In 1956, Doubleday published The Dragon in the Sea, the first novel by a California newspaperman named Frank Herbert. Even now, the book seems a little hard to pin down. It was, for the most part, a Cold War thriller about the race to harvest offshore oil—except crammed inside the thriller was a near-future science-fiction tale of fantastic technology. And crammed inside the science fiction was a psychological study of naval officers crammed inside submarines.
BOGSAT: according to urbandictionary.com, a “Bunch Of Guys Sitting Around Talking” in “regularly scheduled daily/weekly worthless meetings.”
The Inklings: according to religion scholars Philip and Carol Zaleski, “a small circle of intellectuals” who “from the end of the Great Depression through World War II and into the 1950s . . . gathered on a weekly basis in and around Oxford University to drink, smoke, quip, cavil.”
When Vita Sackville-West, daughter of the third Lord Sackville, recalled her childhood at the family’s ancestral home, Knole, she described “a person called Henry who from time to time came to the entrance and demanded to see Grandpapa, but was not allowed to.” So recounts Robert Sackville-West, author of The Disinherited and also the current, and seventh, Baron Sackville. Henry, in fact, was Vita’s uncle on her mother’s side.
William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying tells the story of Anse Bundren, an impoverished widower who carries his wife’s corpse across Mississippi to her desired burial ground.
Eighty-six years after the novel’s publication, the Southern infatuation with dead bodies continues unabated.
On July 7, the Memphis City Council voted to exhume the body of Nathan Bedford Forrest, the Confederate lieutenant general and first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. He is buried beside his wife, who will also be removed.
Religious conservatives are fighting back against allegations of homophobia.
The World Congress of Families (WCF) is “an international network of pro-family organizations, scholars, leaders and people of goodwill from more than 80 countries that seek[s] to restore the natural family as the fundamental social unit and the ‘seedbed’ of civil society.”
With Trainwreck,the comedy impresario Judd Apatow has once again made a movie about an irresponsible adult-child who is compelled to grow up by the end of the film. This was the plotline of both The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up, the two box-office sensations that made Apatow’s career, and it resurfaces here.
Over the weekend, the New York Times weighed in on an important issue facing the city of New York. It seems that the fairer sex, despite making up about half the city’s population, constitutes merely a third of the users of the city’s bikeshare system.
According to the Times’s observer on Eighth Avenue, the situation is dire. “Man after man pedaled by, some in suits, others in jeans. From time to time, a woman on a Citi Bike rode by.”
Coined is like Malcolm Gladwell for investment bankers, with intriguing anecdotes to close the quick sale while obscuring the larger picture. Money matters: Over the last half-century, the world economy has swung from high inflation to financial crisis to zero interest rates. But Kabir Sehgal, an investment banker, offers “a multi-dimensional and interdisciplinary portrait of currency through the ages” without much ability to tie it together.
Speaking of New York, The Scrapbook was walking through Central Park the other day when a police car came cruising down one of the interior roads. As it rolled by, almost as an afterthought, its loudspeakers blared “The sign says don’t walk!” and the car leisurely disappeared around the next corner. In a similar situation and even more recently, a cop car approached a group of cyclists, an electronically amplified voice blared “Use the bike path!” and then the car sped off.
While watching Pollock for maybe the sixth time, I found myself intrigued anew by Ed Harris as the titular splatter king. Once again, I wondered what it was about his performance that kept me tuned in. It could have been the conviction with which he conveyed his alter ego’s determination to express himself as an artist. It could have been the balletic grace with which he dripped and dropped his paint. Then it hit me: It was his brow.
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Have you ever wondered what would happen if the conservative fantasy of taking over the culture came to pass? What if one major movie studio, and a few popular actors, comedians, writers, directors were conservative?
Producers would still have to work within the current social reality of a sexually promiscuous, morally untethered, post Judeo-Christian culture, of course. Audiences don’t pay for heavy handed, feel bad lectures. Where would you start?