THANK U VERY MUCH: You end up with a very... dissonant picture of England when you alternate between reading The Eye in the Door and listening to "The Very Best of Scaffold." I suppose the American equivalent would be Blood Meridian with a soundtrack by the Beach Boys.Deep thoughts, I know. … [Read more...]

IMPOSED/DISCOVERED: HOW THEY MADE THE MANTICORE. Anthropomorfic the second. Good grief, two rabidly conservative ficlets in a row! I had better post "Power/Freedom" right quick. ...Anyway, this one is actually a snippet from a much longer piece, a fantasy-of-manners thing called "The White Darkness." But this section gives you the heart of the story. These characters will likely recur in other ficlets. Their names, if you're wondering, are Alazon and Virgule; but the names didn't really fit into … [Read more...]

LIBERTY/LICENSE: IN THE DESERT, YOU CAN'T REMEMBER YOUR NAME. Anthropomorfic the first. … [Read more...]

DAY COMES, NIGHT GOES--THEY JUST WANT TO BE TOGETHER, EVERYONE KNOWS: So I kept teasing you all, talking about this cool weird-o writing exercise I'd found. I reveal it: Anthropomorfic*.You look at me like Manuel, and say, "Que?"Anthropomorfics: Very, very short fiction (I'm limiting myself to 150-250 words) in which the "characters" are allegorical abstract nouns or hemi-allegorical (what?) concrete nouns. I'll be posting two or three of these a week from now until the New Year. In this … [Read more...]

RANDOM: The Closing of the American Mind--like The Man Without a Country--reads best the further one gets from its particular political context, when its existential concerns can come to the fore.Yes/no? … [Read more...]

THE GHOSTS OF WELFARE PAST, WELFARE PRESENT, AND WELFARE YET TO COME: Slate symposium on Jason DeParle's book on the ground-level effects of welfare reform. Mickey Kaus is there. Wild horses couldn't drag me away. … [Read more...]

PAYING THE WORDS EXTRA: Hey lookit, there's a blog dedicated to exploring what a progressive Constitution would look like in 2020. (via Volokh)Hey lookit, there's this guy... think I've seen him around somewhere....For those who care: My own jurisprudential philosophy, at this point, is wary of rationalist theories, and dedicated primarily to working against the Humpty Dumpty theory of law: "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to … [Read more...]