Tag Archives: war

Happy Birthday, Niccolò Machiavelli: “Fear and the absence of hatred may go well together.”

Prologue, The Jew of Malta, by Christopher Marlowe, written in 1589. Machiavelli died in 1527. You can see his posthumous reputation had ballooned, just 60 years after his death. Enter MACHIAVEL. MACHIAVEL. Albeit the world think Machiavel is dead, Yet … Continue reading

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“I would rather take a photograph than be one.” — Lee Miller

Lee Miller, by David Scherman It’s the birthday of Lee Miller, fashion model, Surrealist artist, and … as if all that wasn’t enough … the only female combat photographer in Europe during the war, taking photos of concentration camps, firing … Continue reading

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“Sometimes, in describing what I do, I resort to the Latin phrase ‘silva rerum’: the forest of things. That’s my subject: the forest of things.” — Ryszard Kapuściński

One of my favorite writers. His death in 2007 was devastating to me. I went to the memorial tribute at the New York Public Library, hosted by his close personal friend Salman Rushdie. I am not sure I can sufficiently … Continue reading

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Substack: Nuclear winter television events in 1983-84

On my Substack I wrote about three television events which aired in the jittery world of 1983-84, all of which depict the aftermath of a nuclear bomb: the BBC’s Threads, aired only twice, scarring a generation, the American version, The … Continue reading

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“I doubt sometimes whether a quiet and unagitated life would have suited me–yet I sometimes long for it.” — Lord Byron

— And who is the best poet, Heron? asked Boland. — Lord Tennyson, of course, answered Heron. — O, yes, Lord Tennyson, said Nash. We have all his poetry at home in a book. At this Stephen forgot the silent … Continue reading

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“And the world Is gonna know your name. What’s your name, man?” “Alexander Hamilton.”

Except for the opening paragraph, this post was (mostly – there are some updates) written in 2008, years before “Hamilton” mania overtook the world. I almost can’t believe it’s happened. Thank you Lin-Manuel Miranda. Your musical is so important. I … Continue reading

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2023 Books Read

I think I might have read more books by non-American authors than American this year. Countries represented below: Austria, Hungary, Poland, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Croatia, Ireland, France, Russia, Colombia. I revisited some old favorites, which I will continue to do in … Continue reading

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“I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute.” Happy Birthday, Rebecca West

It is hard to talk about her without referencing the generations of writers she inspired, all of whom admit their debt to her. Robert Kaplan is the most open about it (his Balkan Ghosts, which launched his career, has him … Continue reading

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For Busby Berkeley’s birthday: Remember My Forgotten Man and Sucker Punch

I wrote a piece originally for the Musings blog at Oscilloscope (it was included in a book!), and now lives on my site (since it’s off the Musings blog). It’s about the similarities between Busby Berkeley’s Gold Diggers of 1933 … Continue reading

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On This Day: October 25, 1415: “We Few, We Happy Few.”

Happy Anniversary of The Battle of Agincourt Today is the feast day of Saints Crispin and Crispinian, cobblers by trade (and patron saints thereof, although Vatican II nixed them from the calendar), fierce warriors of their faith, martyred in 286. … Continue reading

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