Category Archives: Uncategorized

Bob Dylan – Travelin’ Thru, 1967 – 1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 15

1960s: Days of Rage

“Since its inception in 1991, The Bootleg Series of Bob Dylan has evolved to the point where each successive release has become distinct and complete unto itself. Yet Vol. 15  is something of an exception to that rule because its contents abuts chronologically with The Complete Basement Tapes and, even more directly, with Another Self-Portrait. The three-CDs or LPs posit the Nobel Laureate continuing the musicological expeditions of those two aforementioned periods, reacquainting himself with a variety of styles in order to choose the optimum means of expression for himself as a songwriter. The content does not posit him as ‘the voice of a generation’ or the position of cultural bellwether he inhabited the prior decade, so there’s a certain kind of profundity is missing here (unless hearing Bob yodel qualifies: he does so on one of the ‘Jimmie Rodgers Medley’s). The cachet of Travelin’ Thru, 1967 – 1969

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The Library of Babel – Jorge Luis Borges

Jorge Luis Borges is a GREAT writer!!!!

1960s: Days of Rage

“‘The Library of Babel’ is a short story by Argentine author and librarianJorge Luis Borges (1899–1986), conceiving of a universe in the form of a vast library containing all possible 410-page books of a certain format and character set. The story was originally published in Spanish in Borges’ 1941 collection of stories El jardín de senderos que se bifurcan (The Garden of Forking Paths). That entire book was, in turn, included within his much-reprinted Ficciones (1944). Two English-languagetranslations appeared approximately simultaneously in 1962, one by James E. Irby in a diverse collection of Borges’s works titled Labyrinths and the other by Anthony Kerrigan as part of a collaborative translation of the entirety of Ficciones. Borges’ narrator describes how his universe consists of an enormous expanse of adjacent hexagonal rooms. In each room, there is an entrance on one wall, the…

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Heather Cox Richardson: Trump Is Our Own American Monster

Diane Ravitch's blog

Heather Cox Richardson, historian, summarizes some of the fallout from the first public meeting of the 1/6 Commissuon:

Today in the New York Times, columnist Maureen Dowd reacted to Thursday’s revelations that Trump was “deadly serious about overthrowing the government,” by laying out the main points: Trump knew he had lost the election, and he was willing to see his vice president hanged in order to avoid being labeled a loser. Dowd called former president Trump an “American monster” and compared him unfavorably to Frankenstein’s monster, who at least “has self-awareness, and a reason to wreak havoc…[and] knows how to feel guilty and when to leave the stage.” Our monster, in contrast, is driven only by “pure narcissistic psychopathy—and he refuses to leave the stage or cease his vile mendacity.”

Yesterday, Politico’s Betsy Woodruff Swan and Kyle Cheney reported that on January 5, 2021, then–vice president Pence’s attorney Greg Jacob…

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Alberto Giacometti

1960s: Days of Rage

Studio in Paris in 1958

“Alberto Giacometti (…10 October 1901 – 11 January 1966) was a Swiss sculptor, painter, draftsman and printmaker. Beginning in 1922, he lived and worked mainly in Paris but regularly visited his hometown Borgonovo to see his family and work on his art. Giacometti was one of the most important sculptors of the 20th century. His work was particularly influenced by artistic styles such as Cubism and Surrealism. Philosophical questions about the human condition, as well as existential and phenomenological debates played a significant role in his work. Around 1935 he gave up on his Surrealist influences in order to pursue a more deepened analysis of figurative compositions. Giacometti wrote texts for periodicals and exhibition catalogues and recorded his thoughts and memories in notebooks and diaries. His critical nature led to self-doubt about his own work and his self-perceived inability to do justice…

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TCS: Music Swifter Than a Sword – Nine Poets

Flowers For Socrates

Good Morning!


Welcome to The Coffee Shop, just for you early risers
on Monday mornings. This is an Open Thread forum,
so if you have an off-topic opinion burning a hole in
your brainpan, feel free to add a comment.

The world is full of magic things, patiently
waiting for our senses to grow sharper.

― William Butler Yeats

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Idaho: White Supremacist Group Arrested While Going to Disrupt Gay Pride Parade

Diane Ravitch's blog

This is a strange yet unsurprising story. A truck filled with 31 individuals was stopped in Idaho. The 31 were on their way to disrupt a gay pride parade in Idaho. The men arrested came from different states. I saw the article in the Houston Chronicle but it was widely reported. When I read it before, I decided not to post it. But then I realized it has a larger significance, as it signifies the normalization of extremism, that is, extremists who wear uniforms and show their faces instead of lurking in the shadows and muttering to themselves.

Why was this group converging on gays in Idaho, not in a city in their own states? I’m guessing that they expected little resistance in a deeply conservative state. If they had rioted in a big city like Houston, Chicago, Miami, or Los Angeles, the crowd would have far outnumbered them and…

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should you highlight the paper you’re reading? 


The short answer to the question is… maybe, it depends. Not a yes or a no. That’s because should you highlight is not a simple question. Unless you are a marker addict of course, in which case the answer is an unequivocal yes.

Highlighting is a form of engaging with writing. It’s a particular kind of annotation. We read a text and mark out the things that we think are important. And highlighting what we think is important is only half of what we have to do.Highlighting a text is usually understood bythose who research it as three steps:

  • Selecting text to highlight
  • Organising the highlights into some kind of mental or material schema and
  • Integrating what is highlighted into what is already known about the topic.

And here’s the rub. Unless you make it to step three then highlighting doesn’t actually help your comprehension of a topic…

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Lacombe, Lucien – Louis Malle (1974)

1960s: Days of Rage

Review by Pauline Kael: “Introducing himself to a delicate, fine-boned parisienne, the farm-boy hero of Louis Malle’s new movie does not give his name as Lucien Lacombe; he gives the bureaucratic designation—Lacombe, Lucien. He presents himself name inverted because he is trying to be formal and proper, as he’s been trained to be at school and at work, sweeping floors at his local, small-town hospital, in southwest France. When he meets the girl, France Horn—and falls in love with her—his new job is hunting down and torturing people for the Gestapo. He likes it a whole lot better than the hospital. The title Lacombe, Lucien refers to the case of a boy of seventeen who doesn’t achieve a fully human identity, a boy who has an empty space where feelings beyond the purely instinctive are expected to be. The time is 1944, after the Normandy landings, and the Nazis and…

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More Than a Slice of Life 

Dave Astor on Literature

It’s not a genre per se, but a type of novel I find interesting is “The Whole Life in One Book” book. Yes, while many novels span a few years or less, some span the main character’s entire existence — whether she or he dies relatively young or in old age.

Of course a multigenerational saga can do that for a number of lives, but for this post I’m focusing on novels that concentrate the majority of their contents on one person — showing a complete life in a sometimes surprisingly small number of pages. It can be fascinating and poignant to see decades of a character’s family relationships, romantic relationships, jobs, right decisions or wrong decisions, good luck or bad luck, etc. — as well as the real-world news events that swirled around her or him. All while we’re reminded of our own mortality and that life — even if…

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