Daily Office:


Matins: Have a look at the impact of the “recession” on Ohio’s manufacturing towns. Unemployment is a national disgrace created by overzealous faith. Government may screw things up from time to time, but nobody beats financiers at catastrophe creation. (Washington Post; via MetaFilter)

Lauds: Shipley, meet Ripley. Sigourney Weaver talks to Speakeasy about Avatar. She finishes with a Trick-or-Treat TREAT.

Prime: British banking authorities plan to do away with checking by 2018. Our one venture in online bill-paying was a very, very expensive fiasco. We don’t write very many checks, though. (Yahoo; via Marginal Revolution)

Tierce: Four really backward-looking road-construction projects. No new roads! Not for trucks and automobiles, anyway. (The Infrastructurist)

Sext: In a case of what sounds like the most irregular theorizing, psychologist Peter Lovatt hypothesizes that the awkward dancing of middle-aged men serves an evolutionary purpose. All right, class. We can stop giggling now and get back to work. (Telegraph; via Arts Journal)

Nones: In the Chronicle of Higher Education: Scholars Nostalgic for the Old South Study the Virtues of Secession, Quietly.” We used to think that the United States was wrong not to let the South go in 1861. Now, we’re more inclined to think that the Northeast was wrong to remain within the Union. (via The Morning News)

Vespers: In this time of Best-Of lists (the year, the decade), it’s refreshing to read descriptions of nine not so very well-known books of relatively recent date that the contributors to The Second Pass think might well be highly regarded in 2110. We were particularly taken with Jon Fasman’s lines on the one book that we have read, Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Unconsoled. 

We don’t disagree. We love thinking that there will still be books in 2110 — especially after reading Helen Simpson’s “Diary of an Interesting Year” in The New Yorker.

Compline: For the final Daily Office entry for 2009, we turn to that bastion of fun, The Awl, for Joel Johnson’s response to the Cringely’s cringe-worthy Christmas card, which we decided not to write up yesterday.

Bon Weekend à tous!

And happy holidays as well! We’ll be back on Monday, 11 January 2010.

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