Friday, June 24, 2011

Incredible excitement last night

Normally, the only thing that can make me pause in the middle of a run is loss of consciousness, discovery of a treasure chest filled with gold dubloons, or not feeling like running anymore. Last night, though, I ascertained a fourth reason on a late run near some wild terrain, as I was forced to come to a full stop to admire the cuteness of a friendly pocket mouse out foraging. It truly was a mouse-tastic experience, even though pocket mice, I learn, are not true mice at all: the former are heteromyids, the latter murids—same order, but different families—a bit of cladistic insight that you probably will not soon forget, even if you would like to.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The fourth seal is opened

Intelligent news analysis in the mainstream media, already terminally ill, finally died a miserable death this morning, as Ann Coulter took her seat as a panelist on Fareed Zakaria's formerly admirable GPS. This was foretold of yore:
And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.

And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. (Rev 6:7-8)
The only silver lining: the commenters are rioting.

The Hawks and the Sparrows

I got a chance to watch Pasolini's Uccellacci e Uccellini (The Hawks and the Sparrows). My report: I had no idea what the hell I was watching, but I was entertained—probably more entertained, in my naivete, than I was supposed to be. I am especially glad for the exposure to Totò, who I am ashamed to say I had never heard of before. Wikipedia quotes Umberto Eco:
In this globalized universe where it seems that everyone's watching the same movies and eating the same food, there are still abysmal and overwhelming fractures separating one culture from another. How can two peoples, one of which unknowing of Totò, truly understand each other?
I have some inkling of what he means. I'm not sure I can take more Pasolini—if he goes wholly Seventh Seal and dumps the Life of Brian elements, I am sure I will find the result unwatchable—but I will definitely be on the lookout for Totò.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

On giving God credit for the purely human

If human friendship is the best argument we have in support of a benevolent God, then we must be living in the last ages of religion.
Bernard Schweizer, Hating God: The Untold Story of Misotheism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), p. 167.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Stop all the downloading

Between my hundreds of books, two libraries, interlibrary loan, Overdrive audiobooks, iTunes podcasts, iTunesU, my Kindle, JSTOR, Netflix, Hulu, and basically the whole Internet, there are many days when I feel like Fenslerfilm's interpretation of Mutt:

But will I stop all the downloading? Never. Give me downloading, or give me death. Or both. Either way, give me downloading.