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About Merkin

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    Virginia USA
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    breathing in...breathing out

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  1. Thank you, Tom, for putting me on to this amazing story. I thought I'd read most everything Driver has written but this one somehow got by me until now. I've just read it quickly, but it certainly seems like the one Cole described above.
  2. Trump and his henchmen have got it all wrong as they work to undermine and withdraw support from the Arts. The Arts help to keep the restive liberal left in check by giving us something to play around with and occupy our time and distract us from harsh reality. Marie Antoinette got it right when she said 'let them eat cake' so that the absence of bread would not be noticed. If Trumpites had any sense they would pour funding into Arts programs from the elementary grades all the way through to community and adult programming, thereby keeping us all busy and happy.
  3. I'm fighting the urge to reply to Cole knowing full well it will dismay, divide, and lead to bad language here at AD.
  4. It appears to be open season on the arts all around the world.
  5. Janet Flanner is best known for the Letters from Paris column she wrote for the New Yorker Magazine for over 50 years, but she also provided commentary during World War II. She wrote about European politics and culture, published a piece about Hitler's rise to power in 1936, and covered the Nuremburg trials in 1945. She once said that of all the work she did for the magazine, she was most proud of her 1936 piece on Hitler. In her profile, titled "Führer," she wrote: "Being self-taught, his mental processes are mysterious; he is missionary-minded; his thinking is emotional, his conclusions material. He has been studious with strange results: he says he regards liberalism as a form of tyranny, hatred and attack as part of man's civic virtues, and equality of men as immoral and against nature. Since he is a concentrated, introspective dogmatist, he is uninformed by exterior criticism. On the other hand, he is a natural and masterly advertiser, a phenomenal propagandist within his limits, the greatest mob orator in German annals, and one of the most inventive organizers in European history. He believes in intolerance as a pragmatic principle. He accepts violence as a detail of state, he says mercy is not his affair with men, yet he is kind to dumb animals. ... His moods change often, his opinions never. Since the age of twenty, they have been mainly anti-Semitic, anti-Communist, anti-suffrage, and Pan-German. He has a fine library of six thousand volumes, yet he never reads; books would do him no good - his mind is made up."
  6. I'll be there in spirit, Des (unless you want to send me a plane ticket!) Hope you have a huge turnout.
  7. I don't think you lied, Chris. I think you misremembered your earlier self. We'd all like to believe that we never change who we are, but the me I so faintly recollect from the 1970s and 1980s--nearly a half-century ago--certainly isn't the same as the me of today. Howard Zinn was just right for questing minds then, all of us desperate to see behind the curtain of doctrinaire histories and cultural myths. Perhaps he is right for us again today, so recently shaken out of our complacencies and the mind fog of acceptance and conformity that had managed to creep unseen over that generation of once-heroic rebels.
  8. This entry in the "Never Too Late" department speaks for itself. Keep a hanky handy.
  9. Grateful thanks to Dude for his decision to feature Frederic’s “Still Life With Three Boys” among his other picks this month. I am in awe of this wonderful writer and this is one of his best, for it lays out in no uncertain language many things we may think about but don’t always have the words for. His version of a boy's self-discovery and growing up and journey on the road to sometime fulfillment may not be mine or yours, but he recounts it in a way that not only provides us with many aha moments but also challenges readers to look into their own hearts and minds. This compelling narrative gives our understanding of sexual awareness a thoughtful, more complete dimension. Don’t miss it, or any of Frederic's other contributions to AD.
  10. Every time I take a gander at one of Des's comments I feel as though my brain has been goosed.
  11. Once the Kiwis get their own Trump-like leader, no doubt he will want to build a border wall.
  12. I don't care what color The Donald pisses. He is hosing us all. If he is impeached and removed from office, then Pence will take over. I fear him even more. What we need is a legal means to kick them all out.
  13. This has been a wonderfully thoughtful behind-the-scenes look at the real world of being a gay couple becoming temporary dads—or even permanent ones. The threats are real and Graeme teaches us that preparation, awareness, and sensitivity to the issues that will always befall gay parents are all part of the package. But the rewards are immense for those brave enough to undertake this responsibility. Thank you, Graeme, for guiding us through this journey.
  14. It's the birthday of American composer and pianist Harold Arlen, born Hyman Arluck, in Buffalo (1905), the son of a musician. In the mid-1920s he met lyricist Ted Koehler; together they collaborated on such tunes as "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea" and "I've Got the World on A String." Among his many Broadway and Hollywood songs are "It's Only A Paper Moon," "That Old Black Magic," and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." --From "The Writer's Almanac" for Wednesday, February 15th, 2017
  15. Thanks, Resurgam. You can ignore Cole's carping, as we all do. I second your recommendation; "Thrift Shop Nation" has been one of my favorite long short stories, and you sent me back to it just in time for a perfect Valentine reread. James