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Posts posted by Matthew

  1. 3 hours ago, ejp626 said:

    While it wasn't a complete artistic success for me, I thought Rushdie's Quichotte had a lot going for it.  Probably the best book I read was Camus's The Plague and the best book I reread was Atwood's The Edible Woman.

    I did reread some key Thoreau essays, and I have to say I get more conflicted each time.  The strain of extreme individualism that Thoreau embodies is ultimately extremely corrosive.  I also feel he comes across as cold-blooded and somewhat provincial (trying to be an island and proving Donne wrong) in his famous bit in "Where I Lived, and What I Lived For": "And I am sure that I never read any memorable news in a newspaper. If we read of one man robbed, or murdered, or killed by accident, or one house burned, or one vessel wrecked, or one steamboat blown up, or one cow run over on the Western Railroad, or one mad dog killed, or one lot of grasshoppers in the winter,—we never need read of another. One is enough."

    Now this essay tries to reclaim Thoreau by saying that he didn't really mean it that way (and he was mostly against the commodification of the news), but I find the apologists wrong-headed:

    I see no reason to believe he didn't mean what he actually wrote, and he simply wasn't that interested in other people and their fates.  I do agree he would be completely aghast at today's society.

    I get what you saying, in a way, but Thoreau (and the Thoreau family as a whole) was very committed to the Abolition Movement, as well as a participant in the Underground Railroad, so that outreach to others was there. One of the things that Dassow brings out is Thoreau's closeness to his family and the wide circle of people he knew. It was a complex life, and there are various ways of looking at it. 

    1 hour ago, HutchFan said:

    Thanks for the heads-up on this book, Matthew. I just ordered it.


    Hope you enjoy it!

  2. 2 hours ago, JSngry said:

    Yeah, I'd take 3 years. (Two if he doesn't have a no-trade clause?)

    I've seen the guy live, and the kind of skills he has, you don't disrespect (or, really, lose with age). Like any artist, he needs the right context to maximize his possibility for success, but damn....

    I'm still in denial that Darvish ever pitched in game seven in the 2017 World Series.. never freakin' happened!

  3. Like a lot of others, the pandemic gave me a chance to do more reading. Here are my three favorites of the year.

    Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation by Kristian Kobes Du Mez. A well written and important book to see just how Evangelical Christianity reached its present state. Great insights and highly recommended if anyone is interested in this topic.

    The First Fall Classic: The Red Sox, the Giants and the Cast of Players, Pugs and Politicos Who Re-Invented the World Series in 1912 by Mike Vaccaro. A fun and interesting read on the 1912 World Series. There's a great cast of characters involved, great games to read about, and it all adds up to a fun read.

    Henry David Thoreau: A Life by Laura Dassow. For some reason, I found this a deeply moving book. Thoreau comes across as a person who never felt at home in this world, and his commitment to a honest life cost him dearly. At the end of reading this book, I had so many conflicting emotions, it took awhile to sort them out. Thoreau is endless in his inspiration and impact.


  4. 3 hours ago, Dan Gould said:


    I don't at all mind that the Padres seem to be building a juggernaut to really take it to the defending world champions and I get that the Cubs are trying to rebuild for the long haul but it definitely sucks that they appear to be throwing in the towel on 2021 long before spring training. I am not looking forward to letting my 85 year old Mom know what happened ... now my question is, does this mean that they'll keep Kris Bryant in his walk year and hope that a bounce-back year means a still decent haul for whoever needs him as a rental mid-season? Or will he still be dangled to stockpile more hoped-for potential talent?  If they send him off too they are truly sacrificing 2021. And that would suck. Who knows how many more seasons Mom will be around to watch?

    Think they keep Bryant for the start of the season, and wait until the trade deadline for the best deal. The rebuild starts again. The Padres are kicking butt in the trade market right now, though is it enough to catch the Dodgers? I have my doubts. The Dodgers have a great team and will be nearly impossible to beat. The biggest plus for the Padres is Tatis Jr., the guy wants to win now! so I expect a huge MVP year from him. Not sold on the Darvis deal, just something about Darvis makes me uneasy, you never know what you're getting from start to start.

  5. 2 hours ago, JSngry said:

    Well, if it's a declared war, there's an American model for how to manage a declared-war economy.

    And there's also models aplenty how to manage non-declared war economy.

    What there's not too many American models for is actually/truly declaring a war and then not really fighting it.

    so is this going to be a war or what? Seems like it needs to be, we're getting attacked like it is...


    This pandemic is going to be the cause of a ton of Ph.D's. The amount of studies to come out from all of this will be a never ending stream of dissertations, studies, workshops and legislation for decades to come.

  6. 1 hour ago, Dan Gould said:

    Not good. What I find frightening is CA reaching 1 million cases a few weeks ago, now on track for 2 million in a few days or less.

    The less said about the failure in leadership here, the better. No one, certainly not Gov. Newsom, seems to have a clue, other than a shut down, on what to do.

  7. 1 hour ago, Big Beat Steve said:

    Or to put it another way: The year the second AFM Petrillo recording ban struck - right?

    I'm a big fan of Old Time Radio shows, and for the longest time, I thought Petrillo was a made up name by Phil Harris (The Jack Benny Show and his own show). Then one day I decided to look the name up, and low-and-behold, it turns out to be a real person and a real head of the musician union.

  8. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh. Third time for me to read this book, and I'm enjoying much more than the other two time. I think I got caught up in looking for the "Catholic Symbolism" that is supposed to be running wild throughout the novel. Eh, I've never noticed all that much in my previous readings, so I'm just enjoying the luxurious writing of a great story.

    Brideshead Revisited - Kindle edition by Waugh, Evelyn. Literature &  Fiction Kindle eBooks @