Archive for September, 2015
26 Sep 2015

Keith Richards: “The Rock’n’Roll is Important. The Sex and Drugs is just Something that Happened to me Along the Way”

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KeithRichardsCigarette

The Vancouver Sun responds to the arrival of Keith Richards: Under the Influence, a Netflix documentary by asking: How did Keith Richards become everybody’s favorite Rolling Stone?

Watching the old buccaneer in action, you have to wonder how he became so universally loved. He has been hailed as the Human Riff and anointed the world’s most elegantly wasted human being, the bad-boy pin-up for junkie chic with the heavily wrinkled face. Surely Richards should be nobody’s idea of a role model: self-indulgent, irresponsible, a star squandering his gifts on drugs and alcohol? Mick Jagger’s former partner, Jerry Hall, warned their children of the dangers of drugs by asking them if they wanted to grow up to look like Uncle Keith.

So how did such a reprobate survive five decades on the edge to become everybody’s favourite Rolling Stone?

Back when it all began, it was Jagger who was the epitome of sexy, rebellious cool. Richards was his scruffy sideman with a swaggering line in guitar riffs. Aficionados loved him but the dreamy Brian Jones was hailed as the band’s genius (not least by Jones himself). As the 60s ended, though, there was a shift in the Stones hierarchy. Richards was getting his look together: cigarette permanently attached to lower lip, jagged hair cascading around his head like an electrified mop, ragged gypsy clothing accessorized by skulls, rings and bandanas.

Dark-eyed and lean, Richards, even with his piratical flamboyance, took on a very masculine presence next to Jagger’s camp theatricality. It corresponded with his growing maturity as a musician. Richards took the reins for the Stones’ greatest run of work, from Beggars Banquet in 1968 to Goats Head Soup in 1973, reshaping blues for the modern age. But at the same time, he was developing habits that have made him the personification of all the most extravagant myths of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll.

Read the whole thing.

26 Sep 2015

Faulkner on California

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California
“I don’t like the climate, the people, their way of life. Nothing ever happens and then one morning you wake up and find that you are 65.” – William Faulkner on Hollywood

26 Sep 2015

Attention Charles Krauthammer

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BrainSurgeon

25 Sep 2015

Scary!

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TrumpFace

25 Sep 2015

Saga Column

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Sagasoyla1
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The Sagasøyla (Saga Column) at Elveseter Farm, Bøverdalen, Norway. The column, once meant to stand next to Parliament as Norway’s National Monument, depicts moments of Norwegian historical significance. Commissioned in 1926 by the Norwegian government and begun by Professor Wilhelm Rasmussen, it was abandoned after World War II. The Saga Column was raised at Elvester Farm in 1992 after Åmund Elveseter had it completed and restored.

Hat tip to Ratak Monodosico.

25 Sep 2015

Chicago Welcome

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WelcometoChicago

24 Sep 2015

Thoreau Would Be Impressed

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24 Sep 2015

WWII Unit Identification

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UnitID

23 Sep 2015

Renaming Yale

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The Pundits are among the suspects.

Schwarzman1
Formerly Berkeley College

Schwarzman2
Formerly Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

Schwarzman3
Formerly Davies Auditorium

Schwarzman4
Formerly Jonathan Edwards College

23 Sep 2015

Jersey City: Muslim Woman Boasts “We’re Going to Be the Majority Soon”

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Jersey City Muslims demanded that public schools make Eid-el-Adha a holiday. Officials refused to close the schools, but granted Muslim children a religious no-penalty excuse to take Thursday off. Muslims, however, were not satisfied.

Hat tip to Gateway Pundit.

23 Sep 2015

Brian Sewell on National Service

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Brian Sewell, 1931-2015

Conscription no longer exists in Britain any more than it does in America, but some of the oddest people, including the late homosexual art historian Brian Sewell, believed that the experience of military service did them a great deal of good.

From Outsider (the first volume of his autobiography):

In my young days boys were prepared for life by dancing lessins and National Service, and of the two I much preferred the latter. Oh the misery and discomfort, the crippling sense of inadequacy engendered by the hours spent in the compelling arms of a corseted dancing mistress learning the quickstep, the foxtrot and the tango – to these the ingenious bullyings of strutting Warrant Officers and corporals proved infinitely preferable.

What did I learn from National Service? I learned to shoot with a cold accuracy that surprised the men who taught me. I learned to ride a motorcycle and to drive almost everything the Army had on wheels. I learned to pitch a tent and dig a trench and wriggle at a snake’s pace on my belly. I learned, if I did not already have them, the habits of neatness and economy. ‘Any fool can be uncomfortable,’ said one of my instructors, a Captain in the Gloucesters, lately wounded in Korea, and I learned from him to make silk purses out of sows’ ears. These were practical things that have stood me in good stead, but the less definable things have served me even better. In the intimacy of my platoon it was as though we had sworn the marriage vow to obey, serve, love, honor and keep each other in sickness and in health. We learned lessons in loyalty and interdependence that wove the platoon together; we learned that the strength of a group of men is the strength of the weakest member and that the weakest can be made stronger with forethought and support. With modesty and squeamishness abandoned I learned that compliance is not an easy option, but often the only option in a particular set of circumstances that one can do, and sometimes must, do things about which one has almost overwhelming intellectual and moral reservations, or that are deeply offensive to one’s taste. I think I learned – it was never put to the test – that there was nothing I would not do, that needs must when the Devil drives. I believe this still to be so, though my choices now might be significantly different. I learned too, that separation from my dog was more painful than separation from my parents.

Most of a lifetime later I am so burdened with moral baggage that I have perhaps lost the ruthlessness the Army taught me, but for decades I believed that my two years of National Service had done me far more good than my three as an undergraduate, my eight at school and twenty on my knees in church. National Service revealed depths and darknesses in my soul that I was grudgingly glad to know were there; if I am now capable of making worthwhile moral judgements it is because I was for two brief years a soldier of sorts, not because I am an art historian, a lapsed Conservative, an agnostic Christian.

23 Sep 2015

Enough Whining

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whine

Victor Davis Hanson, like many of the rest of us, is tired of all the whining.

The cult of the whining victim is now ubiquitous. Two high-school football players in Texas, angry that their team is losing and galvanized by their whining coach, decide to take out a referee and smash him with two cowardly hits. The reason? They claim the flattened ref got what he deserved — because of course he was a racist. The Marine Corps has discovered, as Nature might have advised it, that male ground troops on average perform more muscularly and effectively in rough combat-simulated training than do women. They apparently prove stronger, more combative, blood-thirsty, and aggressive, and fight with greater stamina. One reaction is not to accept the data, but, of course, by whining how the data has been improperly — and no doubt — socially constructed in sexist fashion, or is irrelevant altogether, maybe the standards can be lowered a bit.

In the logic of whining, Michael Brown did not commit a felony or two in the last minutes of his life, from strong-armed robbery to assaulting a police officer, but was instead begging for his life with “hands up” and shouting “don’t shoot.” There is less cause and effect anymore, only someone who must be excused from responsibility and culpability by his own claims on victimhood.

The 21st century has become a cowardly era in which we point to collective race, class, or gender rather than own up to our record of behavior and performance when our exalted expectations are not met. …

The culprits are not just our obsessions with race, class, and gender, or the careerist aspirations of elites. We also live in the most affluent and leisured era in the history of Western civilization. But given human nature, our bounty has not given us pause for appreciation, but rather increased our appetites in geometric fashion. The more we have, the more we think we deserve — or else. In an affluent society, society can afford now to have no losers. There is enough stuff and praise to be shared by all. In T-ball everyone is a winner; so is today’s student who feels A’s are his birthright. The poor man in the inner city has more computing power in his palm with an Apple smartphone than did the billionaire twenty years ago in his study — but, of course, not as versatile a phone perhaps as that of today’s billionaire, and thus he can legitimately whine that life is not fair due to the machinations of someone else.

The bane of our age is not poverty but parity, or rather the perceived absence of a state-mandated equality of result. It no long matters how much one has, much less in comparison to those abroad or to Americans of our past. The rub is whether someone has something more or better than your own — and why and how that can still be possible in the American horn of plenty. Given those requisites, whininess is the lubricant of our national machinery.

On the other end of the social scale is the whining of the established elite, who bitch that the public has forgotten that they must be exempt to cross-examination and therefore must remind us of that by perpetual whining.

Read the whole thing.

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