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21 July 2014
Vol. IV, No. 211

 

Delicately calibrated sounds made by a complicated set of brass gears and pulleys.

Delicately calibrated sounds made by a complicated set of brass gears and pulleys.

The Highest Cauldron

“Clocking Memory” By Anita Sullivan

EUGENE Oregon—(Weekly Hubris)—7/21/2014—Lying in bed in a silent room I am hearing the voice of my grandfather’s clock as if it were striking downstairs and the sound coming up. The clock does actually stand in the ground floor living room of my house but, for over five years, the old family heirloom has been broken, unrepaired, and unplugged—a largish piece of furniture with no further useful function. Shortly before we moved to this house, it completed an eight-year stint standing fit but silent in the corner of a friend’s dining room, waiting, because I had no space for it in my apartment. A sequence of overlapping periods in which I did not hear this clock at all stretches through the capillaries of memory, back to my childhood, when the clock spoke regularly and with dignified authority in the entry hall of my grandparents’ house.  (Read more . . .)

It’s a terminal disease, this indifference to the erosion of our civil rights.

It’s a terminal disease, this indifference to the erosion of our civil rights.

Waking Point

“Words & Our World” By Helen Noakes

SAN FRANCISCO California—(Weekly Hubris)—7/21/14—I’ve stopped watching newscasts as regularly as I used to. There’s really no point. Things don’t change that much from one week to the next. Politicians continue to squabble over money and what they call power. Corporations continue to gouge the ordinary people and decimate the planet. Religious factions continue to oppress and kill in the name of God. Our current Supreme Court, with the exception of a few Justices, continues to serve its corporate and political masters. And all these so-called leaders of our country continue to be derelict in their duties, betraying not only those whom they have sworn to represent but their own humanity.  (Read more . . .)

Von Tschirschky: From dove to hawk and back.

Von Tschirschky: from dove to hawk and back.

Dolors & Sense

“Unsung Villains of World War I” By Sanford Rose

KISSIMMEE Florida—(Weekly Hubris)—7/21/2014—Let’s start with someone who was named Villain—Raoul Villain. He shot Jean Jaurès, the French socialist leader, on July 31, 1914, just days before the outbreak of the war.  Jaurès was a pacifist, with ties to German pacifists and socialists. Had he lived, would it have made a difference? Unlikely, but I can’t resist mentioning the name of his assassin. Now, let’s turn to those who clearly made a difference in the march toward war, but are comparatively unknown, relegated to historical footnotes. (Read more . . .)

"Beneath the Mystic River Bridge," Oil on Canvas, 21.5" X 16.25" (1995).

“Beneath the Mystic River Bridge,” Oil on Canvas, 21.5″ X 16.25″ (1995).

The Disappearing Land

“Summer Heat” By Meredith d’Ambrosio

DUXBURY Massachusetts—(Weekly Hubris)—7/21/2014— In the early 1950s, on our weekly trek to Magnolia, my father would drive the family in our beach wagon to the North Shore of Boston, by way of the Mystic River Bridge, overlooking Boston Harbor. I would always strain my neck looking out of the left side of the car as we passed this Charlestown street below. The view haunted me for decades, and I was determined to paint it. When I finally returned to sketch the scene beneath the bridge, nothing had changed, even the clothes on the line, as if it had all been stopped in time, waiting for me to capture it. (Read more . . .)

Thomas Eakins’s “The Swimming Hole.”

Thomas Eakins’s “The Swimming Hole.”

Epicurus’ Porch

“Summers Remembered, Seasons Foreseen” By William A. Balk, Jr.

ELKO South Carolina—(Weekly Hubris)—7/14/2014—With accelerating age and the passage of seasons, I seem to have developed an increasing appreciation for the pleasures of those three seasons other than summer. Nevertheless, I retain an almost boyish sense of awe and joy as summer arrives, an unmistakable urge to wander bare-shouldered and bare-footed in blazing sun and through splashing sprinklers. The cold black waters of the Edisto River, the briny taste of rolling Atlantic waves—summer’s temptations, for a boy, retain their untarnished appeal, if only in golden memory. (Read more . . .)

Not everything that counts can be counted.

Not everything that counts can be counted.

Skip the B.S.

“Tough but Fair: Grades & Evaluations” By Skip Eisiminger

CLEMSON South Carolina—(Weekly Hubris)—7/14/2014—As a student who was graded for 20 years and a teacher who graded for 40 more, I remain convinced that tough but fair grading is a powerful incentive which encourages hard work and, ultimately, learning. However, assessments by teachers and self-assessments by students seldom coincide. After giving one young man a B for the term, he came to my office to complain. “I cannot take a B in your class,” he whined, “if I want to enter med school.” “And I cannot give you an A,” I replied, “if I hope to enter heaven.” (Read more . . .)

Fed DC headquarters: they "stopped" when they should have "gone."

Fed DC headquarters: they “stopped” when they should have “gone.”

Dolors & Sense

“Fed Up” By Sanford Rose

KISSIMMEE Florida—(Weekly Hubris)—7/14/2014—Post mortems on the Great Recession are now so numerous that they surfeit the interested reader. Some ascribe the causes of the calamity to the cupidity of individuals and institutions. Others, taking a more aggregate approach, emphasize the misbehavior of government, especially the Federal Reserve. (Read more . . .)

Peering out through his glassy eyes to see.

Peering out through his glassy eyes to see.

Speculative Friction

Hunger, or How the Fish Got His Gills” By Claire Bateman

GREENVILLE South Carolina—(Weekly Hubris)—7/14/2014—Before you were born./Before your mother was born./Before your uncles were born./When fish could slither on the land./Three young men wanted me for a wife./Three young men, and one old fish, a grouper . . . . (Read more . . .)

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