Browser: A 4th of July surprise. Wilco loves you, baby. Jarmusch. Bono & the Virgin. Salinger. And the scariest video ever posted online.

Hi ho, Jeffrey the Blogger here.

This weekend, I’ve moved into revising the last eight chapters of Raven’s Ladder. So… no 4th of July vacation for this guy!

Anne and I skipped the fireworks show last night so I could keep working. We felt a little bit sorry for ourselves, so to cheer ourselves up, we packed up our laptops and went down to Richmond Beach, the beautiful stretch of coastline 10 minutes from our house. We sat on some benches at a viewpoint over the water and I started working.

The sunset was glorious… like a 45-minute long firework. A pure beacon of gold over the mountains, which was appropriate, considering I was righting about a bright beam of light shining over the mountains of the Expanse.

And then… we heard something like a heavy gasp. We looked out at the water and saw something we haven’t seen in 8 years of living here: A whale! Breaching, spouting, playing, sending spray up into the Puget Sound sunset.

I’ll take that over fireworks any day!

So, it’s the Lord’s day today, just as it was the Lord’s Fourth of July. Here are a few scattered notes that have “breached” on Sunday so far…


The New York Times asks, “How is Jeff Tweedy today? What’s up with Wilco these days?” Tweedy responds with a scandalous claim sure to dismay rock-and-roll fans around the world. “I was never at my best when I was at my worst.“ No, reckless behavior and unhealthy lifestyles are *not* the recipe for great art.  (Thanks to David Neff for the link.) For what it’s worth, I’m really enjoying the new album.

David Dark posts some wise words from one of my favorite filmmakers: Jim Jarmusch.

Phil Eaton, president of SPU, has a few strong words about Bernie Madoff and Dante, and he’s stirred up some disagreement in the process. After you read that, read his follow-up comment here.

Where did Bono get the inspiration for the lyrics to U2’s “Magnificent”? A very respectable source: The Virgin Mary.

And it’s J.D. Salinger for the win!


The horror… the horror!

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  • the best 4th of July story I’ve ever read.

  • Well, I hope real Heaven has a better soundtrack (and better production values) or I’m gonna be pissed. That looked like some cheeseball 1980’s after-school-special on acid. =D

  • Jeremy Landes

    The video was strange, but I wasn’t horrified by it either. Just a little cheesed out. Other filmic depictions of heaven like in “What Dreams May Come” or “Made in Heaven” or “Heaven Can Wait” are essentially godless–this one at least acknowledges the Creator by name and makes an attempt at representing many nations. This video looks like the creators tried to pack in a whole lot and ended up causing some confusion about who those three horse-riding people are. Angels?

  • Rick R

    Regarding that video…wow, I didn’t know whether to laugh or shudder with fear. How soon after they shot this do you think they passed around the Kool-Aid?

  • Heh. I’m all for extravagant gestures. But not self-destructive indulgence. Big difference. Creative exuberance is one thing. Flirting with disaster by overdependence on painkillers is not justified by writing a great song about the misery.

  • on occasional recklessness…”The extravagant gesture is the very stuff of creation.” — Annie Dillard

  • Try it now. I used a different link this time.

  • The U2 link isn’t working.