Daily Office:


Matins: Even if you have already come across the Kilkenny letter, I urge you to consider it as a model memorandum that, in an ideal democracy, every voter would be sufficiently informed to compose. Anne Kilkenny is a resident of Wasilla, Alaska, who has known Sarah Palin for many years, and who opposed her attempt to fire the local librarian. She is definitely an “interested” observer. But her letter seems candid and level-headed. Her take on Trig, as well as on some of Ms Palin’s political positions, suggests a scrupulous determination not to demonize. The main thing is that she sat down and composed her thoughts. (via Suz at Large.)

Tierce: As someone who ingested a good deal of LSD back in the day, I read today’s Times report on Salvia divinorum with great interest. The recreational aspect of drug use doesn’t interest me very much anymore, but I remain curious about altered states of mind. Overall, though, the story has me spluttering with rage, at the drug’s troglodyte opponents.

Sext: Thank God for France! Nowhere is pleasure more expertly rationalized. From Le Figaro, a review of Mamma Mia! that talks of Shakespeare and “postmodern irony.”

Nones: How big is New York City? As big as the populations of Idaho (Manhattan), Maine (the Bronx), Nevada (Brooklyn), New Mexico (Queens), and Wyoming (Staten Island). (via JMG > Gothamist)

Vespers: Times columnist Bob Herbert enjoins liberals to hold up their heads. It’s a great idea, but he has no suggestions about what to when the wingnuts start shooting at it.

Troglodytes on the right are no respecters of reality. They say the most absurd things and hardly anyone calls them on it. Evolution? Don’t you believe it. Global warming? A figment of the liberal imagination.

Yes, and that’s the problem. Consider:

§ Matins. Suz reports that Ms Kilkenny asked that her letter not be posted publicly. Vain wish! In this day and age, the line between a widely-disseminated email and a “public” posting at a blog or a Web site is extremely vague. But we’re told that the good lady connects via dial-up. She might not have reason to know that publication isn’t what it used to be.

§ Tierce. First, there’s the altered death certificate of Brett Chidester, a 17 year-old model student who killed himself after writing in his diary that life has no point. Oh, and he’d been smoking Salvia. Clearly crucial! No teen has ever been crushed into a suicide by a sense of futility that wasn’t drug-induced! Never!

Several months later, a medical examiner changed Mr. Chidester’s death certificate to list his salvia use as a contributing factor. Delaware’s Legislature immediately banned salvia by passing a bill it called Brett’s Law.

Then, there’s the picture of Texas State Representative Charles Anderson, sponsor of anti-Salvia legislation in a state which I wish were a great deal more Lone than it is. I may be coming back to him later in the day. For the moment, I’m stewing over his ludicrous costume, which I’m afraid passes for perfectly normal in Austin. Talk about cross-dressing! (More anon!)

§ Sext. It would be inconceivable for an Anglophone critic to observe (without “postmodern irony,” anyway): “Le film possède à l’évidence de sérieux atouts.” Literally, this means, “The film obviously has some trumps.” But you couldn’t say what it really means in English, either.

§ Nones. When do we get our ten senators?

§ Vespers. As promised, a picture of Texas State Representative Charles Anderson. What kind of drag is this? The suit says “respectable adult male,” but the hat and the sunglasses say something else. The sunglasses are, of course, humiliating — they always are. They are out of place in a press photoraph. As for cowboy hats, they are no more innocent than the quaint headgear that rural Frenchwomen used to don for the tourists. They are all message.

What do you say to a man like this? How about nothing. How else do you reconcile contempt (yours) with the imperatives of civil society? Please tell us, Bob Herbert.

One Response to “Daily Office:

  1. Nom de Plume says:

    Ten senators: too-shay!