Wednesday, October 20, 2021
Tuesday, October 19, 2021
… COVID-19 wasn’t exactly the great equalizer. In fact, it was the exact opposite, revealing existing structural inequalities—many of which were only deepened by the public health response to the virus. Now, as the debate moves from school closures and Zoom workplaces to vaccines and mandates, the policies catering to the “pajama class” and hurting vulnerable people continue—and the delusional, self-serving rhetoric surrounding them only grows more poisonous.
From the Editors:
I’m wary of making grandiose claims for poetry. (Would that it were, that anything were, a unifying force!) Poets have always loved to talk about how powerful and important poetry is, and I’m no exception. Poetry’s power to fuse the private and the universal always amazes me, as does its ability to offer a reprieve (as you aptly phrase it) from the mundanity and suffering of day-to-day existence. But poetry’s role is more complicated than that. Poetry is often made of mundanity and suffering; if it excludes or flees them, it risks being empty, generic, sentimental. Each poet has to manage their own balancing act, whether in formal or thematic terms, or both, between the mundane and the visionary, the public and the private — one could add so many pairs. A complicating factor is that poets come with their own talents and temperaments, their own obsessions and models, their own reading and experience.
Monday, October 18, 2021
Although Antifa members fall into a range of ideological categories - “anarchists, communists, anarcho-syndicalists, Marxist black nationalists, and so on” (BLM is more purely communist) - the group has one overarching, unifying goal: to overthrow America. “Before May 20,” recalls Ngo in his splendid new book Unmasked: Inside Antifas’s Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy, “I never thought antifa could ever come close to achieving this goal.” (He prefers to write “antifa” with a lower-case initial “a.”) Then he saw Antifa take over parts of U.S. cities, whose elected leaders refused to fight back.
Nothing surprising about this. They are sure they know more and better than the rest of us. So why should we count? The funny thing is discovering, when you meet them, how ignorant they are. No wonder they don’t want to engage in dialogue.
Miłosz may not have been entirely aware that he was gradually turning away from the vatic tradition, remembering the effect it had on an idealistic generation of young men who gave their lives in a gesture of futile resistance and were buried in the wreckage in the United States, perhaps relieved to put some distance between and he would eventually come to a new understanding as he was later drawn back to a free Poland. In the meantim, badic pohey and messianism ouldt do in a country that was increasingly turning to science and technology to answer age-old questions.
Sunday, October 17, 2021
Ti Jean (Kerouac’s nickname) was baptized in Lowell, Massachusetts, to a family of “mill rats”—French Canadian Catholics who lived in ghettos. Kerouac’s favorite intercessor was St. Joseph (a “humble, self-admitting, truthful saint”), on whose feast he was born in 1922. Ti Jean’s devotion to St. Thérèse of Lisieux continued through decades; until death he watched for her roses from heaven. Even so, he left the Church at fourteen. Mystifying memories of Ste. Jeanne de Arc’s statues returned to him regularly, though. Hes believed that he was able to, at times, “stop being a maniacal drunkard” on account of “the Holy Mother”: “Ever since I instituted the little prayer, I've not been lushing.”
I suspect Kerouac’s imperfect faith is as common as it is in the end efficacious.
A. G. Mojtabai’s novella , published by Slant, is a recent example of literature that can draw one out of the banality of materialism and force us to grapple with the knowledge that . It can be read as an extended meditation on death and dying; by natural extension, it can also be read as an extended meditation on life and living. For if we don’t know what it means to die, can we be said to know what it means to live?
Four dear friends of mine have died in the past year. When you get to be my age, death and dying grow familiar. My brother died a few minutes before I arrived to visit him. But I saw him lying there. And my daughter Jennifer and I held her mother’s hand for about eight hours while she passed from coma into death. My first direct encounter with death took place when I was about 11 and discovered that the man sitting in the car in front of our house had committed suicide.
Saturday, October 16, 2021
Over the weekend, Venice logged yet another RV fire, this time outside Whole Foods. Dark plumes of smoke were visible from miles around. I was surprised to find on my last shopping trip that, three days after the blaze, the charred RV had not been removed. Now burned down to its metal frame, the RV remained in the same place where it had been parked for over a year. Soot covers the surrounding sidewalks and retail stores, and particles of ash and debris rustle in the wind. The windows of a nearby store were blown out and are boarded with plywood, and nearby vegetation is burned to a crisp. Someone scrawled “Boninville” on the RV, a reference to Los Angeles city councilmember Mike Bonin, whose inaction has frustrated residents living in deteriorating conditions alongside the homeless.
… the novel bursts with the life of so many unforgettable figures. They all ring true. Even the walk-on parts such as the Quartering Commandant, who regrets the vandalistic behaviour of the soldiers billeted at Brideshead, or the priest who administers the last rites to Lord Marchmain, Fr McKay, Glasgow Irish, are drawn with exquisite economy and are immediately recognizable, just as a great master of portraiture like John Singer Sargent, for example, was able to capture likenesses not only in his finished “swagger” portraits but also in sketches , using only a few perfectly sure pencil lines.
Friday, October 15, 2021
Unfortunately, as today’s American historians are demonstrating with increasing effectiveness (and controversy), much of this land’s history is colored by discrimination, hatred, exploitation, and violence.
Unfortunately, the same is also true of human history in general.
Within days of acquiring the dream house, Mr. Douthat awoke with a stiff neck. He found “a red swelling” six inches down from his left ear. “It’s just a boil,” said a doctor, his insouciant declaration the first of many diagnoses in which it was claimed that there was nothing physically wrong with him. Lyme—a debilitating bacterial disease acquired from deer-tick bites—was ruled out because many of his symptoms didn’t match a rigid checklist drawn up for the ailment by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This “diagnostic standardization,” Mr. Douthat writes, was “supposed to establish a consistent baseline for national case reporting, not rule out the possibility of atypical cases or constrain doctors from diagnosing them.” As a result of such inflexibility, he tells us, doctors miss “anywhere from a third to half of early Lyme cases.”
Thursday, October 14, 2021
My late wife Hilary, to whom I was wholly devoted, wanted me to find a new partner as soon as possible after she died, so much so that she brought up the subject more than once in her last months. “You’ll make a shitty singleton,” she warned me. I knew she was right, but I didn’t think it possible that I would get so lucky twice in a lifetime,
Wednesday, October 13, 2021
If you’ve ever been at a meeting of progressive Democrats, or even of the country club sort of Republicans who like to “get along” with them, such as the ones who define as “Never Trumpers,” you will detect an obvious disdain for working-class white ethnic groups. I have “passed” in those circles, being an attorney who practices in the so-called liberal field of immigration. Those who have not read my columns or heard me on the radio or TV assume I am one of them. It’s “Imitation of Life,” just substituting mindset for race. I’m not one of them, but I look like one of them and so the guard is down. Like that fly on the proverbial wall, I have access to what they say when they think no one is listening beyond the sterile bubble of elite wisdom.
When Brosman’s Breakwater appeared in 2009, I hailed its ambitious architecture, which drew into a single form meditations on the love found in a late remarriage to her long-estranged first husband, Patric Savage, alongside sketches of literary figures such as Mina Loy and D. H. Lawrence, whose troubled relationships with eros have much to teach us about where individual lives and entire civilizations go wrong. I had rarely seen a contemporary poet capable of entering so deeply, sharply, and unsparingly into that universal mystery of human life, the persistence and folly of romance.
While he deals most directly with this theme in Robbery Under Law — less a travel book than a sophisticated historical disquisition written following his return from a brief sojourn in revolutionary Mexico in 1938 — the concept of civilization under never-ending siege underlies all of his novels, which he succinctly described as ‘the creation of small independent systems of order’.
Tuesday, October 12, 2021
Not the pandemic itself, but the state’s response to it, has been a catastrophe for Britain. The waiting list for non-Covid medical treatment may soon approach 13 million people (out of a total population of only 67 million). Children have lost nearly a year of education. Mental health has decayed; domestic abuse has accelerated. Sovereign debt has soared; small business has been ravaged.
Monday, October 11, 2021
I very much liked The Language of God, and the impression I got of Collins while reading it was very positive. Perhaps he is one of those sad people who can compartmentalize mind and morals.
I think it is beginning to dawn on more and more people that what is still referred to as :higher education:" has become a joke — though not a very funny one. The older I get the happier I am for that day in 1965 when it occurred to me that I didn't want to spend the rest of my life in the faculty lounge.
Sunday, October 10, 2021
… World Renowned Psychiatrist: ‘Global Predators’ Fauci, Gates, and Schwab Behind the COVID ‘Reign of Terror’.“How does it make sense that they’re absolutely ignoring that in America now, we have over 13,000 reports of death (to the CDC) from the vaccine, and no one is investigating it?” he asked.
Breggin pointed out that in past years, if there had been only 200 deaths from all of the vaccines put together, it would have been considered a catastrophe.
“Now we have a vaccine that has more deaths than every other vaccine all put together. So how can we ignore that?” he continued.
Meanwhile, Breggin noted, there there are highly inflated numbers of COVID deaths that have been falsified by manipulating the reporting mechanisms.
Any student who was “traumatized” by a performance of one of the most compelling characters in literature by one of the best actors who ever lived deserves an “F.”
Some explanation is needed, of how a relatively weak and vulnerable and not-very-successful hominid proto-human later came to dominate the whole world and reach outward into the universe. How did that happen?
Saturday, October 09, 2021
The culture that produced the genius of a Balde began with the smallest of seeds. Today, the academic excellence and missionary drive of the Jesuits have planted universities and preparatory schools in their honor throughout the world. And it’s hard not to view the early beginnings of that educational dream through the lens of its later success.
I am a graduate of a Jesuit college. Edward Gannon, S.J. Was the most important intellectual and moral influence in my life. But Georgetown, Marquette, and Boston College seem more woke these days than Catholic. The current pontiff is not the sort of Jesuit who taught me.
Friday, October 08, 2021
I recently published Butchered by “Healthcare”, a book about how medicine has degenerated over the past 20 years. The corporations have been marketing drugs that barely worked or did not work. They gained power by spreading fear and disease-mongering. The covid story is a continuation of the same modus writ large and with astonishing chutzpah. The following is how the parts fit together. The other players in the scrum—the media, the tech companies, and the politicians—have motives related to the Pharma corporations.
Regarding the media, there's this: New York Times issues correction after egregiously exaggerating coronavirus child hospitalizations.
The number of administrators has exploded since the late 1990s, prompting many in and outside of academe to blame “administrative bloat” for the legal trouble. Bureaucrats now outnumber faculty 2 to 1 at public universities, double the ratio in the 1970s.
Thursday, October 07, 2021
Praise be appellative diversity! Mr Duck is joined this year in the football animal kingdom by Charlotte’s Panda Askew, Eastern Michigan’s Sidy Sow, and Hawk Wimmer of the Air Force Academy. Each had best keep his distance from Appalachian State center Baer Hunter.
One of the most unexpected of these authors turned out to be Kingsley Amis, whose books I’d picked up here and there in different editions: the rebarbative yellow Gollancz hardbacks, versions with that scattered-objects cover design that was so popular with publishers in the 1960s, chic modern-classics relaunches and one 1970s paperback () with a cover so lurid that I hadn’t been able to read it on a train. This took me back. I would have said, if asked, that was a classic and that and are both underrated and insightful novels of their time. But was I an admirer of the work as a whole? Well, I had every novel, including and ,some two dozen in total. So evidently yes. Did I agree with most of what they had to say? Hardly at all. They stayed and have gone on being disagreed with.
Wednesday, October 06, 2021
As the city remains in crisis, the dysfunction of its leadership was on full display last week. And so was the malpractice of our docile local media. As the bodies piled up, the city's reporters repeatedly failed to do their job by holding Kenney, Outlaw and Krasner accountable for the bloodshed.
Tuesday, October 05, 2021
Giacometti described abstraction as “the art of the handkerchief”. And that’s what the illustration looked like to me, nothing more… Why was abstraction necessary? I think it was. Its job was to take away the shadows that had dominated European art for centuries. It was only European art that used them.
Reading further through Ruden’s lengthy introduction, I became increasingly uneasy about her claim to “straightforwardness.” She starts by providing a characterization of each Gospel that is, in the main, unexceptionable, if not always accurate. She gives no indication, for example, that the Gospel of Luke is (with the Acts of the Apostles) part of a two-volume composition, and she thinks that this most non-docetic narrative was influenced by Gnosticism. She similarly states that the Gospel of John has the “strongest links to Gnosticism,” a view that few if any scholars after the time of Bultmann would maintain. Unless Ruden has access to evidence unavailable to the general run of competent New Testament scholars, one would have to declare these statements simply erroneous.8
Oh, I don't know about "no one." : I certainly encounter enough people who seem to have pledged fidelity to whatever the so-called experts say — even if better-qualified experts disagree.
Next step is to fire the traitorous Milley.
Certain intellectuals, Jews among them, attempt to hide their rabid Jew-hatred by focusing on the European Holocaust—on all the dead Jews—as a way of diverting attention from the impending (slow motion) Holocaust against living Jews. Because they oppose what was done to the Jews in World War Two, they feel justified, credentialed, to say that today’s attacks on Israel are ‘justified,’ that the Palestinians are now the true victims, (the ‘new Jews’ in a sense), and the Israeli Jews are their ‘Nazi’ persecutors.”
Twelve days after Sarah’s device was fully operational in August 2020, her score on a standard depression scale dropped to 14 from 33, and several months later, it fell below 10, essentially signaling remission, the researchers reported.
There is something gentle yet hard-edged here—Knox encourages us not to be taken in by desires to experience the effects of God’s grace; we should instead want to experience God. And as it is in the small arenas of our lives, so it is as we experience the large things of society and life.
Monday, October 04, 2021
Good indexes actually worked as they were supposed to, but they still attracted plenty of criticism. Even the greatest experts on indexing – the scholarly print professionals who compiled them – feared that they might prevent readers from going through their texts with the proper energy and attentiveness.
They should take a look at Willa Cather, and try reading people who did not write in English. There's that guy Dostoyevsky, for instance.
As these letters make clear, Gunn came in many guises. At one moment, he is all drift and easy-going charm; at other times, he is filled with determination. He can be dogmatic, especially about poetry, but he can also be open-minded, ready to learn.
Sunday, October 03, 2021
Dr. Robert Malone is a medical doctor and an infectious-disease researcher, and is recognized as the discoverer of in-vitro and in-vivo RNA transfection and the inventor of mRNA vaccines while he was at the Salk Institute in 1988. His research was continued at Vical in 1989, where the first in-vivo mammalian experiments were designed by him. Between 1988 and 1989, the doctor wrote the patent disclosures for mRNA vaccines.
Well, why should we trust him instead of a hack like Fauci?
Saturday, October 02, 2021
Allusive and playful, Ricks corrects easy critical assumptions in ways that would entertain any literature lover.[In] another essay re-composed from a lecture, “TS Eliot and ‘Wrong’d Othello”’ … he analyses Eliot’s notorious claim that, in his sonorous final monologue, Shakespeare’s Othello is “” (the italics are Eliot’s). Ricks shows you what perhaps you had heard but did not really see before—how Eliot’s criticism takes on the phrasing and diction of what he criticises. Far from distancing himself from Othello, Eliot is deeply involved in his words and thoughts. Suddenly you see that lines in that you have read a hundred times echo this marital tragedy. Eliot meets Shakespeare in a net of quotations and allusions
Friday, October 01, 2021
One of France's leading magazines, Le Spectacle Du Monde, ran a cover story titled "The Suicide of America." The magazine blamed America's retreat from Afghanistan on "a woke dictatorship" and questioned whether the American "empire was collapsing."