Saturday, June 25, 2022

An eye for homegrown natural wonders ¬

… Nature Just Beyond the Doorstep - WSJ. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

This lively parson and citizen-scientist can come off as one of Austen’s daft comic characters. In one of his more memorable passages, White recounts shouting at bees through a speaking trumpet, a period version of a megaphone, to see how well they could hear.

Reading plans …

… once upon a time: A funny thing happened on the way to 1946.

Not what you may think …

Infallibility: An Antidote to Intellectual Madness - The Catholic Thing. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Since God chose to intervene in human affairs, writes Newman, it should not surprise us that He would “make provisions for retaining in the world a knowledge of Himself.” Left to our own devices, we would inevitably bring God’s saving message to ruin. So He established the Church and provides her the gift of infallibility, whereby, through His power, she teaches without error what God has revealed and wishes the whole world to know.

Observant eye, accurate vocabulary …

“Homage to the Word”: On Robert B. Shaw’s “What Remains to Be Said: New and Selected Poems”. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

What Remains to Be Said contains some of the very best poems of recent decades. Among contemporary poets, Shaw stands out for his combination of thoughtfulness, emotional power, and technical panache. Most important, he is a good servant of the Logos, the generating spirit of language.

Quite an adventure …

The Curvature: Hobo’s Island.

Lovely …

 … Depuis le Jour — Renée Fleming.

Compose Gustave Charpentier was born on this date in 1860.

Anniversary …

… once upon a time: Communist soldiers smash into South Korea.

Not exactly literary...

 ...But these old photographs have a certain poetry to them

Something to think on …

That rifle hanging on the wall of the working-class flat or labourer's cottage is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there.
— George Orwell, born on this date in 1903

His own man …

… The Mysterious Albert Jay Nock ~ The Imaginative Conservative. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

What strikes me as fascinating is that my admiration of Nock and my seemingly continuous pull back to the man is as much a mystery as the man himself is! The guy was, to put it bluntly, an enigma. In his Memoirs, for example, we find out every thought he ever had, its origin, its evolution, and its end, but we learn absolutely nothing about his actual personal life. Not to put too fine a point on it, but he never mentions that he was once married, had two sons, and had been a priest in the Episcopal Church. It is only in the biographical works about Nock that we get any details, and even those are unsatisfactorily vague.

Faith and art …

Christopher Beha left the Catholic church and then came back. Now he’s writing a book about why. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

What advice would Beha offer to Catholic writers in 2022? “It’s tough,” he began. “I think truly my advice would be: Find a way to take pleasure and satisfaction in the doing of it. Because it is unlikely that the culture at large is going to give you external rewards for it. And the other thing is, even if they do give you external rewards for it, that’s not going to be worth how much work it is to do it well.”

Word of the Day …

 Hirrient | Word Genius.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Wiser than we knew …

Rowan Atkinson: ‘In a proper free society, you should be allowed to make jokes about absolutely anything’.
Shouldn’t comedy kick up at people in authority, and not down at those who have no power? “I think you’ve got to be very, very careful about saying what you’re allowed to make jokes about,” he says. “You’ve always got to kick up? Really? What if there’s someone extremely smug, arrogant, aggressive, self-satisfied, who happens to be below in society? They’re not all in houses of parliament or in monarchies. There are lots of extremely smug and self-satisfied people in what would be deemed lower down in society, who also deserve to be pulled up. In a proper free society, you should be allowed to make jokes about absolutely anything.”

Anyone who attended Catholic schools for as long as I did knows how to make jokes about the faith. And I can’t believe in a God who has no sense of humor. 

Good …

… Murals at San Francisco School Should Stay for Now, Judge Says - The New York Times.

“When I as an Indigenous Pacific Islander look at the mural, I am hurt and offended,” wrote Faauuga Moliga, vice president of the San Francisco Board of Education, in a text. “I am certain most people of color who have viewed the mural at Washington feel the same as me.”

Do you think Arnautoff maybe didn’t intend to flatter George Washington or the U.S., but was reminding us of an unpleasant truth that we ought to remain aware if?

 

Deadline nears …

… Liberty: Last Days to Submit.

Authenticity …

Gay Junk. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Katie was one of my favorite reviewers when I was The Inquirer’s book editors. The passage she quotes here from Cassandra Snow’s book is wonderful: 
 “If you try a prayer to the Earth, a god, your ancestors, the Universe, love, and it doesn’t work, if your inner critic comes out or your trauma screams “wrong,” that’s okay. Step away for a few minutes. You’ll get there. Try easing into it slowly. A quick prayer that is literately just “thank you” when you get unexpected luck or a despairing “please help” when you’re feeling your absolute worst is enough. The intention is clear. The Divine is listening. You’ll grow slowly from there.”

 

Hmm …

 U.S. Journalists See Turmoil in News Industry Amid Passion for Their Work | Pew Research Center.

A large majority of journalists say they come across misinformation at least sometimes when they are working on a story, and while most say they are confident in their ability to recognize it, about a quarter of reporting journalists (26%) say they have unknowingly reported on a story that was later found to contain false information.

How do they know it is misinformation, a designation that, as often as not has political connotation? There was plenty of misinformation printed about Covid-19. Early in 2020 you could find that the Wuhan laboratory did experiments on bats regarding coronaviruses. It wouldn’t lake to find that they raised their own bats and didn’t buy them at food markets. I have seen articles in the paper I used to work  for where the line between reporting and opinion seemed blurred.

Something to think on …

Uniform ideas originating among entire peoples unknown to each other must have a common ground of truth.
— Giambattista Vico, born on this date in 1668

A life in jazz …

… Never Missing a Beat. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.) 

Reviewers are paired with books either because they know the subject, or they have an ax to grind. In the case of Shipton's On Jazz, I have both. I am a jazz musician, like my father and grandfather before me, and my brother beside me. As the black sheep of the family—they're all tenor saxophonists, while I play guitar—I have ground my ax into the ears of audiences from the Arctic Circle to the cellars of Paris and the dancehalls of San Francisco. So Alyn Shipton has my deepest sympathy—not the sympathy of pity, but the sympathy of fellow-feeling.

Well, not exactly …

“Slave-Labor Bill” passed by Congress.

Word of the Day …

… Firstling | Word Genius.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

This pretty much sums things up …

… The experts are lying to you - UnHerd.

That figures of authority are so often caught in lies has brought about an erosion of confidence in our institutions. I barely scraped a GCSE in Biology, but when esteemed scientific journals are publishing authors who maintain that “sex is a spectrum”, it gives the false impression that my understanding of the subject is superior to theirs.  Experts appear to have forgotten that the legitimacy of their claims is grounded in evidence and research, not by waving around a doctoral certificate.

Of a sort …

… Fairy Tale by Amorak Huey | American Life in Poetry. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Unwoke …

… We Will Not Join Multitudes or Dine With You Against The Scriptural Principles - Ndukuba, Mbanda and Kazimba Replies Welby - Advent Cable Network Nigeria.

I wouldn't mind seeing Cardinal Onaiyekan elected to succeed Pope Francis.

Good for philosophy …

… ‘Metaphysical Animals’ and ‘The Women Are Up to Something’: A Philosophy of Their Own. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Both of these books chronicle the women’s overlapping friendships, the evolution of their thinking, and the significant contributions they made to philosophy—a field dominated by men even to this day. In the wake of World War II, which raised pressing questions about human nature, they pushed back against the dominant view among philosophers of the time that there are no objective moral truths and that values like good, bad, right and wrong are essentially subjective projections or “the upshot of one’s particular upbringing.”

Listen in …

Virtual Memories: Episode 491 – Andrew Jamieson.

Sad anniversary …

… once upon a time: Communists targeted in the entertainment industry.

Daily Poem …

Henri Cole Anagram.

Sounds about right …

The Morning Briefing: Elon Musk Is the Boss All Woke Losers Need.

You don’t even have to be that old to know how absurd it is to think that public criticism of the person who signs one’s paychecks could happen without consequences.

Something to think on …

Never do anything complicated when something simple will serve as well. It's one of the most important secrets of living.
— Erich Maria Remarque, born on this date in 1898

Fighting back …

… 'Against the Great Reset' | The Pipeline.

Starting today, and continuing for the next 17 weeks, The Pipeline will present excerpts from each of the essays contained in Against the Great Reset: 18 Theses Contra the New World Order, to be published on October 18 by Bombardier Books and distributed by Simon and Schuster, and available now for pre-order at the links. 

Read on, pleas.

 

Word of the Day …

… Plangent | Word Genius.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Very interesting …

… The Magician's Twin: Why C.S. Lewis Struggled Over Intelligent Design - HillFaith.

A great painting by a great artist …

The Annunciation.

Henry OssawaTanner was born on this date in 1859. He gers something about the Annunciation that I don’t think any other quite has. It hangs in the Philadelphia museum of Art.

Something to think on …

Humor is a prelude to faith and laughter is the beginning of prayer.
— Reinhold Niebuhr, born on this date in 1892

Something else to worry about …

… Solar storms may cause up to 5500 heart-related deaths in a given year | New Scientist.

Hmm …

 I miss the Simon Ravens | Tim Dawson | The Critic Magazine. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

One of the compensations of a less permissive society — or, at least, a society in which un-Christian behaviour is neither celebrated nor sanctified by politicians and the law — is that deliberate transgressions are far more shocking and, therefore, far more enjoyable. A successful wag needs to operate within a wider system of beliefs and expectations that he or she can pick at and degrade. It is amusing to ponder what Raven would make of Britain now.


Word of the Day …

… Loricate | Word Genius.

Monday, June 20, 2022

If ever there was a must-read, this is it …

“Why don’t you go jump off a cliff?”

In today’s world, the hatred directed towards high-profile victims-du-jour is such that inspires some poor schnook to load his (it’s almost always a “his”) garage with firearms and make an attack. Then we can say it wasn’t us, it wasn’t 
our hatred, it was a “lone wolf.” Last week there was an assassination attempt on a Chief Justice, the following day, a hostile mob gathered around the home of a second Supreme Court justice and threatened to target her children. Nothing “happened,” but the ritual had a chilling familiarity. How much of this public unleashing of hatred is an attempt to incite a “lone wolf” attack, as happened in the case of the miserable assassin wannabe, Nicholas Roske? Is there a unacknowledged hope that if we stoke an atmosphere of public hatred someone will eventually tip over the top and “do something”?

Me too …

 I Am a Restorationist. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

But slowly, so slowly, I began to learn things. Part of it came from my study of Medieval and Renaissance literature. Part came from my ending up as a professor at a Dominican-run college, so that I—whose boyhood church and school were named after him—was reading Thomas Aquinas for the first time. Part came from my having to teach Renaissance and Medieval art and architecture. A great part came from my dear wife, a Protestant, who knew the old hymns, so that I was singing, for the first time in my life—because she insists on going to Mass only where the music is real—such powerful songs as “The King of Love My Shepherd Is,” and “Thine Is the Glory.”

I have had a low opinion of the Novus Ordo since Pope Pill imposed it on us. I just don’t have any other church to go to. Woe is me. (These things really mean something to you if you’re 80 years old and are a person of faith.)

Let us not be angry with her …

… let us pray for her: Libs of TikTok finds a girl who’d get pregnant just to have the abortion.

I wonder if she knows that the baby she would kill has a unique genetic code and woukd be neither her nor the father. And if you don’t want to have a child, don’t get pregnant. That was the message of Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, who disapproved of abortion.

Hmm …

Woke Jesuit School in Big Trouble With the Bishop.

You may not like Catholic teaching, you may disagree with it, you may even despise it, but if you are logically consistent, you should be happy there is a Catholic Church willing to be, well, Catholic. If a bishop doesn’t have the integrity to profess his own faith, he isn’t worth the ring or episcopal hat he wears. Religious diversity and freedom are built on the right to reject as well as embrace certain religious truths. And shouldn’t schools that reject Catholic teaching not advertise that they teach the Catholic faith? Joining another denomination, or no denomination, or embracing secular humanism are all options—no need for false advertising.
I am the graduate of a Jesuit college. Edward Gannon S.J. was my mentor. I owe him more than can express. But I no longer respect the Jesuits. It seems to me they have decided to be woke rather than Catholic. And I am definitely not woke.

This guy is such a clown …

… Bill Nye slapped with history lesson after claiming Juneteenth marks day 'last slaves' were freed, America built on slave labor - TheBlaze.

I can’t believe that anybody takes this guy seriously.

Something to think on …

I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year's fashions.
— Lillian Hellman, born on this date in 1905

The trouble with experts …

… WHO boss 'secretly blames China lab for Covid leak' - The Mail.

I wonder how long he has thought this. There was evidence for it not long after the initial outbreak

Word of the Day …

… Scission | Word Genius.

Just so you know …

Subpopulation of Greenland Polar Bears Found by NASA-Funded Study.

Sunday, June 19, 2022

It’s a sound lesson …

… What I Learned From My Father About The Prodigal Son.

This is kind of unnerving …

 … Bishop Fulton Sheen predicts 2020.

Fulton Sheen died in 1979.

Talk about dumb …

 Male blood donor turned away from clinic after he refused to answer whether he was pregnant | Daily Mail Online.

'As a public body we take cognisance of changes in society around how such questions may be asked without discrimination and have a duty to promote inclusiveness – therefore all donors are now asked the same questions.'

No, Professor. Your duty is to get blood to those who need it. Asking dumb-ass questions is going to prove counterproductive. Since Professor Turner is a biotechnologist, and not just a U.S. Supreme Court nominee, i presume he knows what a woman is. (I was surprised, when Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson said she couldn’t say what a woman is because she’s not a biologist, that the follow-up question wasn’t “Are you a woman?”

Something to think on …

In difficult times carry something beautiful in your heart.
— Blaise Pascal, born on this date in 1623

Word of the Day …

… Cruciverbalist…  | Word Genius.

Sounds compelling …


Readers who know Beckett’s work will note the echoes that resound here of the postwar trilogy, in particular, but also of many of the plays, and of later, astringent texts such as Ill Seen Ill Said, The Lost Ones and Stirrings Still. There are passages that conjure up with eerie immediacy the voice of Beckett’s derelict narrators – for it is all one voice, really – by turns declamatory, piteous, bitter and scurrilously funny.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Not good …

… Number of Americans who believe in God drops to all-time low, Gallup poll - TheBlaze.

More about Sinclair Lewis …

… Sinclair Lewis in Duluth | Minnesota Digital Library.

Happy birthday …

 "No one was saved": Paul McCartney out-harshed Lennon's Critique with 4 words - The Anchoress.

It just sounds funny to me …

… Paul Davis On Crime: A Little Humor: Racist Or Not?

Our town …

… Man Bites 2 Cops, But DA Wonders If He Had Criminal Intent | Big Trial | Philadelphia Trial Blog. (Hat tip, Paul Davis.)

Trying for laughs …

 P.G. Wodehouse and the Idea of Genius - Front Porch Republic. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

… the unlikely, unexpected nature of his verbal wizardry marks it all the more readily as genius. An essential criterion of genius, after all, is that we can’t explain its origin. It seems to come out of nowhere, perhaps even from some otherworldly source. The more limited and specific the type of genius, moreover, the more uncanny it seems. We take Einstein’s genius for granted and make his name synonymous with intellectual brilliance. Shakespeare looms, the unapproachable Bard, his genius self-evident as the sun. But that a conventionally educated popular writer should become a giant of English prose—that gives us pause. It disrupts our assumptions about achievement, and changes how we view the people around us.

Welcome to the club …

… I Am Weak - The Catholic Thing. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

In our age, when the silence of God that gives Endo’s novel its title, is so often taken to be the silence of non-existence, the silence of nothingness, we presume as I once did that the opposite of faith is doubt. But sometimes it is mere weakness.

I have often said that I could have been a Crusader. I could fight and die for the faith. But be crucified or burned at the stake? No way.


Interesting appraisal

The Kindly Race of Men: A Consideration of Sinclair Lewis. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The one organ indispensable to a social novelist — much more so than, for example, a brain — is the Cold Eye: the ability to see one's characters in all their folly and self-absorption, from a detached point of view — and yet with cynicism kept always at bay by some tenderness and a little envy. In that respect, at least, Sinclair Lewis was a great social novelist, which is of course a much higher thing than a mere satirist. The Cold Eye is everywhere in his books: he could not be sentimental if he wanted to — which, of course, he didn't.

The mystery of a river …

… Zealotry of Guerin: Poetry and Fiction by Christopher Guerin: Curvature.

Something to think on …

 Public toilets have a duty to be accessible, poetry does not.

— Geoffrey Hill, born on this date in 1932

Word of the Day …

… Lunate | Word Genius.

Friday, June 17, 2022

I sure hope it does …

… Will literature survive? - UnHerd. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

… in 2019, Joyce Carol Oates came to Claremont McKenna where I was teaching and did an intimate Q&A. I brought up the writer John Updike; I was teaching a novel by him which was hard for students to read partly because he was sexist and backward in his racial attitudes, but even more because he described his worlds very, very densely. He would spend pages describing what a character sees driving down a country road at night. Students had a hard time even tracking it — they could, but they had to try. (Note: at least one of them, once he got the hang of it, loved it, which was great.)

I wanted to hear what Oates had to say about it because she’s of an older generation; she and Updike were peers. What she said was (paraphrasing again): yes, John could describe anything and everything but no one wants to read that any more, because (directly quoting) “people have moved on”/  I was really surprised by this. “Moved on”? We’ve moved on from the world we live in? How is that possible?

June Poetry at North of Oxford …

 … A Micro Poem and Four Haiku by Katherine Gotthardt.

… The Daughter Who Tends to Her Mother by John Grey.

… Better Than Streaming John Dorroh.

… Amber Alert by Cameron Morse.

… Old Barn by Richard Dinges.

Nice to know …

Breasts Are Saving Japan From Woke Culture.

Manga artists tend to draw women with tiny waists and larger breasts, or at the very least, they tend to draw women in ways that make them more sexually appealing than normal. Feminists in Japan are naturally angry about this, but interestingly, data shows that around 70 percent of manga artists are women according to the article. Moreover, the majority of these artists are in their 20s and 30s.

The assault on meaning …

… Edward Feser: Economic and linguistic inflation. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The author of the article just linked to gives as examples words like “awesome” and “incredible.” At one time, if an author used these terms to describe something, you could be confident that it was indeed highly unusual and impressive – a rare and extremely difficult achievement, a major catastrophe, or what have you. Now, of course, these terms have become utterly trivialized, applied to everything from some fast food someone enjoyed to a tweet one liked. At one time, calling something “awesome” or “incredible” conveyed significant information because these terms would be applied only to a small number of things or events. Today it conveys very little information because the words are applied so indiscriminately.

Good for him …

… Bishop says school cannot be called Catholic anymore over its refusal to take down LGBTQ and BLM flags - TheBlaze.

I fear the Jesuits are no longer the order I knew.

Something to think on …

It's a failure of national vision when you regard children as weapons, and talents as materials you can mine, assay, and fabricate for profit and defense.
— John Hersey, born on this date in 1914

Good for her …

… Conservative Christian student sues university for silencing her | The College Fix.
G
“Maggie has always respectfully shared her religious or political views, which every student is entitled to do under the First Amendment,” according to Walters. “It is a sad day for civil dialogue and freedom of speech when universities can issue gag orders like those issued against Maggie for nothing more than expressing her beliefs — beliefs held by millions of Americans.”

 I hope she  wins big time. (Her university might was to consult with Oberlin College.

 

Word of the Day …

… Dactylonomy | Word Genius.

Calling home from the highway …

… once upon a time: Talking on the phone while driving in 1946.

Grim anniversary …

… once upon a time: The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!

Thanks to Putin, Russia has resumed its old ways.

Arts funding in the UK...

...Encouraging news from Art Fund

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Very interesting …

A writer’s meditation on Updike’s meditation on the Resurrection. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Too bad …

Just a Minute: Tracy Letts’ new drama defies logic and plausibility. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

In The Minutes, Letts presents some big ideas about our country. Yet one wishes he had spent an hour or two in a library to learn something about his subject. Regrettably, he appears not to have bothered. This does not prevent him, however, from lecturing his audience in a tone that mixes hysterical shrieking with bombast and wholesale ignorance. To explain why this is, I must give away the play’s big surprise. I can’t really say that this is a spoiler, though, as that would suggest there was something that was being spoiled.

RIP …

… Baxter Black, cowboy poet and 'Morning Edition' commentator, dies at 77 : NPR.


(Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Contemporary journalism …

USA TODAY removed 23 stories from website, other platforms following audit of reporter’s work.

Time for a chuckle …

… Paul Davis On Crime: A Little Humor: Tickets For Tonight.

The novel these days …

What the “men don’t read novels” debate gets wrong about fiction. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)


… I don’t think [Ben] Judah is entirely wrong about the modern fiction landscape. If I receive yet another proof of a novel that claims to explore “women’s anger” or “women’s pain” I might actually inflict pain on someone. There is, among many men I’ve spoken to, a feeling that fiction is an indulgence at a time when the complexities of the world require vigilance. Quite a few say they want to read the sort of 21st-century social panorama that Judah conjures. So would I.

Maybe …

… Black Death origin mystery solved... 675 years later.

Let’s get ready to rumble …

… Pro-Abortion Group Declares 'Open Season' on Pro-Life Groups.

The new segregation …

Pan-African studies professor tells whites that for Juneteenth, 'Please don’t ask if you can come to the cookout'.


And the rest of us get to foot the bill …

… With Juneteenth, Federal Employees Now Get 44 Paid Days Off Each Year.

There must be some way to cut government — all of it — back down to size. We fought to be independent for this crap?

The real spin …

… once upon a time: Why on earth did I get rid of all my LP and 45 records?

Another dubious news source …

… Reuters Pulls A Fast One - But Internet Remembers - Victory Girls Blog.

Something to think on …

How lovely this world is, really: one simply has to look.
— Joyce Carol Oates, born on this date in 1938

Good to know …

Backlash Against NSBA Letter Accusing Parents of Being 'Domestic Terrorists' Continues.

The NSBA has seen its revenue from dues cut in half, and there are questions about its survival. Meanwhile, some other state school board organizations are looking at creating an alternative national school board organization

A spot of sweertness …

… Doing the Bills by Lee Upton | American Life in Poetry. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Today’s world …

… Top Shots: Compelling Images From Around Our Region. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Word of the Day …

… Paleography | Word Genius.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Just so you know …

… Scuttlebutt | Word Genius.

Let’s appeal it to the Supreme Court …

Happy the Elephant Isn’t Legally a Person, Top New York Court Rules. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



How innovative …

… Campus Reform | FL college is helping 'students think for themselves'.

Brooklyn College lecturer Kathryn Joyce argues in Salon that Flagler's institute is an example of "Republican-led legislatures...using taxpayers dollars to implant conservative ideology in public institutions." 

 Thinking for oneself is conservative ideology? 

Hmm …

 As summer begins, US COVID-19 cases six times higher than last year | The Hill.

Happy Birthday …

… once upon a time: Has any U.S. president been more polarizing?

Q&A …

SHORT CONVERSATIONS WITH POETS: ANGE MLINKO. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

There’s a lot of truth to Keats’s remark that “if poetry comes not as naturally as the leaves to a tree, it had better not come at all.” I won’t sit down to a blank page—well, screen—unless I feel the narrative coalescing in my head. (“My head,” I say, though poems begin in the ear; “narrative,” I say, though I think poems are powered by rhyme and metonym, not story.) Perhaps what I mean is: when I have a direction from A to B, and a musical phrase to start with, then I’m on my way. And it goes fast.

The once and future media …

‘Lost Illusions’ Review: A Not-So-Free Press. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)


The rollicking middle of the film, which revels in the sordid machinations of the Parisian gutter press, ranks right beside Howard Hawks’s “His Girl Friday” and Ron Howard’s “The Paper” among the most gleeful cinematic exposés of shameless newspapering. In barbed voiceover narration that sounds as much like Wolfe as Balzac, we learn how the game works. Papers are divided between the royalist press and the liberal opposition, but both sides agree that controversy is the supreme value, so all opinions are for sale. Observers of today’s integrity-challenged cultural criticism will nod with recognition. Though arts writing today is corrupted primarily by ideology rather than cash, in both eras flimsy or trite efforts are hailed as masterworks by those whose employability seems to depend on their willingness to toady to outside forces.


Something to think on …

Our principle, that the abstract is the unreal, moves us steadily upward. It forces us first to rejection of bare primary qualities, and it compels us in the end to credit Nature with our higher emotions. That process can cease only where Nature is quite absorbed into spirit, and at ever stage of the process we find increase in reality.
— Bernard Bosanquet, born on this date in 1848

Word of the Day …

… Oxfordian | Word Genius.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Hey Señor …

… mind your own business: Mexican President Pledges to Influence American Elections - Trump Train News.

Well, I’m sure they also know he’s a shithead …

… and should be subject to the usual ridicule: Russian leader's bodyguards 'collect his excrement on foreign trips and take it back to Moscow' | Daily Mail Online.

Poor baby …

Washington Post in-house spat shows we’ve gone overboard with therapeutic ‘me’ culture

This a guy who doesn’t know what to at a buffet. He doesn’t have an eating disorder. He has a thought disorder. 

Good…

… Los Angeles high school sued by Jewish parent for its 'racially divisive, anti-Semitic' curriculum | Daily Mail Online.
 
I can’t be the only person who is worried about the anti-Semitism on the left. The same people who accuse others of being Nazis seem to have adopted one of the real Nazis’ characteristic traits. And I’m supposed to trust them? Screwez-vous I say.

Just so you know …

… once upon a time: Things You May Not Know About Mark Twain.

Something to think on …

I do not want merely to possess a faith, I want a faith that possesses me.
— Charles Kingsley, born on this date in 1819

Word of the Day …

… Mononym | Word Genius.

Saturday, June 11, 2022

A wonderul piece …

… The English degenerate | Books | The Guardian.

Margaret Drabble really gets Powys. I read a lot of him in the “70s. I remember reading his autobiography when I lived in Germantown and being thrilled to read of his walking don Germantown Avenue. There is probably nothing in all of literature like Porius.

Be careful who you pick a fight with …

…There may be more of them than you think:  The Left’s War on Christianity and Nationalism.

And some of us like to fight.

Happy birthday …

… Paul Davis On Crime: Feral Cat Survivor Of Murdered Litter Turns 14.

Poetry and wonder …

… Anecdotal Evidence: 'Half-Hidden from Sight'. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

I’ve been a fan of de la Mare since the fourth grade, when I first read “The Listeners.” But it’s nice to be reminded of Vaughan.

Worth watching …

BBC 1967 Adaptation of “Sword of Honour” Now Available. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Travelin’ man …

Mark Twain’s Hawaii: A Humorous Romp through History.

More than a color …

 Zealotry of Guerin: Poetry and Fiction by Christopher Guerin: Green, Terzata #50.

Something to think on …

No man so wise that he may not easily err if he takes no other counsel than his own. He that is taught only by himself has a fool for a master.
— Ben Jonson, born on this date in 1572

A mystery …

…  Chupacabra' caught on camera in Amarillo - TheBlaze.

Word of the Day …

 Wheeple | Word Genius.

Mastery …

 … Form in Formless Times. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Centenary

Over the rainbow.  (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Judy Garland was born on this date 100 years ago.

Remembering …

… Inviting a Friend to Supper by Ben Jonson | Poetry Foundation. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Ben Jonson was born on this date in 1572,


Friday, June 10, 2022

Telling it to the gas bags …

Mother Tells Congress Gun Control Laws Didn’t Save Her Son Because They…Do…Not…Work.

Hughes Klucken described her experience in the black community of Atlanta, Georgia, by saying, “I am walking testimony of how the criminal justice system and gun control laws (which are steeped in racism, by the way) have failed the black community. It is the curse of the black community, and something has to change. Thoughts and prayers and calls for more gun control aren’t enough. How about letting me defend myself against evil? Do you think I’m not capable or trustworthy to handle firearms? Do you think the Second Amendment does not apply to people that look like me? You who call for more gun control are the same ones that call to defund the police. Who is supposed to protect me?” she asked. “I teach people how to use firearms and empower others that look like me to understand that the Second Amendment is their right, too.”

A cautionary tale …

… once upon a time: Read about the Missouri man who started a wildfire at Lake Tahoe and went on to become a celebrated folk hero.

Anniversary …

… once upon a time: 1953 / June 10 / Eisenhower rejects calls for isolationism.

Something to think on …

Those who created this country chose freedom. With all of its dangers. And do you know the riskiest part of that choice they made? They actually believed that we could be trusted to make up our own minds in the whirl of differing ideas. That we could be trusted to remain free, even when there were very, very seductive voices - taking advantage of our freedom of speech - who were trying to turn this country into the kind of place where the government could tell you what you can and cannot do.
— Nat Hentoff, born on this date in 1925

Word of the Day …

… Eudaemonism | Word Genius.

Thursday, June 09, 2022

What’s old is new again …

Remembering while watching the “1/6 hearing”.

Interesting and disturbing …

A Disturbing Poll in the Aftermath of the Attempted Assassination of Brett Kavanaugh.

Perhaps the most striking aspect of the poll is the generational difference. Older men and women of either party are significantly less likely to approve of the assassination of political opponents than their younger counterparts.

I started life in North Philly. I happen to be street smart and street tough. The younger generation, so far as this old man can tell, seem to think that talk alone counts. Talk can sometimes. The guy who once came at me while opening a switchblade certainly figured out something when I positioned my walking stick (I’ve been carrying them for years) in a somewhat peculiar way and said to him in a perfect Clint Eastwood sotto voce, “Go ahead, make my day,”  He figured out that I wasn’t going to hit him in the head exactly. I was going to take out one of his eyes. He folded up his knife and walked away. Smart move, fellow.

Contemporary journalism …

… The Washington Post's week from Hell | Fox News.

"The Washington Post LIED and DID NOT contact me before including me in their story on Johnny Depp, despite reporting they did so," ThatUmbrellaGuy tweeted, sharing time stamps of his tweet calling out the article and Lorenz's email to him sent minutes later.

I spent quite a few years in the newsroom. Maybe the Post should hire me to edit Lorenz. She sure sounds like she could use an editor. And by the way, this is not a criticism of Lorenz. Everybody needs an editor. Meeting deadline is not as easy a some might think. You often don’t time to check everything. That’s where the editor comes in.

 


Another example …

… of the worst political class in our history: Debbie Stabenow blasted for dismissing surging gas prices. Except for the fact that I do not approve of capital punishment (like Auberon Waugh I think it’s wrong to kill people) I would nominate people like this for the Ceaușescu treatment.

Time for a real chuckle …

… Paul Davis On Crime: A Little Humor: The Genie.

Who says you can’t go home again …

Sherlock Holmes didn't go in for ghosts — but the fictional detective Arthur Conan Doyle had other ideas.

Something to think on …

A really interesting life has embraced everything from the most magnificent exultation to the depths of tragedy. I would say that's tremendous experience. But I wouldn't say enjoyment is an accurate summary of it.
— Marcia Davenport, born on this date in 1903

Just so you know …

2022 Monarch Butterfly Update.

Word of the Day …

… Deasil | Word Genius.

Wednesday, June 08, 2022

A wondrous poem …

… Magnetism - Poetry Archive. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

The face of war …

… In Photos: 100 Days Of War In Ukraine. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

A strictly gay perspective …

… Commentary: Stop Saying 'LGBT' - The Ohio Star. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
Until recently, being gay was a crime nearly everywhere. (It’s still a capital offense in many nations.) In the United States in living memory, gay bars were raided by police. Government employees discovered to be gay were fired unceremoniously. Until the 1980s, gays in most U.S. states could go to prison. In Idaho, the punishment was a life sentence. Not until 2003 were the last of these laws struck down by the Supreme Court. There were never such laws about transsexuals

Somebody tell YouTube …

… Former PA Congressman Pleads Guilty to Federal Election Fraud - Trump Train News.

Not all stories of voter fraud are disinformation. And they sit on no court.

Latter-day dictators …

… YouTube censors New York Post interview.

I gather that some readers of this blog think that when I link to something I must agree with tit. Well, no. I link to things I think are worth reading and considering. What a narrow-minded bastard I’d be if I only linked to what I agreed with. That’s a great way of learning nothing. People nowadays are so preoccupied with proving that they’re always right. And who is YouTube to think they have the right to overrule the First Amendment? Find another line of work, assholes. Oh, and this some plausible, if not conclusive evidence that some vote fraud took place in the 2020 election. Some courts have handed judgements regarding. Read the news, YouTube, before you issue ex cathedra judgments. God forbid they ever consider an idea they already subscribe to.

Sad news …

… once upon a time: Belated obituary written by a tired old man.

Good for them …

… Colorado Bishops Ask Lawmakers Who Back Abortion Rights to Forgo Communion | Newsmax.com.

I am a cradle Catholic. I do not have the right to pick and choose among the Church’s doctrines. If you don’t agree with one of its key doctrines and for some reason still want to go to church, find another. You might also want to check out the science (that “fetus” is genetically unique).

Remembering …

… once upon a time: Belated obituary written by a tired old man.

Maybe they weren’t so hysterical after all …

once upon a time: Hysteria then and now in America.

There are plenty of toadies around these days who believe anything the MSM and the government hacks tell them. At least back then there were people who challenged the witch hunt were the heroes. Trust me. We will soon know how wrong the “experts” were about Covid.

Call for submissions …

PANDEMIC OF VIOLENCE II – POETS SPEAK.

Something to think on …

Everything turns out to be valuable that one does for one’s self without thought of profit.
— Marguerite Yourcenar, born on this date in 1994

The ebb and flow of fame …

When Barbara Pym Couldn’t Get Published. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Word of the Day …

… Zaftig | Word Genius.

Today is …

World Oceans Day | United Nations.

Tuesday, June 07, 2022

RIP …

… Jim Seals, of soft rock duo Seals and Crofts, dies aged 80 | Music | The Guardian.

Sweet …

… Pro-Abortion Terrorists Firebomb Buffalo Pro-Life Pregnancy Center | National Review.

Very thoughtful …

… The Pope of Russell Square | Commonweal Magazine. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The idea of poetic impersonality is closely related to Eliot’s self-declared classicism. The classic in Eliot’s view is not in the first place the work of an individual genius. It is rather a piece of literary art that is resonant of a specific civilization—one whose language gives voice to a particular culture and history at the peak of its maturity. The unique genius that produces it is not that of an individual author but the spirit of a particular age and a particular people. Virgil’s greatness springs from his place in the history of the Roman Empire, as well as in the evolution of the Latin language. The classical work brings a national language to a point of perfection, and its ability to do so, ironically, is what makes its appeal so universal.

 

An important anniversary …

… once upon a time: Let us now be absolved of all allegiance to the State.

This sounds worrisome …

… TWO NEW STUDIES SHOW LINK BETWEEN INCURABLE, DEGENERATIVE BRAIN DISEASE AND THE EXPERIMENTAL COVID-19 VACCINE.

Two new clinical studies – one peer-reviewed by researchers in Turkey, and one pre-print by researchers in France – have begun to establish an alarming link between an incurable, degenerative brain disease called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) and the experimental Covid-19 vaccine.

I used to be a medical editor. I am at least medically literate. But those who place their faith in the media and the government will doubtless object to this.