.m. Judgment for the plaintiff!

4:48 p.m. Last case of the day. Two friends get into a deal to refurbish old computers, selling them for a profit. They're not friends now.

4:50 p.m. Something seems fishy. Judge Judy is scrutinizing numbered receipts provided by the plaintiff as evidence of the costs he incurred. Problem is, these receipts supposedly stretch over several months. But the numbers are nearly sequential. Hmmm....

4:55 p.m. Here it comes, the voice of justice and truth... Judgement for the ...

4:57 p.m. ... Defendant!

5:00 p.m. And that concludes the seventh annual edition of Daytime Dispatches.