Quote

“No people ever recognize their dictator in advance. He never stands for election on the platform of dictatorship. He always represents himself as the instrument of the Incorporated National Will. When our dictator turns up you can depend on it that he will be one of the boys, and he will stand for everything traditionally American.” - Dorothy Thompson

May 23, 2017 in Current Affairs, History | Permalink | Comments (0)

Quote

"Work is about a search for daily meaning as well as daily bread, for recognition as well as cash, for astonishment rather than torpor; in short, for a sort of life rather than a Monday through Friday sort of dying." - Studs Terkel

Yesterday was the 105th anniversary of Studs' birth. I've long been a great admirer of his, and wish he was still with us - I can only imagine what his take would be on the current political situation. Maybe we should honor him by commemorating May 16 as Studsday - we could each take aside one person (someone we don't know well, or even a complete stranger) and simply ask them to talk about their life. 

May 17, 2017 in Books, History | Permalink | Comments (0)

First draft

IMG_3776

The photo is the typed first draft of my new novella, which is (very tentatively) named Good Advices. The longhand draft was finished about a month ago, but that version (jammed into a composition book in my scrawled handwriting) is all but impossible to edit, so now that it's typed and printed, the editing can finally begin. (Or conversely, the excuses for not editing have ended.)

I'm going to read it through once or twice (without a pen) to  really get a sense of what I have here, before I start to edit. I'm pretty happy with the storyline so far, but it still needs a lot of work, both for itself and for the interconnections with the two other related books I'm contemplating, which I'm collectively calling the Reckoning Trio. Publication is years away.  

May 17, 2017 in Fiction | Permalink | Comments (0)

"...everyone eventually gets buried..."

"Not a living creature in this place would choose to be without pastor Jon for a single day. The whole community would be grief-stricken if a hair of his noble head were harmed. To be sure it is sometimes suggested that our pastor is not overhasty regarding his parish duties, but I venture to assert upon my conscience as parish clerk that everyone eventually gets buried with all due propriety and honor, just as in other places in the country." - Halldor Laxness, Under the Glacier

Thanks, Paul, for passing this book along. The narrative does seem a bit odd so far, but I hope I'll enjoy it more than you did.

May 17, 2017 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)

Quote

"With laws shall our land be built up, but with lawlessness laid waste." - from an Icelandic saga, quoted by Nancy Marie Brown in Song of the Vikings: Snorri and the Making of Norse Myths

May 4, 2017 in Books, History | Permalink | Comments (0)

Fading Ad: Sen-Sen

IMG_3632

Sen-Sen, "For Hoarseness." Gorgeous, massive ad - six stories tall. 158 N. Broadway, Third Ward, Milwaukee. I actually visited, about ten years ago, the Chicago factory where Sen-Sen was last manufactured. I brought home a sample, but don't remember trying it - the owners warned me that it had a strange taste. According to Wikipedia (which noted its "frequent use in covering up the odoriferous evidence of perceived vices such as drinking and cigarette smoking") the product was discontinued in 2013.

April 30, 2017 in Photography | Permalink | Comments (3)

Quote

"Warm, pleasant, misty weather, which the great mountain amphitheatre seemed to drink in with gladness. A crow’s voice filled all the miles of air with sound. A bird’s voice, even a piping frog, enlivens a solitude and makes world enough for us. At night I went out into the dark and saw a glimmering star and heard a frog, and Nature seemed to say, Well do not these suffice? Here is a new scene, a new experience. Ponder it, Emerson, and not like the foolish world, hanker after thunders and multitudes and vast landscapes, the sea or Niagara." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

I like Emerson's idea about appreciating the small, non-monumental aspects of nature. To me, an Illinois marsh is as fascinating as a western canyon. 

April 27, 2017 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)

Quote

"One ruins the mind with too much writing. — One rusts it by not writing at all." - Joseph Joubert

April 21, 2017 in Books | Permalink | Comments (2)

"...a crystal candle-stick of a girl..."

"If she was an angel, the girl at whom Sam was pointing, she was an angel of ice; slim, shining, ash-blonde, her self-possessed voice very cool as she parried the complimentary teasing of half a dozen admirers; a crystal candle-stick of a girl among black-and-white lumps of males." - Sinclair Lewis, Dodsworth

Which I've read, but remember absolutely nothing about. Still, I love this quote. 

April 19, 2017 in Books | Permalink | Comments (1)

Quote

"There is no such thing as a crime as the word is generally understood. I do not believe there is any sort of distinction between the real moral condition of the people in and out of jail. One is just as good as the other. The people here can no more help being here than the people outside can avoid being outside." - Clarence Darrow

April 17, 2017 in Current Affairs, History | Permalink | Comments (0)