Monday, September 26, 2016

Poor babies …

… Hofstra University Provides 'Trigger Warning' for Presidential Debate | MRCTV.

Looks like it's time to raise the voting age to, say, 30.

Anniversary …



George Gershwin was born on this date in 1898.

A poet against poetry …

 A Poet Undone | The Nation. (Hat tip, G. E. Reutter.)

Although his arguments are hampered by summary judgments and blind spots, Lerner often writes with flair. The avant-garde, he offers, “hates existing poems because they are part of a bankrupt society.” Consequently, an avant-garde poem is “an imaginary bomb with real shrapnel…. a weapon against received ideas of what art is.” Lerner, who considers himself an avant-gardist, stresses that poets aren’t alone in hating poetry. He criticizes journalists who denounce poems for failing “to be universal, to speak both to and for everyone in the manner of Whitman.” This is true, but Lerner has written a Denounciad of his own that allows poets no alternative to anyone’s hatred.
I didn't know there was any avant-garde anymore.

Postponement and endgame …

… Solitary Praxis: Reading and posting resumes but MWR road-trip has been postponed or cancelled.

Uh-oh

Boy, I sure hope I'm not about to be hacked again. A friend sent me an email with an attachment. I wrote back asking if she had actually sent it. She said she had. But when I opened it, it was the same Morgan Stanley doc I got last week. Fingers crossed.

Talk about your discrimination …

… KU bars gorillas from jungle-theme decoration due to 'masculine image'.

First, it was the Geico camel (he's out of work now — can't earn a nickel). Now it's gorillas. Colleges are turning in lunatic asylums.

I have borrowed liberally in this post from a Jean Shepherd routine: Peter Pain.

Celebration …

… John Prine and Tom Waits and wife Kathleen Brennan celebrated for their song lyrics - The Boston Globe. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

FYI …

… The Problem With Science Writing - Facts So Romantic - Nautilus.



If the public can internalize a generalist understanding of science, they would have a better chance of finding science interesting on its own terms—not just because they were told ad nauseam it was interesting. They would feel a heightened amazement for the depth of knowledge humanity has achieved, and a greater reverence for what we don’t know, or can’t know. Such a public would not take the claims of popular science for granted, or be so easily swayed by pseudoscience and scientific hyperbole. Like a tree with deep roots, it would take more than a lazy breeze to upheave it. As any grad student will tell you, the first target of skepticism should be your teacher.

Hmm …

… ‘Shut Up, Bigot!’ The Philosopher Argued | The American Conservative. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

… that the president of the Society of Christian Philosophers felt obliged to apologize for a speech given by one of the world’s most accomplished Christian philosophers — a speech in which the 82-year-old Swinburne defended basic Christian orthodoxy — and indeed to garland his apology with the Orwellian terms “diversity” and “inclusion,” is a very bad sign. … Of what use is the Society of Christian Philosophers if one cannot go to its meetings and debate basic philosophical positions derived from Christian teaching?
These are professors of philosophy, not philosophers. Credentialed mediocrities.

Something to think on …

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
— T. S. Eliot, born on this date in 1888

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Devastating …

TLSBattles in Boston University. (Hat tip, Dave Lull. )

President Brown, Dean Cudd, and Provost Morrison would do well to read this carefully. If  they do, it may dawn on one or another of them that their utterances, both spoken and written, cannot withstand the scrutiny of a practiced textual analyst. Perhaps that realization might help them understand wherein lies the value of the Editorial Institute.

Hitting the road …

… Solitary Praxis: MWR blogging note.

A lighter side of poetry …

 A poet worth reading? Start believing! | C2C Journal. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



Sleaze & Slander is a pleasure to read whatever your politics. For conservatives, especially those who might find Ayn Rand’s doorstoppers a chore, it offers the additional fillip of a comfortable intellectual harbour to be enjoyed in small, delightful bites. “I’m generally dubious about institutions and the limitations of government, and that’s the raw material of political conservatism. It’s also pretty good fodder for light verse,” says Juster, pointing to Jonathan Swift, the famous 18th century Irish satirist and champion of liberty, as a source of inspiration.

The tell-tale God …

 ‘The Great Good Thing,’ by Andew Klavan | Brandywine Books.

Hmm …

… Solitary Praxis: Emily Dickinson and the Riddle.



Sounds to me as if she's pondering resurrection.

Spreading life …

 The Green Universe: A Vision by Freeman Dyson | The New York Review of Books. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Almost all the current discussion of life in the universe assumes that life can exist only on worlds like our Earth, with air and water and strong gravity. This means that life is confined to planets and their moons. The sun and the planets and moons contain most of the mass of our solar system. But for life, surface area is more important than mass. The room available for life is measured by surface area and not by mass. In our solar system and in the universe, the available area is mostly on small objects, on comets and asteroids and dust grains, not on planets and moons.
When life has reached the small objects, it will have achieved mobility. It is easy then for life to hop from one small world to another and spread all over the universe. Life can survive anywhere in the universe where there is starlight as a source of energy and a solid surface with ice and minerals as a source of food. Planets and moons are the worst places for life from the point of view of mobility. Because Earth’s gravity is strong, it is almost impossible for life to escape from Earth without our help. Life has been stuck here, waiting for our arrival, for three billion years, immobile in its planetary cage.

Inquirer reviews …

'This Must Be the Place': A man larger than life, imperfect, but human.

… 'This Must Be the Place': A man larger than life, imperfect, but human.

Mike Love, Beach Boy: 'Good Vibrations' has a lot of discord.

… Robert Frost at the height: 'Letters, 1920-1928'.

Something to think on …

Poets are almost always wrong about facts. That's because they are not really interested in facts: only in truth.
— William Faulkner, born on this date in 1897

Saturday, September 24, 2016

The something behind the limited whole …

 First Known When Lost: Reeds.

Like many others, I sense it as Someone.

Damn straight …

… Dear University of Tennessee, Hands Off Instapundit Glenn Reynolds. | National Review.

Reynolds was speaking as a private citizen on a matter of public concern. His speech constituted neither a true threat nor incitement to violence. State officials are free to condemn his speech, they are not free to punish that speech.
Moreover, let’s not forget the context. Motorists do not have to yield to a violent mob simply because that violent mob seeks “social justice.” Instead, if a motorist reasonably believes his or her life – or the lives of their passengers – are in danger, they can take steps to defend themselves, including by pressing the gas to leave the scene. 
Too many university administrators are looking more and more like sworn enemies of freedom.

A sign of the times for the worse …

… BU Editorial Institute Dispute: Ricks Defenestrated | National Review. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

… Ricks has been a root-and-branch opponent of radical relativism and the perverse, verbose claims of Franco-Nietzschean literary theory. He has seen that on the side of the humanities and social sciences, the modern university is skewed in favor of fad, “neophilia,” nominalism, and counterintuitive attacks on every inherited civilizing tradition. If I don’t say something shocking, bold, new, odd, outrageous, obscene, or funky, how am I to attract attention and get tenure? And why should I defer to Aristotle, Dante, Milton, Kant, Austen, Dickens, Melville, Du Bois, or Eliot? Transgressive novelty at all costs.
Looks as though BU can be scratched off the application list. Like other such schools of  mauvaise foi, it might learn something from a serious drop in enrollment.

Three of a kind …

 Solitary Praxis: Emily Dickinson's Trinitarian formula.

Today's Patchen …

Be very, very afraid …

… Welcome to the Dark Net, a Wilderness Where Invisible World Wars Are F | Vanity Fair. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Opsec had stumbled onto a very big thing. And its lack of use was the key. The only possible purpose, Opsec concluded, was that of a sleeper cell, lying in wait as a pre-positioned asset to be used as a last resort, like a nuclear weapon, in the event of an all-out cyber-war. The world certainly seems to be moving in that direction. Already cyber-attacks constitute an active component of nearly every conventional military battle. They are used by the U.S. in conjunction with the air and ground war against ISIS. Some say that a global cyber-war is already under way, because everyone is getting hacked. But many states—China, Russia, Germany, France, Pakistan, Israel, and the United States—are actively preparing for something much larger to come.


Helping hand …

… Zealotry of Guerin: The Wounded Angel (Hugo Simberg), Sonnet #216.

The line of duty …

… Paul Davis On Crime: A Warrior Cop Shot In Philadelphia: My Piece On The Inherent Danger Police Officers Face On The Front Lines In The War On Terrorism.

Trouble spots …

… Paul Davis On Crime: A Surge Of Ideas: My Piece On General Petraeus' Five Take-Aways From The Middle East Conflicts.

Something to think on …

Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he isn't. A sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is.
— Horace Walpole, born on this date in 1717

Friday, September 23, 2016

RIP …

… Farewell to one of Europe’s leading thinkers, Leonidas Donskis (1962-2016) | The Book Haven.

That hacking business …

Kevin Lauer, my tech guru, came by this morning and fixed up my email. The hacking had installed a filter, which Kevin removed. So everything is back to normal (some passwords had to be changed as well). Anybody in need of computer help should think of getting into touch with Kevin at Refresh Computers. Highly recommended.

Mark thy calendar …

… Friends of the Princeton Public Library Book Sale Set for Oct. 14-16 - Planet Princeton. (Hat tip, Virginia Kerr.)

You have been warned …

… Study warns that science as we know it is evolving into something shoddy and unreliable - ScienceAlert.



The accusations one hears of "science denial" — as if anyone in his right mind does that — invariably come from people wanting to use science for political purposes: "…studies like this that shine a critical spotlight on science – which are fairly 'novel' and attention-grabbing in themselves – may help to keep people aware of just how big of an issue this really is."

Patchen again…

Mark thy calendar …


 Manayunk Roxborough Art Center (MRAC) at 419 Green Lane (rear) in Philadelphia presents " Four Distinct Poets: Hanoch Guy, Leonard Gontarek, Jim Brennan and Cameron Conaway--- on Sunday, September 25:   3:00 to 5:30 PM. Open Reading afterwards. Refreshments will be provided. $5 Donation requested. Phone: 215-482-3363.

Jim Brennan was a street corner vendor, carwash grunt, and labored on warehouse loading docks before he went to work on the Philadelphia waterfront. Today his blue-collar heritage filters into his work as author, poet and Cityscape editor for the Schuylkill Valley Journal. Jim’s work has appeared in Everyday Fiction, Fringe, Salon.com, The Moonstone Anthol-ogy and other outlets.

Cameron Conaway is a former professional Mixed Martial Arts fighter, poet, creative writing instructor at Penn State Brandywine, social justice warrior. Cameron Conaway is the author of 5 books, including Malaria, Poems, which was named a Best Book of 2014 by NPR. He has lived in Thailand to fight human trafficking and Africa fighting malaria. His work as a journalist has appeared in publications such as Newsweek, ESPN and The Guardian, and has been supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. He lives in Glenside.

Leonard Gontarek is the author of five books of poems: St. Genevieve Watching Over Paris,Van Morrison Can't Find His FeetZen For BeginnersDéjà Vu Diner, He Looked Beyond My Faults and  Saw My Needs (Hanging Loose Press, 2013). His poems have appeared inAmerican Poetry Review, Field, Poet Lore, Verse, Exquisite Corpse, etc. Since 2006, he has conducted 1000 poetry workshops in venues including The Moonstone Arts Center, The Kelly Writers House, the Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership, and a weekly Saturday workshop from his home in West Philadelphia. He hosts the Green Line Café Reading and Interview Series.  See:  www.leafscape.org/LeonardGontarek


Hanoch Guy grew up in Israel and is a bilingual poet in Hebrew and English. He teaches at Temple University and at the Musehouse. His poetry has been published in many journals, including Poetica, where he won an award, and The International Journal of Genocide Studies.He has four books of poetry.

 Peter Krok, the editor of the Schuylkill Valley Journal (Print) and Schuylkill Valley Journal Online (svjlit.com),  is also the Humanities Director of the MRAC. He hosts and coordinates the Sunday Humanities series, which he started in 1990.  For information about the program, please call Peter Krok at the MRAC at 215-482-3363 or contact him at macpoet1@aol.com.

Hmm …

… Will the Left Survive the Millennials? - The New York Times.

In an era of weaponized sensitivity, participation in public discourse is growing so perilous, so fraught with the danger of being caught out for using the wrong word or failing to uphold the latest orthodoxy in relation to disability, sexual orientation, economic class, race or ethnicity, that many are apt to bow out. Perhaps intimidating their elders into silence is the intention of the identity-politics cabal — and maybe my generation should retreat to our living rooms and let the young people tear one another apart over who seemed to imply that Asians are good at math.
Well, I don't care whether left or right survives, but I do care about the freedom to say what I think whether anybody likes it or not.

Seeing things as they are …

… The Counsel of Despair? Albert J. Nock on Self-Government - The Imaginative Conservative.  (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

… Nock concluded that very little could, in fact be done about the state. He retreated into a philosophy of “intelligent selfishness, intelligent egoism, intelligent hedonism.”[24] As America lurched toward involvement in World War I, Nock would listen as acquaintances, swept up in war fever, raged against the Kaiser. When their tirade ended, he would simply agree with them “and let it go with that.” After the war, Nock made no effort to join a now-chastened public in anti-war efforts, despite his abhorrence of war, because “I knew, as they apparently did not, that if you go in for education you must first make sure of having something educable to educate and second, you must have some one with a clear and competent idea of what he is about to do the educating. I saw no prospect that either condition would be met.”[25] Indeed, when confronted with any such efforts Nock was inclined to refer to them as “Uplift,” with an ironic upper-case “U.”[26] Despite his eloquent writing against the modern state and on behalf of human liberty, he concluded that most people displayed no interest in liberty at all, and indeed often displayed a “curious canine pride” in their “servitorship.”[27] Indeed he complained that “a status of permanent irresponsibility under collectivism would be most congenial and satisfactory” to the “psychically-anthropoid majority.”[28]
I think Nock regarded himself as a realist, not a pessimist. And the great number of people around today who have been sufficiently trained to obtain credentials provide strong evidence that what he said about educability may well be true.


Something to think on …

I have always maintained that the one important phenomenon presented by modern society is - the enormous prosperity of Fools.
— Wilkie Collins, who died on this date in 1889