“Ballerina in a Death’s Head”
Salvador Dali (1939)
“Ballerina in a Death’s Head”
Salvador Dali (1939)
A 7-year-old Frank Sinatra
Paul Delvaux (1938)
“A free society is a moral achievement. Without self-restraint, without the capacity to defer the gratification of instinct, and without the habits of heart and deed that we call virtues, we will eventually lose our freedom.”
Trump’s RNC speech was despairing and anti-American
Trump spent nearly 77 minutes running down my beloved country, and I don’t take kindly to it…Major political speeches are usually balancing acts between light and dark, between expressions of the positive and the threat posed to it by the negative. They establish the existence of something good and what qualities of goodness it possesses, explain how it is being warped by something bad, and offer a way to repair the damage and restore the equilibrium. This isn’t just a boilerplate structure. You do it this way because it is a reflection of reality. Speeches are both diagnoses of problems and prescriptions for solutions, and unless the diagnosis describes a recognizable reality, the solutions will ring either hollow or exploitative.
You talk about the good and the bad because that is how life is. Nothing save actual evil is without virtue; there is nothing that is not unmixed. That was not true of Trump’s United States. He did not offer a portrait, a description, a sense of what America is or has been or can be at its best and take off from there to describe what has gone wrong and how to fix it. There was almost no light and almost complete darkness.
The America Donald Trump portrayed is a horrible place, awash in barbarity, crime, disorder, decay, deceit, rigging, cheating, exploitation. It is very nearly beyond salvation, in such dire straits that a man who was having a wonderful time in business felt called upon to serve as “your voice” because “only I can fix it” the problem.
I don’t know how to say this except sentimentally, but there it is: America in 2016 is still America. It is still the greatest, and noblest, and freest, and most just society the world has ever seen and a shining beacon of hope to the world. And when it is caricatured, when it is degraded, when its people are told by one of the two people who might sit in the White House for the next four years that they live in a barbaric and hopeless dystopia from which they need to be saved by a strong hand rather than in a great country where some things have gone off the tracks and need to be placed back on them—the person who does such a thing has indulged himself in a deeply unpatriotic act of rhetorical infamy.
The strange tale of the best-selling crime novel of the 19th century
The French military is already on the streets protecting Jewish institutions from Islamist attacks. Soon they’ll have to do it for Christians too. Not a tenable situation.
What it’s like to be a black cop in the age of Black Lives Matter
It’s getting dusty in here. #CatsRule
“Whoever wins, I know that come January, I will be in the conservative opposition to a statist administration, and in search of a new party to call home.”
If you love hot dogs, grilled food, and meals that balance spicy-hot food with cooling, refreshing elements, you’ll love this summer meal!
Blue Cheese Buffalo Hot Dogs
3 tablespoons butter
2 onions, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup hot sauce (I use Frank’s RedHot)
8 natural all beef hot dogs (no fillers)
8 hot dog buns
Shredded carrots, chopped celery, pickle relish (for topping)
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
Preheat a grill to medium-high heat (this is the temperature you’ll use for the whole meal). Heat a large skillet over medium/medium-high heat. Melt the butter in the skillet and then add the onions and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and then cook, stirring often, until onions are very soft and golden brown (about 20 minutes). Add the hot sauce and reduce the heat to low. Grill the hot dogs until heated through and the casings start to crisp up a bit. Place the dogs in the buns and top with the onion mixture, carrots, celery, pickle relish and blue cheese.
Jalapeño-Lime Grilled Corn on the Cob
4 ears of corn
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
One lime, juiced and half zested
Grill the corn, turning often, until deep yellow and charred in spots (about 10 minutes). In a bowl, mix the butter, chopped jalapeño, lime zest and juice. Season with salt and pepper. Spread the butter mixture all over the warm corn and enjoy!
Grilled Melon, Escarole, and Prosciutto Salad
1 head of escarole, halved
Olive oil, for brushing
1 honeydew melon, cut into small wedges (seeds and rind removed)
1 cantaloupe, cut into small wedges (seeds and rind removed)
Several slices of prosciutto de parma, torn
2 scallions, white and light green parts chopped
Half a lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon honey
Brush the escarole with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for a couple minutes on each side, until slightly wilted and charred. Remove and coarsely chop. Pat the melon wedges dry and grill until grill marked (a couple minutes on each side). Divide the escarole and melon among plates, top with prosciutto and scallions. Whisk together the lemon juice and honey in a bowl and drizzle over the salad.
“Interior of a Restaurant”
Vincent van Gogh (1887)
Inside the creation of Europe’s first underwater museum
That’s kinda why you shouldn’t nominate a “rookie” to be President of the United States, Useless Turtle Mummy. “I am willing to kind of chalk it up to the fact that our nominee rides the short bus to work…vote to make him the most powerful man in the world!”
What she actually wants to accomplish in office is a great mystery. We know what she wants to be, but not what she wants to do. And the sobering answer to that question may very well be: She hasn’t thought much about it. She wants to walk in the doors of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue as something other than a mistreated appendage of Bill Clinton, as though that action would somehow undo 30 years of abuse and degradation. When she discovers that it won’t, even the literary powers of a Tom Wolfe would be insufficient to capture the moment. You’d need Herman Melville, if not an Ezekiel: “Mine eye shall not spare, and I will have no mercy.” At least it’s an ethos.
Terry Teachout revisits America’s forgotten modern composers
Tolkien’s long, dark poem The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun to be republished this fall
Iceland has a sea monster museum
Before Trump there was William Jennings Bryan
“The country will survive Hillary Clinton. It will probably be worse off than it was before, but that’s the choice Republicans made when they nominated Donald Trump.”
Two old visitors to the Metropolitan Museum will stay awhile
How much will he spend to take down KKK leader David Duke, who is running for Senate in Louisiana? (Spoiler: $0). How much will he spend to take down some Democrats? None? Oh, so weird.
To get a job at the Strand bookstore in New York, applicants have to complete a literary quiz on 10 book titles and authors. There is also one trick question.
Today in everything is awful
Love and pride in Shakespeare’s Trojan War play, Troilus and Cressida