Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Correspondence: Cheek

Edited by Moristotle

Fortune inside Chinese restaurant cookie: “You find beauty in ordinary things. Appreciate this gift.”

Monday, January 30, 2017

Thunder Down Under: Action and reaction

Which is more powerful, positive, and future-building?

By Vic Midyett

Political correctness – why does any government think this is its mandate?
    Political correctness has become completely ridiculous in society, stifling discussion and even pushing truth aside. It serves my purpose to quote a definition that some anonymous person wrote: “Political correctness is a doctrine, recently fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and promoted by a sick mainstream media, that holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a piece of shit by the clean end.”

Sunday, January 29, 2017

You say you want a revolution?

Notes on the Women’s March on Denver

By Chuck Smythe

Fifty years ago, there was Nixon. The people took to the streets. Watching, I decided that was accomplishing nothing, so I didn’t participate. Years later, I learned that protests had in fact eventually made it impossible to continue Vietnam, and furthermore fueled the paranoia with which Nixon eventually destroyed himself. I resolved that I would show up next time. The time has come, and as a first baby step I attended the Women’s March on Denver a week ago yesterday.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Loneliest Liberal: New sobriquet acomin’

By James Knudsen

From the sidebar:
The Loneliest Liberal. Despite voting for Barack Obama twice, being a registered Democrat, actor, educator, yada yada yada—there are things that put him on the fringe. He’s a US Marine (current Commandant General Amos sent out a memo: Can’t say “former”) and a gun-owner. He likes to watch NASCAR but hates the hillbilly patriotism. “So what’s a fella to do?”

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Correspondence: Reading

Edited by Moristotle

I’m at last into Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past [the C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin translation, Random House, 1981]. The three sentences beginning with “The plot began to unfold,” from p. 45 of “Swann’s Way,” are now among my favorite passages from literature:

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Correspondence: Facts

Daily Tar Heel, January 23, by Emily Yue
Edited by Moristotle

I am sending this only to my smart friends. I couldn’t figure it out. My first thought was wrong and I had to look at the answer. See if you can figure out what these seven words all have in common.
  1. Banana
  2. Dresser
  3. Grammar
  4. Potato
  5. Revive
  6. Uneven
  7. Assess

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Boldt Words & Images: Awakening

By Bob Boldt

[From a sermonette to be delivered tomorrow at the author’s local Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, in Jefferson, Missouri.]

Have you ever readThe Lost Boy” by Thomas Wolfe? It concerns the dawning awareness of Grover, a young lad of twelve when he comes fully into an awareness of himself as a conscious, moral agent in the world.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


By Moristotle

A couple of days ago, I lost it. The anger and upset I have felt over the U.S. Presidential election surged up in a wave that broke on the rock of a Facebook-Messenger interchange I was having with someone (whom I have “met” only electronically) who had posted that he was “sick and tired of the whining of Hillary supporters.” The crash dashed me into my summarily blocking and “unfriending” him – a curious term, given that we could hardly have been thought friends, although he is local to me and had even approached me via Messenger and offered to pay me for some editing – hence our being “friends” on Facebook.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Poetry & Portraits: Gabriel

By Eric Meub


A mouth that’s raised on thirst must yearn
     for lips kept coiled around the sea’s
green seed, unfolding like a fern
     to spread her lace upon the breeze.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Hurry – before you lose your mind

Detail of Catiline, Cesare Maccari’s
fresco, Palazzo Madama
Doesn’t Catiline look as though
he’s losing his mind?
By Moristotle

If I don’t write about losing my mind now – before I’ve completely lost it – how is it going to be written?

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Seventy-four (74)

“They say it’s your birthday!”

By Moristotle

It was about three months before his 75th birthday when my father died. The fact that he died when he was the age I am today has been giving me pause for some months.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Correspondence: Skin off our noses

Edited by Moristotle

Saying something “is no skin off my nose” generally means that something isn’t much of a risk. The phrase is believed to have a boxing origin, presumably because boxers’ noses are the body part most prone to damage. [–english.stackexchange.com]

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Sustainable agriculture through imitating Nature

By Christopher-Joseph Ravnopolski-Dean

[Editor’s Note: On September 25, 2016, we published Christopher’s article, “Sustainable Agriculture in Native America.” A day later I came across the September 23 NY Times article, “Why Industrial Farms Are Good for the Environment,” by Jayson Lusk, whose title alone raised my suspicions, leading me to wonder whether the author might be in the pocket of factory farming.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

New year’s exercise

By Moristotle

After doing 150 reps on the strength machines at my local fitness center this morning, I noticed an MMA (mixed martial arts) poster on the wall next to the chalkboard extolling us to honor our exercise habits. Allen Crowder, whom we interviewed on October 31, 2012, has a fight coming up later this month. The interview was long before he turned professional and became a leading poster boy, and he frequently checked in with us for our old First Monday with Characters column.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

My best excuse ever

By Moristotle

[Originally published May 5, 2007]

It was a blizzardy January in North Carolina, in 1996, during my thirtieth (and final) year with IBM. While leaving the house after dinner to take our dog Ruffy out for his evening walk, I slipped on the icy back step and fell heavily onto my butt, not knowing at the time that I had a brain tumor and that the impact had caused it to start bleeding.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

West Coast Observer: Country-club new year

Musings on December 31

By William Silveira

Since the election, my brain has reeled in attempting to organize into one cohesive package a conclusion as to what happened to us as a country. Perhaps the readers of these words will find them too bleak or too far off the mark. If so, I hope those readers are right. What has transpired, and my view of what may transpire, have drained me of a great deal of optimism about this country’s future.