Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Good ….

… Campus Reform | Baylor students tried to cancel professor over transgender comments. They failed miserably.

Q&A …

… Waugh, Waugh, Not Jaw, Jaw: An Introduction to Evelyn Waugh's Best Books - Flashbak. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Together at last …

… Miscellaneous Musings (again): Arthur Conan Doyle, ghosts, and Harry Houdini.

Pathetic …

… Digital Book Burning Comes for Dr. Seuss — on His Birthday.

Bombs away …

Miscellaneous Musings (again): Revolutionary forces begin bombardment of Boston.

Higher energies …

… First Known When Lost: Enchanted Or Disenchanted, Part Seven: Arrival.

Something to think on …

Ideas are like stars; you will not succeed in touching them with your hands. But like the seafaring man in the desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them you will reach you destiny. Perhaps you could get a clearer idea of our destiny if we took time out to examine our ideas, and upgraded them if necessary. What things are most important to you? If you could do anything you wanted to be, what would you be? If you could achieve a single objective in life, what would it be?
— Carl Schurz, born on this date in 1829

Choosing words carefully …

… Status / Gab Social — John Simon on calvary and cavalry. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Complete cohesion …

… The Pursuit of Awe: On Aaron Poochigian’s “American Divine”.


… Poochigian writes in form. Like Auden, he is a poet of wild inventiveness within even the strictest limitations. He says of his own work — he has not been shy about giving interviews — that “[e]very poem I write is an attempt to recapture an ecstatic experience…”

Not good …

Amazon Quietly Bans Books Containing Undefined ‘Hate Speech’.

The Amazon spokesperson wouldn’t respond to emailed questions on when the policy was adopted, what constitutes “hate speech,” and how Amazon’s customers were informed about the change.

Word of the Day …

… Epexegesis | Word Genius.

Monday, March 01, 2021

Another good question …

… Who are we, really, as Americans?

2020 demonstrated that certainties are few and far between, even while the rigid nature of ideological arrogance has become a most certain part of everyone’s life. 2021 will likely see much more of the same, if only because 2020 was not a change from pre-2020 years, but a year-long ripping off of the scab underneath of which was a festering and feverish illness that could no longer be covered by pop culture clichés, political promises, and streaming bread-and-circuses.

Q&A …

… New book highlights inspiring, challenging stories of six Black Catholics.
… we know that racism also exists in the Church, particularly in this country. I hope that anyone who saw or experienced the racial unrest of the past year asked themselves what they can do to contribute to the advancement of racial justice. We all have to do something. One thing I knew I could do was to highlight these important and life-giving stories. All six of these men and women emerged from the black Catholic community, and they are the only six black Catholics currently under consideration for canonization. A few other pieces of writing and projects related to these six figures led me to the idea for this book.

Not that Florida …

… Florida has a population of zero — yes, everyone is gone.

Something to think on …

America is woven of many strands. I would recognise them and let it so remain. Our fate is to become one, and yet many. This is not prophecy, but description.
— Ralph Ellison, born on this date in 1914

In case you wondered …

What is opinion journalism? (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

There are, as far as I can tell, two things that must change. Opinion columnists must write with some end in mind that is not outrage, including that of the shared variety, which will mean ignoring a great deal of that which seems genuinely to demand it. Readers, meanwhile, must respond to what the former have written, if at all, with carefully considered, good-faith criticism or a simple shake of the head. (For either of these to take place, social media will very likely have to play a role in journalism very different from its present one, in which it exists primarily as both the source of and the destination for so much of our pointless anger.)

I’ve written some opinion pieces in my time. I always made sure to ground the opinions I ventured in sound reporting, which is more interesting than just bloviating. 

Centenary …

… Anecdotal Evidence: 'Flowers, I Said, Will Come of It'. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Just so you know …

… Hilarious lies Aussies tell foreigners | escape.com.au.

March Reviews and an Interview at North of Oxford …

 … An Interview with Poet John Macker.

… Requisite by Tanya Holtland.

… Erotic by Alexis Rhone Fancher.

… The Philosopher Savant Crosses the River by Rustin Larson.

… Adjusting to the Lights- Poems by Tom C. Hunley.

… This Is Not Your Moon by Matthew Woodman.



Love story …

… Miscellaneous Musings (Again): Sam, you really is a sentimental old fool!

Word of the day …

… Nonage | Word Genius.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

He’s back!

… Hasbro Reverses Decision: Mr. Potato Head Will Remain | WTRF.

Thus spake Maigret …

 “I cannot stand cretins!”

Listen in …

… The Biblio File hosted by Nigel Beale: Richard Ovenden on the fragility and importance of Libraries.

The new racism …

… Boston Public Schools just canceled advanced classes for high-performing students because too many of the kids who qualified were white | Not the Bee.

Sounds worrisome …

… Choking on Moderna | The American Spectator | USA News and Politics. ( hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The reality of war …

… Anecdotal Evidence: 'Thirsty, Betrayed, and Terrified':. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Good question …

… Why didn’t more professors oppose the Gramscian march or at least stick up for free speech?

Something to think on …

The pleasantest things in the world are pleasant thoughts, and the great art of life is to have as many of them as possible.
— Michel de Montaigne, born on this date in 1533

The wait is over …

… I Am Waiting by Lawrence Ferlinghetti | Poetry Foundation. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Adventures with fortune cookies…

… The Writer's Almanac for Wednesday, February 24, 2021 | Garrison Keillor — Imperial Graden. (Hat tip, Rus bowden

In case you wondered …

… Joan Didion: Why I Write. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

By which I mean not a “good” writer or a “bad” writer but simply a writer, a person whose most absorbed and passionate hours are spent arranging words on pieces of paper. Had my credentials been in order I would never have become a writer. Had I been blessed with even limited access to my own mind there would have been no reason to write. I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear. Why did the oil refineries around Carquinez Strait seem sinister to me in the summer of 1956? Why have the night lights in the Bevatron burned in my mind for twenty years? What is going on in these pictures in my mind?


Much ado about very little …

… Pronominal Strife - Los Angeles Review of Books. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Word of the Day …

… Loggia | Word Genius.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Have a look …

 

More than just a season …

… Zealotry of Guerin: Poetry and Fiction by Christopher Guerin: Winter (Peter Breughel the Younger), Sonnet #552.

Poetry in brief …

… Review: ‘Short and Sweet – 101 very short poems’(Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

RIP …

… Ronald Pickup obituary | Acting | The Guardian. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Something to think on …

If we could read the secret history of our enemies we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, born on this date in 1807

Comparison and contrast …

… February Bookmarks | Commonweal Magazine — Self & Style. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Hmm …

… Study: Only 10% chance of catching COVID from infected person within household.

The new racism …

… Amazon Prime Yanks Clarence Thomas Documentary During Black History Month | Human Events.

Complicated puzzle …

… Miscellaneous Musings (Again): Something else is involved in the so-called crime.

Word of the Day …

… Peripeteia | Word Genius.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Maigret at work …

… Miscellaneous Musings (Again): A little love story that turned out badly.

Contemporary journalism …

… Here's a HuffPo article encouraging parents to support "sex-change" surgeries for their children next to another discouraging people from neutering their dog. Let's walk through them. | Not the Bee.

River man and painter …

… Nigeness: Walter Greaves.

Hmm …

… Is It Time to Kill the Book Blurb? - WSJ. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

This seems to me to be much ado about very little. I've written a few. I try to be matter-of-fact and not over-the-top. I would need more than a blurb on a book cover to prompt me to buy a book.

Take a look at this …

… an online-only exhibitiion: Luc Tuymans: Monkey Business | David Zwirner.

Anniversary …

… Miscellaneous Musings (Again): Roosevelt, Wilson, and the Grand Canyon.

Something to think on …

Here's the point to be made - there are no synonyms. There are no two words that mean exactly the same thing.
— Theodore Sturgeon, born on this date in 1918

An authentic philosopher …

… A Happy Contrarian | Commonweal Magazine. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

In When These Things Begin: Conversations with Michel Treguer, Girard tells Treguer, “I’m not concealing my biography, but I don’t want to fall victim to the narcissism to which we’re all inclined.” For Girard, interviews served the same purpose as his “books of conversation”: to challenge and test his ideas while discovering new things in the company of others. Cynthia L. Haven, the author of a remarkably insightful biography of Girard, Evolution of Desire: A Life of René Girard, has now put together a selection of these interviews. They give us a good picture not only of the complexity and multifacetedness of Girard’s ideas, but also of the process through which a young professor of French literature originally operating in a rather narrow field turned into a visionary thinker of global renown, as revered as he was contested. As Haven puts it in her introduction, in “these interviews, over years and decades, Girard gradually becomes Girard, like an image slowly appearing in the developer of an old darkroom.”

Word of the Day …

… Charivari | Word Genius.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

In case you wondered …

… How to read Proust. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

… Proust should be read slowly, 20 or so pages at a time. (When you are a thousand or so pages in and cannot help yourself from pressing on to learn what Brichot has to say about the death of Swann, you will have reached the stage at which it is probably acceptable to lie down with Proust.) Sooner or later readers will discover that the novel unfolds not slowly per se but at something that approximates the pace of life itself — or, better yet, that "real life" is blissfully Proustian.

Take that …


 

Our town …

… Paul Davis On Crime: Carjacking On The Rise In Philadelphia: My Philadelphia Weekly 'Crime Beat' Column Interview With Major Crimes Captain John J. Ryan.

For your reading pleasure …

… Two Poems by Amy Barone | North of Oxford.

Yes, indeed …

Yes, yes, language is a living, breathing thing that’s eternally transforming… But these examples are arguably inorganic. They involve strategic lingual reinventions that are relatively new and politically motivated. Language may evolve naturally, but it also responds to manhandling. Er, if we can use that word any more.

Blogging note …

 I have head into town to drop some things off for Debbie and a few errands. So blogging will resume sometime later.

Something to think on …

To be left alone is the most precious thing one can ask of the modern world.
— Anthony Burgess, born on this date in 1917


Sweet …

… Siris: For Olden Verse that Smacks of Love and Wine. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Take a look at these …

… The Stunning Images of the Underwater Photographer of the Year 2021. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Homage …

… 'Our city belongs to the poets': San Francisco makes pilgrimage to City Lights to remember Lawrence Ferlinghetti | Datebook. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Fascinating …

… When Mucha Went To Moscow. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Word of the Day …

… Accouchement | Word Genius.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Fact and fiction embrace …

… Miscellaneous Musings (Again): Pungent, disturbing, and staggering imagery in revisited and reimagined medieval pilgrimage.

Just what you'd expect …

… Dr. Fauci Reminds Everyone That We Will Only Have To Wear Masks Until Humans Evolve Organic Face Coverings At Birth | The Babylon Bee.

RIP …

 In Memoriam Kristofer Marinus Schipper | The Chicago Blog | The Chicago Blog. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Very interesting …

… Miscellaneous Musings (Again): How a Jesuit martyr inspired William Shakespeare.

Remembering …

… Paul Davis On Crime: A Look Back At The Aircraft Carrier USS Kitty Hawk's 1987 SLEP Overhaul In Philadelphia.

Debut …

… Miscellaneous Musings (Again): Scarlet appears on British screen for first time.

Something to think on …

I think the deeper you go into questions, the deeper or more interesting the questions get. And I think that's the job of art.
— Andre Dubus, who died on this date in 1999

Poise and humor …

… Poem of the week: A Grey Day by William Vaughn Moody | Poetry | The Guardian. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The whole story …

… Sobran, Fusion, and Realignment | The American Conservative. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Joe Sobran … cannot be absolved for the pall that has fallen over his legacy. But anybody who studies the full saga carefully and with a fair mind will conclude that the pall should not have fallen so heavily.

In case you wondered …

Why You Hate Contemporary Architecture.


… polling suggests that devotees of contemporary architecture are overwhelmingly in the minority: aside from monuments, few of thepublic’s favorite structures are from the postwar period. (When the results of the poll were released, architects harrumphed that it didn’t “reflect expert judgment” but merely people’s “emotions,” a distinction that rather proves the entire point.) 

Marh thy calendar …

 … A PBS episode about Flannery O’Connor will feature interviews with Hilton Als and Mary Karr(Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Word of the Day …

… Gullah | Word Genius.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

RIP …

… Lawrence Ferlinghetti dead: San Francisco poet, bookseller was 101 - Los Angeles Times.

Something of a mystery …

… Opinion: The Delusions of a Marxist Professor.

How could anyone of his intelligence fail to realise that, though as ever there was much wrong with the world, attempts to put everything right at once by the implementation of petty intellectual schemes are fraught with danger, and have a history of mass slaughter behind them?

I think the answer must lie in the psychology of religion: when religious faith is replaced by a philosophy that prides itself on its rationality, it soon turns religious in the worst possible sense. It becomes an atheist theocracy.

Anniversary …

… Flashback to 1954 — I remember getting my vaccine.

Belated happy birthday …

… Edna St Vincent Millay calls the Poetry Crisis Line. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Hmm …

… Thank You, Michael Che! - Tablet Magazine.

Che’s joke wasn’t a mistake. It wasn’t something someone accidentally let air on a decades-long television show with a cast and crew in the hundreds. It wasn’t even new for him. Was the line anti-Semitic? Yep. Was it also absolutely intended? You betcha.

Another word …

Epicaricacy. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Something to think on …

We must learn to talk with each other, and we mutually must understand and accept one another in our extraordinary differences.
— Karl Jaspers, born on this date in 1883

Word of the Day …

… Hew | Word Genius.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Surprise, surprise …

… Miscellaneous Musings (Again): Fierce power (of course) motivated the Tudors.

Something worth knowing …

… The Healthy Gut Microbiome You Have Right Now May Not Be The One You Need in Old Age.

Centenary …

Remembering John Rawls.

Hmm …

… Opinion: Lies the Supreme Court Told Me.

We want lady justice to be blind but in actuality she’s a cyborg with all-seeing, rotating night vision similar to the kind you might find on many urban street corners today from Beijing to Chicago, using the latest algorithms to isolate presumed enemies of the state.

Q&A …

… Life Is Odd: A Conversation With Dinty W. Moore - The Rumpus.net. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The downside of receiving upwards of nine hundred submissions per issue is that you have to reject so many writers, and no, despite what some may think, we don’t enjoy that at all. With the quality of the submissions being so high, we find ourselves rejecting fairly good work, pieces that are maybe ninety-five percent of the way there but still aren’t perfect. The upside, of course, is that the work we eventually do publish is stunningly good. That’s the evolution that matters, of course.

About that catch …

… The Other Side of History - BallNine.

“But in retrospect,” said Terry Wertz, “he said had it been a home run or even a hit, nobody would ever remember it. It would have been one minuscule statistic, and it turned out to be “The Catch”.

Today's everyman …


 

The painting is by Felix Giordano, who I think is one of our more original artists.

Happy birthday, George …

 Miscellaneous Musings : Being the father of thirteen has many challenges.

How about that …

… Miscellaneous Musings : Most frequently portrayed literary (human) character.

Ah, yes …

… Nigeness: Then and Now.

Something to think on …

He who studies without passion will never become anything more than a pedant.
— Stefan Zweig, who died on this dare in 1942

Well, this is interesting …

… Just because: Graham Greene talks about The Third Man | About Last Night.

Hmm …

… CU Professor says much of climate research ‘untethered from the real world’; cites misuse of scenarios.

“Ultimately, the issues associated with the misuse of scenarios in climate research and assessment are a matter of scientific integrity,” he concludes.

Word of the Day …

… Forsooth | Word Genius.