Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Hmm …

… Not Everybody Must Get Stoner - Book and Film Globe. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

… I find I must point out, again, that Stoner, the character, is a rapist, that Williams is a mediocre and outrageously prejudiced writer, and that the book’s success is a jewel-perfect example of the culture celebrating white male mediocrity well beyond its true value. But I wrote about all that elsewhere, and this review is about Almond’s book.
I don’t remember Stoner raping anybody, but I’m old and my memory isn’t what it used to be. But I suppose I do qualify as a white male mediocrity, and I didn’t sense from the book that such was being celebrated. I read it as an accurate account of a more or less unexceptional life. Stoner’s one triumph is near the end, when he puts his academic rival in his place. The characters in the book are like many people one encounters. The book has no heroes.  What does Ms. Coldiron think of the young lady Stoner has the affair with? That young lady seems fond of the old boy. Doesn’t she dedicate her dissertation to him? I don’t think Stoner has any ax to grind. True, the characters are mediocrities, and they are white. But there are many such, and there’s no reason not to write about them. If you don’t like such people — and I gather Ms. Coldiron doesn’t, at least if they're male— well you’re not going to like a novel about them. But other people might.
Stoner probably has been overpraised, but taken on its own unsentimental terms, it isn’t a bad book. In fact, it’s pretty good one.

June Poetry at North of Oxford …

America by Tim Suermondt.

… 2 Poems by Christopher Barnes.

… Burning Coal by Cameron Morse.

… Tin Roof by Hiram Larew.

… Burden by Michael A. Griffith.

In case you wondered …

… 10 Most Controversial Books of All Time | Owlcation. (Hat tip, Jon Caroulis.)

Other great short novels …

 Nigeness: So...

The years of war …

… Blitz Writing: Night Shift and It Was Different at the Time, by Inez Holden (2019) - The Neglected Books Page.

Remembering bumblers …

… Celebrating the six men who played the 3 Stooges | PhillyVoice.

This summer a number of area theaters are hosting Stooge festivals and the museum itself will be holding special open houses, giving new generations an opportunity to discover the guys who perfected physical comedy before Steve Carrell, Jim Carrey or Melissa McCarthy.

Enjoy …

… Muriel Spark - The Playhouse Called Remarkable | Literary Review | Issue 108.

Longing for someone …

… Forgotten Poems #62: "Somewhere or Other," by Christina Rossetti.

… whenever I read "Somewhere or Other," which is about the sense that someone out there is meant for us (even if we haven't met them yet and may never meet them), I feel and know that yearning for that still-unknown person who must be "somewhere or other." I find myself thinking, along with Rossetti's speaker: surely such a person must exist in the world? Isn't it just an accident that we haven't encountered each other yet?*

Something to think on …

We should imitate the great classics. We would miss, and that miss would be our originality.
— Raymond Radiguet, born on this date in 1903

Listen in …

… Episode 325 – Boris Fishman – The Virtual Memories Show.

“Cooking is the only thing in my life that creates the same exalted transport that writing does.”

Monday, June 17, 2019

Good …

…  After Ouster From Deanship For Representing Harvey Weinstein, Law Prof Blasts Harvard’s Capitulation To A ‘Loud Minority Of Students.’

Indeed …

 “Doxxing” of a Bronx Man Shows News Media at Its Worst | MediaVillage.

Pulitzer Prize winner and Intercept co-founding editor Glenn Greenwald didn’t like what The Daily Beast did, so he tweeted:  “Can't believe (honestly) that journalists don't see why it's so repellent to unleash the resources of a major news outlet on an obscure, anonymous, powerless, quasi-unemployed citizen for the crime of trivially mocking the most powerful political leaders.”  Greenwald was joined by former Democratic strategist Yashar Ali:  "I gotta say, it sets a really bad precedent when a private citizen, particularly someone who is working a blue collar job, has their identity publicly revealed simply because they made a video of a politician appearing to be drunk.”

The elusive Word …

… Why Judaism and Christianity Interpet the Bible Differently | Time. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

… the relation of the Bible to its faiths is elliptical, not direct: “Scripture alone” does not work for either Christianity or Judaism as an explanation of what is actually believed or done. Nevertheless, both faiths find it hard to believe that the Bible does not in some way have a point-by-point correspondence with their religion.

Drumroll, please …

 World's largest database uncovers Australia's secret reading passions. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Kindred spirits …

… “Just One Way to Go”: Marianne Moore and Zinaida Gippius – Boris Dralyuk. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Listen in …

… The Biblio File hosted by Nigel Beale: Irish Novelist Eimear McBride on her work and getting it published.

Eimear McBride is an Irish novelist whose debut novel, A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing, won the inaugural Goldsmiths Prize in 2013 and the 2014 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction. She wrote the book in six months, but it took nine years to get it published. Galley Beggar Press of Norwich finally picked it up in 2013. The novel is written in a stream of consciousness-like style and tells the story of a young woman's complex relationship with her family.

Lovely …

… The story of Mrs. T and me—in a hundred words | About Last Night. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Let us keep Mr. and Mrs. T in our prayers.

The mystery of inheritance …

 23andMe Confirmed My Mother's Suspicions - The Atlantic. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The man who raises you with love is your real father; but if there is a man who allowed that man to become a father, I believe he deserves a place of honor in the family tree as well. He’s the man behind the story, without whom the story could never have been born.

Anniversary …

… RTD’s Marginalia Redux: Battle of Bunker Hill begins on 17 June 1775.

Take your pick …

… Puppets and Portraits: Two Victorians | Front Porch Republic. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



I'll take both.

Something to think on …

To be a writer is to sit down at one's desk in the chill portion of every day, and to write; not waiting for the little jet of the blue flame of genius to start from the breastbone - just plain going at it, in pain and delight. To be a writer is to throw away a great deal, not to be satisfied, to type again, and then again, and once more, and over and over...
— John Hersey, born on this date in 1914

It’s the 1930s all over again …

… Jewish teenager menaced by racists flees the country 80 years after his grandfather did the same | Daily Mail Online.

Well, he did supervise D-Day …

How Eisenhower Dealt With America’s First Illegal Crisis.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

When you’ve lost the NYT …

… Instapundit — EMBARRASSING LIBERALS: After making them superstars, the Gray Lady finally notices the fables of Nao…

The comeback trail …

… Fire-ravaged Notre Dame holds its first mass since blaze destroyed the cathedral's roof and spire | Daily Mail Online.

Literary archaeology …

… Archaeological dig at Flannery O'Connor's house.

Remembering …

… Father’s Day Without My Father | IFCJ.

A cautionary tale …

… The Death of a Writer | BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog.





    Who is going to deal with your literary legacy, and what do you want done?

    Inquirer reviews …

    … Save Me the Plums’ by Ruth Reichl: The ‘debacle’ of Gourmet magazine, by one who lived through it.

    … ‘A Brief History of Doom’ by Richard Vague: Borrowing, booms, and busts.

    There's another review in the paper, but it doesn't seem to have it onto Philly.com.

    Listen in …

    … Living in an Age of Spiritual Crisis – Mark Vernon.

    Get on with it …

    … You Had One Job | Anne Kennedy. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

    The task for the preacher, bent over a stack of books all week, troubling out the Greek and Hebrew, making sure about context and authorial intent, researching ancient assumptions and habits, taking all the words apart grammatically and then carefully stringing them all back together again, is to know, certainly and truly, both what it says and what it means. If that one doesn’t know what it says, and then doesn’t know what it means … then the pulpit ought to remain empty for the morning and everyone should just keep scrolling through twitter.

    Something to think on …

    Read widely, and without apology. Read what you want to read, not what someone tells you you should read.
    — Joyce Carol Oates, born on this date in 1938

    Saturday, June 15, 2019

    Land of dreams …

    … Zealotry of Guerin: Landscape with Lanterns (Paul Delvaux), Sonnet #461.

    So very true …

    When the human mind exists in the light of reason and no more than reason, we may say with absolute certainty that Man and all that made him will be in that instant gone.
    — Loren Eiseley
    I saw this over at Brandywine Books and just had to copy it and post it here. It explains why so many intellectuals can so often sound crazy.

    Tracking the decline …

     #EndowSUP: from crisis to consensus on Stanford University Press | The Book Haven.

    The university decided to terminate its support of Stanford University Press, which had been given $1.7 million supplements for several years. The amount, as many pointed out at the meeting, is chump change, about .027% of Stanford’s annual operating budget. The move, seeking to make the press “sustainable,” spurred national and international outcry and letters from thirteen Stanford departments, schools, and programs and sixteen letters from national and international learned societies, as well as extensive press coverage (including The Chronicle of Higher Education here). The controversy has been discussed on the Book Haven here and here and here.
     Where do they find these administrative dingbats?



    Post bumped.

    An adventure …

    Walking up Ninth Street this morning to do some food shopping, I decided to detour over to Eighth because, as is often the case on Saturdays, the Italian Market was crowded as hell. Well, no sooner do I turn down Ellsworth Street than a rather formidable pit leaps at me in an attempt to bite my arm off. My reflexes remain sharp, and I zagged when he zigged, and he only got his teeth on my shirt sleeve, which got torn from cuff to shoulder. The people in charge of the dog were really upset and apologetic, but I put them at ease, explaining that it was an old shirt with frayed cuffs that I was planning to toss (all true). What interested me was that, as usual when in danger, I had no affect. I think this is a good trait, since emotion in such situations could prove counterproductive. It would certainly be of no use.  

    Hmm …

    … The Roots of Elite European Anti-Zionism – Tablet Magazine.

    As musicians, Hatari’s members are tragically uninteresting, binding the worst of metal and EDM in a BDSM aesthetic that is more amusing than arousing, like the musical act in a bad Eastern European strip club. As political activists, however, Hatari is legitimately fascinating: If you’d like to understand the emotional valence of the contemporary European left, look no further than these bare-chested boppers.
    I’m so old I remember Bandstand before it was American Bandstand, and before Dick Clark was the host. So I am an authentic first generation rock’n’roller. I was also raised by factory workers. Rock, in my view, is now utterly mannerist — middle class white kids posing as punks. (I also have an enviable collection of authentic punk 45s.)

    One of the great short novels …

    … Nigeness: Seize the Day Again.

    The Vikings' debut ……

     LIndisfarne | Brandywine Books.

    Landscape and self…

    … A Review of Matthew Ferrence’s Appalachia North: A Memoir | BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog.

    In addition to exploring the topographical, environmental, and sociological meanings of northern Appalachia, Ferrence explores the meaning and substance of his own body, via his experience with a brain tumor. The two narratives—the attempt to reconceive of Appalachia and to make sense of his experience in his own body—might seem at first to be disconnected, but they’re related in the sense that they’re both studies in materiality and physicality. They’re also both about destruction and erosion, and about the possibility and impossibility of reclamation and renewal.

    In case you wondered …

     Why Lit Mags Don’t Pay – guest blog post by M.R. Thomas – Trish Hopkinson.



    Actually, some do. Not a lot, but when you write for a living, something is always better than nothing. And the prestige can count quite a lot.

    Anniversary …

     RTD’s Marginalia Redux: 15 June 1946 — U.S. presents the Baruch Plan.

    Poetry and truth …

     Sonnet the Hedgehog on Twitter: "Meeting a Friend Again After ThIrty Years by XJ Kennedy… "  (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

    Something to think on …

    On every level of life, from housework to heights of prayer, in all judgment and efforts to get things done, hurry and impatience are sure marks of the amateur.
    — Evelyn Underhill, who died on this date in 1941
    See  “Just a touch of wildness” — or, How Evelyn Underhill schooled C. S. Lewis on the ways of God.

    Friday, June 14, 2019

    Centenary appreciation …

    … The warrior critic: in praise of Pauline Kael | Film | The Guardian. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

    Kael’s legendary essay-review about Bonnie and Clyde was published in 1967 in the New Yorker. For a movie critic to read it now is to experience a mix of emotions: glee, euphoria, fascination, exhilaration and shame that you are not doing anything like as passionate and glorious in your own work.

    Time fior a smile …

    … Paul Davis On Crime: A Little Humor: Wife Dies in Jerusalem.

    Confession of a wayfarer …

    … David Brooks’s ‘The Second Mountain’ | Commonweal Magazine. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

    The hound caught up in New York’s Penn Station. Brooks was getting off the subway “surrounded as always by thousands of people, silent, sullen, trudging to work in long lines.”
    Normally [he continues] the routineness of life dulls your capacity for wonder. But this time everything flipped, and I saw souls in all of them. It was like suddenly everything was illuminated, and I became aware of an infinite depth in each of these thousands of people.

    Anniversary …

    … Weedon Grossmith (d. 14 June 1919) | The Evelyn Waugh Society. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

    Waugh once described the Diary in a 1930 Daily Mail article as the “funniest book in the world” ….

    Anniversary …

     RTD’s Marginalia Redux: First nationwide civil defense drill held — 14 June 1954.

    I remember going through one of those when I was in grade school.

    Influence …

     When William S. Burroughs met Bob Dylan / Boing Boing. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

    As scholar James Adams notes, “Without Burroughs and his experiments, Dylan might not have been pushed to compose lines that resemble cut-ups but still emerge from some more personal, purposeful, honest, and human place like those Dylan wrote in 1965...”

    Identity and mystery …

    … The Everlasting Self: U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith’s Soulful Meditation on the Looping, Haunting Mystery of Being – Brain Pickings. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

    In case you wondered …

    … 15 diagrams that show how a book is made. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

    New and selected …

    … A Review of Emily Grosholz’s The Stars of the Earth | Literary Matters. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

     … for a poet so strongly linked to the New Formalism, Grosholz is remarkably sparing with any received form other than blank verse; I can find in the book two villanelles and one poem—the title poem of The Abacus of Years—that hints at a slant terza rima in spots. The fourteen-line poems labeled sonnets have no clear pattern of end rhyme, and only the slightest of turns. Even a poem in ballad stanza, “A Bouquet for Buffalo,” is unrhymed. Rhyme appears in some poems, but randomly, as a surprise effect.

    Hmm …

    … RTD’s Marginalia Redux: Harriet Bercher Stowe on evil and suffering.

    Something to think on …

    When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.
    — G. K. Chesterton, who died on this date in 1936

    Have your say …

     Stanford Faculty Senate discusses Stanford University Press on Wednesday – prepare for a Twitterstorm! | The Book Haven.

    Let us pray …

    … The end of the beginning | About Last Night. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



    Thursday, June 13, 2019

    Blogging note …

    I must take off soon to do errands. Won't resume blogging until later on.

    Sprinter can’t go the duantce …

    … Diary of a Somebody by Brian Bilston review – a mischievous comic debut | Books | The Guardian. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

    Diary of a Somebody keeps up a stream of witticisms that is admirable and relentless and, in the end, a little bit tiresome. It has no variation in tone or pace, which over a long stretch does the comedy no favours.

    Sic transit …

    … Deaths of the Eminent Philosophers | Literary Matters. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

    Happy birthday …

    … RTD’s Marginalia Redux: W. B. Yeats has a birthday.

    In case you wondered …

    … What the 39,933 Items on Peter Matthiessen's Computer Mean for the Art of Biography | Literary Hub. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

     Everything on a computer is, being intangible, also more ephemeral. That may seem obvious to say, but the result for somebody like me can be profound. Matthiessen wrote numerous drafts of his two final novels (one published, one not) as well as the unfinished memoir. He duplicated files and renamed them. But then he would go back to earlier drafts and tinker in those, making cuts and additions; then he would save these as yet more duplicates, creating, in effect, simultaneous alternate timelines on a single project. On paper his writing process is relatively easy to follow; on computer, impossible.

    A lot like the people he has written about …

    … Against the Great Man Theory of Historians. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

     In the thrall of exposing power and its machinations, he has felt himself compelled to keep following the story, to go ever deeper, do the next interview, order up the next batch of documents from the archivist. “Turn every page. Never assume anything, turn every goddamned page,” Caro’s editor at Newsday told him when he was a young reporter just beginning to discover the frisson of investigative work. Caro took those words to heart.
    Actually, Caro comes off as honest even if falling a little short on introspection. He certainly gets the job done.

    Something to think on …

    Humans feel at home in a world of things, whose essences and laws they can grasp and define in terms of concepts; but shy and ill at ease in a world of existences, because to exist is an act, not a thing.
    — Etienne Gilson, born on this date in 1884

    FYI …

    … The long-awaited upgrade to the US weather forecast model is here | Ars Technica. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

    Of course, no model is a perfect replica of the planet, and part of using these models to forecast weather requires us to understand and account for their biases. NOAA says that the cold bias has been reduced by development over the past few months—and development is a continuous process that doesn’t stop when a model goes live. Still, there could be an adjustment period here as forecasters get used to their new souped-up model. At least through September of this year, the old model will still be running in parallel to aid in that transition.

    Wednesday, June 12, 2019

    Hear, hear …

    … No exaggeration: Hyperbole makes words worthless | The Spectator.

    The poeer of the couplet …

    … Poem: “Careless Youths” | Form in Formless Times. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

    Party line …

    … The NYTimes is Woke - Marginal REVOLUTION. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

    Peer review …

    … A Mafia Hit Man’s Assessment of John Dean | The American Spectator.

    Time for a chuckle …

    … Paul Davis On Crime: A Little Humor: The Woman In The Kitchen.

    Watch and listen …

    … Fossils of consciousness – Mark Vernon.

    Mark thy calendar …

    An Evening of Poetry At The Green Line Cafe


    With JEN ANAOLIK, 

    ANGEL HOGAN & 

    JERRY MORGAN


    Hosted by Leonard Gontarek



    Tuesday, JUNE 18, 2019, 6-7:30 PM

    THE GREEN LINE CAFE 
    45TH & LOCUST STREETS

    Presented by POETRY IN COMMON
     &
    THE GREEN LINE CAFÉ POETRY SERIES


    THE GREEN LINE CAFE IS LOCATED 
    AT 45TH & LOCUST STREETS
    PHILADELPHIA, PA  USA
    (Please note the address, there are
      other Green Line Café locations.)
            greenlinecafe.com
    gontarek9@earthlink.net

         This Event Is Free


    Jerry Morgan is a practicing pharmacist who grew up in rural Western Maryland. While his main life path did not ultimately lead him to writing, he has always enjoyed creating things and expressing himself through words. He uses his writings to explore connections between people and the day-to-day experiences that make up one’s life.
    In addition to writing, he enjoys running and drinking cider. He has lived in Philadelphia the past 6 years and now likes to call it home. 


    Angel Hogan has performed as part of the Black Women’s Arts Festival, Literary Death Match, Moonstone Presents, First Person Arts and the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. Angel worked with ArtWell, was a Contributing Editor to Philadelphia Stories, and a review panelist for the Philadelphia Cultural Fund. As a teaching artist, Angel is most interested in initiatives that use storytelling as a vehicle for tolerance, peace, and community building. Her first film, By Law, By Love, was completed in March of 2019. See more at: www.angelhogan.com    



    Jennifer Anolik is an educator, writer, and third generation Holocaust survivor. When she is not writing poetry, she designs curriculum for Moving Traditions’ Jewish teen programs. She has taught and developed curriculum for teens in after-school and enrichment programs focused on gender, sexuality, poetry, art, and mindfulness meditation. Her poetry has appeared in Construction, Infinite Rust, Apiary Online, and other publications.

    Signs of the times …

    … Nigeness: Futile Gesture of the Day.

    Lovely …

    … TT: None better | About Last Night.

    Poor babies …

    … How strict are your parents? - Quora.

    I'm 77, kids. Be glad you weren't around when I was growing up.

    Again, in case you wondered …

    … Ten Reasons Why Women Writers Can’t Write 10,000 Words, Written by a Woman Writer | BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog.



    I was entirely unaware myself.

    In case you wondered …

     The 10 Most-Banned Classic Novels. (Hat tip, Jon Caroulis.)

    Highly recommended …

     RTD’s Marginalia Redux: Treasure Hunt: An Inspector Montalbano Mystery by Andrea Camilleri.

    Master of pseudoscience …

    … Why Freud Should Be Dead - Scientific American Blog Network. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

    As the late philosopher Frank Cioffi convincingly maintained, a pseudoscience can be recognized not by its false claims but by the behavior of its proponents when one of their beliefs is disconfirmed or shown to be vacuous. Then the defenders will either dispute the refutation, cite imaginary proofs, slander the critic, co-opt the criticism by attaching ad hoc provisos to their doctrine, or pretend that their theory meant something else altogether. 
    Three cheers to John Horgan for bringing this to our attention.

    Something to think on …

    Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.
    — Anne Frank, born on this date in 1929

    Imagine that …

    … “Alt-ac” at the MLA? “Things are so desperate that a few academics are even considering change.” | The Book Haven.

    Tuesday, June 11, 2019

    Well, it’s a pretty humorless publication …

    … Humorless Age: The New York Times Has Cancelled Political Cartoons. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

    Blogging note …

    I have to take a Debbie to an appointment. Blogging will resume whenever.

    Hmm …

     RTD’s Marginalia Redux: 5 Reasons to Believe Herman Melville Loved Nathaniel Hawthorne.



    I have no doubt that Melville loved Hawthorne. He said he did. Whether that can be understood in today's terms — of that I am far less sure. One can love a person without wanting to have sex with that person. I know some people may find that hard to believe. But there are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in many people's philosophies.

    Listen in …

    … The Biblio File hosted by Nigel Beale: Sandra Campbell on Lorne Pierce, one of Canada's greatest publishers.

    Dark thoughts …

    … BOOK REVIEW: 'The Killer Across the Table' by John F. Douglas and Mark Olshaker - Washington Times.

    “Why not see if we could meet and talk with some of them, find out what a crime was like through their eyes, get them to recall and tell us why they did what they did and what was going on in their minds when they did it,” Mr. Douglas writes.

    Naturals …

    … David Epstein on the Genius of the Self-Taught Musician | Literary Hub. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

    Rachmaninoff thought that Art Tatum, who was mostly self-taught, was the greatest pianist in any style. Vladimir Horowitz, Artur Rubinstein, and George Gershwin were also fans,

    Something to think on …

    Because you cannot see him, God is everywhere.
    — Yasunari Kawabata, born on this date in 1899

    Winner of the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award …

    … Dying Firethorn – MEASURE REVIEW. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

    Monday, June 10, 2019

    So which is it, folks …

    … oh, it’s both: Great Lakes Reveal a Fatal Flaw in Climate Change ‘Science’ – Issues & Insights.

    But didn’t the models predict otherwise?

    Interesting list …

    … zmkc: A Columnist's Farewell.

    I, too, will refrain from comment.

    Listen in …

    Episode 324 – Bill Griffith – The Virtual Memories Show.

    I remember coming back from that first viewing of Freaks to my Brooklyn apartment and thinking, ‘I have to make art out of this somehow, but I don’t know how.'”

    Very interesting …

    … RTD’s Marginalia Redux: 10 Things You May Not Know About Nathaniel Hawthorne.

    In case you wondered …

    Why posh politicians pretend to speak Latin | OUPblog. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

    This view of a capacious Renaissance a complex civilization in motion is very different from previous historians’ idealised imagined past. In point of fact, the humanists of the Renaissance had their own imagined past, depicting themselves as reaching back across the dark Middle Ages to recapture the glories of ancient Greece and Rome. The idea of a middle age of cultural darkness is of course untenable, as anyone who has visited a medieval cathedral will know, but the concept has survived in our own time: ‘medieval’ is still in popular usage as a synonym for outdated, or even barbaric. Similarly, we are now far less inclined to idealise the ancient Greeks and Romans, as we realise that slavery was embedded in those societies and that a Roman’s idea of entertainment was watching people being killed by wild animals or in combat with each other.

    Hmm …

     A Conservative Irony - Econlib. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

    Well, once upon a time you could Google inquirer+wilson+cormac+asshole and read a piece I wrote saying less than flattering things about Cormac McCarthy's The Road with all the comments saying even more unflattering things about me. I didn't care. In fact, I encouraged people to read the comments. We all need a laugh from time to time, even if it's at our own expense. Crowder's remark about Maza was certainly crude, but seems to me within his constitutional right to mouth off.

    Taking care …

     Paul Davis On Crime: A Little Humor: A Cop Calls It In.

    Reading scripture …

    … In scripture, we find not just religious thought and theory—but a challenge to how we read | Prospect Magazine. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

    These two formidable scholars have produced serious and inspiring contributions to a highly-charged contemporary debate. Both take it as axiomatic that scripture can be related in interestingly creative ways to ritual and belief. They also highlight that the dominant western mode of understanding religious texts—an individual reading a printed book on their own, deciding what to believe and then persuading others of that belief—is at best unhelpful and, at worst, a violation of what scripture should truly be for.

    Blogging note …

    We just had a new refrigerator delivered. The old one went kaput over the weekend. I just finished filling it up the stuff we had stored in freezer boxes.  So I'm off to a late start.

    Something to think on …

    If you're going to be a writer, the first essential is just to write. Do not wait for an idea. Start writing something and the ideas will come. You have to turn the faucet on before the water starts to flow.
    — Louis L’Amour, who died on this date in 1988