Thelonius Monk birthday

Today is Thelonius Monk’s birthday. From Rocky Mount (Edgecombe side). His mother from Conetoe. Born 1917.

Absolutely unbelievable

I blame cable TV.

It has sucked the meaning almost completely out of these words:

  • incredible
  • unbelievable
  • absolutely
  • awesome

It’s unbelievable.

 

Streaming olfactory event: “Pheromone”

Play at Elon. Playwright a Westtown graduate. Admission free. Attendance virtual. Streaming olfactory?

Pheromone: An Awkward Olfactory Inquiry

Playwright: Rachel Graf Evans

Director: Professor Kevin Hoffmann

October 1-6, 2020
Roberts Studio Theatre

Somewhere in a dilapidated warehouse in Atlanta, a new kind of party is just getting started. Wear a t-shirt for three days, put it in a Ziploc bag, bring it to the party, fall in love. What matters more in a successful relationship: biology or commitment? An awkward olfactory inquiry into the nature of attraction, betrayal, and the quirky characters we meet in our quest to find true love.

You’d do well to get a ticket.

The porcupine in winter

I had lived my entire life almost without knowing that a group of porcupines is called a prickle and that a baby porcupine is a porcupette. And, although porcupines live mostly alone, sometimes in the wintertime they gather inside hollow trees and logs, or under brush .

Thanks to Paraic O’Donnell, I know now.

Bill before Congress now to make lynchings a federal crime started in Tarboro 120 years ago

George Henry White

There’s a bill before Congress now that would, for the first time in American history, make lynching a federal hate-crime. The bill has passed the House by a vote of 410 to 4. In the Senate, ninety-nine senators favor it, but a senator from Kentucky is blocking unanimous consent for immediate enactment. It’s an emotional issue at the center of national affairs in a time of crisis. 

If the bill is enacted, it would be the first federal anti-lynching law. But it is not the first anti-lynching bill. 

The first anti-lynching bill was introduced in Congress on January 20,1900, by Representative George Henry White of Tarboro, North Carolina. 

White’s home is just a few blocks off Main Street at about St. Patrick and Granville Streets. You could say that’s where today’s anti-lynching legislation began.

You could say it started on Granville Street.

 

Cahiers du Hoummous — Hummus in a time of crisis — MidLaw Semiotics

In crisis, recur to fundamental principles.

Fundamental principles arise from experience. Experience from consciousness. Language shapes consciousness. Language matters.

“Hummus’ is the abbreviation of  “hummus bi tahini.” Hummus is the original word for chickpeas and tahini is for ground sesame seeds.  Hummus begins here. Then salt, and lemon juice to dance. Oil, garlic, cumin, and pepper to dress.

Before the crisis, some were suggesting substituting white beans instead of chickpeas and eliminating tahini. They called that hummus.  Others, mashed beets. It was hummus, except without the chickpeas and without the tahini.

What? George Washington’s hatchet.

Is crisis any wonder?

Recur to fundamental principles. Chickpeas mashed, sesame seeds ground, lemon juiced. Things will come right.

Cahiers du Hoummous — Hummus in a time of crisis — Routines

Control counters crisis

Routines are control.

Centuries — millennia —  have chiseled the steps to hummus. There are routines.

The Cahiers du Hoummous sees the steps, the routines, records them.

Each step in its turn, unto itself. Then the next.

Non-essentials fall away.

Chickpeas, sesame seeds. Lemons.

Choices are made. Routines settle.

  • Dried chickpeas or canned?
  • Roast sesame seeds or tahini?
  • Olive oil in it or on top?
  • One lemon or two?
  • Garlic in the hummus or on top? One clove or two, roasted or not?
  • Add tahini to chickpeas or chickpeas to tahini?
  • Skins?
  • Spices.
  • Hot hummus or cold?
  • And more.

Routines. Handles. The handles strengthen. Hummus and beyond.

The gateway is MidLaw Mind. In a time of crisis.

 

Porter Wagoner and the Wagoneers

Porter Wagoner and the Wagoneers

Cahiers du Hoummous — Bedrock in times of crisis

In times of crisis, it is well to stand on bedrock. Recur to fundamental principles.

The verdict of the centuries is that hummus is chickpeas (mashed), sesame seeds (ground), garlic (peeled), and lemon (juiced).

Followers of MidLaw will learn hereafter that olive oil, salt, cumin, and cayenne pepper play important supporting roles.

But the essence of hummus is chickpeas, tahini (ground sesame seeds), garlic, and lemon. That is bedrock.

A trend of recent times is to introduce other elements into the mix. Worse, there are those who substitute and eliminate essentials. This is done in the name of creativity. They call the result “hummus.” Partly, this is an offense to the language. Often, it is an offense to the culture. It serves ill in a crisis.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with throwing anything you like into a food processor, then grinding and eating it. (Well, let’s limit this to vegetables for discussion’s sake.) But, there are issues of language, etymology, and culture here – which will be considered in later cahiers. Get your own word, though, for what you do, because without chickpeas and tahini, it is not hummus. The earth will shift beneath your feet.

And there is the issue of beets – grinding up beets, eating them, and associating that with hummus. Does this require discussion?

In a crisis, trust the learning of the centuries.

 

The doorknob

I have a bucket with water and bleach.
I dip my rag.
I wipe the handrail.
The virus writhes. It decomposes and dies.
I approach the doorknob.