Friday, July 25, 2008


He can be infuriating, at times, but

Andrew Sullivan's blog without Andrew Sullivan reminds me of something David Letterman once said about decaf coffee.

"It's like non-alcoholic Scotch. What is the point?"

The Angry Man

The Angry Man
by Phyllis McGinley (1905-78)

The other day I chanced to meet
An angry man upon the street --
A man of wrath, a man of war,
A man who truculently bore
Over his shoulder, like a lance,
A banner labeled “Tolerance.”

And when I asked him why he strode
Thus scowling down the human road,
Scowling, he answered, “I am he
Who champions total liberty --
Intolerance being, ma’am, a state
No tolerant man can tolerate.

“When I meet rogues,” he cried, “who choose
To cherish oppositional views,
Lady, like this, and in this manner,
I lay about me with my banner
Till they cry mercy, ma’am.” His blows
Rained proudly on prospective foes.

Fearful, I turned and left him there
Still muttering, as he thrashed the air,
“Let the Intolerant beware!”

Autism test

Autism quotient test

Here. I scored 31 out of 50. Wasn't too surprised.

Found here.


Five things I think are overrated
(not that anyone asked me! -- but I have a blog, and will opine)

1. yogurt

2. Meryl Streep (sorry!)

3. baked beans (although pinto beans are tolerable)

4. Philip Larkin (again, sorry!)

5. any kind of "salad" (chicken, egg, etc.) that is not green and leafy


Anyone else who wishes to contribute to this embryonic meme can do so in the combox, or at his or her own blog!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bishop Kallistos Ware

In the Creed we do not say, "I believe that there is a God"; we say, "I believe in one God." Between belief that and belief in, there is a crucial distinction. It is possible for me to believe that someone or something exists, and yet for this belief to have no practical effect upon my life. I can open the telephone directory for Wigan and scan the names recorded on its pages; and, as I read, I am prepared to believe that some (or even most) of these people actually exist. But I know none of them personally, I have never even visited Wigan, and so my belief that they exist makes no particular difference to me. When, on the other hand, I say to a much-loved friend, "I believe in you", I am doing far more than expressing a belief that this person exists. "I believe in you" means: I turn to you, I rely upon you, I put my full trust in you and I hope in you. And that is what we are saying to God in the Creed.

Bishop Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way (St Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1995), pp. 15-16

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Groucho Marx on a bad day

"Groucho Marx on a bad day"

How the photographer Marion Morehouse described Dylan Thomas. As quoted in this article about a walking tour of Dylan Thomas's haunts in New York City.

Timothy Steele

More Timothy Steele

His page at the Poetry Foundation, with links in the right margin to seven of his poems (not including, alas, the sonnet about summer).

Monday, July 21, 2008

An "ordination"

An "ordination"
in as many scare-quotes as possible

Yes, up here in Boston's Back Bay the organization known as "Roman Catholic Womenpriests" added three "priests" and one "deacon" to their number yesterday.

The most amusing part of this folderol was listening to one of our local television reporters attempt to pronounce "diaconate."

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Timothy Steele

Prosody for 21st-century poets

An essay by Timothy Steele at the website. Steele, often categorized as a formalist, with good reason, takes on Ezra Pound and his denigration of the pentameter. He also has many things to say about the verse of our moment, and about the popular view of meter as a "straitjacket."

National homework

Our latest national homework

I'll pass.