Skip to content

Category Archives: Culture

Buffalo: Who knew?

Quorn cutlets in Buffalo sauce with mozzarella I was Googling for ideas for what to do with Quorn faux-chicken cutlets. I came across chicken breasts in Buffalo sauce with mozzarella. Hmmm. But what the heck is Buffalo sauce? A little Googling revealed Buffalo sauce to be a zesty sauce served with chicken wings. It originated […]

Chicken pot pie, Quorn version

Click here for high-resolution version. The Quorn chicken nuggets make a very fine chicken pot pie. I previously wrote about Quorn here, and Scottish meat pies here. I am acquiring the opinion that crusts for pot pies and meat pies don’t need to be flaky, and that lower-fat hot-water crusts work just fine. The 4-inch […]

Heathen enchantment … and Alexander Borodin

Don’t click to listen yet! Maybe we could use a little music right now to take our minds off of politics. A few days ago, I was writing here about the project of the re-enchantment of the land. And then tonight, while YouTubing to hear the voice of a Russian mezzo-soprano recently mentioned in a […]

Privilege and humiliation

The American people are getting some excellent — and I suspect lasting — new insights into the ugliness of unearned privilege. But unearned privilege is only half of the problem that requires fixing. The flip side of that coin is undeserved humiliation. The two things together — the increasing humiliation of the many and the […]

The obliteration of the pagan past

Pagan Britain, by Ronald Hutton. Yale University Press, 2013. 480 pages. If you plucked this book down off a bookstore shelf to have a closer book, you probably would assume from the cover and the title that the book is a romanticized effort to find magic in Britain’s past. That assumption would be wrong. If […]

Hiking Scotland’s haunted islands

From JaneAnne’s bothy on the isle of Gometra, looking toward the isle of Ulva. Click here for high-resolution version. Mull, Ulva, and Gometra, September 2018 To the regular readers of this blog: Blog posts often have a long life, as people Google for the terms and tags included in the post. Lots of people hike […]


Click here for high-resolution version. I’m home after two fantastic weeks in Scotland. I’m going to need a few days to console the cat, sort through my photos, get some groceries, and figure out which way a hurricane is going to go. I’ll have a post soon.

Catholicism in Ireland, R.I.P.

Saint Patrick, Wikipedia One of the newspapers that I check each morning is the Irish Times. Today’s paper has a very fine essay by Fintan O’Toole. It’s an obituary for Catholicism in Ireland: It’s too late. Not even Pope Francis can resurrect Catholic Ireland Catholicism in Ireland had a long run — from the 5th […]

A simple case study: How propaganda works

There are very few exceptions: Right-wingers and the Republican Party cannot win elections or have their way without lying and cheating. Without a sophisticated propaganda system (and, increasingly under Trumpism, the demonization of the responsible media), the right wing would be exposed as what it truly is: A radical minority with a highly unpopular agenda, […]

Environmental justice: The people fight back

Al Gore This is a rather long photo essay. I hope you’ll bear with me. People sometimes ask me why I choose to live in a rural and seemingly backward place like Stokes County, North Carolina, after 18 years in an urbane place like San Francisco. Stokes is a poor county in the foothills of […]