We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
On the 50th anniversary of Kerouac's On The Road, we consider whether the book is worth reading, and whether its characters are of any interest - or is it just a road diary of an ordinary sociopath and his partner? Anthony Daniels in the New Criterion. One quote:
He (Kerouac) was the harbinger, though not the originator or only begetter, of an age in which every intelligent person was expected, and came himself to expect, to forge his own soul unguided by the wisdom of his ancestors. Convention was henceforth to be rejected not because it was wrong (for such reasoning might suggest that some, perhaps many or even most, conventions were right), but simply because it was convention: that is to say, an assault on the individual’s sovereignty over himself, a kind of lèse-majesté of the ego. There were to be no short cuts provided by others; everyone was to work everything out for himself by the bright light of his own ratiocination, and live according to what he found.
The attempt to achieve the impossible is seldom attractive in its consequences; in this case, it led to an inflamed individualism without individuality, and mass self-obsession without genuine self-examination.
That is rough, but probably true not only of most of the beat authors, but of much of my generation in our adolescence...and maybe beyond adolescence. A sort of historical discontinuity, leading nowhere except to self-indulgence.
To be 16 again... A quote today from the 16 year-old pup this morning: "Tell Mom when she gets home from church that I'm meeting friends at Grand Central. We're going to SoHo to hit some galleries and have lunch. I'll be back on the 6:30 train. Can I borrow the credit card? Thanks, Dad - Love ya. Wait, do you have any spare cash?"
When I was 16, NYC had the same gravitational pull on me that it does on her. It still does, I guess. When Aristotle said "Man is a political animal," he meant an animal of the "polis." I like 'em all: polis, suburban, and rural, but have always aspired to "rus in urba" (or is it "urb"?) as a half-baked and unsatisfying, but necessary, compromise. As long as we can hop a train, or hop in the car, we can have it all. Farm, city, and friendly suburban neighborhood. What a great country!
So pleased with her vitality and investment in life that I forgot to ask whether she meant the 6:30 departure or the 6:30 arrival.
At IBD (which is becoming a great news and opinion source) via LGF. A quote:
“I swear by Allah that war is deception,” said Shukri Abu-Baker, now on trial in the federal terror-funding case. “We are fighting our enemy with a kind heart. . . . Deceive, camouflage, pretend that you’re leaving while you’re walking that way. Deceive your enemy.”
The wishfully naive West still doesn't get it. Doesn't want to get it, because it would be trouble to deal with it.
"I really think that if tobacco and coffee were newly discovered and brought back by U.S. troops, they'd be put in Schedule 1 by the geniuses who want to run our lives." Classical Values rants on Khat and drug laws in general.
The expansion of S-CHIP is the ultimate, literal expression of the "nanny state." We don't trust each other (and, by extension and definition, ourselves) to take care of our children, so we want the government (also, by extension and definition) everyone else to do it for us.
6 Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, 7 for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. 8 But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
11 But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, 14 to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.
17 As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 18 They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19 thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.
Louis Stanton Auchincloss was born in Lawrence, New York on September 27, 1917 and grew up in Manhattan. He owes his lineage, and the good fortune to be born into America’s upper class, to Hugh Auchincloss, a Scottish merchant who left Paisley in 1803 to set up a branch of his family’s dry goods business in New York. Through adroit marriages and hard work, Hugh and his progeny multiplied and prospered into a new old world of brownstone houses, summers in Bar Harbor, Maine and Southampton, Long Island, New England prep schools, the bluer-blooded Ivies, secret societies, gentlemen’s clubs, Park Avenue and Wall Street – all the contours and peaks and exclusive domains of American Waspdom.
Arguably, the most significant event in Auchincloss’s life was attending Groton, a preparatory school in Massachusetts founded in 1884 by the Reverend Endicott Peabody and endowed with the help of JP Morgan and Theodore Roosevelt. As with many who find themselves in the cloistered and intense schools of the elite, Auchincloss never fully left; and the inspirational and feared figure of Peabody and the stern Episcopalian values and hyper-athleticism permeate Auchincloss’s most lauded work, The Rector of Justin (1964), which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
Two things defined the Auchincloss family,” declares Louis Auchincloss—retired lawyer, ancient patrician, prolific novelist of manners—in a perfect mid-Atlantic accent. “One is that they ran to a very high degree in the male line. Most families disappear through the distaff side.”
The other signature Auchincloss trait is the family’s self-sufficiency. While the Scots are routinely credited these days with inventing America, this particular clan—descended from Paisley native Hugh Auchincloss, who emigrated in 1803—was carefully preoccupied with burnishing its own wealth and reputation. “There was no Auchincloss fortune,” says the writer dryly as we sit together on overstuffed sofas. “Each generation either made or married its own money. There isn’t a bum in the lot. They’ve always got an eye for the main chance. They’re not romantics; they don’t take chances.”
ENTITLEMENTS FOR THE UNBORN? Greg Mankiw has some questions about Hillary's baby-bond proposal: "How might this be funded? There are only three groups that could be asked to pay for the new entitlement with higher taxes (or lower benefits): the current elderly, those currently of working age, or the same future generations who are getting the new benefit and are slated to pay for existing unfunded entitlements. Which group do you think Senator Clinton has in mind?"
Al Kooper said of Dylan's double-album masterpiece, “nobody has ever captured the sound of three a.m. better than that album. Nobody, even Sinatra, gets it as good.” In fact, it seems as if most of the songs were both written and recorded at 3 AM.
Ain't it just like the night to play tricks when you're tryin' to be so quiet? We sit here stranded, though we're all doin' our best to deny it And Louise holds a handful of rain, temptin' you to defy it Lights flicker from the opposite loft In this room the heat pipes just cough The country music station plays soft But there's nothing, really nothing to turn off Just Louise and her lover so entwined And these visions of Johanna that conquer my mind.
A quote from the piece:
Blonde on Blonde might well have included a character named Napoleon xiv, and the album sometimes seemed a little crazy, but it was no joke (not even the frivolous “Rainy Day Women”); and it was hardly the work of a madman, pretended or otherwise. At age twenty-four, Dylan, spinning on the edge, had a well-ordered mind and an intense, at times biting, rapport with reality. The songs are rich meditations on desire, frailty, promises, boredom, hurt, envy, connections, missed connections, paranoia, and transcendent beauty—in short, the lures andsnares of love, stock themes of rock and pop music, but written with a powerful literary imagination and played out in a 1960s pop netherworld.
Blonde on Blonde borrows from several musical styles, including ’40s Memphis and Chicago blues, turn-of-the-century vintage New Orleans processionals, contemporary pop, and blast-furnace rock & roll.
Also, FYI, here is Paul Williams' 1966 review of Blonde on Blonde in Crawdaddy.
Image: The unfolded cover photo of Blonde on Blonde
As long-time readers know, Ducks Unlimited is the official charity of Maggie's Farm. Read about them at their site.
It is very possible to be a conservationist without being a Greenie nutjob. We love the work that DU does to protect wildlife habitat in North America and Mexico. If conservation matters to you, and you are not afraid of guns, and want to support an organization (over 800,000 US members) that acts rather than talks and lobbys, consider getting involved with your local DU Chapter. DU now helps protect over 11 million acres of wildlife habitat.
DU's expertise in marsh restoration led to their being called in as consultants on the restoration of Iraq's famous marshes - Mesopotamia, probably the real Garden of Eden - drained by Saddam Hussein in his campaign to erase the cantakerous and independent Marsh Arabs.
I caught this morning morning's minion, kingdom of daylight's dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing, As a skate's heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding Stirred for a bird, -- the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!
Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion Times told lovelier, more dangerous, o my chevalier! No wonder of it: sheer plod makes plough down sillion Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear, Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermilion.
A Windhover is a Kestrel, the small, brightly-colored hovering falcon which in the US is often called a Sparrow Hawk. Hopkins' Wiki entry here.
Because we all have thousands of thoughts every day, the odds that we might have some good ones is inevitable. And, sadly, the "Law of Unintended Consequences" is always in force too: it's a law of nature, so we should never be surprised by unfortunate results.
The good reason to visit Hyde Park, NY, in the lovely Hudson Valley, is not to visit the home of the worst President of the US, but to visit the CIA. Paul Bocuse says it is "the best culinary school in the world." The other CIA - The Culinary Institute of America.
They have a choice of restaurants, relatively inexpensive and run by the students, and they aim to please.
Academic Lunacy. Hansen via Dr. Sanity. It's not insane - it's Gramscian!
Oil reserves increase over time.Cafe Hayek. That seems true, for at least the next couple of hundred years, but I still like nuke power.
Farm S&M Festival at Iowahawk. I can just imagine how many Google "farm p*rn sado-masoch*sm" seaches ended up there.
Poor Juan Williams is getting it from the Left. Althouse. How did the Liberal Williams become what Dems consider to be a house slave? I like Williams, and would love to have a beer with him, but I disagree with him 90% of the time. He is in trouble with the Left because he tries to be calmly rational - and because he is man enough not to be afraid of FOX. Perhaps "calmly rational" is not the political game...
Sexy Katrina produces inadvertent humor in The Nation, re Admadinnajabba. Hatemongers. I always give Katrina a pass though, because she is cute and sexy-looking. Just as she gives Admadinejabba a pass, because he is anti-West.
SCHIP is socialized medicine. Novak at RCP. As we have said here before, when you begin handing out "free" insurance to people making over 80,000/year, you are trying to bring the middle class into the entitlement class. Same as they did with Medicare on the other end of the age range. It's a clever strategery.
Did you read Barrister's post on Gramsci? It's worth a look, if you are weak on your Gramsci Thought.
Eurabia is real. Fjordman at Brussels Journal. It begins:
Does anyone still think it is a conspiracy theory to say that there is a coordinated campaign going in Europe to destroy the established nation states and surrender our countries to Muslims?
I would put it "to the Muslim hordes." Why don't they just fix their own places instead of bringing their alien culture to us, where it doesn't fit in? Read the whole thing. Immigrants always want to come to the prosperous, civilized, industrialized Western nations - and then they want to change them. Stupid, and cruel and insensitive to their overly-generous hosts. My message to all immigrants in the world:Man-up, Stay Home and Fix It. We did that job already, and you can do it too. Difficult? Of course, but that is what the world really needs for harmony and prosperity.
Photo: Lunchtime during the construction of the Empire State Building, 1930, from Dr X, who always has cool old photos.
The Badia (Abbey) a Passignano in the Chianti region of Tuscany. More nice photos of the area here. A Chianti walking tour sounds good to me, and, for refreshment, a glass of Chianti doesn't do much for me but a nice Chianti Classico can be a fine thing, and the Super Tuscans are the bee's knees.