"There are multiple distractions that somehow leak themselves in, even into these open spaces. Things about cleaning and creditors. All sorts of ephemera..."Little ghosts to be brushed aside."There is one that keeps occurring to me though."Something that I think may be of some import. Something we created together."A doll? A talking something? Something that made us happy."I will look for it--we will look for it--after I find you, but only after. It is important to prioritize." --Paul … [Read more...]


WOULD YOU CONSENT?: Ariel Dorfman in The Guardian:Is torture ever justified? That is the dirty question left out of the universal protestations of disgust, revulsion and shame that has greeted the release of photos showing British and American soldiers tormenting prisoners in Iraq.It is a question that was most unforgettably put forward over 130 years ago by Fyodor Dostoevsky in The Brothers Karamazov. In that novel, the saintly Alyosha Karamazov is tempted by his brother Ivan, … [Read more...]


CHAMPIONSHIP TITLES: Yet more. I still have no Title Theory. You people have been no help at all! (Hee.)Anyway. More titles I love: AND BOTH WERE YOUNG A BRIGHT ROOM CALLED DAYAbout Last Night challenges me to narrow my selections to Five Best Ever. I'm going to use the same core criterion I used for the "43 favorite movies" list: stickiness. These are five titles I will never be able to get out of my head--titles that shape the way I view the world.5 EVERYTHING THAT RISES MUST CONVERGE 4 … [Read more...]


MORE FUN WITH SIN!: Lots of interesting emails in re my post on original sin. Here are a bunch of responses, mostly cashings-out of the concept of "total depravity."Aaron Armitage of Calvinist Libertarians replies here. I approve of the language of "common grace." Not as sure about the rest of the post. I am not sure that he means what I would mean if I said that stuff. However, I am way too tired right now to think these things through--sorry--operating on only four and a half hours of sleep. … [Read more...]


"KISSABLE PICTURES": I DON'T WANNA CHITTER-CHAT. In which Jen and John drink mint juleps, our music journalist has Sunday dinner with his family, and actual kissable pictures appear. This segment is...what... PG-13 rated, I guess? But the section that precedes it is very much not, so click at your own risk.The prose in this episode is workaday at best. There's one bit that spent the past four days beating me up and stealing my lunch money--I wonder if you can guess which bit it is!Read the … [Read more...]


VIOLENCE IN AMERICAN PRISONS: Actually, I want to give you all excerpts from the article I linked in the previous post. Here they are:Physical and sexual abuse of prisoners, similar to what has been uncovered in Iraq, takes place in American prisons with little public knowledge or concern, according to corrections officials, inmates and human rights advocates.In Pennsylvania and some other states, inmates are routinely stripped in front of other inmates before being moved to a new prison … [Read more...]


Home is a blogwatch You've got to escape Want to go and wander in the tickertape...Dappled Things: Suggestions for celebrating Mary's month.Healing Iraq: "Not much has been going on in Basrah lately. Traffic and movement has returned to 'normal', a few streets where IP stations are located are still blocked. Explosives were found near a primary school which caused some panic among concerned Basrawis, another small bomb was dismantled close to a primary health care clinic which caused me to … [Read more...]