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Monthly Archives: November 2020

Tolkien on HBO

I resisted watching this, because I was afraid that the film had turned the story of Tolkien’s life into yet another costume romance for, and about, twenty-somethings set in all the usual sorts of glamorous British settings. In fact, it is that, and it requires that we re-imagine the quintessential white-haired and tweedy Oxford professor […]

Back from the Dark Ages: Leeks

Leeks, where have you been all my life? As I was making yet another pot of leek and potato soup today, I found myself wondering: When did I first see leeks? Why have I never seen them growing? Just when did they start showing up in grocery stores this time of year? I don’t really […]

A dry history of interesting times

The Oxford History of Anglo-Saxon England. Sir Frank Stenton, Oxford University Press, 1943. 766 pages. Robin Hood? King Arthur? We all know the myths about Anglo-Saxon England. But if we were called upon to name a fact or two about Anglo-Saxon England, most of us would just scratch our heads. For a long time, I […]

Could it happen again?

Decent Americans are horrified by the fact that 45 percent of American voters would vote for a con man like Donald Trump. Having lived in the American South for much of my life and having known many Republican jackasses, and having observed as these people have been manipulated and misled since the televangelist days, I […]

Georgia on our minds

It’s Friday night, and we’re still waiting for the media to call the election. Once we’ve won the White House, all civilized eyes will turn to the Georgia Senate runoffs in January, America’s only hope for a Congress that will work with President Biden. Everyone seems to be listening to some version of “Georgia on […]

10, 9, 8, 7, 6 …

Jake Gyllenhaal in “October Sky” The past two days have been among the most stressful and miserable days I can remember, as we all wait to find out whether the American democracy will live or die. I don’t plan to write about this until the election has been called, and after I’ve had a little […]