Friday, December 9, 2016

An oxymoron for practicing

   Before there may be
   a Trump Administra-
   tion there is like-
   ly to be the office
   Christmas party. It
   can smooth the way. 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

The refuge

I wonder if the concept of
'species' doesn't sometimes
get in the way of understand-
ing the effect humans are hav-
ing on the natural world.

After all, a species endures
even as the individuals that
make it up come and go. But
sometimes the word implies
that the collective whole -
the generality of goldfinches,
say - matters more than the in-
dividual. Only when a species
dwindles to its final numbers
do the individuals seem to be-
come, well, individual.

Reviewing a new and stimulat-
ing work of natural history
this week, our outstanding es-
sayist on the rural life has
written movingly of defending
the natural world through joy
in its autonomous qualities,
in "nature's right to itself."

At the same time, exultation
in restraint is unanswerably
exemplary resistance. Human-
ism is restored to the agenda.
To be despised for being fit,
will not be anything new; the
spectacle must always antagon-
be readier for their governance
than they are, is joy enough.

Verlyn Klinkenborg
Michael McCarthy
The Moth Snowstorm:
  Nature and Joy
New York Review Books, 2016
The New York Review
  of Books
December 22, 2016© 

i  Damon Winter, photography
   The New York Times, 2016©


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Revenons à nos moutons

   Have you tried
   it with cumin,
   aperol, and an
   organic spritz
   of cherry bark

    No, really, I 
    just couldn't

    It's almost awkward even to
    try to mean well, in coming
    to grips with our era's de-
    bauches of vanity over cock-
    tails and other nourishment.

    A man used to be able to go
    home, dress for dinner, and
    get an honest apéritif with-
    out sipping it alone. Times
    speak for themselves. Where
    is Peter Arno, as we drown?

François Chartier
Papilles et Molécules
Levi Reiss
Taste Buds and 
  Molecules: The Art
  and Science of Food,
  Wine, and Flavor
Les Éditions la Presse, 2009©
John Wiley & Sons, 2012©

Peter Arno
Harriet Follansbee!
  In the flesh!
The New Yorker
Condé Nast©

Monday, December 5, 2016

The electoral college will meet in two weeks

      Anybody want to
      volunteer to be
      a witness? Take
      down the names?

Philippe Proust

Alexander Beck

Steven Meisel
Vogue Italia, 1996©