Images Conceits & Lollygags
September 8, 2013
About a decade ago, maybe more, a factory burned down somewhere in New England. It took a year to rebuild. For that whole year the owner of the factory kept paying his employees their full salaries until the plant reopened. I remember hearing an interview with the owner - I don't remember his name, or what the factory made, but I remember that the interviewer asked the owner why he kept paying out these salaries. The owner shrugged. "How many suits can I wear?" he replied. (more…)
September 7, 2013
This from my friend Howard Pearlstein:
I was asked about this and this is what I answered -- my objection not religious but semantic...
I am not an atheist and I never cared one way or the other about daily bible readings in elementary school.
My objection to the insertion of "Under God" has always been that it defeated the purpose of the Pledge.
Consider this, syntactically:
When you say: "One Nation, indivisible.." you're saying this is one indivisible nation. One whole coherent unit. That we are all one people bound by a common ideal.
When you say -- even worse, change the assertion that we are all, regardless of individual difference, all one people, when you change it to: (more…)
July 14, 2013
cabbage is not a fruit
but it will have to do
There are no strawberries
kale is not a fruit
but it will have to do
there is no cabbage
potatoes are not a fruit
I am tall,
You are short.
The consequences of this
Will soon be felt
May 10, 2013
Praise from one's editor is praise indeed. This from Fender Tucker, who is putting out the new edition of my 1987 novel Star Griffin:
I really enjoyed reading STAR GRIFFIN. When I edited it I saw all the fonts and formatted areas and thought it would be one of the spacey SF experiments that (more…)
May 3, 2013
When my mother was a little girl in the 1920s she used to go to the movies on Saturday, where, in addition to the feature movie and a newsreel and maybe a cartoon, they usually showed one episode of a weekly serial. These were called Cliffhangers -"The Perils of Pauline" is the classic example, and each episode would end with the hero -- or often heroine -- in some deadly peril. Often literally hanging off a cliff. My mother used to worry about the heroine hanging there all week until the next episode, and hope that someone was bringing her sandwiches.
April 10, 2013
It occurred to me in a moment of comparative idleness, while I was running some chord progressions on my electronic zither to get the right feel for the madrigal I’m composing in medieval French about the union of a strange quark and a heavy mu boson, that the personal essay — the blog, ifyou will — of today is the historian’s mother lode of tomorrow. (more…)
April 10, 2013
“Growing Pains” actor turned Christian film star Kirk Cameron is taking issue with comments famed physicist Stephen Hawking made about the existence of heaven. “There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers,” Hawking said of the human brain to the Guardian newspaper Monday. “That is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”
Cameron, a Christian evangelist who heads the online ministry, Way of the Master, responded on his Facebook page Wednesday, (more…)
February 13, 2013
Speaking before the Wisconsin State Convention of the NRA, lobbyist Bob Welch said that the organization would have to wait until the "Connecticut Effect" had dissipated before it could push through its agenda of loosening gun laws even further. The "Connecticut Effect" of which he speaks is, of course, the murder in Sandy Hookof 20 six and seven year old children and 6 adults who were trying to protect them. (more…)
December 15, 2012
From a post by TPM online:
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee attributed the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in part to restrictions on school prayer and religious materials in the classroom.
"We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools," Huckabee said on Fox News. "Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?"
Well! We seldom discuss God in the supermarket. That would explain why my bananas have brown spots all over them.
November 11, 2012
On Thursday, November 21 1963, there was a program on, the Korean War, narrated by Richard Boone. In it he recited the Houseman poem:
Here dead we lie
Because we did not choose
To live and shame the land
From which we sprung.
Life, to be sure,
Is nothing much to lose,
But young men think it is,
And we were young. (more…)