The Nixon Question By Garry Wills

The Hive - Vanity Fair Sometimes a soaring rate of cockamamieness can leave us clueless about what to make of it and therefore unable to do anything about it.Those are the times when we seek out something—anything—with enough similarity to the new person or thing, to guess what we are dealing with. We see that …

“Save The Whales, Screw The Shrimp” – Joy Williams

This is a riveting essay about the wild land, wild animals and wild sky. Ms William’s point is that the wild does not belong in our world anymore, cause, well, we just don’t want it too -it doesn’t fit into our consumer-led way of seeing the world. Wonderfully inventive perspectives draw down our mighty problem …

David Foster Wallace – Deciderization 2007 – A Special Report

This piece was written by Wallace for the 2007 issue of "The Best American Essays" by Houghton Mifflin publishers. For anyone who reads that publication and or is interested in essays this piece reads as fresh today as it did then.  I think it’s unlikely that anyone is reading this as an introduction. Most of …

In Putin’s Nationalist Russia, a Tolstoy as Cultural Diplomat

It is not a surprise that literature aids all countries in showing a human face in the midst of hard-edge politics and ideology.This piece is from The New York Times. Follwing the NYT piece is aninterview with Putin and Tolstoy concerning the culture policy document. RLW CreditJames Hill for The New York Times By RACHEL …

Michael Kinsley Weighs in on “The New Republic” Controversy

photo - getty images              The New Republic Magazine, a 100-year-old liberal publication was purchased recently (two years ago) by the young co-founder of Facebook ( worth $700 Million) who now wants to turn the company into a digital media company after initially announcing that he wanted to maintain the …

Garry Wills – American Thinker & Iconoclast

Photograph by Gasper Tringale.   (photo - Chris Walker, Chicago Tribune) Mr. Wills is the foremost literary journalist and thinker of our time. This article is a tribute to this iconoclast, one who has followed his own path to understanding America with intelligence, tenacity and grace. The American Mind The historian Garry Wills has written …

Creating a Level Playing Field for Arab Spring Economic Success

This is a well argued approach to building information-based economic structure in countries lacking a means of showing ownership of assets and rights. This was fundamental to Peru's advancement. Its an unlikely conclusion to draw without the dramatic example of Peru. It makes sense and if it works, its the right thing to do as opposed …

Anthropocene – “this civilization is already dead”.

Photo Credit:Jeff DelViscio A startling soldier's story of war and our future. Compact in its unfolding, but strong in its philosophical architecture. Listen up. Driving into Iraq just after the 2003 invasion felt like driving into the future. We convoyed all day, all night, past Army checkpoints and burned-out tanks, till in the blue dawn …

New Yorker Article – MARCEL REICH-RANICKI (1920-2013) – German Literary Critic – by Sally McGrane

  On the cover of this weekend’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung’s feuilleton, Marcel Reich-Ranicki, Germany’s “Literary Pope,” gazes out from the center of the page. The table at which he sits, alone, is set for a formal dinner; his silk tie is rakishly askew. His expression is sovereign but kind, thoughtful, knowing. Below the photo—taken three years ago, …

Grammars of Creation – George Steiner

"Beyond good and evil, beyond reason and social-ethical accountability, rages the drive to create, to engender form." Grammars of Creations George Steiner   Jackson Pollock - Untitled (Figure Composition), 1938-41. Colored pencils and graphite on paper  

The Underside of Silicon Valley – Rebecca Solnit

Solnit is a San Francisco native and has written about the town from many perspectives including art, photography and geography. This article appears in "Tom Dispatch" and is part of a dark take on the current explosion of revelations on government spying and recently the FBI's admission that it is using drones domestically. From both …

A Brit Blows America’s Horn – “America The Marvelous”

 LETTER FROM LONDON July 2013 America the Marvelous At any liberal-establishment dinner table in London, say, or Paris, the U.S. will figure as a big, fat, dumb child. Enough, says the author, in an adaptation from his new book: America is Europe’s finest invention—and ultimate aspiration. By A. A. GillIllustration by Barry Blitt KING OF THE WORLD The …

Saul Bellow: Letters

Excellent writing about a master of fiction and American life. Saul Bellow: Letters In the newly published collected correspondence of Saul Bellow... BY LEO ROBSON PUBLISHED 11 NOVEMBER 2010 Letters Saul Bellow, edited by Benjamin Taylor Penguin, 571pp, £30 "Of course I am not a Freudian," Saul Bellow wrote to Philip Roth in 1974. "For one fierce …

Thinking Out Loud

Only citizens through their responsive government can monitor and guide the behaviour of corporations and their interaction with people and the natural, fragile earth. We need more people who are intelligent, informed, and unbiased and who articulate the truths that media won't.-rlw

Scattered

Scattered an ability to go with the natural flow of life and interests of the moment. the feeling of moments flowing in time - it is the feeling of time - it is what time is. it is interactive, time engaging and the mind responding and showing and then the reverse takes hold. it is …

…nature’s laws … are the only measures that count…

Capitalism, for all its merits and failings as a 500-year practice, may be better than the alternatives, but may not be able to meet the stringent conditions imposed by nature's laws. These, ultimately, are the only measures that count.From "The Common Sense Canadian" Ray Grigg on anthropologist Ronald Wright. http://thecanadian.org/item/2056-anthropologys-capitalism http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_myth_of_human_progress_20130113/

Going To The Sun

The Stranger by Albert Camus - Impressions 1942 Prose that is crisp and spare and precise. Fragments of humanity that are turned this way and that to develop a character in time and place. Meursault is detached and self-sufficient. His social needs are minimal. He is authentic and sure of his senses and is comfortable …

Valerie & T.S. Eliot

An interesting character sketch and story. One that brings both people to life in a clear, crisp way.   Valerie Eliot B. 1926  |  By SAM ANDERSON Valerie and T. S. Eliot in 1957. (Angus McBean, from Houghton Library, Harvard University) SURELY SOMETHING HAS GONE WRONG WITH TIME. How else to explain that T. S. Eliot’s second wife, …

Poetics of Imagination – Northrop Frye

Frye stumbles on the idea of archetypal structure in literature. It resonates with Jungian thought, Gaston Bachelard, James Hillman and others in that poetics comes before philosophy or psychology. It seems to me that there is biological, deep structure, integration of the image and poetics, a structure that cannot be deconstructed but is elemental to human …

Italo Calvino – Mr Palomar’s Philosophical Book of Mental Illustrations, Or Poets, Take Back The World.

Mr Palomar is an accomplished practitioner of zen buddhism. He is astute at seeing what is before him as it is. Where he gets into trouble is when seeing, or being, is not enough and he needs to develop his strategies and plans together with his angst at trying to do the right thing in …

Impressions of “Dispatches” by Michael Herr

Leading Image: The Desire and the Satisfaction, 1893 (pastel on card), by Jan Theodore Toorop (1858–1928) Impressions of "Dispatches" by Michael Herr I am a long way into Dispatches and I remember the experience like I do my own dreams. Herr's book is poetic in force: showing the inside of Herr's brain more than most authors …

Bolivia Enshrines Natural World’s Rights With Equal Status for Mother Earth

photo:  Esto es Bolivia Bolivia enshrines natural world's rights with equal status for Mother Earth Law of Mother Earth expected to prompt radical new conservation and social measures in South American nation John Vidal in La Paz ,The Guardian, Sunday 10 April 2011 13.17 EDT Bolivia is set to pass the world's first laws granting all …