...the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life...

Monday, February 28, 2011

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Wilcume means Welcome

In English that’s old,

Though nobody speaks it--

Or so I am told.

Yet each pilgrim I meet,

My greeting's the same:

Wilcume min sweostor

Beowulf is min nama.

Monday, February 14, 2011


Identifying lies told by powerful political leaders -- and describing them as such -- is what good journalists do, by definition. It's the crux of adversarial journalism, of a "watchdog" press. "Objectivity" does not require refraining from pointing out the falsity of government claims. The opposite is true; objectivity requires that a journalist do exactly that: treat factually false statements as false. "Objectivity" is breached not when a journalist calls a lie a "lie," but when they refuse to do so, when they treat lies told by powerful political officials as though they're viable, reasonable interpretations of subjective questions. The very idea that a journalist is engaged in "opinion-making" or is "taking sides" by calling a lie a "lie" is ludicrous; the only "side" such a journalist is taking is with facts, with the truth. It's when a journalist fails to identify a false statement as such that they are "taking sides" -- they're siding with those in power by deceitfully depicting their demonstrably false statements as something other than lies.

- Glenn Greenwald

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Recommended for headphones or,

better yet, next time you're driving at night: The first three songs of Dire Straits' Making Movies, especially the first, "Tunnel of Love." Loud while driving is best. I can't recommend it highly enough. Great for Valentine's Day or not.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Lewis Hyde

Barnet's language, the language of gift exchange, has procreation at its root. Generosity comes from genere (Old Latin: beget, produce), and the generations are its consequence, as are the gens, the clans. At its source in both Greek and Sanskrit, liberality is its desire; libido is its modern cousin. Virtue's root is a sex (vir, the man), and virility is its action. Virtue, like the gift, moves through a person, and has a procreative or healing power (as in the Bible story about the woman who touched the hem of Jesus' garment in the faith that it would heal her: "And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned about in the press and said, 'Who touched my clothes?'").

Friday, February 11, 2011

I Don't Pretend to Know

all--or even a little--of what the events unfolding in Egypt mean.

Nevertheless, I find myself pretty exhilarated by what I've been watching. I hope it turns out beautifully, though I know it might turn out dismally. Let's hope for better than what it could be.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pound on a Ford Madox Hueffer (Ford) Simile

Don't use such an expression as 'dim lands of peace.' It dulls the image. It mixes an abstraction with the concrete. It comes from the writer's not realizing that the natural object is always the adequate symbol.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Beach Boys & T.S. Eliot

From "Good Vibrations," 1966:
I don't know where but she sends me there.
From "Burnt Norton," 1936:
I can only say, there we have been: but I cannot say where.

A New Thing

I will attempt to post one new thing here daily. That's my new thing. Let's see if I can do it, yo!