Friday, November 23, 2018

Introit to the very worst hard time

Timothy Egan is a psalmist with
the eye of Ansel Adams - or, to
be fair to one of his own works
- Edward Curtis, whose gift for
framing our place in the envir-
onment as a communicant at the
rail of its mercy has resulted
today in The New York Times in
an essay welcoming us to think
as Californians, which one has
to recommend without more note.

Timothy Egan

The Worst Hard Time
Houghton Mifflin, 2006©

Short Nights of the
  Shadow Catcher
  The epic life and im-
  mortal photographs
  of Edward Curtis

Ansel Adams
Jeffrey Pine

The writer's father
The writer's brother

Thursday, November 22, 2018

High priest leans on his totem

Veteran readers of this page will
recognize the familiar face of our
avatar for exploratory postings,
named for the well-connected nav-
gator of empire, Richard Hakluyt.
At long last we come upon an occa-
sion for exploiting the full por-
trait from which he was extracted.

That these circumstances coin-
cide with a signal feast day
of America's colonization is
only fitting; and that they
mark a present Chief Justice's
brandishing his totem of office
at the empire's Chief Executive
is not materially diminished by
the presence of an honest hound,
ignoring a cache of treats he's
the presence of mind to disdain.

The pomposity of the remonstrance
still shines through, and we are
all enthralled by the rattle of
his oversized juju doll, exer-
cised to dispel the odor of pol-
itical influence on its functions,
enabling us to forget Dred Scott,
Korematsu, Bush v. Gore, Citizens
United, and stinky Sammy Alito.
Rather, we accept the Chief Jus-
tire's leap into the ridiculous
as what it is, arson of myth's
response to arson of insult;
and we bask in his admonition, 
that for this we must be glad.

Should he try that on the dog?

ii   Keith Carter

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Origins of Wednesday lxxxiv: New book from Max Hastings

Hungry, but not where talk is
cheap, is an autobiographical
paraphrase for the maxim atop
this page, that characterizes
red mug, blue linen. Talk was
never cheaper when served for
explaining the United States,
than in the cassoulet called,
the war in Viet Nam. A nation
steeped in chaotic contradic-
tions, pining for self-deter-
mination from them, one enemy
at a time, fell into Viet Nam
to save it from self-possess-
ion. The failure was expected
for many years, before it was
denied in ignominious retreat.

Now that the United States is
riven recreationally, all ov-
er again, beset by preposter-
ous, malicious seeking of ad-
vantage against its maturity,
why revisit that prototype of
vicious hyper-patriotism? Why
not just kick back and bicker?

Why not enjoy restaurant fare?

Sir Max Hastings

Going to the Wars
Macmillan, 2000©

Vietnam: An Epic
  Tragedy, 1945-1975
Harper Collins, 2018©