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23 May 2016
Vol. VI, No. 285

From Elizabeth Boleman-Herring: This week’s Weekly Hubris roster comprises Alexander Billinis’s investigative report on a very-little-known facet of post-World-War-Two history, the existence of an autonomous republic within Yugoslavia, Bulkes; a Perelman-esque account of condo-renovation in the Big Apple by jazz trumpeter Ross Konikoff; an appreciation of the clothed and the un-clothed, by Wordspinner Skip Eisiminger; and an account of Publishing Editor Elizabeth Boleman-Herring’s contretemps with her elderly and argumentative neighbor, who will climb ladders, at age 84, thank you very much.

Mock-up of Greek newspaper, “The Voice of Bulkes.”

Mock-up of Greek newspaper, “The Voice of Bulkes.”

Roaming East Roman

“Bulkes: The ‘Greek Republic’ that ‘Never Existed,'” By Alexander Billinis

CHICAGO Illinois—(Weekly Hubris)—5/23/2016—Today, it’s raining here in Chicago, and cold in mid-May. Back in January of 2013, it was just such a cold, rainy day . . . but elsewhere. At the time, my family still lived in my wife’s hometown of Sombor, Serbia, in the northwestern corner of the country. And as was often the case when the weather was foul, I had repaired to my signature watering hole, the Café des Artes, for a coffee. I was always sure to find good company there, Sombor artists and intellectuals.  (Read more . . .)

Renovating in NYC: here we go again!

Renovating in NYC: here we go again!

West Side Stories

“The Skimcoats are Comin’, The Skimcoats are Comin’!” By Ross Konikoff

MANHATTAN New York—(Weekly Hubris)—5/23/2016—Because our apartment building was rent-regulated from the time it was built, in 1939, until its condo conversion in 1996, city regulations required nothing more of its owners than a paint job every two years. In order to maximize profits, any expense beyond a roller and a few cans of cheap paint would have been considered pound-foolish and, therefore, out of the question. (Read more . . .)

No country for old men.

No country for old men.

By Way of Being

“The 84-Year-Old on the Ladder,” By Elizabeth Boleman-Herring

PETIT TRIANON Florida—(Weekly Hubris)—5/23/2016—In the midday Florida sun, one of our neighbors was up on a ladder, painting his fascias. Not only was he up on a ladder, he was up on a ladder whose back feet were propped on a two-by-four. Verne would tell you, as he did me, that the ladder was propped up a bit so that it would tilt forward, against the wall of the house, making a spill less likely. (Read more . . .)

“La maja desnuda,” Francisco Goya, c. 1797–1800.

“La maja desnuda,” Francisco Goya, c. 1797–1800.

Skip the B.S.

“Textile Conspirators vs. the Skyclad: Naked & Nude,” By Skip Eisiminger

CLEMSON South Carolina—(Weekly Hubris)—5/23/2016—For roughly four million years, people hunted and gathered, unrestricted by clothing. During the great migration out of Africa roughly 50,000 years ago, people gradually discovered the advantages of clothing and, for most of that time, civilization has meant, at a minimum, clothes. Exceptions, however, abound: the Greek Olympics were run in the nude, the Romans took regular “sun baths” in their solaria, Ben Franklin took a daily “air bath,” and Henry Thoreau took what he called “fluvial excursions,” dressed in a hat. (Read more . . .)

Bernie Sanders: en route to nuance.

Bernie Sanders: en route to nuance.

Dolors & Sense

“Trade’s Not Just About Trade: It’s About Class & Caste” By Sanford Rose

KISSIMMEE Florida—(Weekly Hubris)—5/9/2016—Trade increases income inequality. Income inequality is bad. Therefore, trade is bad. The discussion on international trade this presidential year has been about as primitively syllogistic as that. What can be done about the effect of trade on jobs and incomes? (Read more . . .)

Easter eggs simmering in onion-skin water.

Easter eggs simmering in onion-skin water.

Roaming East Roman

“Easter Eggcentricity” By Alexander Billinis

CHICAGO Illinois—(Weekly Hubris)—5/9/2016—It was our first Easter together, and  we had been dating for four or five months. We had met, after all, at church, so it was natural that the holiest holiday in Orthodoxy would be an occasion we would both want to celebrate. As we lived (not yet together) in small apartments, we were invited to someone else’s house, by some Kum or Koumbaro though I now forget who and where.  Never mind, we were planning for the holiday ourselves, intending to keep our Orthodox traditions. (Read more . . .)

Eleusis frieze depicting initia tion into the Mysteries, late 5thc. BCE.

Eleusis frieze depicting initiation into the Mysteries, late 5thc. BCE.

Waking Point

“The Journey from What to Why” By Helen Noakes

SAN FRANCISCO California—(Weekly Hubris)—5/9/2016—I’ve evolved from “Who am I?” to “Why am I?” The latter is a less frantic journey fueled more by mind than body. But in some mysterious way, it strengthens my body, rendering it more resilient. So much of who we are is driven by our imaginings, by the lists of don’ts and musts drummed into us since we first drew breath. (Read more . . .)

Always room for tips.

Always room for tips.

Epicurus’ Porch

“The Almost Naked Dancers of The Lone Star Cafe” By William A. Balk, Jr.

BEAUFORT South Carolina—(Weekly Hubris)—5/9/2016—The video clip shows a comely couple in a choreographed ballet, dancing nude; expertly piloted drones carry sheets of paper to obscure the naughty bits from view, adding a further dimension to the elegant moves of the dancers. It is the one glaring incongruity which draws the attention of the observant Facebook poster, however—the male dancer’s calf-high black socks. Startling! Whoever posted the video on Facebook doubtless has seen much of the world and is certainly a sophisticated observer of cultural nuance, but it seems to me that her experience has not prepared her for a nude-but-for-the-socks ballet dancer. I, on the other hand, had the explanation from my own worldly explorations. (Read more . . .)

Out of The Blue XXXIII

Out of The Blue XXXIII

Out of Santorini

“Out of The Blue, Part IV” By Doris Athanassakis

This portfolio of images represents yet another offering via Weekly Hubris of works by photographer Doris Athanassakis. Athanassakis spends much of her year in Imerovigli, a caldera-side village on the volcanic island of Santorini. Of Greek and Austrian heritage, Athanassakis has been photographing her island home, its architecture, and its human and feline residents, all her life. Her work comprises an ongoing and lifelong meditation upon her stunningly unique surroundings . . . and herself in them. (Read more . . .)

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