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.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Saturday, October 25. 2014
Friday, October 24. 2014
I believe that evil exists. I have seen it in myself, and I think I understand the human desire to externalize it or to deny it. Denial of evil is dangerous.
From The Guardian (really): The truth about evil - Our leaders talk a great deal about vanquishing the forces of evil. But their rhetoric reveals a failure to accept that cruelty and conflict are basic human traits
One quote from this good essay:
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:53 | Comments (7) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, October 23. 2014
Does Everybody Want Freedom? Most do, even those who appear to enjoy slavery.
My experience in life has taught me that many or most people would accept some form of feudalism in exchange for safety and security for themselves and their families. Serfdom, if you will.
Caught as most of us are between a job and the government, it's all still basically feudal is it not? Not what the American founders had in mind.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:08 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, October 22. 2014
Exploring southern Manhattan on foot, as if a tourist: A report from the First Annual Maggie's Urban Hike
We began our jolly urban hike on the southern tip of Manhattan Island, Battery Park, where the ferries depart to Staten Island, Ellis Island, and the Statue of Liberty.
What is fatiguing is not the hiking itself - it's the overstimulation. So much going on, so much to look at.
Below the fold, a photo summary of our hike, with relevant links -
Continue reading "Exploring southern Manhattan on foot, as if a tourist: A report from the First Annual Maggie's Urban Hike"
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:16 | Comments (15) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday, October 21. 2014
America's founders never promised us a rose garden. Quite the opposite. They offered, to the world, a novel and very difficult life breathing the air of freedom and independence from government and any other powers.
Adventurous people from all over the world have been attracted to the ideas of dangerous freedom, opportunity, risk, insecurity, and self-reliance.
Those things bring out the best in people.
You all know all of this. In my view, if you want anything from the federal government other than legal justice and protection from invading powers, you lack the vibrant American spirit and perhaps might prefer to live elsewhere, where a more feudal state plays a more parental, controlling role. It's a big world out there and the American idea is not/was not for everybody.
American people do not have delimited rights. American governments have delimited powers. That was the idea and the ideal, anyway.
Freedom or rights for stuff rather than from stuff? It sickens my soul. Quit helping us, please. Our ancestors did not come here for help other than help from God and maybe from our neighbor if we had one. They struggled and endured freedom, and so should we all. "Gimme" is not American: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Gimmedat:
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:09 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, October 19. 2014
She's right about the winging it, but I believe the wings change.
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 11:03 | Comments (7) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, October 18. 2014
Friday, October 17. 2014
Thursday, October 16. 2014
Wednesday, October 15. 2014
Thursday, October 9. 2014
The wedding industry suggests spending a ton of cash on a ring and
ceremony for marital bliss. Some economists looked into it and say it's
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:50 | Comments (7) | Trackback (1)
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:31 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
I know how complicated a question that is. Are we talking about a date, a party conversation, a friend, a one night stand, friends with benefits, a husband's pal, an affair, a boy-toy, a potential marriage, etc?
If one is fortunate enough to be an appealing female, you know that all men will consider the notion of having a romp with you. They can't help it. Indeed, it is a no-brainer. You are a love-or-sex object before they even know you. Your Mom taught you that oafs want their hands on your body, creeps want to sneak into your head, and gentlemen try not to be either oaf or creep.
Women do live in a somewhat different mental world from men. As a shrink, I know both worlds. I know that many women find physical attractiveness appealing, tall guys with masculine physiques and regular features, etc., but I'm not asking about that, or that alone. And I am not asking about "marriageable," with its implications of good prospects, money, breeding, cultural affinity, intelligence, knowledge, skill sets, potential to make a good parent/mate, etc. Seductive expert men who try to get into your head? Red flag, always - those are would-be Bill Clinton types. Many women are drawn to charming sociopaths, and they know it because it connects with their own flaws. Been there in youth, done that, recovered, as have so many young women.
I am just asking about general "appealing," like somebody you want to talk to at a party and feel drawn to. Readers know that I have always loved Atticus Finch and that I married the closest I could find who also had good genes, who has effortfully made a lot of money while I pursued my medical calling, and been a great dad, a very hard-worker, a boy scout, and a loving and loyal husband despite his own difficult imperfections. Lucky me.
I will start it off:
The traits I find quickly appealing and charming in men are courage, honor, manliness, humor, shyness, but a confident attitude towards life and an easy, relaxed deportment which says that they are comfortable in their skin. They like to play sports and to play with power tools, books, and guns. Those things are instantly appealing to women like me, chemically. You do not have to mate with them, but I can just like it the way you like that chocolate dessert that you do not need and will not eat. We are not animals, but we do enjoy some people more than others. Decent men are the same way with the charming women they meet and enjoy. Normal guys who are out in the world develop instant crushes several times daily just from a chemical reaction.
How about you ladies? What appeals to you, in guys?
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:08 | Comments (45) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, October 8. 2014
And at the Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy
(Links via S&M's The economy as hyperreality)
Tuesday, October 7. 2014
A street fair on Lex
They are cooking that corn the right way. The city is always a blast to walk around in, everywhere.
More pics below the fold -
Continue reading "Strolling around midtown Manhattan, a week or so ago"
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 19:35 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
It begins like this:
The Trailhead Queen was dead. At first, there was no overt sign that her long life was ending: no fever, no spasms, no farewells. She simply sat on the floor of the royal chamber and died. As in life, her body was prone and immobile, her legs and antennae relaxed. Her stillness alone failed to give warning to her daughters that a catastrophe had occurred for all of them. She lay there, in fact, as though nothing had happened. She had become a perfect statue of herself. While humans and other vertebrates have an internal skeleton surrounded by soft tissue that quickly rots away, ants are encased in an external skeleton; their soft tissues shrivel into dry threads and lumps, but their exoskeletons remain, a knight’s armor fully intact long after the knight is gone. Hence the workers were at first unaware of their mother’s death. Her quietude said nothing, and the odors of her life, still rising from her, signalled, I remain among you. She smelled alive.
It is a short story. Read it all.
Sunday, October 5. 2014
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:10 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Holiday season is fast upon us, which means conflict, tension, and related frivolity. Here's something useful: An Idiot’s Guide to the Right
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 10:45 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, October 4. 2014
Everything in the attic, basement, and garage that has not been used in two years is on its way out today.
The attic will be emptied, completely. Nothing will ever go back up that attic pull-down stair, so long as I am alive. Will keep a few pieces of furniture that the kids might need when they find their own homes. Otherwise, total clean-out. A dumpster, and two strong helpers. Pancho and Ruiz, our good yard guys. "Nice house, but too much stuff" said Pancho.
Gave them nice tips - deserved it for sure.
Lots should probably go to Good Will but it's just too much trouble. Clothing, furniture, old kids' stuff, etc. If my legal immigrant helpers want stuff, they are welcome to it. I'm sick of my attitude of "I might need it or want it someday." Yeah, right. Will keep my Sawzall, tho. Best tool since the stone-age stone hammer. Chain saws? I use them frequently. Brio train set? A keeper!
If we lived on a busy middle-class street, almost everything would be taken by people if we put it on the curb. That's what my brother does with his excess stuff. Great set of 6 kitchen table chairs which I always liked, etc.
The way we Americans accumulate stuff is ridiculous. It expands to fill and then overflow the space - and then you can't find it even if you wanted to. That's why God, in his infinite goodness and wisdom, created dumpsters. Also, He created rent-a-tool places. Great. Why buy, store, and maintain something if you can rent it for a day or two when you need it?
Firearms? Well, I think I'll save all my spares for future grandkids. All most people really need around the house are a handgun, a deer rifle, a .22, a 16 ga. and a couple of BB guns for the little kids, but I do not even know how many firearms I have. More than I can use, for sure.
Update: It only took us only 5 hours to fill the dumpster over the brim. Found Mrs. BD's wedding gown, kept it (who knows, she might need it someday - it's a nice one and I can be a pain). Lots of keeper kids' books and keeper train set. And some antique oriental rugs I had stored away zipped up in mothballs and forgot that I had. Nice, but I don't need more rugs now. In fact, I already have a stash of very nice antique orientals waiting for my kids' use. They are not in fashion, but I love them. Especially the Caucasians. Well-worn but fascinating to look at.
Now just vacuum the whole attic, and it's done. Onward and upward with the autumn honey-do list...
While the concept of taking regular pictures of a subject is not new, the ease with which it can be done (particularly on an individual level) has improved. As a project for an artist, however, it can yield intriguing results. Nicholas Nixon's study of the Brown Sisters provides a tremendous view of how a subject group, in this case a family, progresses through time. I am not sensitive enough to be moved to tears, though others have been.
My wife and I had very different reactions to the pictures. She focused on the items mentioned in the article, all of which are intriguing. I looked at the individual pictures, seeking to find indications of change and age. While each picture shows differences, I was of the opinion noticeable changes started appearing somewhere around the 16-20 year mark.
Wednesday, October 1. 2014
I was recently driving from New Haven to Boston and picked up the first hitchhiker I've seen in quite a while. He was hitching to Augusta, Maine, a Navy guy on leave.
I asked him why he did it. He told me had hitched since his early teens, and just liked it. I told him I used to hitch all over the Northeast, mostly going to see gals. Nobody gave me use of a car when I turned 16, or even when I graduated from college.
It seems to me that hitchhiking in the Northeast is a disappearing tradition. Too bad - it was a good thing, always interesting, but maybe that was a more innocent era.
Seen any lately? Given any a ride?
Bulldog and I have been working on this for a while.
The plan is to hike from the Battery - South Ferry - to Central Park South. Or maybe vice-versa - we'll let you know details. However, it will be a somewhat meandering route so as to capture some fun sights and neighborhoods, and some cool locations, and for some fun beer/water and/or bathroom stops. We'll post a map of our route in advance.
As a result, it could be a 7-miler, a bit tiring for some but it's mostly all flat. We have no time frame for the hike (maybe 10 AM, until done). Totally doable in comfortable shoes. Cameras are good. If needed, we'll have a leader with an
Be there or be square. It's like, you know, like totally worth a trip to the city. Grab a hearty breakfast, because we aren't stopping for food. Backpack snacks if you need 'em.
Rain, snow, shine, or fire-and-brimstone. Bulldog and I will be there, News Junkie, family members, friends, and whoever, at the start. Join us, whether a Maggie's reader or not. We are friendly (and we do not care about your politics or your religion).
Details to you if interested in a group hike - just leave your contact info in the comments below, or we will post further details soon. Yes means Yes, but not maybe.
Sunday, September 28. 2014
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