My Blog Week: November 24 to November 30

Posted by ractrose on 1 Dec 2019 in The Latest

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

All the Latest from Torsade!











Cartoon of man on park bench

Cartoon of the Week: Being a Local Character Is Work Too





A Word on the Week


Cartoon of turkey broadcasting bad news

Nostalgia Can’t Save Us





This week, Conan the hero dog got to meet the president.

To judge from video of the ceremony, Conan’s personal concern was the lack of head-pats, a few being absentmindedly provided by the vice president, other attendees ignoring her or his frequent invitations. The well-intendedness of the meeting, so far as it went, was sent weirdly askew by the pointless raising of controversy over Conan’s sex. Clever practitioners of political machinations obscure the truth; this group, if their madness has method, trivialize it. However, since the bungling looks organic, we’ll have to assume it’s a best effort. 

Leaders of states don’t have to participate in cute photo-ops with animals, of course, if their dignity or the harshness of the times forbids it.

The actual “pardon” of the Thanksgiving turkey is a Reagan-era inspiration; the table bird being formally presented to the president dates to the time of Harry Truman. Modern Americans have some issues with the colonial implications of Thanksgiving itself, with the way poultry is raised on factory farms, and with eating creatures at all, while the planet is failing. In simpler days, Americans of farming roots were used to raising “friend” animals, then serving them at dinner. But, if tradition has any power to make us all feel celebratory and united, the players have to perform their roles without cynicism, with decent respect for the audience, and with what looks on camera as a willingness to believe and wholeheartedly participate.

This year’s turkey event featured the surrealism of the first lady’s grim-faced distance (relaxed towards the end), the president behaving as though beauty pageant-esque soundbite appearances are the one thing about the office he relates to, while otherwise a mechanical man as to body-control and issuing of stock phrases.


The Empty Place Inside


Black Friday sales have surged online; shoppers abandoning the camp-outs, as the serious ones are drawn to Thanksgiving Day evening hours. Black Friday brick-and-mortar sales this year declined by a reported 6.2%. (Though I’ve always had a suspicion those legendary first-through-the-door customers were syndicating and buying in quantity for resale.)

Black Friday is reported now as a worldwide phenomenon, for better or worse.

Well, it would be nice if people still believed in presents. Where I come from, there’s a lot of fatalistic mumbling about how Christmas is only for kids. And then, the idea that someone’s going to buy you something and you’ll have to like it, not count it an unfair spending of your entitlement, always seems to lead to a lot of carping and grudge-holding. (Yes, me too…I’m a product of my environment, but I work to improve.)

Anyway, Readers, happy between-holiday marathoning…spend good money on food you could have made at home, buy someone a sweater, and put up lights! 




On Monday, the finale of the short story, “The Hold”, with Keneliot learning the nature of it. Tuesday’s Impresario was part seventeen, and Pierre’s story of how he escaped the scaffold. Wednesday, “Spread Your Arms”, a Jumping Off poem, the last from The Nutshell Hatches. On Thursday, Frédéric Boutet’s “The Garden of the Pirate”, part one, the next story from the collection entitled The Ghost of M. Imberger. Friday, a new episode of The Totem-Maker, and a new chapter, “Use for Use”. The character begins to put the pieces together, as to survival alone at the tollhouse. Saturday, a reissue of “Mr. Prosecutor”, a TV Culture poem from Rattus.
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 24 to November 30



The Hold (conclusion)
November 25


The Impresario (part seventeen)
November 26

Mother Jones: “20,000 watched the last public hanging…”


Spread Your Arms (poem)
November 27

Poetry Foundation: Ashleigh Young, “How I Get Ready”


Frédéric Boutet: The Garden of the Pirate (part one)
November 28


The Totem-Maker: Use for Use (part one)
November 29


Mr. Prosecutor (poem)
November 30



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