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Category Archives: Culture

Shadow and Bone

Who knew that Tsarist Russia could look so good? Actually, most of this series was filmed in Hungary. Not since “Game of Thrones” has a fantasy series been such a visual treat. I had watched the trailer for “Shadow and Bone,” and I was skeptical. But I heard good reviews from friends. I’ve watched two […]

An international recipe for progress

Scotland 2070: Healthy, Wealthy, Wise. Ian Godden, Hillary Sillitto, Dorothy Godden. College Publications (London), 2020. 218 pages. What would it take for Scotland to attain the same level of wealth and wellbeing as the Nordic countries? This book lays out a fifty-year plan for accomplishing that. What’s remarkable about this book, though, is that its […]

Greenland

Preppers love disaster films. And, after Covid-19, aren’t we all preppers now? “Greenland” is a pretty good disaster film. Except that “Greenland” is really more of a family film — a vulnerable seven-year-old boy with diabetes, and a mom and dad (who aren’t getting along very well) fighting to save the family. The film was […]

Literary novels and other trash

I know that, when something really gets under your skin, it’s a psychological red flag and that one should ask oneself what’s really going on. Whatever. But when I ask myself what’s really going on with my aggressive hatred of literary novels (or literary anything), I think it’s this: Literary novels are not merely bad, […]

A classic diner returns (I hope)

From the 1950s If you’re like me, as things reopen after a year of staying in, you’ve been thinking about how much you’ve missed eating out. I’ve even been thinking about where to go for an eating-out celebration. Until yesterday, my plan was to go to Bernadin’s in Winston-Salem. But I learned yesterday that a […]

Moravian baking

I don’t know enough about German cooking or the history of the Moravian Church to accurately trace the pedigree of these thin lemon cookies, though I can provide some hints. But I need to digress for a few paragraphs before I get back to the lemon cookies. First of all, the Moravian Church is one […]

Born into the wrong world

“Gentleman Jack,” season 1, episode 2. Copyright, HBO, BBC: Fair use, not monetized. The second episode of “Gentleman Jack” contains one of the most brilliant, beautiful and touching scenes I can remember. Other than the recitation of the priest, there is not even any dialogue. The scene’s entire meaning is conveyed by the sequence of […]

Can we have some nice things now?

Pete Buttigieg at Washington Union Station. Source: Wikipedia. With “Amtrak Joe” in the White House, and the new U.S. secretary of transportation wanting to lead the world in high-speed rail (we’re now 19th) can we Americans now have some nice things? To people like me, who have ridden thousands of miles on trains (President Biden […]

Gentleman Jack

Once again I need to express exasperation at how difficult it is to find good material for streaming. Finding it is like finding a needle in a haystack. Brute force seining through rivers of dreck is the only method I know. I found “Gentleman Jack” while seining through dreck on HBO Max. The series is […]

The squeals of the formerly dominant

David Hume (1711-1776) from a portrait by Allan Ramsay “Generally speaking, the errors in religions are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous.” — David Hume As a liberal and firm believer in free speech, I am willing to take my lumps from what others say and think. But whether on principle it strengthens my case […]