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Archive for February, 2007

In her February 21 rant in the SF Chronicle complaining of the ubiquity and purported liberalism of awards shows, Cinnamon Stillwell epitomizes much of the blindered myopia afflicting conservatism of late.

It isn’t just that she chooses not to see events in real perspective. It’s that she sees the awards through their own red-tinted, thin-slitted bifocals. Stillwell singles out recipients who reinforce her own beliefs, without bothering about contrary evidence. So she focuses on Michael Moore and Al Gore and the liberality of the Norwegians who award the Nobel Peace Prize. (more…)

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We have a butterfly bush in our backyard, a shrub we keep as much for the colorful flutter-bys it attracts as for its slender leafy branches. The problem is, it was too close to an upstart ornamental plum tree. (Can a tree be feral?) (more…)

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A New Draft

I think there ought to be a law that, when congress authorizes us to go to war, there has to be a draft of congresspersons as soon as war is declared. And they should serve at the front. No cushy deskjobs, no comedians for USO shows, no Texas Air National Guard. (more…)

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Watched the movie The Bicycle Thief last night. Filmed in Rome during the post-war depression, it feels like The Grapes of Wrath in Italian. It starts out with the happiest scene of the film, a guy gets a job so long as he has a bike. He’d hocked his bike to buy food, so now his wife, saying they don’t need sheets to sleep, hocks her dowry linens to get the bicycle back. He’s delirious about a job slapping up posters. (Note to self: don’t complain about gig.) The movie’s worthwhile just for the street scenes of Rome as he pedals around carrying a ladder, then hoofs it after the bike is pinched, desperate to keep his job. (more…)

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At the reading group A Curious Singularity we’ve just read Delmore Schwartz’s In Dreams Begin Responsibilities, (more…)

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Happy Valentine’s Day to the feral parrots of Telegraph Hill! The good news is the San Francisco birds will retain one of their favorite roosts. (more…)

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Disturbance

I took the dogs out after dawn this morning, and as we walked along the shore I saw a disturbance in the water. Ripples circled out, and a small wave pushed out away from the shore. Something large was moving under the water, powerful, forcing water to well upward.

Whatever was disturbing the water moved erratically out from shore toward a flock of waterfowl wintering on the bay. I regularly see ruddy ducks, scoter, goldeneye, and bufflehead among the mallards and coot. Some of the waterfowl took off now, in a panic. (more…)

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