Sunday, January 19, 2020

In case you wondered …

… Miscellaneous Musings:: Finding answers to life’s perplexing mysteries.

Imagine that …

… Miscellaneous Musings:: Winter in the south: Let it snow!

And another …

… Miscellaneous Musings:: Robert E. Lee’s Birthday.

Anniversary …

 Miscellaneous Musings:: Poe’s Birthday.

Listen in …

… AMERICAN THEATRE | Three on the Aisle: Not Throwing Away Their Aughts.

Patria …

… Roger Scruton: Conservative lodestar - UnHerd. (Hat tip, Rich Lloret.)

An old-new narrative is taking form in Conservatism, combining culture, place and community, with the particularly British spirit of enterprise and invention. Both halves of this combination resist a stifling central state, and the totalitarian impulse of the woke agenda; whether you want to live in a village or to start a tech business — or both, for doing both these things is now possible — you want economic and intellectual freedom, and you want to feel part of a tradition or a community that is bigger than you. This combination of freedom and belonging is the English inheritance Scruton explains to us; it is the inheritance we need for the future.

Hmm …

… Sex Abuse Crisis in Amish Country. (Hat tip, David Tothero.)

Over the past year, I’ve interviewed nearly three dozen Amish people, in addition to law enforcement, judges, attorneys, outreach workers, and scholars. I’ve learned that sexual abuse in their communities is an open secret spanning generations. Victims told me stories of inappropriate touching, groping, fondling, exposure to genitals, digital penetration, coerced oral sex, anal sex, and rape, all at the hands of their own family members, neighbors, and church leaders.

Anniversary …

… Miscellaneous Musings:: President John Tyler’s Death.

Something to think on

No government knows any limits to its power except the endurance of the people.
— Lysander Spooner, born on this date in 1808

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Something to think on …

The Christian religion asks us to put our trust not in ideas, and certainly not in ideologies, but in a God Who was vulnerable enough to become human and die, and Who desires to be present to us in our ordinary circumstances.
— Kathleen Norris, who died on this date in 1966

Roundup …

… Ten poetry books that illuminate a decade’s struggles – People's World. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Appreciation …

… An Illuminated Mind | Chapter 16. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)



Oblivion Banjo surveys the long career of poet Charles Wright.

Another bad idea …

… Proposed Book Banning Bill in Missouri Could Imprison Librarians - PEN America. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Domestic chaos …

… Letters Are Not Life by Declan Ryan | Poetry Magazine. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

On The Dolphin Letters, 1970–1979: Elizabeth Hardwick, Robert Lowell, and Their Circle, edited by Saskia Hamilton.

In English at last …

… The American Scholar: Revolutionary Chaos. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



The first-ever English translation of a 20th-century Russian masterpiece



Heavily indebted to Tolstoy’s War and Peace, Solzhenitsyn (1918–2008) borrows a central insight of his great predecessor: war is far more chaotic, random, and contingent than its representation in historical narratives. Tolstoy described battle as no one had ever done before, showing soldiers moving blindly in fog with no idea what is going on and generals, unable to keep up with ever-changing situations, issuing orders that are impossible to execute. After the fact, however, historians construct a smooth story bearing little or no relation to reality. Solzhenitsyn makes the same point about revolution. “What happened … no one was sure, except for what was right in front of him.”

Fanciful indeed …

… Zealotry of Guerin: Fanciful Ink Drawing II (Franz Sedlacek), Sonnet #494.

In case you wondered …

… The Fine-Tuning Of The Universe Is Best Explained By God Or Chance? – HillFaith.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Blogging note …

I must be out and about most of today. Blogging will resume sometime later.

Something to think on …

What law, what reason can deny that gift so sweet, so natural that God has given a stream, a fish, a beast, a bird?
— Pedro Calderón de la Barca, born on this date in 1600

The problem of pain …

… [Memoir] The Cancer Chair, by Christian Wiman | Harper's Magazine. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

I have right here on my cancer chair an essay that praises Job as a work of profound theology adorned with poetry, which is so spectacularly wrong I have not yet been able to finish it. As if the poetry were beside the point. The poetry is the point. When Job needs to scream his being to God, it’s poetry he turns to. When God finally answers, his voice is verse so overwhelming that Job is said to “see” it. The speech is a reprimand, yes, but God also allows that Job has spoken “the thing that is right.” It’s not obvious what God is referring to here. Job has said a lot of things. But the one thing that he’s truly hammered home is that cry of dereliction, destruction, and profane (yet not faithless) rage. Whether Job has torn a rift in the relation of man and God, or simply pointed out one that was always there, it now can never be altogether repaired or ignored. The destruction, though, is also a resurrection. God’s being, which extends from the center of the atom to the burning edge of the universe and beyond beyond, is what Job must accept. But Job’s being, and the rage that now ramifies through the centuries (“I will wreak that hate upon him”), is part of that creation and thus a part of what God must accept. Jack Miles points out that in the Hebrew Bible this speech of God’s is the last word God utters. God hasn’t silenced Job. Job has silenced God.

Murder and technology …

… Perfect Murders: Studies in Detection: Thunderstruck (2006).

Concentration and dispersal …

 Robert Hass’s new poems: “part haiku, part road trip” – and a chance to meet him in Berkeley next Wednesday, Jan. 22! | The Book Haven.

Substantial being …

… First Known When Lost: Rocks And Stones.

I am aware that there are those who have no time for these sorts of passages in Wordsworth.  I am not out to convince anyone to change their opinion.  As for me, passages such as this are what keep me coming back to Wordsworth's long narrative poems.  I confess that I avoided the poems for years.  And I will not deny that they can at times be prolix and tedious.  But then I arrive at lines like these, and the effort is rewarded.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

RIP …

 Christopher Tolkien dead: Son of Lord of the Rings author JRR dies aged 95 - Mirror Online. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

RIP …

… Betty Pat Gatliff, 89, Whose Forensic Art Solved Crimes, Dies - The New York Times. (Hat tip, Tim Davis.)

Quite a life …

… The Chinese artist who drew Disney’s Bambi: a look at the life of the immigrant behind the illustrations | South China Morning Post. (Hat tip, Tim Davis.)

In case you wondered …

… How Many Words Are There in the English Language? (Hat tip, Tim Davis.)

Watch and listen …

(Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Distinctions …

… In a Word: Martial and Marshal | The Saturday Evening Post. (Hat tip, Tim Davis.)

Something to think on …

It is my settled opinion, after some years as a political correspondent, that no one is attracted to a political career in the first place unless he is socially or emotionally crippled.
— Auberon Waugh, who died on this date in 2001

Oeuvres complètes …

… Vive Maigret! | January 11, 2020 - Air Mail. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

It’s bittersweet news for addicts, then, that Penguin’s complete Maigret reissues came to an end this week, with the appearance of the 75th and final book, 1972’s Maigret and Monsieur Charles. This series of new translations in stylish trade paperbacks has been publishing about a book a month since 2013, in roughly the same order as the novels’ original publication. The new Penguin editions have sold more than one million copies worldwide, proving that almost half a century after his final adventure, the detective’s allure hasn’t faded.

Little masterpieces

… Nigeness: Landor Miniatures. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Murder and faith …

… Perfect Murders: Studies in Detection: Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger (2013).

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Tracking the decline …

… Instapundit — Blog Archive— HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: University refuses to let Antifa critic speak because Antifa has us…

Maybe …

… Only English Majors Will Know These Words from the Thesaurus | Reader's Digest. (Hat tip, Tim Davis.)

What have the days amounted to?

… Writers of Faith: Flannery O'Connor and others: The Short Day Dying by Peter Hobbs (2006).

Q&A …

… The American Scholar: Why Book Reviewing Isn’t Going Anywhere — Scott Nover. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

I think that reviewing mean to write an accurate and precise account of one's reading experience.

Mark thy calendar …

In these first days of 2020, POETRY IN COMMON thinks it is a good idea
to read poems on Peace:

You Are Invited

To Read for 5 Minutes,

Poems on Peace as you see it,

Original Work and/or Work by another poet




Tuesday, January 21, 2020, 6-7:30 PM

Sign up in Advance: gontarek9@earthlink.net


POETRY IN COMMON
 &
THE GREEN LINE CAFÉ POETRY SERIES
 &
100 THOUSAND POETS FOR
PEACE AND CHANGE

PRESENT:


PEACE


Hosted by LEONARD GONTAREK



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

     This Event Is Free




We Lived Happily During the War         Ilya Kaminsky



And when they bombed other people’s houses, we

protested
but not enough, we opposed them but not

enough. I was
in my bed, around my bed America

was falling: invisible house by invisible house by invisible house.

I took a chair outside and watched the sun.

In the sixth month
of a disastrous reign in the house of money

in the street of money in the city of money in the
country of money,
our great country of money, we (forgive us)

lived happily during the war.

Time for a smile …

… Paul Davis On Crime: A Little Humor: Class Clown And The School's Group Photo.

Well, certainly one of the best …

… The Best Short Poem Ever: “Jenny kiss’d Me” by Leigh Hunt | Form in Formless Times. (Hat tip Dave Lull.)

I first became acquainted with this poem when I saw Eddie Albert recite it on TV.

January Poetry at North of Oxford …

… Two Poems by Mike Cohen.

… War of Elements by Akshaya Pawaskar.

… This Land is Full of Noises by Robert Nisbet.

… Perspective by Robbi Nester.

Something to think on …

For us the mountains had been a natural field of activity where, playing on the frontiers of life and death, we had found the freedom for which we were blindly groping and which was as necessary to us as bread.
— Maurice Herzog, born on this date in 1919

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Listen in …

 Episode 357 – Walter Bernard – The Virtual Memories Show.

“Magazines are not done by one person. They get better with all these ideas and collaborations.”

In case you wondered?

 Paul Davis On Crime: Was Hemingway A Soviet Spy?: My Washington Times 'On Crime' Column On Ernest Hemingway.

Something to think on …

An ignorant person is, by the very fact of his or her ignorance, a very dangerous person.
— Hendrik Willem van Loon, born on this date in 1882

Really?

… All modern art is quite useless | Spectator USA. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The phrase “modern art” covers a lot of ground, and does not mean the same as “contemporary art.” The only composer mentioned herein is John Cage, who died nearly three decades ago. Has the author ever listened to Ned Rorem’s music? Ned is still with us at 96, and his music is both modern and beautiful. Case in point:

Blogging note …

Debbie took a bad fall yesterday and spent the night in the hospital for observation. Blogging will take a back seat in the meantime.

Monday, January 13, 2020

In case you wondered …

… Care About Australia’s Wildlife: Please Don’t Give Money To PETA.

Well, if we begin to take a look at PETA’s Australia chapter, we can imagine why they are not first in line to help those poor koalas and kangaroos we keep hearing about on the news. For example, PETA’s Australia chapter received over $49 million in contributions in 2019, but only less than 1 percent went into actually helping troubled animals. The rest of the money, in true PETA fashion, was used on advertising, public disturbances, paying off celebrity spokespersons, and lobbying politicians and businesses into getting what they want and they want one thing, and one thing only-total animal “liberations”. This would mean no zoos, no aquariums, no responsible meat, or dairy consumption, no pets, no wildlife conservation efforts that require rehabilitation or breeding programs, and no use of animals for therapeutic purposes. 

Hmm again …

… Cameras Show Animals Thriving in Fukushima's 'Uninhabitable' Radioactive Zone.

Hmm …

… Hide The Decline: How Climate Change Data Was Faked | MissLiberty.com.

Anniversary …

… James Joyce dies - HISTORY. (Hat tip, Tim Davis.)

The struggle of faith …

… Kerouac’s Beatific Visions | Joshua Hren | First Things. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The Beats always impressed me — maybe because they came on the scene when I was in high school. The Hippies never. There never seemed to be any there there. 

Just as bad as the old kind …

… Walter Williams: The new racism | TribLIVE.com. (Hat tip, Tim Davis.)

 This is the new racism, much of it learned and taught at our nation’s colleges. George Orwell said, “Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them.” The stupid ideas about inclusion and diversity originate with academics on college campuses. If their ideas didn’t infect the rest of society, they might be a source of entertainment. But these cancerous ideas have infected society. Statements such as “I’m over white men running the country,” or “If we have two old white guys at the top of this ticket, we will lose” are examples of that cancer.

Blogging note …

In a few minutes, I have to take Debbie to a doctor's appointment. Blogging will resume when I have the opportunity.

For your listening pleasure …

Vasily Kalinnikov was born on this date in 1866. This piece is lovely.

Appreciation …

… Edward Feser: Scruton’s virtues. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Modern intellectuals tend to be spoiled and ungracious creatures, whose inclination to bitch and moan seems only to increase the better things get, and who seem to occupy themselves concocting ever more recherché reasons for badmouthing their society and their forebears.  Scruton, by contrast, was a man who manifestly deeply loved and appreciated our Western cultural inheritance, for all its faults, and stood up for it the way a loyal son would stand up for his mother and father. 

Something to think on …

The Christian is like the ripening corn; the riper he grows the more lowly he bends his head.
— A. B. Guthrie, Jr., born on this date in 1901

Let us pray …

… The waiting game | About Last Night. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

… Mrs. T is at the very top of the transplant priority list, but she needs a pair of lungs from a donor of short stature with A-positive or O-type blood, and such folk don’t come along every day, or even every month. The truth is that we haven’t gotten a single donor offer since last August, when we received two Big Calls in a row, each of which fell through a few hours later. Since then, our cellphones have yet to ring.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Time for a chuckle …

 Paul Davis On Crime: A Little Humor: U.S. Senator Gets Mugged.

RIP …

… Tory adviser and writer Sir Roger Scruton dies after cancer battle | Metro News. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Rather a mean-spirited obit. The Chinese government may well be trying to create robots out of their own people and I seriously doubt that his criticism, of the loathsome George Soros had anything to do with Soros being Jewish.

Q&A …

… Sarah Cortez: Cop, Poet, Catholic - Benedict XVI Institute. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

 I have seen things, or read them in reports, or seen crime-scene photographs that are some of the worst things that a human can do. Yet I am constantly called upon by the requirements of my job and my calling to believe the best I can believe in everybody. If I’m here to save your life as a police officer, I have to believe that your life is worth saving. But I also know that someone who looks exactly like you maybe she tortured her dog.
This is a must read. See also this

Tracking the decline …

… Opinion | The Academic Apocalypse - The New York Times. (Hat tip, Tim Davis.)

A thousand different forces are killing student interest in the humanities and cultural interest in high culture, and both preservation and recovery depend on more than just a belief in truth and beauty, a belief that “the best that has been thought and said” is not an empty phrase. But they depend at least on that belief, at least on the ideas that certain books and arts and forms are superior, transcendent, at least on the belief that students should learn to value these texts and forms before attempting their critical dissection.
I was fortunate to have had teachers who persuaded me an intimate acquaintance that art, music, and literature would enrich  my life. It certainly seems to have.

The comedy of decline …

… The Children Are in Charge | The Russell Kirk Center. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Johnston may have graduated when they still showed music on MTV, and he has never worked in higher education, but this sure-handed and entertaining satire not only has its fingers on the pulse of contemporary academe, it has taken its X-rays and done the lab work to see just what ails it. At the top, a burgeoning administration takes its cues from the corporate world, speaking its vocabulary and pursuing its aims. A super-wealthy (and non-taxpaying) institution focuses on expansion and “upgrading” its brand. The student body is comprised of a mix of grade-hungry achievers, boorish fraternity boys, academic status seekers, and others (“the silent majority”?), but a vocal and determined set of social justice warriors sets the tone. Indeed, the children seem to be in charge while the professoriate and administration is either on board with Social Justice culture or running scared of its warriors.

Then they came for your dog …

… Reality Check: Your Dog Is Terrible For The Environment | HuffPost.




Actress and photographer …

… Jessica Lange: Behind the Lens (in Duluth) - Perfect Duluth Day. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



Nice that still feels fondly about where she grew up.

Anniversary …

… Original “Amos ‘n’ Andy” debuts on Chicago radio - HISTORY. (Hat tip, Tim Davis.)

I remember loving the TV version. All the episodes of that seem to be available on YouTube

Master of brevity …

… Wild Geese – Brief Poems by Takaha Shugyo | Brief Poems. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Something to think on …

You look back and see how hard you worked and how poor you were, and how desperately anxious you were to succeed, and all you can remember is how happy you were.
— Jack London, born on this date in 1876

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Good for him …

 Professor sues U. New Mexico for suspending him after student blackmails him | The College Fix.

For your listening pleasure …

(Hat tip, David Tothero.)

A tiger like no other …

… Zealotry of Guerin: Knot Eye Tiger (Alice Bea Guerin), Sonnet #493.

An essential factor …

… Writers of Faith: Flannery O'Connor and others: Bridges and Faith.

A wonderful story …

… The Nation's Oldest Student | Chapter 16. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Have a look …

… Top Shots. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's coverage area and beyond for the second week of 2020.

Hmm …

… Record-challenging warmth to thaw wintry Northeast this weekend | AccuWeather.

Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C., could come close to breaking 130-year-old temperature records this weekend. Saturday's record high in the Steel City stands at 68 from 1890 while Sunday's record in D.C. is 76 from the same year.
So, 130 years ago, a record was set that still stands. Wonder why people weren’t worried about that back then.

RIP …

… RIP Sylvia Jukes Morris: ‘Lady of Letters’ | The American Spectator. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
So soon after Edmund Morris’ death, the perfect couple is together again.

Remembering …

… Happy Birthday, Alexander Hamilton | The Sheila Variations.

On this day, in 1755, Alexander Hamilton was born in the British West Indies. He was illegitimate (as John Adams sneered: “the bastard brat of a Scotch pedlar”). His illegitimacy was a stain on his birth he strove to wipe away for the rest of his short life.

Something to think on …

There can be no doubt that a society rooted in the soil is more stable than one rooted in pavements.
— Aldo Leopold, born on this date in 1887

Heroes …

 Race of Aces’ Review: When Lightning Strikes - WSJ. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

At the time, America had never heard of Richard Bong, Gerald Johnson, Neel Kearby, Thomas Lynch, Charles MacDonald or Tommy McGuire. But within a year of Rickenbacker’s challenge, and with the race to become America’s new Ace of Aces updated almost daily in the newspapers and on the radio back home, theirs quickly became household names across the country.

See also Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center.

Friday, January 10, 2020

For your listening pleasure …

Frank Bridge was born on this date in 1879.

Time for a chuckle …

Paul Davis On Crime: A Little Humor: The Deer Hunter.

Blogging note …

I have much to do today that will take me away from my desk for the greater part of the day. So blogging will resume sometime later.

Two very smart dudes …


Bohm leads the first part of the conversation. He outlines the idea that “knowledge tends to get caught in grooves and compartments which become rather rigid” and so hinders further perceptions. “Insight is what dissolves these grooves and compartments and opens the way for reason and imagination to engage in fresh perception.”
 [Barfield] begins by remarking that there’s much that Bohm has said that he’s in agreement with and that the “redemption of education from its present state” is very much part of that.

It certainly is …

… Writers of Faith: Flannery O'Connor and others: Faith is a fine invention.

Art all about …

… Britain's buried treasures: Exquisite works of art are tucked away in tiny village churches | Daily Mail Online. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



England's greatest works of art are her parish churches, often dating back to medieval times, and without compare in any other country.

Something to think on …

Long live freedom and damn the ideologies.
— Robinson Jeffers, born on this date in 1887

Thursday, January 09, 2020

Hmm …

… The Real John Simon – Tablet Magazine. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



Perhaps the most telling thing in this piece is what Simon says about Bach: “It appears to me that Bach and Mozart … wrote predictable, mathematical music, limited in scope, not unlike a caged canary’s pleasant but anodyne chirping.” He must have somehow never heard the sarabande from Bach’s Cello Sonata No. 6 or the Agnus Dei from the Mass in B-Minor.” What he says is, if nothing else, astoundingly ignorant.

And the winner is …

…  The Petrona Award: The Petrona Award 2019 - Winner. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

RIP …

… Haunts of the Black Masseur author Charles Sprawson dies aged 78 | Books | The Guardian. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Indeed …

… The gloriously unhinged progressive pushback against the Babylon Bee | Spectator USA. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

This is a website that says it was ‘created ex nihilo on the eighth day of the creation week, exactly 6,000 years ago’, boasts about its unrivaled coverage of the Tower of Babel, and advises readers: ‘If you would like to complain about something on our site, take it up with God.’ This may be the best MSM-does-God incident since Sam Brownback quoted Matthew 7:16 (‘Ye shall know them by their fruits’) in an interview with Rolling Stone and they condemned him for using a homophobic slur.

A wonderful poem …

… The American Scholar: “The Listeners” by Walter de La Mare. Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Changing times …

… Beard Bravado: 75% Of Men Feel More Confident With Facial Hair - Study Finds.

When I first grew one in 1964, people tended to look askance at me. Fortunately, lack of self-confidence has never been one of my shortcomings. 

Annoversary …

… Thomas Paine publishes "Common Sense" - HISTORY. (Hat tip, Tim Davis.)

Correcting Emerson …

… Laudator Temporis Acti: A Walk in the Woods.

Contemporary education…

 'No Zionists' and 'No Straights': Tweets From Teacher Rattle Elite New York City School.



Well, I guess the number of Zionists is comparatively small (though yu can count me among them, even though I am not Jewish), but there are an awful lot of straight people.

Tonight …

… Poetry Hoot set for Jan. 9 at Roundabout Diner - News - seacoastonline.com - Portsmouth, NH. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

My home town …

… City of Clubs by Clare Coffey. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

This is a pretty good assessment of the place as it is now. The town has changed a lot since I dropped in 78 years ago. I think she means the American Philosophical Society. not the American Theosophical Society (though there is a Theosophists Lodge, somewhere on Walnut Street, I think). I started life in North Philly, but grew up in Torresdale, which is as far northeast in the city as you can get. I lived in Germantown for 20 years and now I not only live in South Philly, I live right off the Italian Market. Here is a shot of it (taken by some one named Massimo Catarinella).

Anyway, I know the city very well, having actually walked all around it over the years.

Something to think on …

Either we learn to find the Lord in the ordinary everyday life or else we shall never find him.
— Josemaria Escriva, born on this date in 1902