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In a deserted place in Iran there is a not very tall stone tower that
has neither door nor window. In the only room (with a dirt floor
and shaped like a circle) there is a wooden table and a bench. In that
circular cell, a man who looks like me is writing in letters I cannot
understand a long poem about a man who in another circular cell is
writing a poem about a man who in another circular cell...The process
never ends and no one will be able to read what the prioners write.
Editor's Note: Between national news at 7 a.m. and 8 a.m., the program host interviewed Christine Hemingway, a former inmate at the Alouette Correctional Centre for Women in Maple Ridge, B.C. who is preparing to sue the B.C. Corrections Branch for medical neglect after a bladder infection progressed to kidney stones and a series of blod clots while she was incarcerated. Hemingway said the centre has contracted with a private medical service, which provides only one doctor only once a week to treat all 140 women. In addition, she said, the private service refuses to honor inmates' previous diagnoses and prescriptions, forcing inmates to submit to re-testing according to the private provider's terms.
... The Talmud tells us that when the serpent entangled with Eve it spurted defilement into her which infected her children. Never mind that the infection came from him.
Woman's sensuality is therefore her triumph and her downfall. Her sensual machinery can arouse man's unconscious desire and cause him to lose himself in her more radically than she ever can in him. This is the nub of that over-amplified target called 'the battle of the sexes.' If love is the re-creation of an original happiness and that happiness is founded on the mother, then the woman is more capable of delivering it to the man than he to her. This blind power of hers, this near trick depends on instinct and is the triumph of instinct over reason and can make him hate her as much as love her and often both at one and the same time. Love or no love, the sexual act is inherently disrupotive.
For a country breast-fed on chastity and gullet-fed with the religion that makes Jansenism seem sportive the transgression is twice as bad. For a woman it is ten times more so. In fact considering their background I am surprised that all Irish women are not lying down on railway tracks uttering and wailing ejaculations for the oncoming train. It would be rash to hope that women have contributed as richly and as vigorously to the theme of love. But they have contributed - wild contumely, withheld desire, craven love and a sublimated sexuality that gives rein to the most fanciful and sometimes devious images. Too often they languish like Dido under the weight of doom, loiss and rejection. Nor are they bold in their descriptions; they seldom describe him, they merely describe the feeling and the event as if it were a sacrament. Desire has gone underground and reappeared as something else. There is of course Molly Bloom, but she is the creation of a man. Only she boasts and raves about her indisputable power to arouse man's desire, to come-hither him and to make jest of him in the process. (From the chapter entitled, The Female, pgs. 148-149)
Bad Golf My Way
By Frostback Leslie Nielsen and Henry Beard
Photography by E.H.Wallop
There's an old saying in golf, "Drive for show, putt for dough." I definitely agree that long straight drives aren't all that important (they certainly don't play a major role in my game), and there's no question in my mind that the green is where the action is. Still, I'd amend that aphorism to read, "Drive for dough, and pick up putts for dough."
Of course, I'm talking about driving the cart, not the ball, and as we'll see later in this chapter, I believe the key to the putter is using the back of it to scoop up the ball instead of fooling around with the front, or, to put it simply, the secret of putting is not putting.
Why is driving the cart so important? Well, you may not be able to control your ball, but if you control the cart, you not only have all of your equipment and all of your opponents's equipment at your fingertips (and away from his), you also have speed, mobility, cupholders, the element of surprise, a handy source of distracting noise and movement, a large and highly maneuverable obstacle, and last, but not least, right there in the middle of the steering wheel, you have the ultimate weapon - the scorecard. (From Chapter 6, Playing to Win, p. 99)
By Joan Didion
This notion of voting as a consumer transaction (the voter "pays" with his or her vote to obtain the ear of his or her professional politician, or his or her "leader," or by logical extension his or her "superior") might seem a spiritless social contract, although not - if it actually delivered on the deal - an intrinsically unworkable one. But of course the contract does not deliver: only sentimentally does "the vote" give "the voter" an empathetic listener in the political class, let alone any leverage on the workings of that class. When the chairman of Michael Dukakis's 1988 New York Finance Council stood barefoot on a table at the Atlanta Hyatt during that summer's Democratic convention (see page 48) and said "I've been around this process a while and one thing I've noticed, it's the people who write the checks who get treated as if they have a certain amount of power," she had a clear enough understanding of how the contract worked and did not work. When the only prominent Democrat on the west side of Los Angeles to raise money in 1988 for Jesse Jackson (see page 55) said "When I want something, I'll have a hard time getting people to pick up the phone, I recognize that, I made the choice," he had a clear enough understanding of how the contract worked and did not work.
When the same Democrat, Stanley Sheinbaum, said, in 1992 (see page 151), "I mean it's no longer a thousand dollars, to get into the act now you've got to give a hundred thousand," he had a clear enough understanding of how the contract worked and did not work. When Jerry Brown, who after eight years as governor of California had become the state party chairman who significantly raised the bar for Democratic convention in Madison Square Garden (see page 120) that the time had arrived to listen to "the people who fight our wars but never come to our receptions," he had a clear enough understanding of how the contract worked and did not work. When one of George W. Bush's lawyers told The Los Angeles Times in December 2000 that "if you were in this game, you had to be in Florida," he too had a clear enough understanding of how the contract worked and did not work. "Almost every lobbyist, political organizer, ocnsulting group with ties to the Republicans was represented," a Republican official was quoted by Robert B. Reich, writing on the op-ed page of The New York Times, as having said to the same point, "If you were or wanted to be a Republican, you were down there. ...
This "civics lesson" aspect of the thirty-six days that followed the election was much stressed, yet what those days actually demonstrated, from the morning on Day One when the candidate whose brother happened to be governor of Florida lined up the critical Tallahassee law firms until the evening on Day Thirty-five when the Supreme Court decided Bush v. Gore for the same candidate, was the immateriality of the voter against the raw power of being inside the process. ... (From A Foreward, pgs. 12-15)
A man who’s trying to be a good man
but isn’t, because he can’t not take
whatever’s said to him as judgement.
It causes him, as he puts it, to react.
His face and neck redden and bloat,
a thick blue vein bulges up his forehead
and bisects his bald pate, scaring his children
but provoking hilarity at work
where one guy likes to get his goat
by pasting pro-choice bumper stickers
on his computer screen while he’s in the john,
then gathers a group into the next cubicle
to watch when he comes back.
He has talked to his minister and to his wife
about learning how not to react,
to make a joke, and he has tried to make jokes,
but his voice gets tense, they come out flat,
so even his joke becomes a joke at his expense,
another thing to laugh at him about.
He has thought to turn to them and ask,
Why don’t you like me? What have I done to you?
But he has been told already all his life:
self-righteous goody two-shoes, a stick up your ass.
They are right. He has never never never gotten along.
He says nothing this time, just peels off the bumper sticker,
crumples it gently, places it gently
by his mousepad to dispose of later properly,
comparing his suffering to Christ’s in Gethsemane
spat upon and mocked (his minister’s advice),
and tries a smile that twists into a grimace,
which starts the hot blood rising into his face.
This is what they came for, to see Dickhead,
the bulging vein, the skull stoplight red,
and indeed it is remarkable how gorged it gets
as if his torso had become a helium pump,
so, except for him whose eyes are shut tight,
they burst into laughter together exactly at the moment
cruelty turns into astonishment.
I spent two long years as a Fag at Repton, which meant I was the servant of the studyholder in whose study I had my little desk. If the studyholder happened to be a House Boazer, so much the worse for me because Boazers were a dangerous breed. During my second term, I was unfortunate enough to be put into the study of the Head of the House, a supercilious and obnoxious seventeen-year-old called Carleton. Carleton always looked at you right down the length of his nose, and even if you were as tall as him, which I happened to be, he would tilt his head back and still manage to look down the length of his nose. Carleton had three Fags in his study and all of us were terrified of him, especially on Sunday mornings, because Sunday was study-cleaning time. ... We scrubbed the floor and washed the windows and polished the grate and dusted the ledges and wiped the picture-frames and carefully tidied away all the hockey-sticks and cricket-bats and umbrellas. ...
The rules and rituals of fagging at Repton were so complicated that I could fill a whole book with them. A House Boazer, for example, could make any Fag in the House do his bidding. He could stand anywhere he wanted to in the building, in the corridor, in the changing-room, in the yard, and yell 'Fa-a-ag!' at the top of his voice and every Fag in the place would have to drop what he was doing and run flat out to the source of the noise. There was always a mad stampede when the call of 'Fa-a-ag!' echoed through the House because the last boy to arrive would invariably be chosen for whatever menial or unpleasant task the Boazer had in mind.
... the Boazer wished to use the lavatory but that he wanted the seat warmed for him before he sat down. ... I wiped the frost off the seat with my handkerchief, then I lowered my trousers and sat down. I was there a full fifteen minutes in the freezing cold before Wilberforce arrived on the scene. ...
I got off the lavatory seat and pulled up my trousers. Wilberforce lowered his own trousers and sat down. 'Very good,' he said. 'Very good indeed.' He was like a winetaster sampling an old claret. 'I shall put you on my list,' he added. ... (From Fagging, pgs. 154-159)
with Journal of "The Counterfeiters"
By André Gide
The novel translated from the French by Dorothy Bussy
The journal translated from the French and Annotated by Justin O'Brien
... "There are many households, you know - and those the most united - where it isn't always the husband who settles things. But you aren't married; such things don't interest you. ..."
"Oh!" said I, laughing, "but I'm a novelist."
"Then you have no doubt remarked that it isn't always from weakness of character that a man allos himself to be led by his wife."
"Yes," I conceded by way of flattery, "there are strong and even dominating men whom one discovers to be of a lamb-like docility in their married life."
"And do you know why?" he went on. "Nine times out of ten, when the husband submits to his wife, it is because he has something to be forgiven him. A virtuous woman, my dear fellow, takes advantage of everything. If the man stoops for a second, there she is sitting on his shoulders. Oh! we poor husbands are sometimes greatly to be pitied. When we are young, our one wish is to have chaste wives, without a thought of how much their virtue is going to cost us." (-- p. 211)
My father respected the individual but not the crowd. He taught me never to go along with the desires of the masses. I did not understand him at the time, but today I think he was right. One certainly ought not to impose on them anything totally alien to their aspirations, but neither ought one to follow their wishes where state policy was concerned, because they always looked for an immediate result. Yet there are measures that are good for the masses though they run contrary to their desires. According to my father, most people have no time for ideology. For them having enough to eat, having a roof over their heads and living quietly with their families matters more than anything else. That minimum has to be ensured for them before entering into ideological subtleties. People must not be treated like cattle. The individual must be given at least the illusion of freedom. We must not forget that, at that time, three-quarters of the Soviet people were bound to their collective farm and had no right to leave them.
In December 2003, Willard E. Brown confessed to the 1984 rape and stabbing death of Deborah Sykes after DNA testing linked him to the crime. His confession led to the release of Darryl Hunt, who had served about 18 years of a life sentence for a crime he always denied committing.
On February 6, 2004, Superior Court Judge Anderson Cromer vacated Hunt's murder conviction in the case. Cromer dismissed the case against Hunt "with prejudice," meaning he can never be tried in the murder again.
Over the course of its inquiry from 2005-2007, a citizens committee revealed mistakes made by law-enforcement officers in the handling of the Sykes case and three other rape cases that occurred in the same time frame. In February 2007, their report was released and the city issued a formal apology to Darryl Hunt.
By legendary feminist scholar Germaine Greer
Germaine Greer, Will Shakespeare - solid gold, the REAL deal.
BUY real GOLD.
The cost of production having been assessed at about 6s 8d a copy, the retail price can hardly have been less than about fifteen shillings. As Stanley Wells points out: 'The publishers' investment in a massive collection of play scripts was a declaration of faith in Shakespeare's selling power as a dramatist for reading as well as for performing. The declaration of faith and the investment may not after all have been the publishers'. If the publication was subsidized, the print-run could well have been small. In 1633, William Prynne was scandalised to notice that 'Shakespeare's Plays are printed on the best crown paper, far better than most Bibles,' which suggests that for someone cost was no object. Wells credits Hemmings and Condell with the actual editorial work; they commissioned a scribe called Ralph Crane to copy 'a number of plays specially for the volume' and chose 'which printed editions and manuscripts to send to the printer ... copy which must have been a printer's nightmare.' What is obvious from the appearance of the First Folio is that a house style has been imposed on all this disparate material, which suggests to me at least that the editors did not take the risk of giving the printers jumbled papers or leaving them to impose a house of style of their own. So far-fetched is the idea that Shakespeare's widow might have hired an amanuensis to prepare an edition of her husband's plays that no one has ever considered it.
As a widow Ann Shakespeare was entitled to make a will. If we could find it, and her inventory, we would know once for all whether she died a penniless dependant or whether she left money in trust to be spent on further publishing of her husband's work. If she did she would have left her executor no choice but to make available any funds remaining for a de-luxe second edition before he himself was gathered to his eternal reward.
All this, in common with most of this book, is heresy, and probably neither truer nor less true than the accepted prejudice. Ann Shakespeare cannot sensibly be written out of her husband's life if only because he himself was so aware of marriage as a challenging way of life, a 'world-without-end bargain.' The Shaespeare wallahs have succeeded in creating a Bard in their own likeness, that is to say, incapable of relating to women, and have then vilified the one woman who remained true to him all his life, in order to exonerate him. There can be no doubt that Shakespeare neglected his wife, embarrassed her and even humiliated her, but attempting to justify his behaviour by vilifying her is puerile. The defenders of Ann Hathaway are usually derided as sentimental when they are trying simply to be fair. It is a more insidious variety of sentimentality that wants to believe that women who are ill treated must have brought it upon themselves. The creator of Hero, Desdemona, Imogen and Hermione knew better. Ann might say like Lady Macduff:
I have done no harm. But I remember how
I am in this earthly world, where to do harm
is often laudable, to do good sometime
Accounted dangerous folly. Why then, alas,
Do I put up that womanly defence
To say I have done no harm? (IV. ii. 75-80)
'There can be no rest,' he raised his voice, 'until this cancer has been ripped out of European society. The Germans will squeal like every bully when cornered. But there must be no compromise, no shaking hands with the devil. It is useless to moralize with an alligator. Kill it!'
The audience clapped and the clergyman sat down.
Next in turn was the Major, who had been wounded, he said, at Mons. He began with a joke about 'making the Rhine whine' - whereupon the Colonel perked up and said, 'Never cared for Rhine wines myself. Too fruity, what?'
The Major then lifted his swagger stick.
'Lights!' he called, and the lights went off.
One by one, a sequence of blurred images flashed across the screen - of Tommies in camp, Tommies on parade, Tommies on the cross-Channel ferry; Tommies in a French cafe; Tommies in the trenches; Tommies fixing bayonets, and Tommies 'going over the top.' Some of the slides were so fuzzy it was hard to tell which was was the shadow of Miss Isobel's plume, and which were shell-bursts.
The last slide showed an absurd goggle-eyed visage with crows' wings on its upper lip and a whole golden eagle on its helmet.
There were shouts of 'String 'im up' and 'Shoot 'im to bloody bits!' - and the Major also sat down.
Colonel Bickerton then eased himself to his feet. ...
'When this war is over,' he said, 'there will be two classes of persons in this country. There will be those who were qualified to join the Armed Forces and refrained from doing so... '
'Shame!' shrilled a woman in a blue hat.
'I'm the Number One!' a young man shouted and stuck up his hand.
But the Colonel raised his cufflinks to the crowd, and the crowd fell silent:
'... and there will be those who were so qualified and came forward to do their duty to their King, their country ... and their womenfolk ...'
... 'The last-mentioned class, I need not add, will be the aristocracy of this country - indeed, the only true aristocracy of this country - who, in the evening of their days, will have the consolation of knowing that they have done what England expects of of every man: namely, to do their duty ...'
Volunteers rushed forward to press their names on the Major. ... (From Volunteers by Bruce Chatwin, pgs. 3-4)
This book is intended partly as a work of definition and reference, in which some modern linguistic problems are discussed and perhaps settled, and partly as a collection of more or less discursive essays on linguistic problems. In no sense is it complete or exhaustive. Even the great predecessor of the present volume, the Modern English Usage of H.W. Fowler, never set out to be that. What Fowler's aim was takes some defining. To settle scores as well as problems, to shake things up, to make people think about what they said and wrote, to be provocative without being unjust, these were certainly among his aims. In my less educated way they are among mine. ...
All talk of deference may be beside the point. Despite his sometimes derisive and even caustic tone, one easily guesses that Fowler had no real hope that his recommendations would be followed by more than a small fraction of his readership. No writer on the subject can nourish such a hope. The most that can be offered is some guidance for those who may want it and the thought that, without Fowler and his heirs and allies, the language might be in an even worse state than it is. A lost cause may still deserve support, and that support is never wasted. (Opening paragraphs of the Preface, p. vii)
My interest in words as parts of language preceded their appeal to me as units of literature of any sort, and I was learning how to spell some individual words before I knew what they meant. Ever since, I have retained what I like to think of as a special feeling for language in spoken as well as written form. This has gone hand in hand with one of the less immediately appealing sides of my character, the didactic or put-'em-right side. I would guess that for every acquaintance of mine who looks on me as some sort of authority on correct usage or pronunciation there is at least one who sees me as an officious neurotic who sets right venial blunderers uninvited. Any vocal stickler for accuracy perpetually runs that sort of risk.(From Apologia Pro Vita Sua Academica, p. ix)
I have had my own experience as that of being a writer given evidence of a disaster which seemed to exceed all measure. In South Africa racism in its brutally destructive guises, from killing in conquest to the methodology of colonialism, certified as Divine Will by religious doctrine, took the lives of thousands of Africans and stunted the lives of millions more, systematically. I grew up in the Union that came out of wars for possession between the British and descendants of the Dutch, the Boers. The Africans had already been dispossessed by both. I was the child of the white minority, blinkered in privilege and conditioning education, basic as ABC. But because I was a writer - for it's an early state of being, before a word has been written, not an attribute of being published - I became witness to the unspoken in my society. Very young I entered a dialogue with myself about what was around me; and this took the form of trying for the meaning in what I saw by transforming this into stories based on what were everyday incidents of ordinary life for everyone around me: the sacking of the backyard room of a black servant by police while the white master and mistress of the house looked on unconcerned; later, in my adolescence during the '39-'45 War, when I was a voluntary aide at a gold mine casualty station, being told by the white intern who was suturing a black miner's gaping head wound without anesthetic, "They don't feel pain like we do." (From Witness: The Inward Testimony by Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer, pgs. 109-110)
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