blogging is getting fun again

Studio shot of man in front of laptop wearing gas mask - Stock Photo -  Dissolve

I made the mistake of taking the WordPress software update on its own terms and not at least trying ways that I used the old version. Most of them work. That’s good. I can even see improvement. The help videos were useless to me. My orientation toward what I am doing is so different from techies. I spend most of the time watching help videos waiting for them to get to something that interests or helps me. This is another reason I prefer written help sections.

Best Thanks Luke For Helping Me GIFs | Gfycat

Thank you, Sarah Jenkins, for pointing out the easy way to do word count on this update!

Elizabeth and Alex arrive this morning. My morning often begins around 6 AM and Eileen’s after 9 and sometimes later than 10, so “morning” is a bit of a nebulous concept in this context. I moved most of my stuff from the study/guest bedroom. I’m still sitting at the desk right now. But it’s around 7:30 AM and Elizabeth and Alex probably wont arrive soon.

I gave my brother Languages of Truth: Essays 2003-2020, by Salman Rushdie and keep forgetting that I did so, to his amusement. I have read the first chapter of it three times now.

First, as an adapted essay in the New York Times Book Review I first read back in May. The online version is fun because of the illustrations that are not in the book. Secondly, I read it as the first chapter of the book. Yesterday I read it for a third time.

As usual I marked some sections.

We are born wanting food, shelter, love, song, and story. Our need for the last two is not less than our need for the first three.

Regarding Randall Jarrell’s notion that “A novel is a prose narration of some length that has something wrong with it” Rushdie writes this beautiful paragraph:

So: If a novel or indeed a play is bound to have ‘something wrong with it,’ then let it be at least a wonderful wrongness, speaking of the strangeness of the world’s beauty, a wrongness that seeks to wipe from our eyes and cleanse from our ears the dull patina and muffling wax of everyday which makes us see reality as monochromatic and hear it as monotonous, and to reveal the rainbow music of how things really are. Let it be a play or indeed a novel containing bright moments, dark changes, living characters, sudden transformations, images of fire and ice, horrifying metamorphoses, luminous insights, comic alterations, and stories that have nothing wrong with them at all.

Incidentally this paragraph seems to be omitted in the NYT version.

A high bar put in wonderfully composed sentences.

Also in this chapter, Rushdie comes up with a concept I find useful, “a personal tradition.”

Edward Bond and his Shakespeare are writers who, like Kafka, long ago entered my personal tradition, the only tradition that’s worth a damn to a practicing writer being the one he forges for himself, that is not laid down by high priests of literature, not a stone-carved commandment brought down from Sinai or the Cambridge University English faculty by a Leavisite Moses but a pagan thing, a melting down of treasures, a golden calf. Or, let’s say, a thing born of thee happy and —even better—the useful contaminations by others of the writer’s reading mind.

The same can be said about one’s personal tradition of music when one is a musician. Musicians are notoriously narrow or seem so because the ones usually interviewed or written about have zeroed in on one aspect of their art in order to excel in it. But I have found that more and more musicians I meet, usually younger ones, don’t have the calcified attitude or so many teachers, professors, and other students I have known in my life.

Salman Rushdie to return to India for his next novel – EasternEye

Something interesting coming from Rushdie.

Thelonious Monk’s 25 handwritten tips for musicians

These are great. I especially like “you got to dig it to dig it, you dig?”

What I learned from an unlikely friendship with an anti-masker | Lif

Getting to know someone you disagree with, always helpful!

Work begins on public observatory at Hemlock Crossing Park


Revealed: LAPD officers told to collect social media data on every civilian they stop | Los Angeles | The Guardian

Thanks to Jeremy Daum for tweeting this link.

VanRaalte Farm Civil War Muster

Apparently this happens every year. This year it’s Bull Run. Cool.

Serialised novel: A first for Rushdie, staple format for Bengal classics – Telegraph India

Other Bengal authors use this method.

The Telegraph uses “spread of classical music in Kolkata” to glorify conversion and evangelical work that marred Bengal

I love it when one media outlet criticizes another and does it pretty well.

NYTimes: How Sept. 11 Gave Us Jan. 6

Spencer Akermann was recently interviewed on Democracy Now about this.

“Eight months later, there is no political response to the insurrection at all, only a security response aimed at its foot soldiers.”

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