May 30, 2017

Another day at The Peony Café...

P1130800

... where you can get a closer look at anything you like.

And consider shopping via The Althouse Amazon Portal. I know what I'm buying today: "Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002)," by David Sedaris. Just out today! I buy the Kindle version and the audio book (even though Amazon isn't offering the cheap add-on "Whispersync" after I've bought the Kindle text). There is no better reader of his own books than David Sedaris. I've listened to all of his books many, many times and am always glad to get another one, whatever he sees fit to serve up to us.

37 comments:

David Begley said...

"David Sedaris appearance at The Bookworm on Thursday, June 15 at 7 p.m." Omaha.

Gail Lind said...

I just came back from a family reunion at the family farm in Southeast Kansas. The peonies there have been blooming for as long as I can remember. That would be over 70 years. I missed the bloom. In that area, they bloom for Mother's Day.

mockturtle said...

Sex organs thrust at us in every thread.

Laslo Spatula said...

Being that earlier posts today dealt with crazy people, there is definitely a crazy person running amok in Laslo Films presents "The Creeper!"

"The Creeper!".



A terrifying force is loose in a seemingly tranquil neighborhood.



Shafer and Tucker discuss a Mysterious Object left on Tucker's doorstep.



ManChild ponders an Exchange.

I am Laslo.

Laslo Spatula said...

"Sex organs thrust at us in every thread."

Jinx.

Apropos for the opening sequence of "The Creeper!".

I am Laslo.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Material for Laslo:

"City sculptor Alex Gardega — seething over the “Fearless Girl” statue being placed across from Wall Street’s “Charging Bull” — has decided to retaliate with a work of his own.

Gardega created a statue of a small dog, titled “Pissing Pug,” and his sloppily crafted pooch takes direct aim at “Fearless Girl” — or, at least, at her left leg."

http://nypost.com/2017/05/29/pissed-off-artist-adds-statue-of-urinating-dog-next-to-fearless-girl/

exiledonmainstreet said...

Salon writer tells leftists to wake up:

http://www.salon.com/2017/05/27/wake-up-liberals-there-will-be-no-2018-blue-wave-no-democratic-majority-and-no-impeachment/#.WStNyR9rHag.facebook

wildswan said...

Elsewhere on the internet there's a story about a woman professor with a gender PhD who wants to do over physics because it emphasizes Newton who was a man and this is oppressive and marginalizes. Physics needs to become intersectional and be a safe space. But I think it might be hard to think of something to replace calculus. My idea is just to say that Newton was a woman. Gender is in the mind anyway. Well, Newton's gender is just something in our minds and so change his gender and bingo - intersectionality.

Just go through history and replace half the men with women - easy-peasy in the digital age. Greeks like Sophocles - well, they had long hair and Romans - who knows anyhow whether someone named Lucretius had a man's name or a woman's name. Change Wikipedia, start teaching in first grade - Newtonia invented modern physics. And there you are - intersecting. Safe.

Kevin said...

Update: Pissed-off artist adds statue of urinating dog next to ‘Fearless Girl’

http://nypost.com/2017/05/29/pissed-off-artist-adds-statue-of-urinating-dog-next-to-fearless-girl/

Kevin said...

I can't believe Captcha doesn't know what a street sign looks like by now. Perhaps they should move on to bunnies or zebras?

rhhardin said...

New Oberlin President is Carmen Twillie Ambar.

First black woman. Just guessing she's not a conservative.

I thought they got rid of the last guy because he was taking Oberlin down the tubes.

Virtually Unknown said...

Newton's gender is just something in our minds and so change his gender and bingo - intersectionality.

Not too difficult!

The French writer and philosopher Voltaire, who was in London at the time of Newton's funeral, said that he "was never sensible to any passion, was not subject to the common frailties of mankind, nor had any commerce with women—a circumstance which was assured me by the physician and surgeon who attended him in his last moments".[97] The widespread belief that he died a virgin has been commented on by writers such as mathematician Charles Hutton,[98] economist John Maynard Keynes,[99] and physicist Carl Sagan.[100]

Newton did have a close friendship with the Swiss mathematician Nicolas Fatio de Duillier, whom he met in London around 1689.[101] Their intense relationship came to an abrupt and unexplained end in 1693, and at the same time Newton suffered a nervous breakdown.[102] Some of their correspondence has survived.[103][104]

In September of that year, Newton had a breakdown which included sending wild accusatory letters to his friends Samuel Pepys and John Locke. His note to the latter included the charge that Locke "endeavoured to embroil me with woemen"
- Wikipedia

Plenty of material there for a modern scholar to classify him as at lest 'femme'!

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

So I got in a squabble with my husband last night, about the proposed Trader Joe's in Portland that black activists successfully shut down. He pointed me to an Atlantic article arguing that this was the one real black neighborhood in Portland, and the activists felt that TJs would "gentrify" it, making it more attractive to white people and forcing blacks out. I mean, blacks would have something better to eat than the pitiful groceries I remember from my own sojourns in "food deserts," but, hey, TJs is expensive (our neighbor says so, so it must be true!), and only white people go there anyway.

TJs isn't expensive. I do most of the shopping around here, so I can say that with conviction. But expense doesn't matter in any case. If it were a Wal-Mart or a Winco, the response would've been the same: "You can't build that here! That's someplace white people shop, and we don't want white people knowing this neighborhood exists."

My query is this: If white people moving in is "gentrification," and white people moving out is "white flight," and grocery stores moving in is bad, and grocery stores moving out is also bad, then where are we? (Also, is everyone in Portland white or black? No Asians? No Hispanics?)

My husband argues that the difference is that whites can afford to move wherever they want, and blacks can't, but that's nonsense. There are poor whites, even in Portland. There are wealthy blacks, even in Portland.

mockturtle said...

'Black activists' don't represent their community any more than 'white activists' do. But violence will force TJ's to back down and, even if they opened it, there would be vandalism and threats. Thuggery pays.

rehajm said...

Voltaire, who was in London at the time of Newton's funeral, said that he "was never sensible to any passion, was not subject to the common frailties of mankind, nor had any commerce with women—a circumstance which was assured me by the physician and surgeon who attended him in his last moments".[97] The widespread belief that he died a virgin has been commented on by writers such as mathematician Charles Hutton,[98] economist John Maynard Keynes,[99] and physicist Carl Sagan.[100]

Newton did have a close friendship with the Swiss mathematician Nicolas Fatio de Duillier, whom he met in London around 1689.[101] Their intense relationship came to an abrupt and unexplained end in 1693, and at the same time Newton suffered a nervous breakdown.


Alternative theory: He was a painfully shy nerd who couldn't get a date.

Was he painfully shy like my high school valedictorian: a young man who relied upon another friend to communicate verbally to his teachers until well into high school, who had all the answers but failed to answer any questions as a contestant on a televised high school quiz show and who inherited the valedictorian role when the classmate with a slightly higher 99+ GPA intentionally flagged a test so the shy young man would have to give the graduating speech?

I wonder...

exiledonmainstreet said...


"My query is this: If white people moving in is "gentrification," and white people moving out is "white flight," and grocery stores moving in is bad, and grocery stores moving out is also bad, then where are we? (Also, is everyone in Portland white or black? No Asians? No Hispanics?)"

The Left has thought themselves into - or perhaps deliberately constructed - a Catch 22. They complain that many black inner city residents have no recourse to healthy food because of racist "food deserts" (Shame on store owners for hesitating to open businesses in high crime areas!) but when someone opens at TJ there, it's condemned as a form of colonialism.

Just as Sofia Coppola, just named best director at Cannes because of her remake of “The Beguiled,” is now being condemned by SJWs because her film is about “rich white women” and thus is not representative of all women’s experiences. “The Beguiled” is set in the Civil War South – are filmmakers now obligated to write an Asian lesbian or a Hispanic transgender into the script to make it more “representative?” And Sofia Coppola is a rich white woman. I heard just yesterday that it was racist for white women to make burritos, so shouldn’t we all stick to our own kind?

None of this makes sense until you realize that the SJWs are not trying to make sense, they are trying to hold white people guilty for everything they do or don’t do. There is no way to escape the “racism” label.

mockturtle said...

This kind of cultural balkanization will be our undoing.

exiledonmainstreet said...

mockturtle, the balkanization seems to only go in one direction for the most part. (Not entirely, because black kids who study are often castigated for "acting white," but that seems to come largely from their peers, not from SJWs.)

I haven't heard Yo Yo Ma or Jessye Norman denounced as "cultural appropriators" because Ma plays Western classical music and Norman is an opera singer. Hell, look at all the "cultural appropriators" who type on computers, use cell phones and enjoy the benefits of Western medicine.

It's only when whites cross cultural lines (or don't cross them), that there is outrage. The most ridiculous part is that much of the outrage comes from - whites.

As I said earlier today, as stupid and evil as the Nazi oppression and murder of the Jews was, think of how absurd it would have been if they had run around screaming "Destroy the German gentiles!" and smashed up their own businesses.

David Baker said...

So, Bill O'Reilly is now predicting that Shawn Hannity will survive at FOX. I'm not so sure, not after the Murdoch kids shot FOX in the head with their own gun. In fact, I'd be surprised if Hannity ever shows his head again anywhere near a FOX studio. But if he does, you'll know he's nothing more than a BS-ing punk.

Meanwhile, our O'Reilly therapy group is moving to the 92nd Street Y until further notice.

Hagar said...

If Blacks can't move, how did they get to Portland?

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

I want to expand on "food deserts." I have personally seen (this is when I worked in the Mission District in SF) black teenagers walking past the cheap Mexican grocery and the cheap Asian grocery and the cheap pho place and the cheap taqueria and the cheap Indian buffet and the cheap Chinese place and, incidentally, the enormous Safeway crammed full of cheap food, all on their way to Burger King. And when they got there (occasionally I ate there myself), they'd chew out the hapless Chicano staff. It was sad and ugly.

But I suppose now anyone eating ethnic food can be accused of "cultural appropriation," so maybe they were right ... um, sort of. A hamburger is named after Hamburg, and the fries are French fries. You, OTOH, are neither German nor French.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Hagar,

As in many other coastal settlements on the West Coast, blacks were brought there to make ships during WWII, and never left. In the SF Bay Area, the remnants, if that's the right word, are Marin City and Richmond.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

exiledonmainstreet,

Yo Yo Ma plays a lot more than classical music. He's dabbled in everything, including jazz, ragtime, and a lot of ethnic music. (Have you heard of the Silk Road Ensemble?) He's the cultural appropriator par excellence. I wrote an honest-to-God New York Times column about him once, taking on his first foray into Baroque cello, in which he didn't play for the most part actual Baroque cello music, but transcriptions of Bach chorales. I wrote that he was "slumming," dipping his toes in but not really getting wet, and was rewarded by a letter from Emmanuel Ax, saying that it was "the height of arrogance" to say something like that about his duo-partner. Ever since, my husband goes around telling people that the height of arrogance is 5'6".

Jessye Norman isn't just an opera singer; she does Lieder too.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Michelle, recently I was in a hospital cafeteria which had a fried food bar (trying to increase business for the cardio unit, I guess). Not good, but there was also a salad bar with decent produce, skinless baked chicken and steamed veggies, and turkey sandwiches on offer. An enormous black woman, a hospital employee with a housekeeping badge on, was in front of me in the checkout line. She had a plate piled high with deep-fried everything. With the employee discount, her lunch cost $12. People should be free to make their choices and they certainly will make bad ones, but I doubt that woman chose to eat what she did because nobody had ever explained to her that fried food is bad for you. She knows that. That’s what she wants to eat.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"Have you heard of the Silk Road Ensemble?"

No, I have not, nor have I heard Norman sing Lieder. Thank you for the tip!

"Ever since, my husband goes around telling people that the height of arrogance is 5'6"."

That's great!

Trumpit said...

Why do you get both the Kindle version and the audio book?

Sadly, I never learned to read. I was a child in the the 60's and I watched a lot of TV, I think in black & white. It is the parents' responsibility to interest their children in books. It is child abuse to let them sit in front of the TV for hours. I don't know about today's kids who are glued to their cellphones and the internet. Are they reading book and articles, or too busy texting?

The former Republican governor of New Hampshire, John Sununu was on CNN today abusing the interviewer who was asking him his opinion regarding the constant revelations about Trump's people in (secret) contact with various Russians, the latest dealing with Jared Kushner. Sununu kept asking the harassed lady, "Where is the Veniality?" Even an educated man like him was conflating "veniality" with "venality."

On the subject of peonies, according to Wikipedia: Over 262 compounds have been obtained so far from the plants of Paeoniaceae. These include monoterpenoid glucosides, flavonoids, tannins, stilbenoids, triterpenoids, steroids, paeonols, and phenols. In vitro biological activities include antioxidant, antitumor, antipathogenic, immune-system-modulation activities, cardiovascular-system-protective activities and central-nervous-system activities.[19]

Plants are amazingly beautiful, as your photographs constantly demonstrate, as well as being medicinally beneficial and important.

mockturtle said...

Quite a few black opera singers. We had the good fortune to hear the great lyric soprano Leontyne Price in person, a truly awe-inspiring experience. I don't think anyone ever accused her of cultural or racial appropriation.

William said...

Cultural ping pong is far more common than cultural appropriation. How would you characterize Porgy and Bess? I understand that black people are no longer pleased with the characterizations in that work, but it did provide several generations of black singers steady work. For the record, I think the Ella Fitzgerald/Louis Armstrong album is the best, and Satchmo is no opera singer.

Hagar said...

I think the Democratic Party has disintegrated.
There is no leader and no unified policy on anything to gather around and no bright goal.
Hence all this jumping around with individuals or small groups latching on to ever more outlandish and non-essential things to make a fuss over and mark their own special area.

mockturtle said...

Leontyne Price, O Patria Mia, Aida

madAsHell said...

Laslo -

I'm guessing that your movies are like chapters in a book, and you're going to tie everything together in the last chapter.

Amirite?

Once written, twice... said...

Nickolas Kristof has a moving piece today about the Portland terrorist attack and its three heroes. Ann's post today accusing these three men of extreme actions and causing their own deaths is morally repugnant. But Ann long ago chose that side of the road.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/30/opinion/portland-train-attack-muslim.html?smprod=nytcore-iphone&smid=nytcore-iphone-share

Laslo Spatula said...

madAsHell said...
"Laslo -I'm guessing that your movies are like chapters in a book, and you're going to tie everything together in the last chapter."

Pretty darn close.

I am Laslo.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

There have been a lot of great black opera singers, mostly female. Barbara Hendricks, Kathleen Battle (I still remember "I Survived the Battle!" T-shirts worn by stagehands at the Met after one especially pissy run), Marian Anderson ... especially Marian Anderson. There are fewer men. Paul Robeson comes to mind: Terrific voice, kind of a bummer about the Stalinism.

Bad Lieutenant said...

accusing these three men of extreme actions and causing their own deaths

Onesie, whose brand of ventilator do you use? Because it's clear that you're too stupid to breathe unassisted.

Ann Althouse said...

I get Kindle so can see it and so I can cut and paste for blogging.

Audio, I want for walking around and falling asleep. I play an audiobook every night to sleep, and Sedaris is one of my top three voices to sleep to. I will listen to the book hundreds of times.

jaed said...

this was the one real black neighborhood in Portland

I haven't read the Atlantic article, but this is incorrect. There are several "real black neighborhoods" in Portland, if by that your husband means "neighborhoods where a lot of black people live, and that have had a lot of black people living there for generations". Black people were among the original settlers in Portland (look up the city of Albina, which was incorporated along with East Portland and Portland into a single city around the turn of the last century—black neighborhoods to this day are more or less where Albina was originally).

Also, not that this counts in some people's eyes, but if I remember correctly, the black people actually living in the neighborhood were looking forward to having a T Joe's instead of a weedstrewn vacant lot.