Saturday, March 17, 2018

Even when something Trump says chances to be true

It’s still a lie

By Moristotle

That may seem a contradiction, but Trumps continually makes so much stuff up, we have to be skeptical of everything he says.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Three Years Ago This Month: Are copies of JT: Another Mighty Midyett actually available yet?

Yes! In several formats

By Moristotle

[Interview originally published on March 4, 2015. We re-announce this today as a way of informing readers of a new feature of Moristotle & Co. – its Book Authors’ Corner, which is featured near the top of the sidebar. The corner’s purpose is to celebrate and promote books by Moristotle’s authors, who include members of the staff and others who have kindly allowed us to excerpt their work from time to time. Randy Somers, the author of JT, falls into the latter category, but as the article below reminds us, he has a close connection with a staff member.

You ask whether copies of JT: Another Mighty Midyett are actually available yet.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Trump, pro & con

By Moristotle

Mainly these days, I try not to follow politics, it’s too depressing.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Collection (a poem)

Drawing by Susan C. Price

By Eric Meub

[Originally published on July 9, 2016]

e.e. Cummings would have understood
Melissa’s rubber stamps as but a game
To fix one’s typographic neighborhood.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Thunder Down Under: Sunrise!

By Vic Midyett

I couldn’t bypass the pine trees, but I did bypass the power lines this morning [several days ago now] to get this sunrise shot with some rain falling on some lucky people to the east of us. I just love sunrises!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Book Review: Tripping to Dickeyland

“An elegy for James Dickey”

By Moristotle

There’s something very special about an audiobook recorded by the author, and Michael Hanson is an excellent reader. My paperback copy of his tribute to his mentor, the poet and novelist James Dickey, arrived from Amazon weeks ago.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Adventures from Bulgaria: Summer in the Mountains – Days 4 & 5

Forest and Water

By Valeria Idakieva

[Sequel to “Days 2 & 3,” published on February 12.]

I woke up early in the morning to find out that the village was wrapped in thick, white fog, but I knew that when I went higher it would vanish. Climbing up the steep forest hill early in the morning was not to my liking, but I quickly reached the neighborhood where I had entered the village the previous day.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Thunder Down Under: Midwestern Tornado

[detail of “Midwestern Tornado”]
Paintings by Shirley Deane/Midyett

Text by Vic Midyett

We have friends (a chiropractor and his wife, who is a medical doctor) who travel to the Midwest of the United States every year or two just to chase tornadoes with a professional storm chaser. The chiropractor has many photographs and asked Shirley if she would paint a tornado for his office.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Correspondence: Guns, cajones, & other disturbances

NRA-recommended weapons
for mass assault
Edited by Moristotle

[Items of correspondence are not attributed; they remain anonymous. They have been chosen for their inherent interest as journalism, story, or provocative opinion, which may or may not be shared by the editor or other members of the staff of Moristotle & Co.]

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Correspondence: Attitude

Edited by Moristotle

[Items of correspondence are not attributed; they remain anonymous. They have been chosen for their inherent interest as journalism, story, or provocative opinion, which may or may not be shared by the editor or other members of the staff of Moristotle & Co.]

Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Loneliest Liberal: We need to rebrand

By James Knudsen

The United States of America’s system of government allows for periodic modifications. The process of amending the Constitution is well known and has been used 27 times, including for one amendment, the 21st, that repealed a previous amendment, the 18th. However, getting an amendment passed, first through Congress and then through the required three-quarters of the state legislatures, is a lengthy process and, unless it’s something really important – like the right to get blind drunk without running afoul of the local constabulary – you’re probably not going to be very successful. Did you know that over 11,000 amendments to the Constitution have been introduced in the U.S. Congress since 1789? I didn’t.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Roger’s Reality: Dancing with the Devil, Part 3

The other shoe

By Roger Owens

In 1861, before the start of hostilities in the American Civil War, both sides held their fantasies, those delicate, oh-so-vulnerable baskets into which we are forevermore enjoined by our mothers never to put all of our eggs. The Johnnies said the Union boys didn’t have the sand for one real fight, let alone a real war. They didn’t have the honor, the pride that would sustain the Southerners through the few months it might take to kick those invaders from the sacred soil of Dixie. The Union fellows told each other they had the vast advantage in manufacturing, which would provide the railroads, the cannon, the powder and shot and food and horses and rifles, and those Rebs wouldn’t have a chance. Many of the Union boys were from the cities, and they saw themselves as legion. How many Rebs could there be, after all? Just a bunch of farm boys. Neither side listened to their mothers, as so many generations have not, to their everlasting regret. So, as the shooting started, each side marched smartly off to disaster, figurative baskets of eggs clutched uselessly in their hearts and minds.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Movie Review: Lateness in Art and Life

A late review of Late Quartet (2012)

By Jonathan Price

This film foregrounds music in ways that are rarely done in American cinema, though it uses the focus to trace the elaboration of a 4-way intimacy. It’s a quartet, not a tercet, so it’s not the traditional romantic triangle, but there are three men in various involvements with a single woman, all of them playing classical music together for 25 years as a group designated “The Fugue.” This one woman is in various stages and types of love with the three men; however, we don’t see a great deal of bedroom antics onscreen – a brief fling by the married man with a much younger woman; a longer affair between the one offspring generated by the two married members of the quartet and its chief violinist. So the focus is primarily on relationships and music rather than bedroom acrobatics.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Thunder Down Under: The Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia

Map of RFDS regions in Australia
[click map to enlarge image]
By Vic Midyett

I have mentioned the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) in more than one previous article. The RFDS uses two types of planes in Western Australia: propeller planes, of which it has 16, for landing on dirt strips on farms or on highways, and a jet, of which it has one.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Thunder Down Under: RMS Queen Mary 2 ocean liner in Fremantle

By Vic Midyett

The arrival of the ocean liner RMS1 Queen Mary 2 in Fremantle with the high tide on Monday caught me by surprise – I wasn’t expecting it here again so soon, after being here only last year. And it didn’t stay long, only about twelve hours, leaving with the high tide that night. While it was here, it refueled, and a line of taxis and buses of all sizes picked people up to show them around. Shirley talked to some folks from England who just walked around Fremantle.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Movie Review: The Post

The war goes on

By Jonathan Price

Perhaps it’s just my imagination or prejudices, but it seems to me an inordinate number of recent feature films – supposedly a form of film fiction, and hopefully art forms in themselves – are either infinite sequels of mildly successful previous films, or retellings of actual events (history or news in some sense). What’s missing, more frequently than before, are fiction films that create characters that probe deeply into what’s behind history or human character or behavior. I suppose to some extent, this is a false dichotomy, and there have been very good films made from actual historical events: I could mention, e.g., Patton. But when I go through my deep mental catalog of great intriguing films, they are nearly all fiction films, even if their origins are murky or dubious or quasi-historical: The Rules of the Game, Shoot the Piano Player, Citizen Kane, The Godfather, McCabe and Mrs. Miller. This is a brief list, but for me it seems representative.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Adventures from Bulgaria: Summer in the Mountains – Days 2 & 3

Leaving Rila

By Valeria Idakieva

[Sequel to “Day 1,” published on January 24.]

After a cup of coffee, I left the lodge in the morning and met the first strangers for the day.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Thunder Down Under: Office Clouds

Detail from “Office Clouds”
For calm negotiation

Painting by Shirley Deane/Midyett

Text by Vic Midyett

Shirley did one more painting for her friend. “Office Clouds” hangs in the main conference room, where Shirley’s friend conducts conflict-resolution meetings. We all hope it will have a calming effect on the negotiators!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Poetry & Portraits: San Francisco

Drawing by Susan C. Price

San Francisco
By Eric Meub

She was an athlete, finely tuned.
How fat with pastries she ballooned:
a courtesan to raise an itch
upon the impotently rich.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Thunder Down Under: Let’s go for an airplane ride!

By Vic Midyett

Last Sunday, our neighbor Jamie took Shirley and me for an airplane ride from Perth International Airport to a smaller but busier airport 40 miles away where all the maintenance for the larger airport is done. The photo shows the plane we flew in; Jamie was delivering it for maintenance.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Thunder Down Under: The Aussie Kookaburra

[detail from first painting]
Two paintings of the King of the Bush

Paintings by Shirley Deane/Midyett

Text by Vic Midyett

Shirley very recently did two paintings of the Kookaburra, an Australian bird that is a member of the Kingfisher family:

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Correspondence: From the King James Bible, to Shakespeare, to composing behind the wheel

Edited by Moristotle

[Items of correspondence are not attributed; they remain anonymous. They have been chosen for their inherent interest as journalism, story, or provocative opinion, which may or may not be shared by the editor or other members of the staff of Moristotle & Co.]

Friday, February 2, 2018

Correspondence: Trumperspectives

From “8 Common Thinking Mistakes Our
Brains Make Every Day and How to
Prevent Them
” [Buffer Social]
Edited by Moristotle

[Items of correspondence are not attributed; they remain anonymous. They have been chosen for their inherent interest as journalism, story, or provocative opinion, which may or may not be shared by the editor or other members of the staff of Moristotle & Co.]

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Roger’s Reality: Dancing with the Devil, Part 2

By Roger Owens

In Windows 10, you hold the power button down for 15 seconds, then release. Press it again and begin tapping “F11,” until you see the boot menu. You select “Troubleshoot” from the menu, and then click “Advanced Options.”
    By this point you feel a little smug; that feeling gamers report when “reaching the next level,” that sort of thing. You are now confronted with options including one known as “System Restore,” and when you click on that, you get to chose from a few dates in the not-too-distant past at which time, in your fondest dreams, your system had not been corrupted by God only knows what virus, power surge, plague, disaster, war, famine, or election gone awry that might have had illicit cyber-congress with your hard drive and impregnated it with some vampiric succubus.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

The Loneliest Liberal: Santa Claus’s reindeer don’t pull a van

By James Knudsen
Dear Santa...I want some clarity about whether I should purchase a minivan again. Do I need another minivan? Maybe. I just think they’re the most practical platform out there and they were on their way to conquering the American roads until Arnold Schwarzenegger had to have a Humvee, sparking an SUV craze that we still haven’t recovered from. Thanks a lot, Arnold. Anywho, if you run across a low-mileage, second-generation, KIA Sedona (or rebadged Hyundai Entourage) that’s had a recent valve adjustment, you can just put it under the tree, by the curb.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Thunder Down Under: Travel memories

By Vic Midyett

I sure miss the adventures Shirley & I had while travelling around Australia as “gray nomads”! For example, I took these two photos in 2014 near a town called Sawtell in the state of New South Wales (where Sydney is). The temperature was very nice that day, as you can tell from the next photo because Shirley wasn’t bundled up!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Adventures from Bulgaria: Summer in the Mountains – Day 1

Eastward  from Borovets

By Valeria Idakieva

At the beginning of January 2017, I started thinking about doing the Bulgarian part of the European long distance path called E8*. In Bulgaria the route starts in the Rila Mountains and crosses the Rhodope Mountains, reaching the Turkish border. As usual, my preparation consisted of obtaining information and waiting for August when I could run away to the mountains. Finally August came and I was soon getting my backpack ready for the summer adventure. I could not make it light enough, but it was not the first time I’ve had this problem, and I knew I was going to get used to its weight anyway. I got on the bus and headed for Borovets – a ski resort in the Rila Mountains where my route started. The next day rose a bright blue morning with fresh, cool air, and I eagerly followed the path, which weaves along a beautiful river.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Work-wife mentality and the matter of sexual harassment

By Sharon Stoner

Jill Filipovic’s January 20 NY Times article, “Donald Trump and His Work Wives,” goes to a vital organ of the matter of “sexual harassment” (and other offenses, in or out of offices). The terms “work wife” and “work husband,” she explains, originally described “typically benign egalitarian workplace intimacies: a close co-worker with whom you share not only tasks but also complaints and office gossip.”

Monday, January 22, 2018

In Your Dreams: A national lottery

Tower of London chopping block
And the winner is

By Moristotle

Last night I had another installment of a recurring dream.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Correspondence: Dogs on and off the leash

Edited by Moristotle

[Items of correspondence are not attributed; they remain anonymous. They have been chosen for their inherent interest as journalism, story, or provocative opinion, which may or may not be shared by the editor or other members of the staff of Moristotle & Co.]

Moristotle, how well do you wash your hands after you & Siegfried return from your poop patrols? The story “The Parasite on the Playground” from The New York Times [Laura Beil, January 16] points out that “Adult Toxocara roundworms live in the small intestines of infected cats and dogs. The eggs are excreted in their feces.” And “they can be ingested by children playing outside; the worm’s larvae have been found in the brain...perhaps impairing development.” [Read more.]
    [Uh, not as well as I should, I see!]

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Thunder Down Under: Sunflowers for an Office

“Sunflowers” (detail)
Painting by Shirley Deane/Midyett

Text by Vic Midyett

A friend of Shirley’s wanted a sunflower painting for her office. So, of course, Shirley painted one for her:

Friday, January 19, 2018

Correspondence: cummings & Goines, and other funs

Self-portrait by ee cummings
Public Domain
Edited by Moristotle

[Items of correspondence are not attributed; they remain anonymous. They have been chosen for their inherent interest as journalism, story, or provocative opinion, which may or may not be shared by the editor or other members of the staff of Moristotle & Co.]

There is such joy to be found in helping others, you’d think there’d be more of it.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Road Trip to the South

By Don Richert

My wife, Tati, and I decided to take a 26-day road trip to several different cities and historic areas in the Southern United States. We left our home in New York City on Sunday, December 17, 2017 and took three days to drive to Nashville, Tennessee. We visited the Parthenon in Nashville, an art museum inside a full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens. Around the top of the facades of the front and back of the museum are re-creations of the statues that were there in the original Parthenon. Inside the museum, there are casts of the ancient statues, as they exist now, and explanations of how the statues were recreated.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Movie Review: All the Money in the World

A Moral Fable

By Jonathan Price

For what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Many souls are being lost in the pursuit of wealth in this film (2017, directed by Ridley Scott) Very few souls seem worth saving, perhaps that of Paulo Getty’s mother Gail (Michelle Williams), devoted to her son. risking the world and abandoning her divorce-gained custody of her other two children to get him back. Perhaps also worth saving is her aide and eventual co-conspirator, Fletcher Chase (Mark Wahlberg).

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Give it up for Ralph Earle!

Four poems recently published

By Moristotle

Our friend and colleague Ralph Earle was recently honored to have three poems published in the online journal of poetry & art, Triggerfish Quarterly Review, Issue 19

Monday, January 15, 2018

Owed to a little dog

By Sharon Stoner

Things are really getting me down right now, and I am frustrated. For one thing, my dog, Timmy. Ordinarily, when I wake-up and take off my CPAP mask, he comes out from under the covers, sits on my chest waiting for his ears to be scratched, and then flops down for a belly rub. During this routine he never barks or makes any other sound. But what has he just done?

Sunday, January 14, 2018

On Franklin Hill Farm: The rustle of brown leaves

A poem of an afternoon’s experience

By Bettina Sperry

With a keen and cautious eye,
I saw two pups
playing and rustling around
like two brown leaves
atop a rolling mountain.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Poetry & Portraits: Passover

Drawing by Susan C. Price

By Eric Meub

A breakfast table mystery: I see
each section – Datebook, Sports, Society –
but not the front page. Mother starts to shrink
when asked about it, busy at the sink.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Roger’s Reality: Dancing with the Devil

By Roger Owens

In just the next few days, life, for my wife and me, will be turned on its head. The Devil has invited us to dance. It’s not the kind of invite you can turn down. You see, there’s this lump. Yeah, that kind of lump. It’s been x-rayed and ultra-sounded and mammogramed – the medical equivalent of an RSVP for the invitation, if you will – our grudging, involuntary response that, yes, we will be attending the ball. We really have no choice, do we? They, and the biopsy tomorrow, may be the first salvoes in what could be a long, hard war. Or what could be, heaven forbid, a short, deadly skirmish. It’s like this: by itself, the lump isn’t too terribly scary; lots of women have them. They could be fibroids, which run in Cindy’s family, while breast tumors do not. Even if it’s a tumor, they can do so much these days, right? Right? But then there’s this cough. The cough has been around for a few weeks, a bit longer than we have known about the lump. Just a holdover from that bout of bronchitis last year, you understand. Or so we have been telling ourselves; but then, the lump. Yeah. So now the cough has grown claws and teeth and turned into something entirely different than a “lingering viral infection.” Quick: name another situation in which a “lingering viral infection” would be a thing to celebrate!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

On Franklin Hill Farm: Frozen in time

And in photographs

By Bettina Sperry

Listening to my cows, I stopped for a second. Continuing on, dried hoof prints and crevices remained in the frozen run.