My Blog Week: December 22 to December 28

Posted by ractrose on 29 Dec 2019 in The Latest

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

All the Latest from Torsade!











Cartoon of mountain guide afraid to go forward

Cartoon of the Week: Climb Every Mountain





A Word on the Week


Stylized photo of glowing orb

Star Light, Star Bright 




We had the good and fun news this week that one of the red stars of the constellation Orion was acting (fading in brightness, falling out of its top 20 slot) as though it might go supernova. It take 600 years for light from Betelgeuse to be seen on earth, so our only hope for the awe-inspiring show is that the explosion has already taken place. There are a few naysayers out there, quick to insist it’s merely a variable star.

But a nice thought for the human race, anyway, that we could be brought together, planet-wide, for a shared experience. (And if so, can people who video themselves watching, not shriek for 10 minutes straight, “Oh my God! Oh my God!”)

We don’t want to overlook the Russian Avangard nuclear powered missile, announced this week as being in “active service.” America’s traditional response to Russian escalations would have been to find out, via our intelligence agencies, whether the story is true, and then our military to develop a counter-weapons program. Our president has compromised our ability to gather information, making the U.S. an untrustworthy partner to potential informants, and has a propensity to override what the Russian president tells him to override. Meanwhile, the budget deficit for the United States, 2020, is projected at 1.103 trillion dollars. We might have to sell bonds.


Gender Issues


On the arts front, the question has been raised for debate: Do men hate Little Women? A woke man might quote James Baldwin: “Uncle Tom’s Cabin is a very bad novel, having, in its self-righteous, virtuous sentimentality, much in common with Little Women.” [Notes of a Native Son, 1966].  Movies like LW, are in their way, stray cats. That is, worthy and loveable creatures, and because they exist, needing of care and attention—but we would still hope to prevent future births. The idea of getting something out of an old property, taking what you have to work with and making it fresh and comfy, appeals to the human mind—we like solving puzzles; we like renovation projects.

But the revising of old crowd-pleasers into modern relevance, seems to stick us on notions like To Kill a Mockingbird being the definitive treatment of race in America…. When will we leave it behind?

We can well believe if “Uncle Tom’s Cabin: the Updated Version” was pitched, Hollywood would teeter on the brink of green-lighting it. And how surprising would a Gone with the Wind, only…told from Prissy’s point of view, be? (The script is probably sitting in a drawer somewhere.) So, before the 9000th Pride and Prejudice goes into production, may we ask filmmakers (many of whom are struggling for recognition, just like writers) to think about why they like a story, what qualities of plot or character or message can they name? Can they find those qualities in a new book never yet adapted? Can they ask a writer they admire to create those qualities in an original script?




On Monday, the fourth Mr. Boots poem, “A Discourse on a Hairball”, has the cat meeting a new goldfish. Tuesday’s Impresario was part twenty-one, Regalus finding herself dismissed as Pierre’s scheme unfolds, and Boniface reenters the scene. Christmas Day, something brief, a little historical anecdote that makes an important point. On Thursday, Frédéric Boutet’s “One Blackmail” concluded with a dramatic confrontation. Friday, a new poem in the Eight series, the first on the Bushido warrior’s virtues: “Righteousness”. This one is a Ravense poem, meaning it begins with a Ravense episode and then a second narrator takes the ending. Saturday, a reissue from Mystery Plays, “Understand”. 
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: December 22 to December 28


A Discourse on a Hairball (poem)
December 23

Mystery Plays


The Impresario (part twenty-one)
December 24

YouTube: The Winans, “It’s Time”


Best of the Season to You!
December 25


One Blackmail (conclusion)
December 26


Righteousness (poem)
December 27

Poetry Foundation: Rita Dove, “From the Sidelines”


Understand (poem)
December 28

Poetry Foundation: Ofelia Zepeda, “Deer Dance Exhibition”