Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Protesting Scott Walker in Philly

No Grudges

To Die For

Robot pigeons in Tennessee? WTF?


Happy Birthday, You Rascally Rabbit!


Shocking news.

In the Clouds

Jove in the clouds had his inhuman birth.
No mother suckled him, no sweet land gave
Large-mannered motions to his mythy mind.
He moved among us, as a muttering king,
Magnificent, would move among his hinds,
Until our blood, commingling, virginal,
With heaven, brought such requital to desire
The very hinds discerned it, in a star.
Shall our blood fail? Or shall it come to be
The blood of paradise? And shall the earth
Seem all of paradise that we shall know?
The sky will be much friendlier then than now,
A part of labor and a part of pain,
And next in glory to enduring love,
Not this dividing and indifferent blue. 
--Wallace Stevens, "Sunday Morning"

Monday, July 27, 2015

Logo for Mad Men: The Conference?

With just the right hint of Don. (Logo by my ingenious daughter Sarah.)

Cosby's Accusers

The amazing New York Magazine cover. As others have noted, the vast majority of the women are white.

Mary Jo Bang


Must confess I was not familiar with Bang, a poet who writes about environmental apocalypse and has done a new, very contemporary translation of Dante's Inferno (South Park's Eric Cartman = Gluttony).

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Couldn't Happen to a Nicer Demagogue

Mr. Norrell/Terry Donovan

I have been binge-watching Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell all day and am now watching Ray Donovan on Showtime.

Norrell, apparently, reincarnated as a down-on-his-luck former boxer. Now that's magic.

My H. E. Francis Shelf

It has long been my honor to know Herb Francis, one of our greatest fiction writers.

Over Doing It

I can identify. (From The Onion of course.)

American Psychological Association To Classify Belief in God As a Mental Illness

This is from The News Nerd website. If only it were not a spoof.

"According to the American Psychological Association (APA), a strong and passionate belief in a deity or higher power, to the point where it impairs one’s ability to make conscientious decisions about common sense matters, will now be classified as a mental illness.

The controversial ruling comes after a 5-year study by the APA showed devoutly religious people often suffered from anxiety, emotional distress, hallucinations, and paranoia. The study stated that those who perceived God as punitive was directly related to their poorer health, while those who viewed God as benevolent did not suffer as many mental problems. The religious views of both groups often resulted in them being disconnected from reality.

Dr. Lillian Andrews, professor of psychology, stated, “Every year thousands of people die after refusing life-saving treatment on religious grounds. Even when being told ‘you will die without this treatment’ patients reject the idea and believe that their God will still save them. Those lives could be saved simply by classifying those people as mentally unfit for decision making.”

“Jehovah Witnesses for instance,” Dr. Andrews continued, “will not accept blood under any circumstance. They would rather die than to receive life-saving donor blood. Many religious people believe they have “healing power” in their hands. Many believe they can communicate with God using a personal language, which is unknown to anyone but the communicator and God (known as speaking in tongues). Many often tell of seeing spirits. All of these are signs of a mental break and a loss of touch with reality. Religious belief and the angry God phenomenon has caused chaos, destruction, death, and wars for centuries. The time for evolving into a modern society and classifying these archaic beliefs as a mental disorder has been long overdue. This is the first of many steps to a positive direction.”

With the new classification, the APA will lobby to introduce legislation which would allow doctors the right to force life-saving treatment on those who refuse it for spiritual reasons on the grounds that they are mentally incapable of making decisions about their health.
The American Psychological Association says more information about the study and the new classification will be made available to the public in their upcoming journal (which is expected to be release in early August)."