Category: Society at Large

Book #2 in 2018: Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

Posted January 4th, 2018
Book #2 in 2018: Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

I had read David Grann’s article in The New Yorker, “The Marked Woman,” last March so the outlines of this appalling story were familiar to me.  The completed book, however, Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI (Doubleday, 2017), includes a dark coda that reminds us that all…

Book #1 in 2018: “It’s All Relative” by A.J. Jacobs

Posted January 1st, 2018
Book #1 in 2018: "It’s All Relative" by A.J. Jacobs

I decided a few days ago that I would record every book I finished reading in 2018 and say something about each. As it turns out, this book, It’s All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World’s Family Tree by A.J. Jacobs (Simon & Schuster, 2017), a Christmas gift from My Dear One, went faster…

On The Erie Canal 1: History, Boats and Changes

Posted August 21st, 2017
On The Erie Canal 1: History, Boats and Changes

I’ve got an old mule and her name is Sal Fifteen years on the Erie Canal She’s a good old worker and a good old pal Fifteen years on the Erie Canal … Low bridge, everybody down Low bridge cause we’re coming to a town And you’ll always know your neighbor And you’ll always know…

The Mouth In The Oval Office: Boss Tweet

Posted July 5th, 2017
The Mouth In The Oval Office: Boss Tweet

As I write this, Donald John Trump has been President of the United States for 161 days—not quite 24 weeks. He has been, as he tweets it, “modern-day presidential.” I can’t even begin to parse that; obviously such presidential qualities as dignity, humanity and patriotism are utterly unknown to this Know-Nothing Nativist and portly, “short-fingered…

DISCARDED

Posted July 2nd, 2017
DISCARDED

In the course of making some point or other, I asked the high-school age students in my summer workshop what their favorite books were. Any book, I said, it could even be a picture book you read with your parents. Not one of the eight mentioned a book. Finally, a lad allowed as how a…

Based in Batignolles 6: Architecture and Arrondissements

Posted May 31st, 2017
Based in Batignolles 6: Architecture and Arrondissements

“Alistair Horne, Vivid War Historian and Onetime British Spy, Dies at 91.” The headline in today’s New York Times would have caught my eye any morning. Right now, however, I am up to page 306 of Horne’s Seven Ages of Paris, engrossed in his narrative of the years leading to World War I. It’s a wonderful…

Based in Batignolles 3: Beyond the Pale

Posted May 13th, 2017
Based in Batignolles 3: Beyond the Pale

Apparently, our neighborhood does not exist. Consult a tourist guide like Eyewitness Paris and there is an empty white space where one might expect to find Batignolles.  The teal-green blob of Montmartre floats in a void separate from the colors that identify the other quartiers of the city. There is the 8ème and not much of…

The Mouth That Would Be President: It Has Been Elected President and I Am Sick

Posted November 9th, 2016
The Mouth That Would Be President: It Has Been Elected President and I Am Sick

When I went to bed, North Carolina had already fallen and I knew the nightmare was about to descend. When I awoke, I watched the numbers on my clock flip toward 6:15 when the radio would click on with the news on WYPR. And it did. And three or four words in, I heard the…

The Mouth That Would Be President, Take 2

Posted March 7th, 2016
The Mouth That Would Be President, Take 2

It was August 13, 2015, exactly six months and twenty-one days ago as I write this, that I published my anxiety about the campaign of Donald J. Trump for the Republican nomination for President of the United States of America. I was told not to worry, that he was a farce, that his campaign would…

Paying to Eat

Posted August 22nd, 2015
Paying to Eat

The grocery store was the second-to-last stop. We had picked up a prescription at Walmart, had dinner at Lin’s Hibachi Grill and were headed to Bomboy’s for ice cream. A normal group of errands on a normal summer Friday evening. My Dear One said there was a worthy one-day sale on meats. Whole chickens were…