"'In no part of Oceania do the inhabitants have the feeling that they are a colonial population ruled by a distant capital.'" --"the book," 1984Orwell's instinctive feel for Englishness and tribal loyalty may be the best thing about this book. His refusal to see religious loyalties may be the book's biggest failing (even for secular readers). More on that when I finish rereading. … [Read more...]


"THROUGH THE YEARS WE ALL WILL BE TOGETHER": SIX FOR THE SIX THAT NEVER GOT FIXED. Second-to-last section of the depressing Christmas story. I'm apologizing in advance for the amazingly awful structure of this story. It should not even stand up without skyhooks. When I revise, I will fix the horrible maldistribution of character development, a.k.a. lumps of exposition in everyone's stockings! I do still think this story is worth the trouble it would take to save.Anyway, in this section we do … [Read more...]


...AND I WILL SING OF THE SUN: After the Koch thing about "the future of marriage," I was asked what I would tell a gay couple to do. And I hear this a lot: You're very clear on what they can't do, but what should they do?My response to that question is necessarily more personal than policy-oriented. It has two branches; the first I expect people have heard before, the second perhaps not so much. What follows is fairly close to a verbatim transcript of what I said over dinner to the Kochheads … [Read more...]


FARM SUBSIDY RULES CALLED TOO VAGUE: From the Washington Post. Does not get at any of the underlying problems with the farm dole, but still, useful."The federal government is giving millions of dollars in farm subsidies to people who should not receive them, thanks to vague government regulations and insufficient oversight, according to congressional investigators."more … [Read more...]


Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St. Clement's. You owe me three farthings, say the bells of St. Martin's. When will you pay me? say the bells of Old Bailey. When I grow rich, say the bells of Shoreditch. --O'Brien, 1984 … [Read more...]


Jenny, Jenny, you're the blog for me. You don't watch me, but you make me so happy...Sed Contra: Flannery O'Connor and Abu Ghraib. I haven't read yet, but it looks both important and fascinating. Blood at the root...The Koch Fellows of 2004 have a blog! Koch is a summer fellowship program run by the Institute on Humane Studies. It's a highly intellectual, libertarian-leaning program that tends to draw out the best in its participants. I spoke before them last night on "the future of … [Read more...]


"'It's the Golden Country--almost,' he murmured."'The Golden Country?'"'It's nothing, really. A landscape I've seen sometimes in a dream.'"'Look!' whispered Julia."A thrush had lighted on a bough not five meters away, almost at the level of their faces." --1984 … [Read more...]