My Blog Week: December 19 to December 25

Posted by ractrose on 27 Dec 2021 in The Latest

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

All the Latest from Torsade!












Cartoon of man and woman trying to open plastic box

Cartoon of the Week: The Organization Strikes Again






A Word on the Week



Clip Art of GlobeCritical Lapses






You might have grown up, as I did, with a sense of cultural standards, regarding taste. That is, if it were the 80s, you could admire Bruce Springsteen, but you could not admire Phil Collins. Or, in no particular decade, Anne Tyler, but never Jan Karon (though both authors’ essential story is a lost soul found), Jeopardy, but not Price Is Right (on cerebral grounds), or any number of other pairings. The lines drawn seem to come from a mashup of published criticism and unexamined culturalisms.

I’ve known, probably we all have, people who put down other people’s tastes, without exhibiting or having any conversation about their own. I think criticism, the perception of all new music, art, books, fashion, TV, food, décor, being delivered to arbiters, who determine them good or bad, has had a bad effect on adults born between the end of WWII, and the beginning of the internet.

The internet, in the early 2000s, when social media took off, liberated a lot of individual taste. Users found communities to share their secret loves with, got bolder via reinforcement, and a lot of hurt feelings gave way to vindication.

This small thing—of every choice in comforts and pleasures being wrong and inferior—played its role in shaping those who found the Trump message so appealing. The darlings of critics have often been the choppy, talky, “magical”, “important”, the mumbling and dreary, the stories without heroes or humor (and I support the right of artists to create all those things). People have felt pushed to turn all things enjoyable, all avocations and pastimes, into improving duties, giant metaphorical bowls of leafy greens.

This is harmful to minority creators, who are always in danger of being tossed into the salad aisle, of having their work appear under a special “studies” category, that (in the emotional spectrum) makes readers feel failed at understanding something they aren’t considered worthy to understand for having read the duty book. The culturalism of How We Approach Reading (music, painting, etc.) undermines opportunity. 

But what is criticism, really, or what should it be? Does anyone (we mean editors, trusting readers) have the patience for exploring echoes between various works in various media, or do they just want the punch of insult?

Next time, WoW will deconstruct a sample of the late John Simon, notorious for his attacks on actors’ physical appearance.







On Monday, a new poem; on Tuesday, Hammersmith, Ruby finding the answer at her crossroads. Wednesday, a new Totem-Maker, with the character detecting the invisible hand. Thursday, Catastrophe, Hess with a story that shows the French view of American reporters. Right off the bat, I had to switch my Saturday vacation with a Friday one, for having headache day, but Saturday, I posted the first pages of “Fellyans”, a sequel to an earlier story (linked at the bottom of the post), a humorous/serious tale of the Fairy Realm.
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 19 to December 25


Clarify Me Anointer (poem)
December 20


Hammersmith: More Peaceful Pursuits (chapter thirty-seven)
December 21


The Totem-Maker: The Citadel (part thirteen)
December 22


Catastrophe (part seven)
December 23


Fellyans (part one)
December 25




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