My Blog Week: November 17 to November 23

Posted by ractrose on 24 Nov 2019 in The Latest

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

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Cartoon of man in garden and woman with bicycle

Cartoon of the Week: Left to Their Own Devices





A Word on the Week


Cartoon of female pharoah and god Anubis

Hearings and Seeings





Republicans seem to have picked up a couple of offensive strategies via the brain trust that brought us, this week, the Adult Playground

We don’t know whether, if someone has grown up among louts, if the women in his family, private school, etc., are submissive to louts, or louts themselves, he will find it normal to admire loutishness, to want to emulate it… We don’t know how many of the socially functional have inner selves that are boorish, low-humored, dirty-minded, egocentric; hair-triggered in temperament, trigger-fingered in sympathies…

And, whether, when able to separate themselves from the world at large, to join a group that encourages them, they inevitably begin to spring uncloseted. Certainly facades are stripped most effectively in enclaves, and the ethical stances their members adhere to, at the last, represent the truth of their characters.

It’s still a lot to pass off as happenstance, such a bumper crop of born louts gathered in one place. But the phenomenon may be Stupid Loyalty, or ordinary peer pressure: “The one who breaks with us first, gets hated most.”

Then again, the idea may be more Meh… chiavellian. A notion such as camouflaging the president among a forest of louts, with a view to normalizing his own loutishness; that the audience at home might say to themselves, “Oh, I guess being a jerk is the thing, these days”, is conceivably plausible to people who only talk to each other. And to oligarchs.

But there is an audience at home. Their eyes can see contrast. They can see the Democrats’ lawyer, Daniel Goldman, and they can see the Republicans’ lawyer, Steve Castor, the competing facial expressions and tones of voice. They can see the Democratic House members’ level of respect as they ask their questions, and the Republican members’, as they ask theirs. They can see the non-partisan witnesses answering these questions persuasively and coherently. They can see President Trump’s tweets. They can see Face-of-Doom Devin Nunes, who has just come under threat of an ethics investigation for his personal Ukraine dealings, entering his pathetic speeches into the record.

Of course, they’ve seen TV shows and movies, and, if not culturally blind, recognize signifiers of behavior that delineate bad guy from good guy. Republicans on holiday break ought to try this at home…if any channel is showing It’s a Wonderful Life… (And you know one is.)

Or, more simply, we are all human beings, living among human beings, and we know what makes us feel kindly treated, listened to; otherwise belittled, dismissed.

When the impeachment trial opens in the senate, will Republicans put holders of high value seats—having seen how fundraising soars when Republican House members are particularly obnoxious on TV…for their opponents—front and center, just to maximize party damage in swing states?



On Monday, in a new “Bride to Be”, part eight, Lady Tamarilde goes to the shrine of a pagan sage, who has already cast her fortune. Tuesday’s Impresario was part sixteen, the gang plotting, with an eye out for spies. Wednesday, “To Terms”, a Jumping Off poem. On Thursday, Frédéric Boutet’s “The Ghost of M. Imberger”, part eight, which concludes the first from this collection. Inspector Barfin finds his theory largely confirmed, with the help of a friend…of Maxence. Friday, part one of a new short story, “The Hold”, in which a freshman congressman finds himself chosen to learn a secret. Saturday, “The Hold”, part two.
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: November 17 to November 23


Bride to Be (part eight)
November 18

Poetry Foundation: Les Murray, “Blowfly Glass”


The Impresario (part sixteen)
November 19


To Terms (poem)
November 20

Poetry Foundation: Norma Cole, “A”


The Ghost of M. Imberger (part eight)
November 21


The Hold (part one)
November 22


The Hold (part two)
November 23



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