Friday, July 5, 2019

Moving again, editing

Back in 1974 John Hersey published
a kind of diatribe of a nightmare
novel, My Petition for More Space,
which I undertook to review for a
nice little paper in a coastal par-
adise which had managed just fine,
thanks very much, before the Gol-
den Gate Bridge made it a commut-
ers' cockpit. He stated the prob-
lem of infinitesimal tenancies in
the most disturbing way, and al-
though his report from Hiroshima
had given him carte blanche to
say whatever he liked thereafter,
this hadn't much lifted his mood.
Unfortunately, I managed to weed
my library of that volume right a-
way, so as I now contemplate fur-
ther compression, I can't exploit
its argument to my advantage anew.

How do we succumb to the collect-
ing of authors? I realize, I ad-
dress a crisis which the ubiquit-
ous "reading tablet" has eased,
only to replace it with an out-
break of acquisitive promiscuity
without any of the stimulation
of exerting judgment. My guess
is that there must have been a
writer somewhere along the way,
who eventually got better after
Timon of Athens. But for every
Shakespeare there is, notorious-
ly, a fellow who should have
been liberated to go outdoors,
by The Glass Menagerie. Still,
you don't gain much shelf space
by sacrificing Small Craft Warn-
ings, just to lug Ackroyd's one
good book, Dickens, from pillar 
to post. By the same token, who
could not embrace the vacuum of
the desert island, with the Ox-
ford English Dictionary? There,
at least, endless reward absolves
the larder, especially with the
sweet revenge of obsolescence.
Is anything more elegant, than
a usage expunged by progress? 

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Party upside down cake

The American celebration of the 4th
of July commemorates a proclamation
of separation from relative tyranny
as described in a bill of particul-
are against a reigning monarch. The
decay of factual contexts in these
interesting times has permitted the
most decayed of factual conscious-
nesses ever to lead this portion of
North America since George III, to
abscond with the celebration by an
act, natural for him, of inversion.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Stunts of ambiguous diplomacy

I was disappointed as the American
President forgot everything he had
practiced in rehearsal for his hug
at the DMZ with North Korea's only
current despot, and performed that
act standing up. Commentators were
ungenerous to call it inconclusive,
when ambiguity is what it is about.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Sunday nibbled sleeve x: What's become of the bacon?

We, too, are acquainted with students
of metallurgy who feel the art reached
its apogee in relevance, by isolating
the culinary properties of cast iron,
copper, aluminum, and the molecular an-
omaly, steel, stainless and not. Lit-
erature in their distinctions has been
molded heatedly in the dies of each
of these elements, with a tendentious-
ness which, in calmer times, would em-
barrass any reader. Today, such texts
seem no more than drawn from familiar
by forgetfulness of the subject itself.
Why've they lost the bacon, we ask ap-
ologetically, not to suggest ingestion.

          In a large cast-iron cocotte, render the fat from
          the bacon over medium-low heat until the edges of
          the bacon are crispy. Remove the bacon to a large
          bowl, leaving the rendered fat in the pan. Increase
          the heat to medium high. Add the beef to the fat in
          the pan and brown it on all sides. Remove the beef
          from the pan to the bowl with the bacon. [Now, pay
          close attention for a lapse in content]. Add the on-
          ion, carrots, celery, and mushrooms to the pan. Re-
          duce the heat to medium and cook for 5 to 7 minutes,
          until softened. Add the garlic and cook for another
          30 seconds, or until aromatic. Remove vegetables
          from the pan to the bowl with the beef.

In the past week, we were treated to
four broadcast hours of discussion os-
tensibly of the ends of political ves-
sels, with only the most fleeting nod
to their content. We were treated, in-
stead, just to the fond appreciation
of their properties, as if a boeuf
bourguignon were proprietarily an ex-
pression of their own anatomy. And yet,
what did they do with the bacon in the
shell game we were witnessing, and who
will ever get their answer? Once, there
Then there was not. Accidental lapse, 
or just more self-absorbed legerdemain?

Now the putative winners are reinforced
in their incompatibilities, and the in-
contestable losers are doubling down in
self-exculpations. Who can be gratified,

Amanda Frederickson
The Staub Cookbook
  Modern Recipes for
  Classic Cast Iron
Zwilling J.A. Henckels, LLC