Z e t e o
Reading, Looking, Listening, . . . Questioning
Categories: Drew Whitcup, ZiR | Add a Comment
flint-water-top-compressed

Residents of Flint, Michigan continue to be subjected to dangerously high lead levels in their drinking water. The long-term effects are likely to be catastrophic, especially when it comes to the brain development of Flint’s young children. Naturally, questions have arisen about what members of the Michigan state government knew, and when they knew it. Local […]

ZiR
from Amazon site for African Mask Wall Decor World Peace Wise Man Bamboo Root Mask Bali Mask

A follow-up to a previous discussion of how experts, and the media that aids and abets them, and the class interests that pay these experts’ salaries—they’re in the mask-making business.   A January 26 New York Times story reported that “according to an independent analysis” the proposed trade pact between North American countries, the United […]

ZiR
images-4

I was startled to read in yesterday’s Boston Globe that a scholarly paper on “the God particle” (the Higgs boson) had 5,154 authors. I wondered if they hired a stadium for the signing and celebration. I usually think of science as dancing with poetry. An odd couple, you’ll say, but I’ve learned from Thoreau that […]

ZiR
Categories: Drew Whitcup, ZiR | Add a Comment
images

On Monday, the Supreme Court issued its decision in the case of Montgomery v. Louisiana, essentially deciding that many prisoners serving life without parole who were juveniles when they committed their crimes may be granted a chance at freedom in their lifetimes. The case comes three years after Miller v. Alabama, which held that mandatory life-without-parole sentences for […]

ZiR
images

I’m not sure what led me to open Moby Dick again. It’s become a book to browse rather than “get through.” And when a passage pops up, one can’t be in a rush. Going slowly I can unravel serpentine sentences that so often deliver gold. Why just now? Perhaps because I’ve moved to the seacoast […]

ZiR
Categories: ZiLL | Add a Comment
Iiu Susiraja Rakennettua-tunnetta 22014

Sublime Ugliness — from a Nordic point of view Transgressing orthodox understandings of beauty, Iiu Susiraja is challenging our ideas of what a public portrait might look like.   I have been thinking a lot about ugliness lately. It all started with a visit to an exhibition by the Finnish artist Iiu Susiraja (born 1975).[1] […]

ZiLL
Categories: Drew Whitcup, ZiR | Add a Comment
images (1)

The documentary series Making a Murderer, currently airing on Netflix, is generating a lot of reaction from viewers and commentators. Many people (including hundreds of thousands who have signed a petition) are clamoring for the release of the show’s central figure, convicted murderer Steven Avery. Avery was falsely accused and convicted of an assault in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin […]

ZiR
Categories: Essay | 1 Comment
17th century Schandmask (or shame masks) - a German form of punishment

By William Eaton   . . . the intellectuals of the time . . . went on playing with ideas que no tenían más función que la de mascaras—that served only as masks. Octavio Paz, El laberinto de la soledad (The Labyrinth of Solitude)[1]   At a few moments in his recent, fruitful discussion of class […]

Essay
Categories: Essay | Add a Comment
Kalamazoo, Michigan, by race

What happened after Ta-Nehisi Coates visited our city? By Sue Ellen Christian   Everything and nothing, as you would expect. But also, for me, old ideas from the American psychologist Gordon Allport and the journalist Robert Maynard got a new hold on my imagination. The auditorium was packed with 2,500 people and could have held […]

Essay
Categories: Fritz Tucker, ZiR | Add a Comment
sex-and-death1

While reading Suketu Mehta’s Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found, I came across a most thought-provoking passage on Bollywood, which applies to Hollywood as well. On pg. 348, Mehta writes (emphasis mine): Gangsters and whores all over the world have always been fascinated by the movies and vice versa; the movies are fundamentally transgressive. They are […]

ZiR
Categories: Ed Mooney, ZiLL | Add a Comment
images-4

    I have a friend who has published an award-winning book of poems titled “Having Listened.” He writes in the shadow of Boston, near the Arnold Arboretum, designed by Fredrick Law Olmsted. We walked there recently, a patrician park overseen by Harvard University. It has no end of whispering trees and rolling paths. It’s […]

ZiLL

Recent Comments

images-4

    I have a friend who has published an award-winning book of poems titled “Having Listened.” He writes in the shadow of Boston, near the Arnold Arboretum, designed by Fredrick Law Olmsted. We walked there recently, a patrician park overseen by Harvard University. It has no end of whispering trees and rolling paths. It’s […]

ZiR

February 1, 2016

The quotes from Ruskin and Jameson make wonderful side bars to the story I follow here. I didn't know either of these passages, but they add an important dimension to the picture I try to focus.

read more... join the conversation >
images-4

    I have a friend who has published an award-winning book of poems titled “Having Listened.” He writes in the shadow of Boston, near the Arnold Arboretum, designed by Fredrick Law Olmsted. We walked there recently, a patrician park overseen by Harvard University. It has no end of whispering trees and rolling paths. It’s […]

ZiR

February 1, 2016

Interesting to connect Big Science to Gothic cathedrals. And hard to think of Gothic cathedrals in this context without thinking of John Ruskin's championing of them, e.g. in "The Stones of Venice." Snatching a few lines from that text: "Wherever the workman is utterly enslaved, the parts of the building must of course be absolutely like each other; for the perfection of his execution can only be reached by exercising him in doing one thing, and giving him nothing else to do. The degree in which the workman is degraded may be thus known at a glance, by observing whether the several parts of th...

read more... join the conversation >
images

    I have a friend who has published an award-winning book of poems titled “Having Listened.” He writes in the shadow of Boston, near the Arnold Arboretum, designed by Fredrick Law Olmsted. We walked there recently, a patrician park overseen by Harvard University. It has no end of whispering trees and rolling paths. It’s […]

ZiR

January 24, 2016

A fitting moment to return to Moby Dick, with winter storm Jonas ravaging the East Coast of the US. I had forgotten the mothering whales, and am happy to rediscover them. But I think often of Father Mapple's great sermon on the Biblical Jonah. A few choice moments: - “And if we obey God, we must disobey ourselves, wherein the hardness of obeying God consists.” - “In this world, shipmates, sin that pays its way can travel freely, and without a passport; whereas Virtue . . . is stopped at all frontiers.” - "Woe to him whom this world charms from Gospel duty! Woe to him who seeks to po...

read more... join the conversation >
Next Page »