Life is a maze and love is a riddle

• OK, I finally figured out what “Always Submit to the Church Administration” reminds me of: Lenka’s 2008 song “The Show.”

Figuring that out also taught me something else I hadn’t realized, which is that “The Show” is from Australian singer-songwriter Lenka and not, as I mistakenly thought, from a reunited Frente! She sure sounds like Angie Hart, though. Not that that’s a bad thing.

• Here are Heath Carter and Erik Loomis on the analogy of a New Gilded Age. Carter focuses on the aspects of the analogy that may be misleading. Loomis focuses on the aspects of it that provide insight.

For me the key factor is this: the term “Gilded Age” was originally coined by Mark Twain. It was not, in other words, a historical designation or category so much as it was a fiercely barbed joke. Whether or not the abuses of our 21st-century corporate overlords are precisely parallel to the abuses of late-19th-century corporate overlords is less important than the fact that we still need that joke and many more like it.

Our present-day Robber Barons may not exactly parallel the original Robber Barons, and our time may or may not be a New Gilded Age, but we absolutely do need a New Twain. We need a lot of them.

Not quite what I mean when I say we need a new Twain for the 21st century.

“I never asked you to have faith in me, Goody Watson.” I write a lot here about witch-hunting, witch-finders, witch-sniffers and the perennial quest to purify our world and our self-image by punishing imaginary Satanic baby-killers. So it’s refreshing to see someone address all of that with the honesty Mallory Ortberg displays here: “Reasons I Would Not Have Been Burned As A Witch In The Early Modern Era No Matter What I Would Like To Believe About Myself And Would Have In Fact Been Among The Witch-Burners.”

What she confesses there isn’t entirely true, of course, but it’s rare to see anyone admit that it might be even a little bit true when it’s probably more than a little but true for most of us.

She’s also completely correct about the Beaufort Wind Scale.

• Theology lessons from an investment manager at Goldman-Sachs: “This Christian God that we serve is the foundation of our country.” 

• “In the early days of the western United States, a masked man and an Indian rode the plains, searching for truth and justice. Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear, when from out of the past come the thundering hoofbeats of the great horse Silver! The Lone Ranger rides again!” True story — but not quite the one we’re used to hearing. (via)

• Speaking of Frente!, here’s the ’80s remixed as the ’90s:

For those keeping track, this week I posted songs by Kasey Chambers, Lenka, and Frente! Anyone know of any other fragile-voiced Australian singer-songwriters? Apparently I like that sort of thing.

The Kasey Chambers song was about the inevitability of death, so it seemed appropriate for Ash Wednesday and the start of the Lenten season. Although, of course, in the southern hemisphere this week actually marks the start of Advent (or does the liturgical calendar not work that way?).

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Arrest ICE

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