Snow in Queens
Trying to make sense of things. Art, Religion, Books, Politics, And So Forth.
--I've finally switched over to the Beta version of Blogger, not that I had any choice in the matter, and I figure that I might as well use the damned tag option.
--The credit for the sidebar "Recent Comments" hack appears now to lead to an extremely graphic pr0n site. I would suggest if you have a bloggerhacks link on your page to check it out. I'd be very willing to credit the bloggerhacks people for the code I'm using, but I don't link to pr0n.
--That said, my "recent comments" sidebar sometimes misses comments.
--Blogger Beta hasn't come up with an elegant solution for extendable posts, damn them. I've changed the visually awkward "mutterings continued" with "etc," but as usual, I'll indicate whether I've posted something below the fold.
--Blogger Beta has a template layout program that seems very inviting---until you realise that in order to use it, you have to revert to the standard template. Within a few minutes of switching over, I discovered that hyperlinks in the author porfile text were disallowed; switching back, I discovered that my background color had been changed. It's a trap! Avoid!
--I would really like to be able to get rid of the top navigational bar again. I've tried a couple of hacks out there (which haven't worked), but am still nervous of tinkering with the page geometry to overlay it.
--I'd like to format a couple of pictures to use in the header but don't have Photoshop. Are there any good websites to help me through this?
--I hate, hate, hate most of the Profile-Dump code available in this template. If I just delete it and build the sidebar from scratch, will Blogger come after me? Okay, maybe I'm just looking for moral support as I undertake what is surely to be a stupidly self-taught exercise.
Labels: site maintenance
"[I]nstead of being a man afflicted by nature with a beard, and as such more to be pitied than censured, he was a deliberate putter-on of beards, a self-bearder, a fellow who, for who knew what dark reasons, carried his own private jungle around with him, so that any moment he could dive into it and defy pursuit. It was childish to suppose that such a man could be up to any good."--P.G. Wodehouse, Big Money (1931), Penguin 1953, 55.
When Edmund Burke in his Reflections on the Revolution in France makes the argument that Britons should respect the organic political tradition of English liberty that has been inherited from the past, he whispers under his breath that the only reason we should respect the Wisdom of the Ancestors is that in this particular case Burke thinks that the Ancestors--not his personal ancestors, note--were wise.Yes, I think this gets very near to what coherent political principle there is in Burke.
Whenever Burke thought that the inherited political traditions were not wise, the fact that they were the inherited Wisdom of the Ancestors cut no ice with him at all. It was one of the traditions and institutions of Englishmen that they would conquer, torture, and rob wogs whenever and wherever they were strong enough to do so. That tradition cut no ice with Edmund Burke when he was trying to prosecute Warren Hastings. It was one of the traditions and institutions of Englishmen that all power flowed to Westminster. That tradition cut no ice with Burke when he was arguing for conciliation with and a devolution of power to the American colonists. It was one of the traditions and institutions of Englishmen that Ireland was to be plundered and looted for the benefit of upwardly-mobile English peers-to-be. That tradition, too, cut no ice with Burke.
What are good institutions? Burke sounds like Madison: checks-and-balances, separation of powers, rights of the subject, limitations on the state. Burke's views on what good institutions are are Enlightenment views--that branch of the Enlightenment that took people as they are and politics as a science, that is, rather than the branch that took people as Rousseau hoped they might someday be and politics as the striking of an oppositional pose. Because he finds that the English past is usable as a support for his Enlightenment-driven views, Burke makes conservative arguments in Reflections. But whenever conservative arguments lead where Burke doesn't want to go--to Richelieu or Louis XIV or the plunder of Ireland or the Star Chamber or Warren Hastings or imperial centralization--Burke doesn't make them. England's inheritance of institutions and practices is to be respected wherever it supports Burke's conception of properly-ordered liberty, and ignored wherever it does not.
"We all develop our personal styles by noticing what people like about us, and exaggerating it."
that state of the soul, in which all its motions are suspended, with some degree of horror. In this case the mind is so entirely filled with its object, that it cannot entertain any other, nor by consequence reason on that object which employs it. Hence arises the great power of the sublime, that far from being produced by them, it anticipates our reasonings, and hurries us on by an irresistible force” (Burke 101).
“we seek to determine whether and how Shock and Awe can become sufficiently intimidating and compelling factors to force or otherwise convince an adversary to accept our will in the Clausewitzian sense, such that the strategic aims and military objectives of the campaign will achieve a political end” (Chapter Two, para 3).
roar of waters, torrents, streams
Innumerable, roaring with one voice
Heard over earth and sea, and in that hour,
For so it seems, felt by the starry heavens (The Prelude 14.59-63).
A traffic cop (Kiarostami's first job in real life) attempting to prevent drivers from entering a closed-off area is treated to an infinite array of excuses. A revealing study of man's capacity for inventing stories (or "lying"), and a witty use of repetition at its most extreme. 52 min.But here's the thing: that traffic cop had the power to grant exemptions, and grant them he did--with the result that every driver in the queue had a very real incentive to try to bullshit the traffic cop. So the cop suddenly became a kind of judge: whose paperwork is good enough? whose excuse is valid? whose child is too ill to walk to the hospital? The traffic cop is a very handsome man, who seems to be decent (he is never shown either taking or refusing a bribe), humane, and even funny, but he is in an impossible position. The policy of closing off certain streets isn't necessarily a bad one, but stationing a single cop in front of the street creates an infuriating blockade, with wheedling, lying and bullying as inevitable results.
-2 1/3 tablespoons sugar. (And a little more to dust soufflé dish.)
-1 1/2-2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
-2 large eggs
-pinch of salt