Ikkyū and Sōgi rake the garden. Afternoon wanes.
Ikkyū picks up a small piece of … rolled paper, charred? “What is this?”
Sōgi looks. “Oh. Hmm. Nothing, Master. Probably just a piece of rubbish that blew over the wall. It was windy last night.”
“I didn’t hear any wind.”
“Your snoring perhaps drowned it out.”
“I do not snore.” Read more
Ikkyū regards young Sōgi’s calligraphy as golden hour yields to white. “Your hand is inelegant, as always. It’s … bold, though.”
Magpies screech disapproval from a nearby pine.
A horn echoes through the courtyard. Sōgi looks in the direction of the disturbance. Ikkyū bows his head and sighs.
“Forgive me for speaking out of turn, Master Ikkyū, but it would perhaps be best were the monastery further from the highway.” Read more
On Tuesday night, Donald Trump stood before America and refused to denounce white supremacy. Instead, he used the opportunity to order one of America’s most notorious hate groups to stand at the ready.
He did this on national television, with millions watching and the cameras rolling.
After years of denial, years of deflection, of misdirection, of dog-whistles and whataboutism and hey-look-over-there-ism, after years of insisting that black is white and up is down, you, Trump supporters, find yourselves standing naked in full daylight. Read more
The Mr. C case has me wondering if widespread familiarity with sexual themes and content makes today’s youth more or less susceptible to pedophiles. Read more
It’s about tribalism. You cannot work with Trumpists. Period. You must defeat them and then fix the problems that handed them control.
It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into. – Jonathan Swift
Since the moment of Campaign 2016 when it became clear that Donald Trump actually had a chance, a lot of people have done a lot of thinking and pontificating and punditofying and writing and hand-wringing about the reasons for his viability. On one end of the spectrum: Donald gave the drooling, racist, misogynist, xenophobic, ignorant, anti-intellectual, hillbillies a cynical, smirking, dog-whistling charlatan they could line up behind. On the other, we’ve had all manner of thoughtful, complex analyses about how economic anxiety (and utter despair) fueled the rise of a non-partisan populist backlash against a political establishment that has spent decades betraying those it represents.
Both versions are compelling because each was built on a measure of observable truth. Read more
The AP says the “bathroom bill” cost North Carolina $3.76 billion. The real damage is likely much, much higher.
The AP yesterday released an analysis indicating that reaction to North Carolina’s discriminatory HB2 – the “bathroom bill” – cost the state a staggering $3.76 billion in lost business, projected over 12 years. That’s a remarkable hit to economy, but as I read the full details of how the AP arrived at that number, I can’t help wondering just how badly they underestimated the true damage that former governor “One Term” Pat McCrory and the rest of the jackals in the state GOP caused NC.
Have a look at the WaPo article linked above, then consider: Read more
The only thing worse than the willfully ignorant is the legion of apologists enabling them.
Since the election – before, really – we’ve heard a lot of talk about how all those urban liberal elites need to stop being so arrogant and start listening to very real concerns of real Americans in rural flyover values America.
We have more recently begun to see some informed pushback against this
silliness self-serving rhetorical engineering masquerading as good-faith socio-political analysis. Now we’ve hit the daily double, though.
First, our friend Otherwise passed along a righteous rant from a very frustrated Melinda Byerley, CMO of TimeShare. Have a quick look. Read more
Remembering the blackest moment of the entire nativity cycle is an odd way to celebrate.
For a couple weeks now I have been assembling my “Dark Christmas Melancholy” playlist, a process I described in a post a few days ago.
While I have listened to (and sung) a lot of holiday music through the years, my little project introduced me to a classic that somehow I had never encountered before, the English traditional “Coventry Carol.” This version, by Darkwave artists Nox Arcana, is by far my favorite for the way in which it captures the interwoven beauty and horror of the Massacre of the Innocents story.
Yesterday I added Greg Lake’s “I Believe in Father Christmas” to my Dark Christmas Melancholy playlist. This morning I wake to learn he’s gone. Another light snuffed by this hellish, hateful year, and the holiday season just got a little darker…
There is beauty in the darkness. This is all I have ever known.
Beauty doesn’t work the same for me as it does for most people. I first started realizing this in Mr. Booth’s (excuse me, Dr. Booth’s) English V class at Ledford High School in 1978 and 1979. I remember two moments distinctly. First, we read “The Eve of St. Agnes,” by Keats. I recall being overwhelmed by a) its darkness, and b) its beauty. This was not a traditional sunny pastoral. It’s a poem of the night, one of mystery and compelling seductive splendor.
Later we read Tennyson’s equally marvelous “The Lady of Shalott.” Again, I was struck by the way in which beauty was interwoven with dark, even sinister themes.
I wasn’t quite sure what to make of my reactions to these masterworks, but something was afoot, and when I started writing poetry on my own (as long as we’re on the subject of darkness and doom) it began with a piece called “Octoberfaust,” which I tried to infuse with as much mystery and passionate nocturne as I could muster.
Of course, looking back, my melancholy aesthetic didn’t begin in high school. Read more
At some point the North Carolina legislature is going to capitulate on its “bathroom” law. Will the NCAA’s latest move be the tipping point?
Much has been written and said about NC’s discriminatory “bathroom” law. And now even more is going to be written and said, thanks to the NCAA’s decision to yank seven college sports championship events from the state.
Late Monday, the NCAA announced it was pulling seven championship events out of North Carolina in the coming school year over the state’s so-called “bathroom law” — legislation best known for barring transgender people from using government building bathrooms in accordance with their gender identities.
The action came on top of numerous protests and calls to repeal the measure, all of which have gone unheeded by North Carolina’s Republican-controlled legislature and Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, who’s running for reelection.
I attended the 120th annual Cheyenne Frontier Days this afternoon and it was awesome.
A few things, first on the competition front:
1: The guy who won the bull riding was a rookie. A 20 year-old rookie. He rode three bulls in three rounds. These are serious bulls, and the idea that anybody rode one of them is ridiculous enough. Three in three days? By a wet-behind-the-ears kid? That’s absurd.
2: The guy who won the all-around was FIFTY. SIX. YEARS. OLD. Read more
Happy Beltane – or May Day, if you prefer – from Scholars & Rogues.