feeling lazy

I love this movement.

Both Eileen and I are feeling a bit lazy today.

Syria: The Shadow of Iraq - Atlantic Council

I have been meaning to complain about the New Yorker ad I keep hearing on podcasts in which David Remnick claims that the magazine has the best writing in the world. Really? Really? How’s your Russian? I mentally ask this guy every time I hear this obnoxious claim. Good grief! As though English and American English at that were the  only language in the world.

Speak English Only, Please. No Native Language Allowed: Africa's English  Language Obsession - Third World Woman

Don’t get me wrong. I love the New Yorker magazine and look forward to it dropping through my mail slot. But they are far from infallible or definitive as far as I’m concerned.

The Histories book by HerodotusHistory of the Peloponnesian War: Thucydides, Finley, M. I., Warner, Rex, Finley, M. I.: 9780140440393: Amazon.com: Books

I figured out that I wasn’t confused about Herodotus being an earlier historian than Thucydides. I was confusing Herodotus with Suetonius. I thought I had misplaced my copies of Herodotus and Thucydides. But recently I was looking around and discovered my copy of The Twelve Caesars by Suetonius. Oh. It was Suetonius I was thinking of not Herodotus. Suetonius is later than Thucydides and writes in Latin. So i was correctly placing him later and in Latin. I remember a lot of this stuff by visualizing the books I own. I don’t own a copy of Herodotus’s histories.

suetonius, “the twelve caesars” | with hidden noise

This morning sitting in the cool air, I read the following in Montaigne:

“It is not perhaps without good reason that we attribute to simplemindedness a readiness to believe anything and to ignorance the readiness to be convinced, for I think I was once taught that a belief is like an impression stamped on our soul: the softer and less resisting the soul, the easier it is to print anything on it.”

from the essay, “That it is madness to judge the true and the false from our own capacities”

Michel Montaigne on the danger of becoming accustomed to state power (1580) | Online Library of Liberty

Michel de Montaigne 1533-1592

The Far Right’s Manufactured Meaning of Critical Race Theory – FAIR

I love this organization. It makes me crazy that the public discussion is done in such ignorance of that topic actually is much less that it should somehow be discredited.
John Humphreys tells a story in a video I was watching this morning. He is speaking at a Intelligence Squared debate about grammar.
He describes a young American (he actually makes him Black which I find a bit off putting since it has nothing to do with the story). The young man is  very poor, unsophisticated and from the deep South. He has wound up studying at Harvard since he is bright and has earned a scholarship. He approaches two fellow students and asks them, “Hey y’all, can you tell me where the library’s at?”
One of his fellow students convinced of their own sophistication reply that at Harvard one does not end a sentence with a preposition.
The young man replies to them, “I’m sorry. Can you tell me where the library’s at, asshole?”
My obsession with Gore Vidal continues. Here’s another video that I’ve not quite gotten through.

In it, he tells a story about Harold MacMillan and the De Gaulles.

Brentrance Blocked: Macmillan and de Gaulle at Rambouillet, December 1962 |  AJD History

They are meeting some time after the end of WWII. MacMillan says to Madame De Gaulle in his eloquent French, “Now that the war is over, Madame De Gaulle, what do you want out of the rest of your life?”

Yvonne de Gaulle - Wikipedia

She replies equally charming, “I want a penis.”

MacMillan is understandably flustered. He notices Charles De Gaulle snickering.

De Gaulle leans over and confides to MacMillan that what Madame means is that she she wants “‘appiness.”

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