My Blog Week: October 20 to October 26

Posted by ractrose on 27 Oct 2019 in The Latest

A black cat, nicknamed Nortie, who serves as Torsade's site ambassador.

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Cartoon of recycling entrepreneurs

Cartoon of the Week: Investing in the Future





A Word on the Week


Pencil sketch of hand pinching tiny human head





I will tell a story on myself. Once upon a time, I used my middle finger to push an elevator button. I step right up front to say that I did it intentionally, and with the traditional meaning…

To a point. The person targeted was someone I had no beef with and victimized for no reason. I put the act down to rudeness and suggestibility. I had just watched the Seinfeld episode, titled “The Pledge Drive”, where George thinks this is happening to him. It was the first time I had ever heard of this trick. Later, I happened to see a Game Show Network rerun, with Richard Dawson flipping a judge on the Match Game, 1970s, when he disagreed with a ruling… (And for a while I saw quite a few weird incidents of hosts pointing f-offishly to this and that on the shopping channel QVC…who knows the heart of darkness, after all?) So while this wasn’t, and isn’t, native to my behavioral repertoire, I think the example is useful, to have someone say, yes, I admit it, no feigned innocence here.

This week we had the President of the United States communicating to the astronauts performing the first all-woman spacewalk. Snopes, a reliable debunker, shows a slip into bad argumentation, or, how good intentions—presumably the wish to defuse hostilities—can cloud the view. They conclude that no one can know what Trump had in mind, so it isn’t investigatorally correct to attribute a motive to his gesture. Perfectly sound, but at the end of their analysis, they say videos of the president scratching are “evidenced” as mere scratching, by their inconsistencies…

Bodily sensations are not more telepathically readable than thoughts (and theoretical telepaths no doubt would kill themselves if they were). The sequence of videos that follow in the article, while Trump’s conversational partners are not always raising disagreements, are all on camera. There is someone on the other side of that camera he uniformly shows hatred to—the press.

A neurologist might confirm my hunch that the index finger has stronger wiring to the brain than any other, and that the idle impulse to scratch would travel the road most taken.

While, it’s possible some people’s middle fingers are dominant in linkage to their brains.


Advantage, femme


On the theme of age in the leading Democratic candidates, a small point.

Bernie Sanders seems lithe as ever, back from his heart attack. Joe Biden has yet to inspire confidence. But the gaffery, I think, is more an inherit habit of age in men, and that has to do with the culture. Men congregate in groups and throw catch-phrases at each other. “Whatever.” “I get you.” If objects devolve into “this thing” or “that thing”, and concepts become, “You know what I’m talking about…”, vague speech is rewarded. Half-remembered anecdotes are encouraged. There is no punishment for being in the ballpark.

Women, because their audience often turns away before they’ve finished speaking, because they get used to paying twice the price for any error, hone that sharpness. If we can’t think of the word, we look it up. If we need to explain something, we consider every nay that may be said against it. 




On Monday, “Bride to Be”, part four, Lady Tamarilde finds reason to make herself helpful to Alderic. Tuesday’s Impresario was part twelve, with Pierre and Regalus making their way into the Bishop’s prison. Wednesday, a Jumping Off poem, “Haunts”. On Thursday, Frédéric Boutet’s short story, “The Ghost of M. Imberger”, part four, with Imberger’s college friend giving useful information. Friday, a new episode of The Totem-Maker, the character at a turning point. Saturday, “Abdication”, a poem from the book The Poor Belabored Beast. 
Images on my posts often have a link to related information (click first image), sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical, sometimes in answer to a direct reference. Since people can be leery about links, I include them here: what they are, what sites they point to.





My Blog Week: October 20 to October 26


Bride to Be (part four)
October 21

Poetry Foundation: Frances Anne Kemble, “Faith”


The Impresario (part twelve)
October 22

YouTube: Considering Lily, “Come Rest”


Haunts (poem)
October 23

Poetry Foundation: Elizabeth Alexander, “Ladders”


Frédéric Boutet: The Ghost of M. Imberger (part four)
October 24


The Totem-Maker: Winter Alone (part thirteen)
October 25


Abdication (poem)
October 26

Poetry Foundation: Blas Falconer, “A Ride in the Rain”


(Special recommendation for this one; if you’re a poet, you’ll take an interest the way it’s constructed.)




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