Nobel Prize to poet

“An Adventure,” from “Faithful and Virtuous Night,” by Louise Glück, quoted in NY Times.

All experience is an arch wherethro’ gleams that untravell’d world whose margin fades for ever and forever when I move. Alfred Tennyson

Not fade away.

The Arc of a Professional’s Career.

Collards to go

I have learned that you can buy freshly prepared collards, by the pint and by the quart, at the drive-through window at Stamey’s in Greensboro.

Probably, this is some pandemic thing. But I interpret it as a new moment in Southern culture and foodways. Collards to go.

Drive in. “That’ll be $6.07 at the window.” Go.

I got a quart, a fork (plastic), a knife (same), and a napkin.

Down home in the Old North State.

More about chickens

Robert E. Lee kept a chicken, a hen, as a pet at his army headquarters. The army carried it about to its ultimate doom.

Indefinite antecedent acknowledged.

What the Mediterranean is for

The Mediterranean Sea is a network. It connects the peoples who live around it.

Those peoples are locked in a millennia-long competition to determine who knows the best way to cook a chicken.

Evaluating outcomes requires sampling and deliberating over an extended period, frequently revisiting initial impressions, and tracking the evolution of taste.

Nothing here disparages chickens cooked in other places.

Long ago in Southeast Asia, I learned that, while there are cultural differences respecting beef, pork, dogs, and bats, everybody eats chicken.

Except vegetarians.

Attention is the limited resource

For persons who are at an age when the word “retirement” is not irrelevant, this NY Times column strikes me as valuable: “I talked to the Cassandra of the Internet Age,”

He says, “one of the most finite resources in the world is human attention.”

Before now, I had some sense of this. If you are retired and if you are not careful, you can piss away what’s left of your life with social media.

And so I have stopped using most social media. I have not exterminated FaceBook from my machine, but that is mainly because I don’t know how to. I just don’t go on it anymore.  

Truth is, it was already getting to be that way with books. Where I grew up there was a public library, two newspapers (Tarboro Daily Southerner and Raleigh N&O), and magazines (mostly, Time, Saturday Evening Post, and American Heritage). That was it. Now, there are bookstores, used bookstores, Amazon, and Project Gutenberg. And those little free book-exchange libraries that some people put in their yards.

And, social media.

We have got to figure out how to manage the glut of almost-free information coming at us. Maybe cost is good. It assigns value. MIchael Goldhaber says

We can explore the ways in which our attention is generated, manipulated, valued, and degraded. Sometimes attention might simply be a lens through which to read the events of the moment. But it can also force us toward a better understanding of how our minds work or how we value our time and the time of others. Perhaps, just by acknowledging its presence, we can begin to direct it toward people, ideas and causes that are worthy of our precious resource.

It’s not the information that is limited anymore. It’s the attention.

If you are of a certain age, you know about limited resources. You know about conserving and marshaling resources.

“Attention is a limited resource, so pay attention to where you pay attention.”

Absolutely unbelievable

I blame cable TV.

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

  • incredible
  • unbelievable
  • absolutely
  • awesome

It’s unbelievable.

 

Thelonius Monk birthday

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

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.