I went through a list of the top 100 pens last month, and found this one, the Pilot V fountain pen rated highly. The ink flows nicely, no scratchiness, as smooth as my rollerballs, but more…sensual. What can I say? Costs about $3 (¥300). I may go back to longhand.
Roma, by Alfonso Cuaron. I just finished. A masterpiece. The best movie of the year (2018). Maybe of the decade. And in black and white, better than color. In Spanish (with a lot of Oaxacan as well). Cuaron’s story of growing up in a tony area of Mexico City, the Roma neighborhood in 1970. It follows Cleo, the maid as the family, the city, her friends and the
I am 6 years older than Cuaron. My family traveled in Mexico the summer of 67, just 3 years before this movie was set, so I was the age of the oldest brother in this film. There were 4 kids in the family, much like mine. I remember vividly visiting my mother’s friend and her family in Cuernavaca. A similar situation. All of those details resonated with me. Cuaron, as a kid, was a superlative observer.
The detail in the movie is astounding. Watching dozens of art-house flicks when I was in Barcelona helped me understand the graphic language of black and white movies, the subtle connections beween worlds. The airplane, the dog shit, the car, the “
Roger Ebert’s website gives it 4/4 stars.
With some of the most striking imagery of the year, “Roma” often blends the surreal and the relatable into one memorable image.
Read Kristopher Tapley in Variety getting the backstory from Cuaron.
Wow. I will have to watch this one again. A work of art.
Media: Marie Kondo (or in Japanese, Kondo Marie) is famous for her technique of
Politics: Crazy stuff when the American Taliban prosecute a woman for having a miscarriage. (NYTimes). And other countries might start thinking about tourists from America trying to
Business: Amazon is the place where America shops online. Following up last month’s link about how opaque the marketplace (The Verge) is on Amazon, where 3rd parties (small business) sell through Amazon, you can also make money by giving advice to new sellers. But is it legitimate? (Atlantic)
Media: Elsevier owns 2,500 academic journals, publishing articles by unpaid faculty, and charging over US$30 to access each article. Sci-Hub pirates these articles, much like the torrent network does for TV, movies
Writing: Is the exclamation point (!) an intensity marker or a sincerity marker? That and more, in how we overuse them!
Looking at this post, I don’t like the mish-mash of topics. I am going to start separating the posts and let the Categories help you find what you need, along with a much shorter Weakly Post each Sunday pointing to the other stuff I posted during the week. Check back here often (or better, add me to your RSS feed reader), and make a comment. I may even start an email list to notify people of Weakly Posts.
I was recently messaging with old friend Barry Mateer who is now in Iowa about his time 50 years ago when he was a Peace
My tennis buddy and teaching colleague in Barcelona was about the same age. He too was a CO, did his Alternative Service cleaning toilets at a state hospital (mental institution). I was a bit younger, was in line to be drafted, but by then the war was winding down. Nonetheless, I also applied for CO status and was accepted about 6 months before Jimmy Carter ended the draft, so I didn’t have to do any Alternative Service. (I did end up volunteering for my church in China for a year, similar to AS, but many years later.
Which brings me to this story in the Smithsonian magazine, The Priest of Abu Ghraib. It is a long piece about Joshua Casteel and his time in Afghanistan. Another war, same story. Casteel was raised in a very religious family and volunteered for the war. I will let the article tell his fated and tragic story, a story where he struggles mightily to be a good Christian as well as a good soldier. He fails. With terrible consequences.
We switched as a family from the Catholic church to the Church of the Brethren when I was a teen. I was never sure whether it was because it was such a great church (it was) or whether it was because it was a peace church. I certainly am grateful, though, for the move. While my family has moved cities and congregations (they are now Presbyterian), I have wandered away from a formal religion and accepted a happy agnosticism like those around me here in Japan. I still volunteer, though, and I still think about war, killing and god. But nowhere like Joshua Casteel.
I was reading my RSS feed and came across an article in The Hill (a neutral rated news outlet that is good for news titles). It said, in paragraph 3 or so, that “Trump lambasted Democrats on Twitter earlier Tuesday” That got me curious about lambasting.
Now, for my students, (look it up!) lambasting means to criticize strongly. (Dictionary.com has it as “criticize harshly”. Merriam Webster has it as “assault violently” or to “attack verbally”. Growing up in the age of Nixon, I got the impression that it was strong criticism with a note of sarcasm and an element of truth. Most of the lambasting going on then was directed toward the President who had to claim he was not a crook.
So I started to think. Which direction is the lambasting going these days? A search for trends does not yield any significant results. But a simple search for “Trump lambasted” gets 23,300 hits (using the incognito window, so it is not filtered for my previous searches). A search for “lambasted Trump” drew about half that, with 11,800 hits. Now searching inquiries to Google is not a great measure, it is pretty much all we have. (Any suggestions for other search engines?)
It might be the media, attributing a more violent verb to our current President who claims no collusion. Still trying to check out that avenue. Which leads me to wonder if the rest of us are being too nice. May I suggest we “politely” lambaste away? My other question was whether you can really lambaste by Twitter.