Thursday, March 31, 2016

Boystown: The Return (a novel)

Foreword, Prolog, & Chapter 1

By Ed Rogers

[Boystown: The Return is the sequel to Boystown[: The Cocaine Highway], chapters of which have been excerpted on Moristotle & Co. Both books are now available on Amazon.]

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Ask Susan

I wish my husband & I weren’t together – what should I do?

By Susan C. Price

[Questions are followed by answers and then, inevitably by DID expect that...didn’t you?]

I’ve been married for 26 years and have two teenage children. I haven’t been happy for a long time and my husband and I have not had sex for at least five years. I’ve been hoping he’ll get fed up and leave. Recently, I told him I wanted a divorce, but he accused me of being selfish and not thinking about our children – my elder is leaving home to go to college in September, though.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Loneliest Liberal: Obsessions, magnificent and mundane

By James Knudsen

Genius is not without its drawbacks. I write this as an assumption, not a statement of fact based on firsthand experience. Having avoided the genius gene generally, I come to my informed conclusion based on the historical record. Whether the genius in question was a person of the sciences or of the arts, being blessed with a gifted mind always seems to entail a concurrent trait or circumstance that, all things being equal, one would just as soon avoid. Michelangleo, an unquestioned genius with the hammer, chisel, and paintbrush, was nonetheless an unapologetic slob who ate merely for the sustenance it provided. Ponder that for a moment. Michelangleo, sitting on the scaffolding in the Sistine Chapel with his assistant and not caring for a moment whether his Subway sandwich was accompanied by Doritos of the Nacho Cheese or Cool Ranch variety. A lengthy Wikipedia entry seems small compensation for such a shortcoming in the tastebuds.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Leaving Costa Rica

A personal update

By Ed Rogers

I have submitted many “character updates” from Costa Rica over the years. This one, I am sorry to say, will be my last from San Ramon.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Movie Review: He Who Must Die

A Greek Passion for Easter

By Bob Boldt

I hope this thumbnail review will pique your interest in a nearly forgotten film by one of the great directors of the 20th Century.
    If Christ, like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., were to return to earth, it is of little doubt that it would be necessary to kill him again. I am convinced that our own beloved leaders would be the ones to drive the first nail.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Chapter 9 of The Unmaking of the President (a novel)

Portrait of the author
by Susan C. Price
The Vice-President’s Plan Is Missing

By W.M. Dean

[The novel is set in the 1970s of Watergate. Links to earlier chapters are provided at the bottom.]

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Humanity and its discontents

From recent correspondence

Edited by Morris Dean

News of Stephen Greenblatt’s having been awarded the Holberg Prize warmed my heart. Good on him!
    I’m happy too for what the award signals to the public at large about the value of the Humanities — in this time when the Humanities are coming under attack for allegedly not preparing students for employment. “Stephen Greenblatt Wins Holberg Prize” [Jennifer Schuessler, NY Times, March 11] Excerpt:

Monday, March 14, 2016

When dreams become nightmares

By Bob Boldt

It is sometimes advantageous to take the long view. “Te Deum” is a video I made during the Bush years, when it didn’t look like things could get much worse. Well, they did.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Book Review: Is Everybody Happy Now?

The second volume of Shirley Skufca Hickman’s autobiography

By William Silveira

Building on the success of the first volume of her autobiography, Don’t Be Give Up, author Shirley Skufca Hickman has published the second volume of her very well told life story, Is Everybody Happy Now?: Growing Up after World War II.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Fly (a sonnet)

By Eric Meub


She steps into the church, unprepared, underdressed,
just to shake off the downpour, the street noise defied
by a coffin-lid door slowly sealing inside
with the shadows her hurry to go un-confessed.

Friday, March 11, 2016

White butterfly, a painting by Shirley Deane/Midyett

“White Butterfly” (5" x 7")
Aboriginal Australian symbolism

By Vic Midyett

In this latest painting of Shirley’s, she wanted the butterfly’s wings to be the focus of attention, so she purposely only hinted at the creature’s body. She did the painting for a couple of reasons: A story in our Cherokee heritage features a white butterfly. And she has a passionate interest in aboriginal Australians, in one of whose stories a butterfly plays an important symbolic role.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

What is really behind the Trump phenomenon?

By Bob Boldt

As early as 1968 I witnessed the death of Liberalism when I saw the Democrats ignore the strong voices of dissent against the Vietnam War and proceed with a war agenda that was as foolish as it was doomed. The irony of the situation was that the nominee that year, Hubert Humphrey, could have successfully come out against the very war the Johnson administration had been so vigorously losing. More bizarre still, President Johnson knew that Nixon and Kissinger could have well been charged with treason for their private negotiations with the South Vietnam delegation to the Paris peace talks [see “George Will Confirms Nixon's Vietnam Treason,” August 12, 2014].

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Ask Susan

How can I know she has given me a clear sign she wants to have sex?

By Susan C. Price

[Questions are followed by answers and then, inevitably by DID expect that...didn’t you?]

I have been dating a woman for about two months now. She is 57 and I am 68. She’s a lot of fun to be with and we always have a great time together. I think it could develop into a more serious long-term relationship.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Growing Up in America


By Rolf Dumke

[Links to previously published installments appear at the bottom.]

In contrast to my usually detailed memories of childhood experiences, I have few memories of my life in St. Paul’s Lutheran School in the 5th and 6th grades, which were taught by a strict, small and mousy man who drilled his pupils in arithmetic.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Demigod for President?

Not just an analogy

By Morris Dean

Mitt Romney’s denunciation of Donald Trump on Thursday has provoked outrage among the candidate’s supporters. Yesterday Michael Barbaro, Ashley Parker, and Jonathan Martin, in their NY Times article “Rank and File Republicans Tell Party Elites: We’re Sticking With Donald Trump,” quoted Lola Butler, 71, a retiree from Mandeville, La., who voted for Mr. Romney in 2012:


From recent correspondence

Edited by Morris Dean

Be sure to watch this on the largest computer screen you have (HD if possible). And have your sound turned on. The hummingbird doing rolls chasing a bee is not to be missed. Be sure and watch closely (around 2 min 40 sec) and check out the baby bat under its mother. See some of what goes on in the garden when you aren’t paying attention. Some of the finest photography you will ever see.

Friday, March 4, 2016


Link from the NY Times
From recent correspondence

Edited by Morris Dean

What an opening last night, if Rubio or Cruz or Kasich could have taken it without doing themselves in...“Clash of Republican Con Artists” [Paul Krugman, NY Times, March 4]. Excerpt:


From recent correspondence

Edited by Morris Dean

“Rare ‘superbloom’ blankets Death Valley in millions of yellow wildflowers” [Oliver Milman, Guardian, February 25] Excerpt:

Thursday, March 3, 2016


Andrew McDonald, a student
of High Sierra Workshops,
took this photo
From recent correspondence

Edited by Morris Dean

Great pictures of a magic transformation of the falls off El Capitan: “At Yosemite, a Waterfall Turns Into a Firefall” [Tatiana Schlossberg, NY Times, February 24]. Excerpt:

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Falls and meadow, by Shirley Deane/Midyett

“Falls and Meadow” (detail)
From her imagination

By Vic Midyett

Shirley’s latest.
    I wasn’t certain she was finished with it yet. I thought she was, but she kept studying it, and that is sometimes an indication she’s about to change something. When I asked her, she said that the little additions she wanted to make would be small and probably wouldn’t be consciously noticed anyway.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Celebrating Hieronymus Bosch

From recent correspondence

Edited by Morris Dean

The Hieronymus Bosch exhibition described in “Dutch museum achieves the impossible with new Hieronymus Bosch show” [Maev Kennedy, Guardian, October 21, 2015] opened on Monday last week, a 500-year anniversary celebration. Excerpt: