Archive for the ‘Sovereignty’ Category

Daily Office:
Tuesday

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

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Matins: Our hero: Judge Arthur Schack, who has rejected 46 out of 102 foreclosure claims in the past two years.

Lauds: Jeremy Denk at the Highline Ballroom: Bach, Ives, Chopin, Liszt, T-shirt and running shoes. Alan Kozinn reports.

If classical music is dying, as we’ve been hearing for years, why are so many rock clubs suddenly presenting it? And why are so many people, with the young outnumbering the old, coming to hear it?

Prime: How about some advice? We may not follow it, but we’re always interested in hearing what someone else considers to be good advice. Especially when it’s phrased as a reminder: “My needs don’t motivate anyone.”

Tierce: Tom Vanderbilt argues persuasively for treating vehicular offenses as no less serious than other criminal acts. (via  The Morning News)

Sext: Mary Pilon reports on “recession haircuts” at the Journal. Alex Balk: Please, don’t let the Seventies happen again!

Nones: East Timor — ten years on: “Mixed emotions.”

Vespers: Philip Lopate talks about his recent Notes on Sontag, at The Millions.

Compline: Ann Leary contemplates Moses Pendleton’s sunflowers.

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Daily Office:
Thursday

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

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Matins: At Survival of the Book, Brian considers David Ulin’s widely-read LA Times piece, “The Lost Art of Reading.”

Lauds: Prince Charles takes his (architectural) case to the public. (via Arts Journal)

Prime: Robert Cringley poses the Emperor’s-New-Clothes question about American corporations that we’ve been asking for ages — only with greater élan: when did profits become more important than pensions and health benefits?

Tierce: What happens in Oman at iftar, the call to evening prayer? One thing seems to be clear: the orgy is not traditional. (via  Café Muscato)

Sext: Vacationing on Cape Cod, Scout looks at the hostelries along Route 6A between Truro and Provincetown, and finds a romantically abandoned motel.

Nones: In the eyes of the developed world, Muammar el-Qaddafi hovers unstably between dictator and thug. Dictators, while not approved, are accepted; thugs, like terrorists, are not permitted to negotiate. Negotiating the release of the Lockerbie bomber, the colonel may have kicked himself away from the table.

Vespers: While we’re getting all weepy about the end of The Book, maybe we ought to feel a little hopeful about the end of Books Like This, which never ought to be published in the first place.

Compline: Edward Moore Kennedy: a princeling who had a U S Senate seat handed to him (repeatedly)? Or a little prince who had to overcome the allure of accidental advantages in order to find real strengths? We take the latter view, along with the Times, the Journal, and even the Post.  

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Daily Office:
Wednesday

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

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Matins: Sorry! We missed this amazing news on Friday: “Mexico Legalizes Drug Possession.”

Lauds: Christopher Hampton will adapt, Sam Mendes will direct, and Oprah Winfrey will produce a film version of Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland.

Prime: Tyler Cowen asks if the bailouts were a good idea, and decides that they were.

Tierce: Thirteen year-old Laura Dekker wants to sail around the world, alone. Her parents don’t object, but the Nederlander government does. A tough call?

Sext: President Obama has lost all “creditability,” according to an anti-health-care-plan auto-faxer that somehow came to the attention of Choire Sicha. Sure, the wingnuts are scary. But, boy, can’t they write!

Nones: Why special Sharia courts in secular nations pose a threat to sovereignty: “Malaysia Postpones Whipping of Woman Who Drank Beer.”

Vespers: John Self behaves himself, and reads Bohumil Hrabal’s Closely Watched Trains. (He had owned a copy for a while.)

Compline: The awful truth about asexuality: it’s not awful! (via  Joe.My.God)

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Daily Office:
Tuesday

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

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Matins: Sounds like a great idea, but probably isn’t: “As Voter Disgust With Albany Rises, So Do Calls for a New Constitution.”

Lauds: Sounds like a great idea, and probably is: “Scottish laser pioneers lead way in preserving world heritage treasures.”

Prime: Robert Rubin, Citigroup, and Glass-Steagall: a brief entry by Felix Salmon (with help from Charlie Gasparino) snaps the pieces of the puzzle right where they belong.

Tierce: Meg Hourihan administers First Aid/CPR without doing anything more than holding an elderly lady’s hand and keeping her talking. (via  Mr Hourihan)

Sext: And here we thought of England as a green and pleasant land! “Pubs warn over plastic pints plan.” 5,500 customers are year are stabbed with broken pint glasses! (via The Awl)

Nones: What happens when a sovereign power violates its own laws in the interest of self-defense? Barack Obama is willing to think twice.

Vespers: Carlene Bauer reviews the reissue of Elaine Dundy’s The Old Man and Me, at Second Pass.

Compline: Matthew Fleischer writes provocatively about the death of a squirrel in Los Angeles. (via The Morning News)

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Daily Office:
Friday

Friday, August 21st, 2009

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Matins: Edmund Andrews’s story about Ben Bernanke in this morning’s Times is strangely silent about the contribution of that self-made moron, Alan Greenspan, to the mess that Mr Bernanke has had to clean up.

Lauds: These kids today: 91 year-old Arthur Laurents reads “the riot act” to the cast of West Side Story, which has been plagued with calling-in-sick-itis. (via Arts Journal)

Prime: Why not call it the Goldstein Curve? Robin Goldstein culled data from Craigslist (and Felix Salmon turned it into a lovely scatterchart), revealing the inverse relationship between used car/bike prices in seven American cities.

Tierce: Crazy or visionary? The developers of a building to be called 200 Eleventh Avenue (West 24th Street) plan to attach a garage to every apartment — just off the living room. (via Infrastructurist)

Sext: Choire Siche discovers Hallenrad! And shares some of the best.

Nones: Will the new face of Duchy Originals be HRH?

Vespers: Garth Risk Hallberg reminds us of something that has been gently overlooked in the recent craze for All Things Julia: Mrs Child was not so much a great cookbook writer as she was a great writer period.

Compline: Precisely because Reihan Salam’s Foreign Policy essay, “The Death of Macho,” made us uneasy, we think that everybody ought to read it.

Bon weekend à tous!

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Daily Office:
Wednesday

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

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Matins: (Note: this item is not about classical music.) In her WaPo piece about classical-music CDs, Anne Midgette labors under the impression that serious music recordings require the brokerage of a healthy “industry.” We agree with Henry Fogel: leaving industry behind is what’s healthy. (via Arts Journal)

Lauds: Why is Britain’s National Trust spat taking us back to the 1640s? Surely not just the coincidence of princes called “Charles”?

Prime: Robert Cringely thinks out loud about the ethics of technology. He used to think that Google’s motto was silly, but not anymore.

Tierce: Is it possible? The Marshall Trial’s case for the prosecution was slated to end yesterday— two days into the trial’s 17th week. On Friday, the jury and the court will take a two-week vacation.

Sext: At The Onion: “Film Adaptation Of ‘The Brothers Karamazov’ Ends Where Most People Stop Reading Book.” And where is that? 

The 83-minute film, which is based on the first 142 or so pages of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s acclaimed work, has already garnered attention for its stunning climax, in which the end credits suddenly appear midway through Katerina’s tearful speech about an unpaid debt.

(via The Morning News)

¶ Nones: China is upset with Australia, about Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer’s visit. When will China learn that foreign public opinion can be controlled no better by overt interference than by armed occupation?

Vespers: Amazing news! Six million subscribers take Reader’s Digest. Still! So don’t over-interpret news of the publication’s bankruptcy filing.

Compline: Natalie Angier writes lucidly about a murky subject: stress. Bottom line: it’s up to you to break out of the stress feedback loop.

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Daily Office:
Thursday

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

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Matins: Great news! Our trade deficit widened, as we imported yet more junk in June! That must mean that our economy is doing better, right?

Lauds: A new artists’ colony — this one just for composers — will start up in Westchester next month. (via Arts Journal)

Prime: The shipping news: Los Angeles/Long Beach would rank as the world’s fifth busiest container port, if they were tabulated together.

Tierce: The case that has everything keeps on giving. Subway stabbings! (Almost.)

Sext: Can powdered wigs be far behind? The spoofsters at Being Tyler Brûlé staff the eponymous (amd still fictional) airline.

Nones: Hugo Chávez declares that golf is not a sport; officials move to close courses.

Vespers: Now that everybody seems to be reading The Age of Wonder, Richard Holmes’s book about a handful of scientists working between the heydays of Enlightenment and Romanticism, we are ever more mindful that science, however bound to numbers (rightly so!), is practiced by messy human minds.

Compline: Jonah Lehrer on the self: a ghost that runs the machine. “The self feels like a singular thing – I am me – and yet it comes from no single brain area…”

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Daily Office:
Tuesday

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

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Matins: What’s so productive about “Gross Domestic Product,” asks historian Eric Zencey? A re-think of GDP for a greener world.

Lauds: A new business plan for classical musicians: don’t seek shelter in a large and venerable organization. Andrew Druckenbrod explains musical entrepreneurship.

Prime: The economics of farmers’ markets could use a design boost. Alissa Walker reports at GOOD.

Tierce: Kate McLaughlin, 19, heads off to Northwestern — for law school. somewhat more remarkably, she graduated from the University of California at San Diego two years ago. What do you think about this kind of precocity?

Sext: Sebastian Münster’s map of Europe, upside-down, at Strange Maps.

Nones: In Sunday’s Times, a long overdue explanation of the Honduran political divide.

Vespers: Jenni Diski reflects on the art of the late Stanley Middleton, a Booker Prize winner whom we hadn’t heard of.

Compline: Andrew Sullivan, in his tenth year of Daily-Beast-ing, resumes the practice of taking August off.

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Daily Office:
Friday

Friday, August 7th, 2009

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Matins: Food for thought this weekend: Alain de Botton proposes “A Kinder, Gentler Philosophy of Success,” in a presentation at TED. The main point: make sure that your idea of success is your own idea.

Lauds: Every time Jeremy Denk adds a new bit of music appreciation to his blog, the technical support gets better. Now, we think, it has caught up, in a piece about one of Brahms’s three sonatas for violin and piano (all beauties).

Prime: Felix Salmon: “When Stretching the Accordion Makes Sense.” Makes sense! It sounds like the best idea ever. But it does pit one idea of growth against another.

Tierce: Meet Judy Natkins — you can see her in court.

Sext: For those of you who haven’t seen Elizabeth Moss off the Mad Men screen, there’s Amy Heckerling’s Intervention parody.

Nones: We thought it might be Iran aiming to shut down Twitter, but it was more likely Russia and Georgia, trying to shut down one another — propaganda-wise, at least.

Vespers: Some Friday fun from Tao Lin, at The Stranger. “The Levels of Greatness a Fiction Writer Can Achieve in America (From Lowest to Highest).”

Compline: The weekend must-read: Jonah Lehrer’s “The Truth About Grit.” At last, a truly cogent demolition job on IQ testing (and testing in general).

Bon weekend à tous!

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Daily Office:
Wednesday

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

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Matins: Josh Levin consults “the world’s leading futurologists” to hear how the United States might come to an end within the next century. Not that it will; just, how it might. (via The Morning News)

Lauds: Anne Midgette considers the pros and cons of tweeting at classical-music concerts. An intriguing discussion that left us feeling somewhat frustrated.

Prime: We’re very heartened by the news that one of two bidders for the Boston Globe contemplates running it as a not-for-profit operation.

Tierce: Christopher Shea may be forgiven for wondering: “But how many pieces about Child’s cultural significance can media outlets run before it starts to look as though reporters and editors have a financial stake in the forthcoming Nora Ephron movie about her?

Sext: We may have found the killer ap for the iPhone: Diaroogle. (via This That These & Those)

Nones: The Miskito population of Eastern Nicaragua renews its bid for independence.

Vespers: The protagonist of Ian McEwan’s next novel, likely to be called Solar, sounds familiar, but we’re not naming names.

Compline: Brooks Peters engages in “battle royale” with pretentious but ignorant mispronunciations of French words.

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Daily Office:
Tuesday

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

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Matins: David Carr writes about The Party. You know the one! The Talk launch, which happened ten years ago last Sunday. Remember? When the Web was a “niche”?

Lauds: Alex Ross’s New Yorker column on the wealth of interesting music available through Internet portals, “Infinite Playlist,” hits a lot of bases, but keeps running.

Prime: Thinking of “investing in art”? Felix Salmon: Don’t be daft.

Tierce: Compare and contrast these contemporary fines: $675,000 for file sharing in Massachusetts; $1300 for second DUI arrest. Get your dose of righteous anger at World Class Stupid — it’ll make you laugh before you can rant.

Sext: Here’s something useful to fight about while we ponder Michael Pollan on cooking and couches: the (Scottish or English) origins of haggis.

Nones: Sometimes, ceremony matters. A lot of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s former cronies stayed away from his “endorsement.”

Vespers: Here’s a wonderful new literary game from LRB: take the title of a famous book and attach it to the name of an author who (a) couldn’t possibly have written it or (b) would have turned in a very different text.

Compline: David Bromwich writes about “America’s Serial Warriors,” captured at Tomgram. (via The Morning News)

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Daily Office:
Friday

Friday, July 31st, 2009

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Matins: The Urban Mole won second prize; I’d have made it the first-prizewinner. (via Good)

Lauds: A forgotten instrument from a famous score has been re-invented (one hopes!): the steel glockenspiel that Mozart had in mind for The Magic Flute.

Prime: One of the biggest problems in the way we do business — literally — is the slapdash way in which we do or don’t clean up after ourselves: “When Auto Plants Close, Only White Elephants Remain.”

Tierce: Unexpected but inevitable: what happens when lightweight Smart Cars are parked near canals. (via Infrastructurist)

Sext: How To Cook Like Your Grandmother. (via  MetaFilter)

Nones: After more than six years of expense, it has come to this:

“If there ever was a window where the seeds of a professional military culture could have been implanted, it is now long past. U.S. combat forces will not be here long enough or with sufficient influence to change it,” wrote [Col Timothy R Reese]. “The military culture of the Baathist-Soviet model under Saddam Hussein remains entrenched and will not change. The senior leadership of the I.S.F. is incapable of change in the current environment.”

Vespers: Will Blythe writes up the new new Thomas Pynchon novel — a noir detective story — at The Second Pass.

Compline: At the Frontal Cortex, Jonah Lehrer discusses some recent findings about television as a balm for loneliness.

Bon weekend à tous!

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Daily Office:
Thursday

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

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Matins: At Politico, nutritionist Katherine Tallmadge writes from up close and personal about the runaway unhealthiness of life in our Capitol. (via The Morning News)

Lauds: At the London Review of Books, Michael Wood exposes the “rococo” nonsense of North By Northwest, and thereby explains why Hitchcock’s masterpiece is so gripping.

Prime: In two posts, Felix Salmon asks two good questions: Has the NYC housing market bottomed? (No.) Have we “wasted” the financial crisis? (Yes.)

Tierce: Lee Landor, deputy press secretary to Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, resigns subito when some of her Facebook comments, calling Henry Louis Gates a racist and referring to “O-dumb-a,” were forwarded to her boss.

Sext: In a somewhat more serious social app boo-boo, Amanda Bonnen of Chicago has been sued by the company that managed her former apartment, for libel by tweet.

Nones: At the London Review Blog, Hugh Miles writes about a scandal in Libya — or is it a scandal on Capitol Hill?

Vespers: In The Atlantic Fiction 2009 issues, four international writers, all of them Anglophone but none American (although Joseph O’Neill has become a US citizen), discuss the tension between nation(alism) and literature.

Compline: Any story that links soldiers and information makes us happy. “In Battle, Hunches Prove to Be Valuable.” And we remember when intuition was for girls.

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Daily Office:
Thursday

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

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Matins: A counter-intuitive HIV-prevention strategy that is gaining traction. (via Good)

Lauds: At The New Republic, Antoni Cimolino argues against “adapting” Shakespeare for modern ears. (via The Morning News)

Prime: Felix Salmon (who happened to see the eclipse in China) is not convinced that the advent of 401(k) plans was a positive financial innovation.

Tierce: Nothing really happened in the Marshall trial today, but I sense a sea change in the case.

Sext: Tom Scocca sings of time and the bed — and a kid who’s discovered “testing.”

Nones: Sudan takes an important step toward partition (between North and South) — at The Hague.

Vespers: Anglophone literature in India takes a new turn: with more Indian readers, writers can focus on local life to an extent that makes their work difficult to follow outside of India. (via Arts Journal)

Compline: The story following this headline actually lives up to it: “Laptop? Check. Student Playlist? Check. Classroom of the Future? Check,” by Jennifer Medina.

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Daily Office:
Thursday

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

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Matins: “20 Bold Schemes” — that’s putting it mildly — for reversing climate change, the acidulation of seawater, and even for making bigger, puffier, whiter clouds! (Who can be against that?)

Lauds: LA County Supervisor Mike Antonovich objects to next year’s production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle. (via  Arts Journal)

Prime: For an “ownership society,” we have a tax code that inordinately favors indebtedness. Felix Salmon protests.

Tierce: Today’s testimony by Astor nurse Pearline Noble generated two stories in the Post.

Sext: Christoph Niemann is a Master of the Universe!

Nones: In retrospect, it wasn’t such a good idea to bring Uighur workers to Guangdong.

Vespers: John Self, intrigued by the kerfuffle surrounding Alain de Botton’s public unhappiness with Caleb Crain’s review of his new book, sat down and read The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work, and he finds himself “coming down on de Botton’s side.”

Compline: Having sold the initial print run of 200 copies, the good people at Snarkmarket released the text of New Liberal Arts on line. Welcome to the new Maecenate? 

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Daily Office:
Wednesday

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

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Matins: At Chron Higher Ed, Peter Dougherty argues for more pro-active university presses, as a way of overhauling scholarship.

Lauds: The Prince of Wales has resigned from the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (founded in 1877 by Williams Morris), of which he was also the patron. The issue appears to be his rigorous (rigid?) antiquarianism.

Prime: While the major labels (such as still exist) fret about plunging CD sales, a cottage industry of new music recordings is re-inventing the business model.. (via Arts Journal)

Tierce: Four years’ jail time for stealing 91 lobsters from the kitchen at Balley’s? I say sell Anthony Jones’s story to Hollywood and give the proceeds to a soup kitchen. The 38 year-0ld Jersey man created value.

Sext: Ivy Style digs up an article from Time (November 11, 1966) about a once-thrilling trend: going sockless.

Nones: Charles Taylor, former Liberian president/tyrant, takes the stand in his own defense, as the first African leader to be tried at The Hague.

Vespers: At The Rumpus, an excerpt from Jonathan Ames’s new collection of essays and short fiction, The Double Life is Twice as Good.

Compline: Choire Sicha takes another look at Brüno, and, partly inspired by Anthony Lane, comes away with a troubling take on America.

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Daily Office:
Friday

Friday, July 10th, 2009

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Matins: Tear down that highway! Four cases (two of them in San Francisco) where getting rid of a highway improved congestion, by taking the Braess Paradox seriously.

Lauds: Fr-eye-day Candy: Vlad Artazov’s witty and beautiful sinkers.

Prime: At The Corner Office, Jeffrey Pfeffer shows how a misguided belief in efficient markets enables laziness and perpetuates errors.

Tierce: The poor jury — they haven’t been able to do a thing all week except show up and leave. Today, the lawyers argued about evidence again: the admissability of Pearline Noble’s diary. (Don’t ask.)

Sext: We can’t tell you how wet we think this iPhone app is. What’s more infurtiating than some guy strolling through a subway station as if he actually knew where he was going — instead of following Exit Strategy.

Nones: Russell Lee Moses counsels against reading too much into the Urumqi riots; that is, interpreting the unrest as a genuine threat to the Communist Party’s lock on power.

Vespers: It has been so long now that we’ve misplaced the lead that took us to The Neglected Book Page, where, as you can imagine, one thing leads to another. Pretty soon, we were perusing a list of 100 unread novels.

Compline: Villa Trianon was a dump in 1906, when Elsie de Wolfe and Elizabeth Marbury bought it for $16,000 and turned it into a showplace. After World War II, Elsie turned it into a showplace all over again. Now it’s a dump. My good friend, George Snyder, is looking for a willing millionaire to save it. Do you know one?

Bon weekend à tous!

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Daily Office:
Thursday

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

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Matins: Max Fisher calls it semitarianism, and Peter Smith likes it. Now, eat your vegetables.

Lauds: The evolving aesthetic of public monuments finds interesting expression in a new 7/7 memorial, soon to be unveiled in Hyde Park.

Prime: The death of Robert McNamara reminds Philip Delves Broughton, author of Ahead of the Curve: Two Years at Harvard Business School, of what he calls “The McNamara Syndrome.” (via Felix Salmon)

Tierce: Ya gotta admit: the trial as eveything: Gurneys! Oxygen! A men’s room shut down for an hour, while Charlene comforts her traviato.

Sext: Henry Alford files a report about leftovers: “chunks of some sort of appalling turgid brownish oozing cake.”

Nones: In the bad old days, utter nincompoops could inherit thrones. Now, they get elected. But the problem is the same: how do you get rid of them? The kid-glove approach taken by the Honduran élite seems not to have worked.

Vespers: Chalk another win up for NYRB Books: they’ve reissued L J Davis’s A Meaningful Life — now, 29 years after hardcover publication, in cloth. John Self enthuses.

Compline: John Lancaster, a Washington-based journalist, did not finish out his term at Atchison College, Pakistan’s top prep school (boys only, natch), but he did gather enough material for a must-read report. (via  The Morning News) (more…)

Daily Office:
Monday

Monday, July 6th, 2009

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Matins: Another way of looking at Earthly inequality: 50% of the world’s population inhabits nations that, in sum, produce only 5% of the world’s GDP.

Lauds: Elliot Goldenthal discusses his beautifully moody score for Public Enemies with Jim Fusilli, at Speakeasy.

Prime: Matt Thompson, at Snarkmarket, writes about the long overdue concept of “too big to succeed.”

Tierce: Just when we thought that the prosecution had exhausted its witnesses hostile to defendant Anthony Marshall, in walks the accountant.

Sext: So, we’ll bet you thought that a 50-pound ball of Silly Putty, if dropped from a 10-storey building, would do some awesomly rampaging bouncing. Not so.

Nones: Ethnic riots in Urumqi probably don’t threaten the stability of the Communist Party’s regime in China, but they do suggest that Uighur “aliens” don’t cotton to Shake-‘n’-Bake Han colonization.

Vespers: At The Millions, C Max Magee looks forward to books forthcoming in the second half of 2009. It’s better than Christmas — even if all you want to read is the new Joshua Ferris and a genuine novel by Nicholson Baker.

Compline: A phrase that’s altogether new to us: (to) gay marry. Friendship with (abstract?) benefits.

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Daily Office:
Tuesday

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

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Matins: Ben Flanner’s Rooftop Farms, in Greenpoint, is six thousand square feet of vegetables — atop an industrial building.

Lauds: At Speakeasy, Jim Fusilli asks if there will ever be another Michael Jackson. He’s not talking about artistry, really, but rather about the business. His answer is that not even Michael Jackson at his prime could sell 750 million albums today.

Prime: Malcolm Gladwell reviews Chris Anderson’s Free; Tom Scocca and Choire Sicha have a laff.

Tierce: Bernard Madoff was sentenced to one hundred fifty years in prison today, but as far as victim Burt Ross is concerned, that’s not even the beginning of what’s appropriate. “When he leaves this earth vitually unmourned, may Satan grow a fourth mouth…” The reference is to Canto XXXIV of Inferno.

Sext: Being Tyler Brûlé, a blog that makes exquisite fun of (Jayson) Tyler Brûlé. (via Things Magazine)

Nones: It’s rather maddening, but I can’t confirm my hunch that the ouster of Honduran president Manuel Zelaya was engineered by the “European” elites that own most of the property in Central America. Update

Vespers: John Self writes about Marilynne Robinson’s first novel, Housekeeping (1981). If you missed it, Mr Self may whet your appetite for a fine novel.

Compline: V X Sterne is back, at Outer Life, and it will surprise none of his regular readers that he unplugged the second flat-screen monitor that was recently installed at his place of business.

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