Have you noticed there is a difference between honesty and truth? A person can be as honest as the day is long, saying exactly what he believes to be true, and yet not tell the truth. Our culture has been suffering from truth decay for a long time, and a good deal of the talk about honesty and transparency has replaced a concern for truth in many quarters. Let me explain what I mean. There are devout Christians who honestly… Read more

When Ellis Peters gets on a roll, she gets on a roll. Fresh off of the third novel in the Inspector Felse series (‘The Flight of the Witch’, see previous review) she decided that a pirate adventure in beautiful Cornwall, during the late summer holiday season was a perfect setting for a murder tale. And she was right. First published in 1965, (and with a different title in the U.S., namely the boring ‘Who Lies Here?’) the author was still… Read more

There is a very good collection of Greco-Roman remains, housed in several rooms on the first floor of the Art Institute in Chicago. It is not as extensive a collection as that in the Met in NY, but still it has some high quality pieces. Let’s start with the lovely map the Institute provides for the Biblical world…. For students of the Bible there are some helpful and important artifacts in this museum. For example, take this bust of a… Read more

Some people have far too much money and time on their hands (think the Donald, for example). One of the wealthy residents of Chicago was into miniatures, exact replica miniatures, rather like being into expensive doll houses with all equipment included. And so it was that Mrs. Thorne had created something remarkable, which is now housed in the basement of the Art Institute. The description on the website says the following….. “The 68 Thorne Miniature Rooms enable one to glimpse… Read more

Perhaps you have seen some variant of the following altered commercial about pigs flying… But I have something far better than this sort of gimmicky mock up. I have actual pictorial proof that pigs can fly. One of the less well know stories about Neal Armstrong was what he insisted on taking with him to the moon, namely his pet pig, being the good Midwestern farm lad that he was. The problem was that NASA was not to know about… Read more

When I think of the United Center, I think of the ‘madhouse on Madison’ where Michael and the Jordanaires won six NBA championships. It is of course Michael (my homeboy from Wilmington N.C. and a grad of UNC) whose statue stands parked at the entrance to the United Center. But on this night in August there was no basketball, for the circus had come to town. As it turns out, the circus was not in the United Center, but just… Read more

In our visit to the Art Institute of Chicago to see the Degas exhibit (on which see the subsequent post on the Impressionists), there was within this exhibit a famous statue by Rodin, my favorite sculptor of the 20th century. In this statue, Rodin captures the shame and desire to hide one’s nakedness perfectly, right after the act of disobedience which led not merely to self-awareness, but self-centeredness, self-protective behavior, narcissism. Sometime ago, I wrote a poem about the Fall… Read more

So we went to visit our Russian gal Yuliya in Chicago, and amazingly enough the weather co-operated. It was not beastly hot, even though it was August. There is a blue theme to this particular post, which includes our visit to Wrigley Field to pull for the Cubs, and also our visit to Briar Theatre to see the ‘men in blue’ by which I do not mean the Chicago police. First a shot of Chicago from the south side, where… Read more

On the way home from our visit to see our Russian daughter, we stopped at a large farm, to check out what Agra-Business looks like, about which our Kentucky poet and activist, Wendell Berry, has had much to say. This particular operation has 19,000 acres and over 30,000 cows, but it also serves as a birthing clinic for pigs, having about 10,000 of those as well, servicing about ten local hog farms. So in this case, the porcine operation has… Read more

Pain, is of course a part of life for any fragile, mortal creature. And of course there are many different kinds of pain— physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. Some people spend their entire lives seeking pleasure and trying to avoid pain. On the other end of the spectrum are people like those whom Sting talked about in his song ‘The King of Pain’. Some people really believe ‘no pain no gain’ in a literal sense and seek it out as a… Read more

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