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Category Archives: Culture

Things we lost when newspapers died

Rob Morse, former metro columnist at the San Francisco Examiner. Photo: Mill Valley Patch, 2011 I am the product of an almost-extinct culture: newspaper culture. I got my first newspaper job at the age of 17, as a part-time copy boy when I was still in high school. I retired as a newspaperman in 2008. […]

The church sees rot everywhere but in itself

“Tintern Abbey and Elegant Figures,” by Samuel Colman, 1780-1845 Conservative minds are obsessed with institutional decay. They can’t stop writing books about it. To the conservative mind, change is an existential threat, as though the Dark Ages were a utopia that we must return to. Do you remember William F. Buckley Jr.’s famous quote? “A […]

Tone, irony, snark, and smarm

H.L. Mencken. Portrait by Carl Van Vecten, 1932, Library of Congress To see similarities between snark and gun violence is wrong of me, I admit. Both are epidemic. But one is deadly, and the other merely wounds. But I had been thinking about two different posts that I might write here, one on snark, and […]

Season 8, episode 2 (updated)

Ken Ilgunas and David Dalton are reviewing each episode of the final season of Game of Thrones. Check the “Game of Thrones” category to list all of these posts. David: Mornin’, Ken … Well, was I ever wrong last week. I expected treachery at at Winterfell. But I didn’t realize that we were right on […]

Game of Thrones: Season 8, episode 1

Ken Ilgunas and David Dalton are reviewing each episode of the final season of Game of Thrones. Check the “Game of Thrones” category to list all of these posts. David: Mornin’, Ken… I greatly enjoyed this episode, and what struck me is how the moral middle ground of former seasons is gone. Now the forces […]

Game of Thrones countdown

Since its beginning in 2011, Ken Ilgunas and I have made a tradition and a sport of watching and subsequently deconstructing each new episode of Game of Thrones. If Ken was here, we watched it in the evening and started our “Thrones talk” at breakfast. If he wasn’t here, we did it in email. As […]

The ontological wilderness

Philosophy of Physics: Quantum Theory, by Tim Maudlin. Princeton University Press, 2019. 234 pages. Quantum Non-Locality and Relativity: Metaphysical Intimations of Modern Physics (third edition), by Tim Maudlin. Wiley-Blackwell, 2011. 298 pages. John Twelve Hawks was clearly troubled, and I don’t blame him. (John Twelve Hawks is one of my favorite science fiction writers. I’ve […]

A Place to Call Home

Last night I finished watching the first season of “A Place to Call Home.” I can’t believe that I didn’t discover it sooner. It is superb melodrama and a superb soap opera. It’s perfectly cast and beautifully filmed. The dialogue is magnificent, some of the most intelligent dialogue I’ve ever seen in a TV series. […]

Lily learns to listen

What? No cat videos lately? What good is all this digital stuff if we can’t aim it at our pets? The abbey’s organ used to terrify Lily. She would run to her most secret hiding place at the faintest sound from the organ. She still does not like sound that is too loud. But now, […]

Proper stir-fries at home: Is it even possible?

Tofu, fried rice, and mixed vegetables Stir-frying is such a good way to make low-carb suppers that, for months now, I’ve been having stir-fries for supper three and even four days a week. I had been using a large nonstick skillet, with heat much lower than professional Asian cooks use. I’ve gotten very good at […]