Wednesday, 11 February 2009

A rather random list ...

... of things I've been reading while trying to stop obsessing about the change of government in the US.

The New York Times:
On why Big Pharma is not the only villain in the drugs business
On telling the Holocaust like it wasn’t
On one of our basic needs: Instruction in manners
On single-mothers-by-choice, and the second child
On the joys and pains of being an animal
On rude placenames in the United Kingdom
On the wording of the presidential oath

Stanley Fish:
On Barack Obama's prose style
On academic freedom: Finkin and Post's book, and an extreme case

On less serious subjects: you may have seen the news that Ricardo Montalbán died a few weeks ago; the NYT obituary reproduced my favourite quote about him, from a review of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan:
With his fierce profile, long white hair, manful décolletage and Space Age jewelry, Mr. Montalbán looks like either the world’s oldest rock star or its hippest Indian chief ... Either way, he looks terrific.
And in a bout of unashamed nostalgia, I looked up Willow Tree on YouTube: a 1990 song from the folk/acoustic/world/whatever band Not Drowning, Waving. The video is not much chop, but the song is superb: I don't remember anything quite like it, for capturing a certain kind of adult longing for childhood --- that part of childhood, at least, that you would want to revisit.
So we swing
On the big willow tree
We all glide through the air
On the branches that hang
We all know just where we want to be ...

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