Your Morning Cup of Links

Delightful, old, and cruel nursery rhymes

How Victorian landscape painters used mirrors to frame their view

Study: Stone Age humans brought deer to Scotland by sea

How a bullet from a Colt pistol helps verify authenticity of T.E. Lawrence’s stories

North Korean ships with corpses on board have been washing ashore in Japan

Number 6 is my new life motto


As for “Fear the Walking Dead,” well, it’s basically for people who like “The Walking Dead” with whinier and less-savvy characters. The idea of seeing how society actually fell apart when the dead started rising from the grave was an intriguing premise, but this show kinda botched that chance in its first season. This season of “FtWD” looks like a replay of “TWD’s” Season 1, only at sea and with more millennials.

Allahpundit makes some decent points. So, maybe I’m not entirely ready to give up yet.

You’ve got one genuinely intriguing character in Strand, one respected actor in Ruben Blades, and then a bunch of dead-weight leads and teenagers, one of whom spent the hour sulking not-very-convincingly about his dead mom…One other hopeful note last was that they didn’t spend too much time agonizing over saving other survivors. The scene where they pass a ship full of people screaming for help without much of an argument between them about whether to stop would have gone verrrry differently on “The Walking Dead” and we all know it. We would have been treated to 45 minutes of debate, with Rick in insufferable Decider mode. Instead Strand pulled rank and that, mercifully, was pretty much that. A friend e-mailed me after last week’s TWD grumble thread to marvel at the fact that no one in the Grimes gang seems to have really adapted to their new world even though virtually every other community they encounter has adjusted in important ways. The Hilltoppers have built their own mini-society; Negan’s crew are soulless marauders but they’ve built themselves a nice protection racket. At some point you need to accept reality as it is and make peace with it. Instead, as my friend put it:

“I mean FFS they are just grinding their axles. The Grimes Gang remains perpetually butthurt about the fact that they’re living in a Hobbesian nightmare. It’s pretty much been that way since Hershel’s farm. ‘Oooh how can we truly live when we’re surrounded by death. Blahbity blahbity blah.’ Almost all of the dialogue is one soliloquy after another on some variation of this endless butthurtedness. Meanwhile, they are like the only people who are still hung up on this! They run into one Hobbesian warlord after another who has accepted things for what they are. And then there is a big fight with the warlord, bing bong boom, warlord defeated, then back to more soliloquies. it’s been this way since Season 3.”

Not so much of that last night. Shipful of survivors off in the distance begging for help? Yeah, nope — the Abigail’s just going to sail on by.

White working-class deaths: a crisis more spiritual and moral than material

This is a textbook illustration of the spiritual and moral crisis – the loss of core values – that has slowly poisoned American culture over the decades. Marriages take work. Restless spirits have to be tempered with self-control. To declare these obvious truths isn’t cruel. Indeed, to relieve people of responsibility for their actions is to treat them like children. It’s the “soft bigotry of low expectations.” Perhaps the most disheartening aspect of the Post’s story is the description of the rest of Jones’s family. They’re on a path to more cirrhosis and more premature death. Shots of vodka figure prominently, and while at least some in the family finished high school, the story is notable for what it omits: much evidence of striving, of any sustained effort to do better. The story is missing something else, as well: any evidence of church or civic involvement. It’s not simply that struggling men and women are making poor choices, but that they’re doing so without the help of a real community of neighbors who can counsel struggling spouses, mentor children, and provide the support and connections addicts so desperately need.

One can’t read the Post piece without thinking of Charles Murray’s Coming Apart, perhaps the seminal book of the decade. Spend any real time on the ground in working-class America, and you’ll see all the things that Murray describes: broken families, declining church attendance, and communal alienation. Cross the tracks to the nicer side of town, and the picture changes. There is more religious engagement, more civic involvement, and a healthier sense of shared responsibility and pride.

Life has always been hard for the poor, but it has not always been quite so lonely. Part of this is the legacy of the welfare state, which allows and even encourages lives of quiet desperation, cut off from the communities that used to sustain the less fortunate in their struggles. Part of this is the legacy of the sexual revolution, which devalued marriage and irreversibly cast off the “shackles” of self-denial. And, yes, part of it is economics. Losing a job is among the most stressful of all human experiences. The complex nature of the crisis should not be a license to avoid facing its ultimate truth head on: America’s working class is in the grips of a malady far more spiritual than material. We can spend trillions more, but safety nets won’t save the human soul.

The top architects of ‪Hillary 2016‬ are working for Putin’s personal bank. So, potentially, both presidential nominees will have ties to the Kremlin and Russian organized crime.

Obama is “proud” of his decision to let Syria die, because he’s a terrible human being.

“Those, in brief, are the qualifications of Mrs. Clinton and Senator Sanders. White House? She’s more qualified for a jailhouse, and he for a madhouse.”

“I agreed to group sex with strangers, and some of them were rude! but all stopped on request.” What a dumb time to be alive.

How Shakespeare influenced the American ad industry

Well done, Judge.

Your feel-good story of the day

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Filed under Around the World, Art, Literature, Politics, Science, TV/Movies, Uncategorized

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