Friday, October 30, 2020

Pretty impressive

 

 
(Hat tip, Rus Bowden.) 
 Drummer Viola Smith died on October 21 at age 107.

Killer D. A.…

Meet Larry Krasner, the Rogue Prosecutor Wreaking Havoc in Philadelphia.

Krasner was sworn in in January 2018. In 2018, there were 351 murders; 2019 there were 347 murders; and as of Oct. 28, there have been a whopping 404 murders, for a total of 1,102 murders, an average of 367 murders a year and counting.

Oh, and there’s this:


Krasner, a career criminal defense and civil rights attorney, who had sued the Philadelphia Police Department dozens of times over the decades, ran to be Philadelphia’s district attorney and received almost $1.45 million in campaign spending from George Soros in the process.

Sweet …

… An Exercise in Love by Diane di Prima | Poetry Foundation. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.

Diane di Prima died on October 25 at 86.

Word of the Day …

… Moiety | Word Genius.

Something to think on …

An attitude of permanent indignation signifies great mental poverty. Politics compels it votaries to take that line and you can see their minds growing more impoverished every day, from one burst of righteous indignation to the next.
— Paul Valery, born on this date in 1871

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Sad, but true, and worrisome …

Murder City - Philadelphia Weekly.
As of Oct. 27, there have been 400 homicides committed in Philadelphia. Contrast that with the 275 homicides committed at this point in 2019, as well as the total number of 356 homicides committed in 2019. One homicide is one too many, and 400 homicides are way too many.

Good …

… UK Labour suspends unrepentant Jeremy Corbyn after damning anti-Semitism report | The Times of Israel.

Of cats and philosophy …

… John Gray: 'What can we learn from cats? Don't live in an imagined future' | Books | The Guardian. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Gray believes that humans turned to philosophy principally out of anxiety, looking for some tranquillity in a chaotic and frightening world, telling themselves stories that might provide the illusion of calm. Cats, he suggests, wouldn’t recognise that need because they naturally revert to equilibrium whenever they’re not hungry or threatened. If cats were to give advice, it would be for
I think I learned much from my cat Pandora, whom I found as a kitten and had until her death at 22., though I would be hard-pressed to put it into words.

Hmm …

… Explosives Found in Van in Philadelphia, Curfew Imposed to Quell Riots: Reports.

The vehicle was found at Logan Circle in the Center City neighborhood, WPVI reported. Police told the outlet they recovered propane tanks, torches, and what may have been sticks of dynamite.

Logan Circle, for those unfamiliar with the city, is where the Library, the Cathedral, and the Academy of Natural Sciences are located. Not far away is the Art Museum and the Rodin Museum.


I did a  search on The Inquirer's website, but found nothing about this — though it has obviously been on TV. There was this, however: Overnight curfew lifted in Philly as tensions over the police killing of Walter Wallace Jr. continue.

What an informative headline. An overnight curfew would tend to be lifted when night was over. I can't find anything on The Inquirer's site about this, either: US Economy Grew by Record 33.1 Percent in Third Quarter. A similar story is also in the Daily Mail. I'm sure The Inquirer will get around to it eventually.


 

Word of the Day …

… Subitaneous | Word Genius.

Educating Patriots | City Journal

… Educating Patriots | City Journal. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Hirsch’s scholarship rests on the hypothesis, validated by volumes of evidence from cognitive science, that language comprehension—particularly the ability to read with understanding—is not a discrete, transferable “skill,” like riding a bike, that can be learned, practiced, and mastered. Rather, it rests on a common base of knowledge, literary and cultural allusions, and idioms common to a nation’s “speech community.”

What’s really going on in Philly …

… Amid Rioting, Inky Mythologizes Walter Wallace Jr. As 'Family Man' | Big Trial | Philadelphia Trial Blog. (Hat tip, Paul Davis.)

Wallace's lengthy rap sheet includes a 2019 arrest for kicking the windows and door panels of a police vehicle. In 2016, during a robbery, Wallace allegedly grabbed a woman by the neck, and according to the victim, held a gun to her head. In 2013, he violated a protection order filed by his mother by throwing water in her face, punching her in the face, and threatening to shoot her, according to court records shown on air by Blacher and NBC 10.
This is the same guy The Philadelphia Inquirer mythologized today as a "family man" who had "many mental health crises and encounters with police." 

Something to think on …

The flower is the poetry of reproduction. It is an example of the eternal seductiveness of life.
— Jean Giraudoux, born on this date in 1883

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Hmm …

… The 10 Best Books of All Time Chosen By 125 Famous Authors . (Hat tip, Jon Caroulis.)

What about Moby Dick, Le grand Meaulnes, The Magic Mountain? I could go on, but I think you get the idea.

In case you wondered …

… How to Write a Sci-Fi Rock 'N' Roll Novel in Rhyming Couplets | Literary Hub. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Tolkien for these days

… Bruce Charlton's Notions: The wisdom and discernment of Joseph Pearce. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

As we watch our culture succumb to the power of Pride, we are witnessing the gollumizing of our brothers and sisters. Demanding the right to self-destructive addiction, they are shriveling into pathetic wrecks of the people they are meant to be, while simultaneously making a wreckage of the society in which they are living the wreckage of their lives. 

The heart of the matter …

… Mystery of the Trinity | Peter J. Leithart | First Things. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Getting the relation of transcendence and immanence right is a critical issue. Christians agree God is both transcendent and immanent, but the relation can be misconstrued. “False transcendence” sees transcendence and immanence as contraries; God is inaccessible and absolutely unknowable. “False immanence” also views the two as contradictory, claiming that an accessible God cannot be transcendent. A Christian view denies that transcendence and immanence are in tension; rather, they imply each other. God can be present in every time and place only if he transcends the limits of time and space. Thus, God isn’t immanent in spite of being transcendent, but immanent because he’s transcendent.

That last sentence is worth pondering. 

 

How the West was won …

 … Blood and thunder in 19th century America.

Elected in 1844, Polk, as argued by author Hampton Sides, was the most effective and least corrupt president in U.S. history, although Polk was entirely lacking in charm, grace, elegance, and wit. With respect to Polk's effectiveness, though, he had a single-minded determination to expand his country's territorial dominance so that the United States stretched from the Atlantic to Pacific Oceans; moreover, the president was convinced that the nation must expand from the already established northern border (with Canada) to as far south and west as possible - going beyond the recently acquiredTexas so that the United States could also claim the territories we now know as New Mexico, Arizona, and California. This would require a remarkable strategy and relentless tactics. Certainly Mexico would not cede its territories without a fight, and the Native Americans would - as officials in Washington saw it - have to be dealt with forcefully.

Something to think on …

An artist must be a reactionary. He has to stand out against the tenor of the age and not go flopping along.
— Evelyn Waugh, born on this date in 1903

In case you wondered …

… What's the Science Behind Reading? | Book Riot.

With all these fantastic benefits to your health, there’s a whole host of reasons why you need to read that book instead of whatever else you’re supposed to be doing. Reading is also good for the soul, and it is one of the most effective escapist methods when the world gets hard. It also gives you a massive jumping-off point for talking to new and different people. You also have a whole community to engage with when you feel lonely. If none of your friends have read that book yet, you can guarantee someone online has. Reading is a key to other people.

Word of the Day …

… Mien | Word Genius.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Our town …

PHILADELPHIA AND THE NEW "TOLERANCE". (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Three years ago, CSS served 130 families superbly with a staff of ten. Today, despite the city’s punitive actions, 18 foster families have stayed with CSS, which can now afford only one staffer. The burden of the city’s trumpeted concern for equity and tolerance is being borne by real children who need safe and healthy foster homes; good foster parents eager to serve; and an excellent social service ministry blackballed simply because of the religious convictions that inspire and guide it.


In the meantime: National Guard Mobilized in Philadelphia After Night of Riots, Protests.


Since 1952, Philadelphia has been a one-party city. The first of the Democratic mayors — Joseph Clark, Richardson Dilworth — were quite good. So were some of the later ones — Jim Tate, Frank Rizzo (yes, actually), Ed Rendell, and John Street. But single-party rule is bad in the long run. The incumbent is a moron and his predecessor wasn't so hot either.

As time goes by …

… Anecdotal Evidence: 'As Life Runs On, the Road Grows Strange'.

… How Jonathan Swift dealt with growing old: Swift Resolutions.

(Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Listen in …

… Music On The Delaware - Virtual Coffeehouse: Walt Birbeck | Facebook.

Reading during Covid …

… Dr. Rieux, Meet Dr. Fauci | Mass Review.
In the summer of 2020, seventeen Drexel University students, many of them international students, Zoomed into my Great Works class to explore Albert Camus’s The Plague. The students found themselves amazed at how eerily this World War Two allegory paralleled our own struggle with Covid-19. Many characters in the novel endure quarantine, exile, and the pain of separation from loved ones, and so did a number of my students. 

Kantian sleuthing …

… Kant’s rational analyses of crimes and punishments.
… the indefatigable believer in Kant's intellectual approach to rational analysis leads authorities (and readers) to the inescapable truth.

Indeed …

… People must have the right to mock Muhammad - spiked.

People must have the right to mock whomever they want.

Word of the Day …

… Quaesitum | Word Genius.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Vocation vs. day job …

… The Clandestine Poet | The Russell Kirk Center. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
What a wonderfully accurate self-image, the clandestine poet! The principal job of the Office of the Revisor of Statutes is the compilation of the state’s official statutory code. Creating that code goes hand in hand with keeping quiet about political subjects; one could lose the job for being considered a partisan of any kind. The poet had to pose as tight-lipped civil servant; anything she said about public affairs for all those years had to be veiled, or “in code.”

I doubt if she had to “pose” at all. I would guess she understood perfectly well why, given her job, she had to keep her politics to herself.

Nice to know who the neo-Nazis really are …

… Antifa Mob Attacks Jews for Trump Caravan in New York.

You can always tell a neo-Nazi: They hate Jews. Please don’t tell me these people only hate Jews who like Trump.

Hmm …

… D. H. Lawrence, Arch-Heretic | Commonweal Magazine. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

“If Lawrence remains a great writer today,” Dyer opines,

that is due in no small part because his enduring freshness and force is found in the travel books, in poems that were scarcely even poems, and in the scatter of his essays. For Lawrence the novel, “the one bright book of life,” was the supreme test; that’s what he staked his life on. But many of his gifts were best displayed elsewhere.

I have heard that Lawrence's plays, which were ignored during his lifetime, have gained a certain popularity in Britain. I think he could be a fine fiction writer, but was best, like John O'Hara, with the novella and short story. "The Rocking Horse Winner" is wonderful. I think Studies in Classical American Literature us a masterpiece. And if Mr. Dyer thinks Lawrence's poems are scarcely poems, what must he think of Whitman, "the great poet [who] has meant so much to me," as Lawrence put it?

 

Together at last …

 … Murders, mysteries, forensics, and Immanuel Kant.

Something to think on …

As long as there are flowers and children and birds in the world, have no fears: everything will be fine.

— Nikos Kazantzakis, who died on this date in 1957

Here’s an idea …

… Bring back small high schools | Spectator USA. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

… the COVID-induced fear of large indoor gatherings may force a salutary breakdown of American schools into more manageable and recognizably human forms which are constructed on a scale in which each kid matters. In the words of political scientist Frank Bryan, author of Real Democracy and one of seven members of the graduating class of 1959 at Newbury High School in Vermont, ‘Keep it small. The basketball isn’t good, but everybody gets to play.’

The grade school I attended from fourth through eighth grade was quite small by today’s standards — my memory is guessing about 20, 25 kids per class — but staffed by the Religious of the Sacred Heart, ladies who were quite cultured. Mother Holmes, my sixth grade teacher, was one of the most important people in my life. I was blessed to reconnect with her via email toward the end of her life. (I should also mention Miss Parkinson, my fourth grade teacher.) These were people who encouraged us kids to make the long trek into the city and visit the Art Museum, the Rodin Museum, the Academy of Natural Sciences. I owe them so much.

Word of the Day …

… Sororal | Word Genius.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

The dumbest generation …

Did You Know? The Ignorance of College Graduates.

According to a 2013 study, fewer than 5 percent of college students knew the following: that Thomas Jefferson’s home is named “Monticello;” the name of the author of Brave New World; and that Madam Curie discovered radium or that Mozart wrote Don Giovanni. Additionally, compared with students in 1980, far fewer students knew that Paris is the capital of France.


Good to hear …

Netflix Cancellations Soar 800% After ‘Cuties’ Debacle: Analysis.

Q&A …

… Ghosts Who Walk Among Us: The Millions Interviews Claire Cronin - The Millions. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

While working on the book over several years, I also became more attuned to uncanny experiences and weird synchronicities. By the time I finished it, I found I was more of a believer in the mysterious and supernatural than when I began, which was not the outcome I expected.

I think my experience of the spiritual world has always been one of awe, fear, and dread: the “tremendum” in Rudolf Ottos’s definition of the numinous as “mysterium tremendum et fascinans.” It wasn’t ghosts and demons that most frightened me while writing; I was haunted by God.

Appreciation during a time of plague …

… Killing time with Agatha Christie by Anthony Daniels | The New Criterion. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

A static, changeless world never existed, but after a certain age, at least, many of us like to imagine that it once did, by contrast with our restless, dissatisfied, jangling world in which nothing is solid, predictable, or lasting, and everything beautiful (we think) is in the process of being destroyed. Of course, such a vision will not appeal to those who do not believe that present mirth hath present laughter, and believe instead that what’s to come is sure to be better; when they turn to murder books, they want something grittier, more truthful to reality, and possibly even more sordid. If squalor be the root of crime, give me excess of it.

What a wonderful paragraph. Of course, you have to know your Shakespeare. 

Something to think on …

You should always be trying to write a poem you are unable to write, a poem you lack the technique, the language, the courage to achieve. Otherwise you're merely imitating yourself, going nowhere, because that's always easiest.
— John Berryman, born on this date in 1914

Come one, come all …

… Get your free Economics in One Lesson book | Mises Institute. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Word of the Day …

… Lulu | Word Genius.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

RIP …

… Viola Smith, pioneering swing and big band drummer, dies aged 107 | Music | The Guardian. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

 … Jeffrey Toobin and the m-word: Let’s be honest about what makes this scandal so scandalous.

According to a 2016 survey, 95% of men and 81% of women in America have masturbated. Yet in the same poll, over half of respondents said they felt uncomfortable talking about it.

And maybe the rest were lying. But taking matters in hand in private is a little different from doing same during a zoom call. The good professor needs to find a better way to spend his time than defending this creep.

Not good …

… Detained Chinese Poet 'Under Pressure to Confess' in Yunnan. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

As the Hong Kong protester put it, “Don’t trust China … China is asshole.”

Squirrels ham it up …

… Photographer Captures the Playful Personalities of Curious Red Squirrels. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

RIP …

… Country singer Jerry Jeff Walker, who wrote Mr. Bojangles, dies aged 78 | Daily Mail Online.


Bizarre …

… Presidents and Other Fictions - Intercollegiate Studies Institute: Think. Live Free. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Most of these remind me of something a character in Umberto Eco's  Foucault's Pendulum  says, that the conclusion arrived at by means of a counterfactual conditional proposition is always correct precisely because the premise is false.

Love and murder …

 … Crippen and Marconi — the truth is stranger than fiction.

In praise of flaneurs …

 … ‘The Walker’ Review: The Art of the Stroll. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

I have been a walker all my life. I have walked all over Philadelphia and Chicago, and a good bit of D.C. I have routinely walked Philadelphia's Wissahickon Park from Walnut Lane to Chestnut Hill and back and Pennypack Park from Frankford Avenue to Pine Road and back. That's a good many miles. I used to walk to and from The Inquirer every day. That's about 4.4 mikes a day. My vacations were spent hiking and climbing in upstate Pennsylvania. I also still routinely stroll around what we call Center City.

This review, however, leads me to suspect that walking may be like humor — better enjoyed than written about.

Talkative bird …

 … Myna Bird in Pine Tree (Mu Ch’i), Sonnet #535.

Word of the Day …

… Conurbation | Word Genius.

Something to think on …

Both art and faith are dependent on imagination; both are ventures into the unknown.
— Denise Levertov, born on this date in 1923

Friday, October 23, 2020

What a strange tale …

 … The Hiding Place, by Robert Shaw (1959). (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)


I only knew of Robert Shaw as an actor. I did not know he was also a writer. I do remember him being eaten by the shark in Jaws.

Appreciation …

 As noted earlier, this is Ned Rorem's 97th birthday. Don't let his charming glibness lead you to think he is not a great composer. I had the privilege of meeting him once.

Living faith …

 … ‘He Mends Your Broken Bones’ a Response to Psalm 51. (Hat tip Dave Lull.)


Someone should email this to the Pope. I just bought the Kindle edition of Malcolm Guite's Faith, Hope and Poeetry.

Global warming …

… Central US Arctic outbreak poised to demolish records, usher in snow unusually far to the south | AccuWeather.

Blogging note …

 Life continues to get in the way of blogging. I will be settling down to do some again this afternoon.

Good question …

… Is the Pope Catholic? | City Journal.
… 
the encyclical goes a little further than necessary, it seems to me, in considering all populism to be relatively respectable because the people are respectable, and populism is an expression of the people. But populism can also be an expression of the people’s violence—the very violence that democracy tends to channel. The case of Argentina, here again, might clarify the pope’s tendency. Peronism is a form of populism—anti-liberal and hardly democratic—for which Francis had a soft spot. The pope has sympathies for populist intentions, even when the results were (and still are) catastrophic.

Word of the Day …

… Georgic | Word Genius.

Something to think on …

It's not evil that's ruining the earth, but mediocrity. The crime is not that Nero played while Rome burned, but that he played badly.
— Ned Rorem, born on this date in 1923

Thursday, October 22, 2020

To say the least …

The deeply flawed opportunism of Pope Francis.


…the film includes a story of Francis “encouraging two Italian men in a same-sex relationship to raise their children in their parish church, which, one of the men said, was greatly beneficial to his children.” It also notes that in his 2013 book On Heaven and Earth, Francis stated that laws “assimilating” homosexual relationships to marriage are “an anthropological regression,” saying that if same-sex couples “are given adoption rights, there could be affected children. Every person needs a male father and a female mother that can help them shape their identity.”

So, which is it? Well, that probably depends on the day and week. Changing course and shifting narrative parameters for different audiences has been a regular feature of this pontificate, which often flies by the seat of its sentimentally-inclined papal pants.

Good …

… Small Christian School Sues Oregon Governor For Shutting Private Religious Schools While Letting Public Schools Reopen | The Daily Wire.

Little blogging today …

 I have to leave shortly to meet someone for lunch in town. Afterwards, I have some shopping to do. So I won’t be doing any blogger until much later.

Your move …

… Can chess making a gripping film? Watch Walter Tevis’s “Queen’s Gambit” on Netflix this Friday, October 23

Something to think on …

Very few people really care about freedom, about liberty, about the truth, very few. Very few people have guts, the kind of guts on which a real democracy has to depend. Without people with that sort of guts a free society dies or cannot be born.
— Doris Lessing, born on this date in 1919

Beautiful …

… Weather Photographer of the Year Winners Celebrate the Beauty of Nature. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

RIP …

… James Randi, Magician and Paranormal Debunker, Dies at 92. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Rudyard Kipling


I've just finished Kim -- Rudyard Kipling's celebrated novel of British India -- and I must admit, I'm of two minds. 

On one hand, this is a book guided by tremendous erudition. Kipling seems to have mastered it all: local dialects, fashion, geography; the list goes on. There were moments when reading Kim that I felt I'd entered something approaching a 'total novel.' It was as if I'd been immersed -- without warning, without welcome -- in the Raj. Put differently: this is a book made of four sturdy walls. There's one way in and one way out. In the middle, there's only character and description, society and culture. 

Having said all this, I found myself surprisingly unmoved by the whole thing. And more: I found the novel a chore to read. Kim's journey -- his awakening and maturation -- are often obscured by the intensity of Kipling's prose, by the density and claustrophobia of his writing. I concede that I struggled at times to follow the story, and to understand how the European characters, especially, fit into Kim's evolution. 

No doubt, there's an authenticity to Kim which would be -- and which has been -- difficult to match. Conversely, there's an opacity which I found difficult to surmount. Kim's adventures are one thing: how they fit into the 'total' vision of British India presented by Kipling is another. For my part, I suppose I'd still take Orwell's Burmese Days

Good to hear …

… SECNAV Names Attack Boat After WWII USS Barb, DDG for Former SECNAV Lehman - USNI News.

John and I were classmates in college and still get together from time to time.

Other voices …

… Delightfully Perplexed and Transfixed by The Sacramento of Desire - Write Now Philly.

Keep it up, ladies

… Ocasio-Cortez Teams Up With Activist Who Said 'America Deserved 9/11'.

Remember, I’m so old I remember when it was thought appropriate to love your country. 

Succulent …

… Reviews and Viewpoints: History on the half shell.

Spys’ neighborhood …

… Even James Bond's working from home these days. But where does he live? William Boyd investigates | Daily Mail Online. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
I suppose the most famous fictional abode for a character is Sherlock Holmes’s 221b, Baker Street. James Bond’s address and George Smiley’s have yet to achieve the same legendary status, but give them time. 

Contemporary manners …

… This is social suicide, but OK, here goes | Judith Margolis Friedman | The Blogs.

… what do the more liberal among us call their secret Facebook group? Then it came to me — they just call it Facebook. And on Facebook, many of my liberal friends blast away without cause or concern that they are maligning unfairly people who they claim to love and respect. I have lost count as to how many real friends have posted “If you don’t agree with my political views, unfriend me.” Really? How tolerant of you. We’ve been friends for years, really? Your child played at my house countless times, really?

Careful what you wish for …

 … Salvaging Secession. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Disagreements between independent political entities often leads to something called war. It was the southern secessionists who started the Civil War. Remember Fort Sumter? 

I posted a link to this yesterday, but thanks to Blogger’s klutzy revisions it linked to my email. That is now fixed.

Something to think on …

I have seen great intolerance shown in support of tolerance.
— Samuel Taylor Coleridge, born on this date in 1772

Anniversary and appreciation …

… Samuel Taylor Coleridge; a birthday sonnet, and a book | Malcolm Guite. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Word of the Day …

… Limitrophe | Word Genius.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Word of the Day …

Merino | Word Genius.

Hmm …

 … E. B. WHITE’S “PLAIN STYLE” @75. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

It might seem self-evident that White the author practiced what Strunk and White the style gurus preached, but the truth is more complicated. Like Ernest Hemingway, who mocked his fans’ enthusiasm for the writing tips he dispensed, White had mixed feelings about being anointed a master of plain prose. 

I read the 1959 edition not long after it came out, during the year I spent between high school and college. I never got the impression from it that the plain style was the only way of writing, but rather that it was the foundation for good writing. Once you had it down, you could safely go your way however and wherever you wished.

Secrets behind the scenes …

 … Trio by William Boyd review – lights, camera, chaos. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

…  brilliantly drawn, often grotesque characters make Trio Boyd’s funniest book since 1998’s Armadillo. I especially relished the horrible, Charles Hawtrey-esque actor Ferdie Meares, whose cameo in one of the film’s pivotal scenes is complicated by his insisted-upon right to deliver his dire comic catchphrase: “I’m excited! Are you?” Boyd, a screenwriter and occasional director himself, beautifully captures the chaos and exhilaration of a shambolic film set, in which unforeseen disasters andskulduggery create their own opportunities and problems.

Something to think on …

Only divine love bestows the keys of knowledge.
— Arthur Rimbaud, born on this date in 1854

Monday, October 19, 2020

Attention Blogger …

 The new version of Blogger is awful. I would like to return to the original version, which I was able to do until recently. One can't seem to get this message through to you in any way that I can discern. So I guess I'll have to find another platform for this blog. Talk about screwing something up.

If anyone knows how to get this through to Blogger, please let me know.

Appreciation …

 … Opposites Refract — A Review of Wonder and Wrath by A. M. Juster.

Wonder and Wrath is an apt title for a collection that both marvels at and rails against human frailty, against the backdrop of a fallen universe. The book’s seriousness lies in its sustained resistance to the easy way out: either to reject or embrace, without caveat, a cosmos that consists, in equal measures, of miracle and outrage.

 


As we might expect, Wonder and Wrath includes an ample selection of translations. These range from versions from the Chinese, to Welsh, to fragments of Rilke’s French, which Juster has, provocatively, “completed.” Juster seems to have a special affinity for Latin poems composed by English poets and has included two of them in this collection, both valuable additions to the canon for those of us who do not read Latin. “To my dear friend, M. J. Jackson, disparager of this treatise,” by A. E. Housman, is thought to be the last Latin poem by a major English poet and is significant for that reason. Typically, Housmanian, it adds little to his extant body of work—it is one more poem about death and unrequited homosexual love.


And a sample: “Rounding up the Mimes” by A. M. Juster

(Hat tip, Dave Lull.)




 

Careful what you wish for …

 … Salvaging Secession. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Disagreements between independent political entities often leads to something called war. It was the southern secessionists who started the Civil War. Remember Fort Sumter? 

Sometimes bleak, sometimes tender …

 … with always a visionary glow: The Grandmothers, by Glenway Wescott (1927). (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

“The east was covered with tiny clouds like the torn bits of paper which a newcomer finds in a dismantled house; the sun entered the sky like such a newcomer.”

 I’ve spent a good bit of time in Wisconsin. I love the place.

Hmm …

… Musings and Reviews: What the gospels have meant then and now.

I confess to feeling dubious about Garry Wills.

James Joyce, poet …

 … Review: James Joyce, ‘Pomes Penyeach’. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Something to think on …

Mechanical instruments, potentially a vehicle of rational human purposes, are scarcely a blessing when they enable the gossip of the village idiot and the deeds of the thug to be broadcast to a million people each day.
— Lewis Mumford, born on this date in 1895

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Much in what he says …

Bruce Charlton's Notions: How to fight modern evil: Huxley versus Orwell, Ahrimanic versus Luciferic evil.

Editor's choices …

… Autumn Reading Recommendations | North of Oxford.

More than just a mystery …

… 221B - Musings and Reviews: The Bank of England needs help from Sherlock Holmes.

Pretty classy people

… Whittaker Chambers Monument – no thanks | Whittaker Chambers. (Hat tip, Dave Lull)



The best way to remember our grandfather is to read his books. They are his memoir Witness (1952) and his later writings in Cold Friday (1964). Rather than a monument, he left testimony to read.

Hmm …

… How the media is misreporting COVID-19's death toll in America. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The CDC itself caused a stir at the end of August by estimating that the virus directly caused only 6 percent, or now just over 11,000 of the 187,000 attributed deaths. Most of these deaths were in the elderly.

The remaining 94 percent died with and not exclusively of the coronavirus. These people also were on average elderly and had 2.6 other health problems. This implies a good fraction who succumbed had three or more comorbidities. In other words, most deaths attributed to the coronavirus were in very sick people.