When they gave me tenure at the university I flew out to Wyoming to give my mother the good news face to face. I knew she’d appreciate that, and it had been a while, quite a while in fact, since I’d seen her. It was not the easiest time for such a trip. My new book was just coming out, with all the last-minute changes and all the obligations that involves. But I was able to grade student papers on the plane. And I needed the change of scene. Even my familiar boyhood home constituted
Talking in words about architecture is one of the most difficult activities I am aware of. Everyday talk along the lines of “Meet me in front of the yellow building on the corner,” is not too hard. Nor is commentary on a single building along the lines of “I like that one,” “It’s top-heavy,” “It’s joyful,” “It looks cheap,” “Why couldn’t they have used darker bricks?” But comparisons of buildings, descriptions
Sometimes my dog plays a game. It’s the first game he taught himself, and he plays it with all his toys. He’ll hold a toy in his mouth and run in frantic circles, and then toss the toy over his head. It’ll take him a long time to stop running and calm down. When he does he’ll begin sniffing for the toy, sniffing and not looking, for he won’t see the thing even if it’s right in front of him. He’ll sniff worriedly. But when he spots the toy, he’ll
Good Morning, Blues.
How do you do?
I’m doing all right.
Good Morning. How are you?
The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.
These words, both sets, are about an edge. They are about neither misery nor an easy comfort. Camus’ essay has a lot wrong with it. Camusian absurdity is too much a disappointed attempt to fulfill a desire we do not all share and are gradually putting behind us. It is too much a history. And the
A high school teacher took his students to a museum where, among other things, they were to go into a particular room, one at a time, and select a great painting which they would tell the teacher about immediately upon leaving the room by the other door. One student reported that he had been unable to find “a great painting” in the room at all. Most of the others, on the contrary, reported having had a difficult time deciding which of the great paintings to talk about. Strangely enough,
NOTES ON CRIMINAL JUSTICE
We cruelly abuse those convicted of crimes. Some who are convicted protest their innocence. Some of these are later found to have been telling the truth. Others plead guilty in plea bargains despite being innocent. This eases our consciences, but does not necessarily promote justice.
This is from You Are Going to Prison by Jim Hogshire:
“The plea bargain is what keeps the courts going at all. Without them, the ‘justice system’ would
This paper has benefited from the complaints, exclamations, objections, and obscenities of posters to rec.arts.books and alt.postmodern.
Working Toward Good Results
I suspect that most Westerners at the end of the twentieth century would subscribe to the idea that when you do something, it’s a good idea to consider what the results of your action will be. That is, if without mentioning “ethics” or “morality” you ask someone “Do you think it’s a good idea,
To answer these questions requires sorting through a lot of interwoven beliefs or feelings. Where we think there is pain does not correlate with what we are reluctant to damage, and what we are reluctant to damage depends on the directness of the damaging.
Many of us eat dead cow, for example, but couldn’t bring ourselves to kill one. Similarly for capital punishment. Some of us sometimes wince with empathy when our cars are damaged, although often we think the car is not feeling pain. There
In article <19971010153301.LAA15626@ladder02.news.aol.com> firstname.lastname@example.org (Jackhat1) writes:
> I dip into this thread from time to time looking for a short description of
> decontructionism. I still don’t know what it is. Does anyone have a paragraph
> or two that could help me. Thanks.
> Jack h
OK, Jack, I’m picking yours at random, and composing a paragraph. I will then put it on my webpage and in the future refer as many of these requests there as possible.
She said to me: Those were the first words you said to me: “You have beautiful mittens.” Remember?
I didn’t remember: Of course. And you did. They were my favorite color. Like . . . like your eyes.
My eyes aren’t red.
Just a little. I kissed her eyes.
Red isn’t your favorite color.
It is now. Just ask me.
What’s your favorite color?
Red . . . see?
What does that prove? What kind of mittens were they?
Wool mittens that you could see the shape of your fingers