Z e t e o
Reading, Looking, Listening, . . . Questioning
Categories: Ed Mooney, ZiR | Add a Comment

          These are preliminary notes on a tension between philosophy and friendship. They are prompted by two texts I encountered nearly in conjunction, within the passage of just a few days. The first is a remarkable passage from  Moby Dick where Ishmael, the narrator whose name echoes the Biblical figure cast […]

ZiR

  A comparison with a shaggy dog tale—with “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”—may help us appreciate and begin to think about an “elusive passage” in Plato’s Symposium. In Twain’s text, the narrator goes seeking news of the Reverend Leonidas W. Smiley and ends up hearing stories about an inveterate gambler named Jim Smiley. […]

ZiR
Categories: Ed Mooney, ZiR | 4 Comments

 As Alexander Hamilton watched the French Revolution unfold, he feared in America what he saw play out in France — that the unleashing of popular passions would lead not to greater democracy but to the arrival of a tyrant, riding to power on the shoulders of the people. His public discourse consists of attacking or […]

ZiR
Categories: Drew Whitcup, ZiR | Add a Comment

Writing for the New Republic earlier this year, Eric Segall revealed his thoughts on why replacing Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court would prove so difficult. Despite common references to the nation’s highest-ranking jurists as dispassionate analysts or mere “umpires,” Segall makes clear that in his opinion, Justices and those seeking the position are partisan […]

ZiR

Five mysteries hold the keys to the unseen: the act of love, and the birth of a baby, and the contemplation of great art, and being in the presence of death or disaster, and hearing the human voice lifted in song.                                                                              […]

I have been following a rather amusing story recently: one involving an eccentric attorney and some potentially salacious information. Today, the Supreme Court weighed in, and Steven Nelson of U.S. News and World Report took note: The Supreme Court announced Monday it would not intervene to allow release of phone records from the late ‘D.C. […]

ZiR
Categories: Drew Whitcup, ZiR | Add a Comment

NBC News’ Pete Williams reported today on oral arguments in front of the Supreme Court. The arguments stem from former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell’s criminal appeal. McDonnell was convicted in federal court two years ago for accepting bribes while in office. From Williams’s report: A jury convicted McDonnell in 2014 on a host of federal bribery charges […]

ZiR
Categories: Ed Mooney, ZiR | Add a Comment

  I s creation, in the arts, or elsewhere, a matter of chutzpah or daring — perhaps of overweening pride? It often is.  And sometime it’s a matter of humility, stepping aside, letting another speak through one. Thus the Odyssey begins, Sing in me muse, Sing of the man of twists and turns driven time […]

ZiR
Categories: Drew Whitcup, ZiR | 2 Comments

I am reading about legal news out of North Carolina, but perhaps not the legal news you’re expecting. Rather, I am reading Radley Balko’s Washington Post blog in which he discusses a proposed rule for North Carolina prosecutors and the State Bar’s bizarre resistance to it: [Attorney Brad Bannon, of the North Carolina Bar’s ethics committee] wants […]

ZiR
Categories: Ed Mooney, ZiR | 2 Comments

  The only good thing that came out of 9/11 was that the building fell on him.   –Michael Scheuer, former head of the CIA anti-bin Laden task force, testifying before a congressional committee, applauding the death of John O’Neill, former head of the FBI’s NYC anti-terrorist task force.   The New Yorker has begun […]

ZiR
books, reading

Fantasy has it rough. It bears a reputation of being trivial, flashy, adolescent, and entertainment-driven. Indeed, some fantasy is. But, such a judgment is unfair to good fantasy, which is none of the above. Because fantasy is so blatantly allegorical, when it is good, it reveals a forthright understanding of how reality functions. And, when it is great, it resembles myth, with […]

ZiR

Recent Comments

Categories: William Eaton, ZiR | 1 Comment
Asano_Takeji-No_Series-Snow_at_Iwashimizu_Hachiman_Shrine_Kyoto

Fantasy has it rough. It bears a reputation of being trivial, flashy, adolescent, and entertainment-driven. Indeed, some fantasy is. But, such a judgment is unfair to good fantasy, which is none of the above. Because fantasy is so blatantly allegorical, when it is good, it reveals a forthright understanding of how reality functions. And, when it is great, it resembles myth, with […]

ZiR

July 16, 2018

Thanks a lot, Steve. And, continuing the segue-ing, here's an old (and traditional) Gary Snyder poem I just came across yesterday: Seaman’s Ditty I’m wondering where you are now Married, or mad, or free: Wherever you are you’re likely glad, But memory troubles me. We could’ve had us children, We could’ve had a home— But you thought not, and I thought not, And these nine years we roam. Today I worked in the deep dark tanks, And climbed out to watch the sea: Gulls and salty waves pass by, And mountains of Araby. I’ve travelled the lonely oceans And wandered the...

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Categories: William Eaton, ZiR | 1 Comment
Asano_Takeji-No_Series-Snow_at_Iwashimizu_Hachiman_Shrine_Kyoto

Fantasy has it rough. It bears a reputation of being trivial, flashy, adolescent, and entertainment-driven. Indeed, some fantasy is. But, such a judgment is unfair to good fantasy, which is none of the above. Because fantasy is so blatantly allegorical, when it is good, it reveals a forthright understanding of how reality functions. And, when it is great, it resembles myth, with […]

ZiR

July 16, 2018

A very nice piece, William. I am reminded of a Sung Dynasty poem that D.T. Suzuki quotes in one of his books. I'm not sure of its relevance here, but it seems to resonate somehow. Misty rain on Mount Lu, And waves surging at Che Kiang. When you have not been there, Many a regret you have; But once there and homeward you wend, How matter-of-fact things look! Misty rain on Mount Lu And waves surging at Che Kiang.

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Categories: Essay | 1 Comment
Frank Kermode, August 2000, photo by Charlie MacDonald

Fantasy has it rough. It bears a reputation of being trivial, flashy, adolescent, and entertainment-driven. Indeed, some fantasy is. But, such a judgment is unfair to good fantasy, which is none of the above. Because fantasy is so blatantly allegorical, when it is good, it reveals a forthright understanding of how reality functions. And, when it is great, it resembles myth, with […]

Essay

June 14, 2018

The time that takes place in stories compared to the time that we actually live is radically abbreviated. It briskly sweeps aside all the commonplace moments that make up the long stretch of toilsome time and focuses instead on the interesting and compelling. With a mere section break or a simple transitional phrase, days, months, and whole years are disposed of as if they had no significance at all. “Then time passed slowly until the day arrived when….” A lot of important living is hidden in such a phrase. From the moment-to-moment flow of time, the storyteller lifts out only those narr...

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