July 06, 2010

Spanning the Globe to Bring You the Constant Variety of Posts

[Professor Evans] spoke to me about man's search for God, how that search is the "spirit" of "spirituality," and how it is manifested throughout great literature, whether it could be called "Christian" or not. At the time, I was more interested in how I could identify things as "Christian" or "not Christian," rather than this vague spirituality he was talking about. I was ultimately won over to Evan's spiritual reading of literature by his recommendation of the novels of Patrick White, - Deal Hudson on "Inside Catholic"

I’m always suspicious of vacation. This can’t last...Another year or two and these kids are going to be too big for this, or too busy or...Every year we do the same things, though we’ve forgotten why we do them. We drive to Point Betsie and watch the sunset. We stop at the mineral springs to drink the sulphur water said to contain health-reviving properties. We swim. We hike. We play tennis. Each day a triathalon to offset the ice cream and cherry fritters that are never as good as we remember them being. We drive down Graves Road in the dark and look for deer. And we look in at the three shops in Beulah...“It’s the climate,” my husband says. Morning is Spring, evening is Fall, and the afternoon, from noon to six is a perfect Summer. As the days pass, my oldest son’s jaw, which has been set forward since the end of the school year, begins to recede. He smiles and engages in conversation, which shouldn’t be as big a deal as it is. My kids don’t fight with each other when they’re with their cousins; so much discipline replaced by positive peer pressure. And somehow, everyone becomes uncommonly good-looking as their hair bleaches out, the skin browns, and eyes brighten. My own kids look like palominos crawling on the sand, each muscle set off by sun and shadow. "The world doesn't owe you a trip to the lake each summer," it's been said. Oh, but it does, I'm afraid. - Betty Duffy

I find [the hearings] depressing because [Elena] Kagan epitomizes the kind of careerism I loathe. She has almost always talked as if she knew there was a tape recorder in the room and has always maneuvered as if her road map was her permanent record. Her whole career has been an act of self-grooming. Kagan is not a major legal scholar. Rather, she has published just enough stuff to allow her to claim to be a scholar and for her supporters, in and out of the press, to say she's a scholar with a straight face. She's never been a judge, and her litigation record as solicitor general, while impressive, mostly amounted to checking off another box to get her on the court. - Jonah Goldberg

Kagan edited a medical opinion to give a policy dimension to justify sucking the brains out of children just before being born...The sad thing is the people who will confirm a judge that willingly subverted the truth. Great judge she will make. Even worse is that her subversion of the ACOG statement was used by the Supreme Court to strike down the Nebraska ban on Partial Birth Abortion. - Jeff Miller of "Curt Jester", with more compelling reason of not liking this confirmation

Art, he says, has always been about “trying to alleviate the pain of existence”. Modern art “collaborates with misery as opposed to trying to oppose it”. “A painting by Titian is like a Leningrad, holding out against the forces of the world. Even if they’re having to eat rats in there, they still will never surrender to it. Whereas the art of Tracey Emin is a complete capitulation to the world. Cutting a shark in half and putting it in a tank of piss is just art giving up. I find it very odd when they describe art as challenging, because I always thought art was meant to calm you like a lullaby, not challenge you like some skinhead in an underpass.” - From Bill of "Summa Mintiae" via Andrew Cusack via Hilary White, Alexander Stoddart on art in an interview with The Scotsman

I do not like this Uncle Sam,
I do not like his health care scam.
I do not like these dirty crooks,
Or how they lie and cook the books.
I do not like when Congress steals,
I do not like their secret deals.
I do not like this speaker, Nan ,
I do not like this 'YES WE CAN.'
I do not like this spending spree,
I'm smart, I know that nothing's free.
I do not like your smug replies,
When I complain about your lies.
I do not like this kind of hope.
I do not like it, nope, nope, nope!
- "Chickenhawk Express" via Muellerstuff

At some point, the peak of a dune reveals a civilization of reveling dune climbers. They are still smiling and talking about how they would like to try and make it all the way to Lake Michigan. So foolhardy. So naive. And they don't ask for my opinion, "Is it difficult? Is it worth it?" I feel like a warrior returning from battle to find that those left at home were unaware a war was taking place. - Betty Duffy

I suspect the reason [Evelyn] Waugh prized [Helena] above all the other works is that in the course of writing it, he became a different person. No other piece of his writing has such deep insight and appreciation for a single character. Yes, the old Evelyn is there nipping at the heels of nearly every person in the book other than Helena. However, his obvious admiration for and reverence of Helena effects a transformation in his prose to create a work unlike anything else He had done... - Steven of Momentary Taste

It's funny about the Bronx. When I moved there after living for so many years in "the city," I felt as if I already wore the mantle of the exile, in spite of the fact that I had moved only about four miles. But as any New Yorker knows, four miles might as well be a million; venturing even four blocks from your home can catapult you into a parallel universe, one with strange and incomprehensible customs and a populace that may or may not view you as having come in peace. If the four miles separating you from your old home are inaccessible by public transportation except via an elaborate system of transfers, as is often the case in the outer boroughs, you might as well forget about seeing what begins to feel like your distant, native shore. When I moved to the Bronx, my English friend and mentor John Allitt wrote me a letter in which he commented that "Bronx" was an ugly name, and what did it mean anyway? (Well, Archie Bunker said it meant "the land where no trees grow.") Nonetheless, the Bronx, that most forsaken of boroughs of the City of New York, really burrows its way into your heart. Anyone who has ever lived there will tell you that, for all of its problems, they have come to love it. When I moved to my old neighborhood, people there used to say that it was the best neighborhood in the world. I looked at them as if they were out of their minds then, but now I agree. - Pentimento

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