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Reading, Looking, Listening, . . . Questioning
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San Juan, Puerto Rico, Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, from CNN video clip, 29 September 2017

Speeches of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, in the Company of Consonant Words from Patrick Henry, Karuna Ezara Parikh’, Martin Luther King, Jr., Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Shakespeare 29 September 2017, as revised 4 October 2017   San Juan Mayor Cruz’s speeches to cable-news reporters and the world were heroic and heart-rending, […]

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Bust portrait of a young man representing the nativist ideal of the Know Nothing party, from Harp Week collection of American political prints, 1766-1876

“I Know Nothing”: Faith, Fear, and Politics in Antebellum America By Emily Sosolik   Let our opponents torture and distort the truth as they may, no specious reasoning, no political sophistry can alter the fact that those who are constantly laboring to fight down Americanism and Protestantism are enemies of their country, and tories or […]

Article
Categories: William Eaton, ZiR | 1 Comment
A Syrian man holds lifeless body of his son, killed by Syrian Army, Aleppo, Syria, October 3, 2013, photo by Manu Brabo - AP

To designate a hell is not, of course, to tell us anything about how to extract people from that hell, how to moderate hell’s flames. Still, it seems good in itself to acknowledge, to have enlarged, one’s sense of how much suffering caused by human wickedness there is the world we share with others. Someone […]

ZiR
Flag Burning

While We Were Weeping A lot of people are put in solitary confinement “and they find the end of the world. For me, I found a new world. I found a world of self. That’s where I learned how to think. It’s where I learned how to read. It’s where I learned how to cry. […]

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Philip Guston, Untitled, 1971, Ink on paper, 26.7 x 35.2 cm = 10 1/2 x 13 7/8 in, Private Collection. © The Estate of Philip Guston, Courtesy Hauser & Wirth [GUSTO77446]

In a number of Philip Guston’s more than 100 cartoon-style drawings of Richard Nixon, which are currently on view at the Hauser & Wirth gallery in New York City, the former President’s nose and jowls are transformed into a cock and balls (or scrotum).[1] We recognize the long-standing association of the nose and the penis, and […]

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Categories: Ed Mooney, ZiLL | 2 Comments

Mr. Trump hangs scapegoats like piñatas and invites people to take a swing. — Arizona Republic, September 28, 2016, lead editorial   A friend is watching the PBS series, The Roosevelts. She’s taken in by the first episodes. I find myself pushed back in time, reliving the powerful impact of the series when I first […]

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Kamel Daoud, Algerian novelist and journalist

Well just look at all the other Musas in this dive, one by one, and imagine—as I do—how they could have survived a shot fired in bright sunlight or how they managed never to cross paths with that writer of yours or, in a word, how they’ve managed to not be dead yet. — The […]

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Stanching the Flow   By Martin Green   The emergence of immigration as a major issue worldwide and especially in the presidential campaign—thanks to Donald Trump’s vociferous attack on alleged rapists, drug dealers, and other criminals sneaking across the southern border, to say nothing of the threat posed by terrorists hiding among Moslem refugees—is not, […]

Article
Photo of third suicide bomber behind Stade de France blasts - photo released by French police, 22 Nov 2015 - AFP; Getty Images

. . . though that cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse. I do not question, however, the sincerity of the great mass of those who were opposed to us. — U.S. Grant, writing, years later, about the Confederate […]

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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

I’m not the only person who finds 50 Cent a fascinating figure. His landmark album, Get Rich or Die Tryin’, is one of the top ten best selling albums in rap history, and is perhaps the only rap album ever to have a feature film made of it. While living in Belize during the summer of 2005, I stumbled […]

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Recent Comments

Asano_Takeji-No_Series-Snow_at_Iwashimizu_Hachiman_Shrine_Kyoto

I’m not the only person who finds 50 Cent a fascinating figure. His landmark album, Get Rich or Die Tryin’, is one of the top ten best selling albums in rap history, and is perhaps the only rap album ever to have a feature film made of it. While living in Belize during the summer of 2005, I stumbled […]

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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Asano_Takeji-No_Series-Snow_at_Iwashimizu_Hachiman_Shrine_Kyoto

I’m not the only person who finds 50 Cent a fascinating figure. His landmark album, Get Rich or Die Tryin’, is one of the top ten best selling albums in rap history, and is perhaps the only rap album ever to have a feature film made of it. While living in Belize during the summer of 2005, I stumbled […]

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 | Add a Comment
Frank Kermode, August 2000, photo by Charlie MacDonald

I’m not the only person who finds 50 Cent a fascinating figure. His landmark album, Get Rich or Die Tryin’, is one of the top ten best selling albums in rap history, and is perhaps the only rap album ever to have a feature film made of it. While living in Belize during the summer of 2005, I stumbled […]

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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